So don't you wish you were a journalist so if you had a question you could just pick up the phone and get an answer. I got my Time magazine this week and on two pages were ads with yellow post-it notes slapped over them. Real post-it notes, not something printed on the page. Hmm. How do they do that I began wondering and wondering and wondering. After driving fellow workers crazy in the newsroom I was encouraged to call and find out.
All of the Time magazines for Georgia and surrounding Southern states are printed at The Rock, a small town six miles from Thomaston, Ga. It is so named I am told because they didn't have a train depot and so people would stand on the rock waiting for the train to come.
It turns out that Quad Graphics, the town's and county's biggest employer, has been printing Time since the early ?80s. It also prints a number of other magazines like Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated and People magazine.
Mark Haynes, a customer service rep who was nice enough to salve my raging curiosity, tells me that the plant runs 24/7 with its 550 employees.
All of the camera-ready pages from the various magazines come in over dedicated phone lines and the pages are printed and the magazines assembled, stapled and sent on trucks to the waiting news stands. Some are flown out of Hartsfield-Jackson, but mostly trucks are used.
Haynes tells me that from the time the files containing the pages arrive until they are printed and actually on the stands is only 24 hours, an amazing fete.
So while Haynes is being nice and indulgent I ask him my post-it question.
He tells me that that four-page section is printed somewhere else and after they are printed, a special machine loaded with the pre-printed post-it notes actually slap them on the pages. It is called tipping. All of these pages are then shipped to The Rock and when the other four-page sections are printed, they are collated at the right spot and then pages are stapled together and shipped out. Special advertising sections zoned for only one area, like Georgia, are done the same way, he said. In that way they go only in the magazines shipped out to the state.
Now I can actually sleep at night, warmed by having my curiosity salved, content that Forrest Gump was right and life is really like a box of chocolates.
As the news came in that Martha Stewart had been convicted, a blow to my hopes she would escape, I could think of only one thing, one image flashing through my brain. Not of her in the kitchen or making Christmas decorations. The image that froze in my mind was O.J. Simpson in some palatial livingroom in Florida or California in his golf shirt, sipping on a drink.
O.J., who regularly beat the crap out of his wife, using her face like his own personal punching bag, the ultimate spouse abuser gone nightmare. And that rage, that rage that could almost severed her head as he slashed and cut and killed two people, generating more blood than even a Mell Gibson Jesus movie. So the Republican prosecutors at least are going to get to jail Martha, who was big in donating to Democratic causes. So I know I have flogged this issue, but explain to me how you can be convicted of lying and obstructing justice of a crime that the federal judge threw out and said never occurred. It's like a mother saying to her daughter, "I decided not to buy you a birthday cake this year because it's too messy." Then the next morning the mother grounds the daughter because she got crumbs all over the kitchen. "But mom, how could I have done that. There wasn't a cake." I warned you last week that a jury can get in that little room and do anything. One juror said they didn't believe Stewart didn't know about the transaction because she is so organized and meticulous in her life that she would have to have known. Where did they get that? From the trial? Hell no. From some knowledge and already formed opinion they brought to the trial prior to any testimony.
As Martha Stewart troops off to jail, all across America bank robbers will be headed to a bank but will stop and say, "Hey, I'm not chancing it because they are tough on crime." O.J. will reach to slap the living daylights out of whichever groupie girlfriend he is shagging this month and then will stop and say, "Oh, I better stop. The Martha thing has acted as a deterrent to me."
Bob Paslay is assistant managing editor for the News Daily and Daily Herald and can be reached at (770) 478-5753 Ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.