FLINT JOURNAL / STUART BAUER
Flint Journal reader Margaret VanWormer still has the original
special edition coverage of the Beecher tornado in 1953.
Her family lived nearby and lost friends to the storm. The
special edition cost a dime, did not cover the cost of printing
and had no ads.
Rose Mary Reiz
news is big news if it happens to someone you love � and Flint
Journal readers have the clippings to prove it.
clippers face tough foe: time
a reason most old newspaper clippings are yellow, tattered
and look older than their years.
of the type of paper used, newspapers are the hardest things
to preserve,� said David White, curator of collections for
Exposure to air, sunlight � even the ultraviolet rays from
indoor lights � all cause newspaper clippings to yellow
will yellow no matter what you do,� White said.
Some people save clippings between the pages of a book,
but the book will not protect the clipping for long, and
the newspaper will eventually stain the book, White said.
There are ways to minimize the damage. After clipping a
newspaper item to save, White suggested keeping the item
flat, not folded, and out of direct light. One way to do
this is to have the clipping mounted on acid-free paper,
using old-fashioned corner tabs. The clipping can then be
framed under UV-filtered glass.
Acid-free materials can be found in scrapbook supply stores,
A simpler way to preserve clippings is to laminate them.
Laminating lessens the value of clippings for serious collectors,
but is a good way to preserve an item for personal use.
really have to be over 100 years old to be valuable for
collectors anyway,� White said. �Laminating works just fine
for most people.�
Rose Mary Reiz
response to our request, more than 130 readers wrote, called and
e-mailed us to describe the newspaper items they�ve clipped and
saved over the years.
an avid clipper of Flint Journal articles,� said Alta Walls of
Burton. �They can be found all around my house � under glass table
tops, on the refrigerator, fastened on mirrors and even in the
bottoms of the clean clothes baskets.�
Sometimes yellow and cracked with age, clippings serve as a historical
record of personal milestones: Births, graduations, engagements,
weddings, deaths � and the occasional daring adventure.
got married on roller skates in 1979,� said Bethany Harris of
Genesee Township. �The Journal came out and did a story on the
wedding. Twenty-two years later, I still have people say, �Aren�t
you the lady who got married on roller skates?� �
Lottie O�Driscoll, 79, of Flint saved a copy of the 1981 article
that featured a cross-country trip she made at age 60 in the sidecar
of her son�s motorcycle. O�Driscoll and her son traveled through
the 120-degree desert, survived an attack of bees and communicated
with each other by means of flash cards that said �restroom,�
�hungry,� �thirsty� and �stop!�
Linda Holton�s adventure began when her son, Shane, was born in
1992 weighing just 1 pound, 8 ounces. Shane thrived despite the
odds. As his first birthday approached, The Journal featured the
family in a full-page, feel-good story about the �Holton miracle
purchased 75 copies of that issue and sent them to everyone I
knew,� Holton said.
Shane isn�t the only area youngster who entered the world with
reading to catch up on.
Lisa Smothers of Burton has saved 105 Journal sections since 1985,
when her son was born. The collection includes accounts of the
Challenger crash, Jacqueline Kennedy�s death, the Oklahoma City
bombing, General Motors strikes � even boxer Mike Tyson biting
the ear of his opponent.
thought it would be neat, years from now, for my son to see what
was going on,� Smothers said.
Nancy Sodini of Flint Township has saved the front pages from
the days of her daughters� first birthdays, along with clips from
the day Princess Diana died and news of the recent Florida election
of the main reasons I am doing this is that I can remember when
I was young and President Kennedy was killed,� Sodini wrote. �Too
bad I didn�t save the front page of the paper that day.�
Plenty of others did. The 12-page insert on the life of John F.
Kennedy, published in The Journal the day after his death, has
been saved by many readers.
cherish that insert,� said Sharon Prevo of Davison. �I�d never
part with it.�
World War II news � both international and local � was clipped
and saved by many.
Mack of Grand Blanc saved this photo of her mother and sister
(center) helping celebrate the end of World War II.
Shanahan, 81, still has a 1944 photograph of 16 soldiers, including
himself, who were stationed together in eastern India only to
discover they were all from Flint.
Others saved maps, editorials, cartoons and obituaries chronicling
the war years. When the war ended, The Journal printed a photograph
of some of the thousands who celebrated in downtown Flint.
mother and sister are in the front center of the photo,� said
Janet Lietch Mack of Grand Blanc, who still has the original clipping.
is yellow with age but still is priceless to me,� Mack said.
News of the 1953 Beecher tornado also was worth saving.
the time, we lived less than a mile away, lost friends to the
tornado and grieved for them but were grateful it wasn�t us,�
wrote Margaret VanWormer of Burton, who still has The Journal�s
special tornado edition.
After 35 years as a Buick employee, Bonnie Petee of Clayton Township
saved articles relating to the closing of Buick City.
was a very sad and very momentous day in our lives,� Petee wrote.
�Sad for those who knew not what was coming next, and joy for
those of us who had put in our years and were moving into retirement.�
Some articles were published at just the right time, like the
1989 piece on the benefits of quitting smoking, which helped Carolyn
Nicks of Swartz Creek kick the habit.
cut the story out and stuck it on my refrigerator door with magnets,�
Nicks said. �I looked at it several times daily, whenever I really
wanted a cigarette. That article helped me quit smoking more than
gum or patches ever could have.�
Other clippings represent dreams that never quite came to be.
In 1977, Katharyn Brown of Lennon fell in love with plans for
a rustic house featured in The Journal�s home improvement section.
kept it because I had hopes of building a retirement home up north
somewhere my husband and I both liked,� said Brown. �But I�ve
never retired, and my husband has no desire to go north. He says
it�s too cold.�
Some clippings have been discovered in unusual places. Gloria
Watters of Davison received a copy of her 1950 engagement announcement
after it was found between the walls of a home being remodeled
by her cousin�s friend.
the name in the article was Vohwinkle and my cousin�s name is
Vohwinkle, the man knew it had to be some relation,� said Watters,
who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary last year.
When Milton and Azalia Powers died a few years ago, their daughter,
Janet Lieffers, inherited the home she grew up in � and the newspaper
clippings her parents saved.
found complete newspapers on tornadoes, floods and snowstorms
back in the �40s and �50s,� said Lieffers of Mt. Morris.
father would clip out car accidents and pin them to a wall downstairs
so us kids, when we were teens, would see what could happen to
us. They are still there.�
Lloyd and Ramona Hemingway of Otter Lake have saved grocery advertisements
as well as news clippings since 1937 � just so they can remember
the days when ketchup cost 19 cents a bottle and onions 14 cents
Mary Burrows of Davison still has a 1954 insurance advertisement
in which teenagers were warned of the responsibilities and dangers
this was published, my son was 14 years old,� Burrows wrote. �I
knew that when the time came to give him the car keys, my husband
and I could never say it as well as this article did. I don�t
remember if we ever did show it to him � I probably forgot I had
it. It�s been hidden away all these years.�
On the back of the article is a list of show times for the movie,
�Gone With the Wind,� and an advertisement for dance lessons �
four sessions for $3.
Estelle Kaufman has a clipping of a photo from Oct. 6, 1976, of
herself as a cast member of Gore Vidal�s �The Best Man� by the
Flint Community Players. Her cousin, Judith Kasle, had saved the
clipping in a large Ziploc bag and gave it to her after Kaufman�s
house burned in 1994.
Kaufman said she is amused by one memory the picture brings back:
The photographer assumed by the title that the play was a romance,
and kept trying to get her and the male lead together for a tight
shot. When he realized the play was a political satire, he had
to shift gears.
Over the years, the newspaper has inspired as well as informed.
Connie Kramer of Grand Blanc has saved a 1997 article about the
spiritual journey of a local man with multiple sclerosis.
have been on dialysis 11 years,� Kramer wrote. �I reread this
article for encouragement and inspiration.�
The advice of syndicated columnist Ann Landers has been fastened
to many a refrigerator over the years, as have recipes and comics.
Margaret Abrams of Burton saved a two-page comic tribute to Charles
Schulz of �Peanuts� fame that The Journal ran last year. Sue Sarka
of Flushing saved wise words from a �Calvin & Hobbes� comic
in which Calvin remarks, �There is never enough summer to do all
the nothing you want to do.�
Our call for clippings inspired Jacqueline Lee of Montrose to
write a poem explaining why she clips newspaper articles � and
how a recent cleaning frenzy has dwindled her collection.
forty years � well, maybe more � I�ve clipped and stored away
thousand articles to keep, reread and sort one day.
then this mania did hit � various clutter I would trash,
were unfiled clips � I never dreamed you�d ask.�
Richardson of Flint (above at 22) is now 77 years old. This
photo was taken in August 1945 at her parents� house on
Chevrolet Avenue with a Journal headline proclaiming the
end of war. She knew it would become a historic document.
writer Rose Mary Reiz started at The Journal in 1986. She can
be reached at (810) 766-6353 or email@example.com.