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Enterprise Journal

If we did things like we did in 1965...

Jun 15, 2020 12:52PM ● By Savannah Howe

...newspapers would probably look very different than they do. And I probably wouldn't love my job as much as I do.

The amount of support we have gotten here at the Enterprise Journal in response to our recent expansion efforts has been amazing.

While we hoped, obviously, for positive feedback, we were also prepared for any criticisms of our newspaper that may come, and planned to use that feedback to create a diverse, adaptable paper that has something for everyone.

That is, until I was chatting with a friend of mine and he mentioned one complaint about the EJ, and newspapers in general, that he had heard through the grapevine: newspapers don’t publish the “goings-on of neighbors” anymore, and at some point along the line the day-to-day activities of people throughout town stopped being newsworthy.

That was not a piece of criticism I expected.

In case you don’t know what I’m referring to, here’s an example: “Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Priem and family were Sunday dinner guests at the Rufus Priem home in Toeterville. Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Anderson of Mitchell visited with Mr. and Mrs. Gaylord Anderson Sunday afternoon...”

This was news in the year 1965, probably because they didn’t have the ability to post daily updates online, so it was the only way they knew what their friends were up to. There were columns and columns of who went where and who visited who and even the occasional “unmarried courters spotted sneaking away to the Cedar River together” type of thing.

While I regrettably tell you that this sort of reporting will probably not make a comeback in the EJ anytime soon, I thought I might provide a satirical sample of what such a thing in 2020 may look like.

This is all in good fun, and everything is completely fictional--the sole purpose of this editorial is to make you laugh. The last names have been taken from 1960s-era archives of the EJ and are not meant to provide any real representation of anyone with the last name today.

The Falks tried to visit the Bisbee household on Monday, but they weren’t wearing masks so they were sent home.

The Pattersons visited with the Hemanns Sunday afternoon. They set a new record of 17 minutes of avoiding any political discussion, at which point the Pattersons angrily made their exit.

The Kirchgatters didn’t visit the Brumms, but they’re friends on Facebook, so that’s pretty much the same thing.

The Whites visited no one. The Whites are practicing social distancing.

The Millis and Huisman kids met up at the park Wednesday afternoon. Everyone sat in silence on their cell phones for two hours and then left.

The Schroeder family gathered via Zoom for a game night on Friday. They spent an hour screaming “Can you hear me?” and “Move your camera up, Grandma, all I can see is your chin” before giving up and signing off.

Amy Smith celebrated her birthday on Saturday. but since her Facebook profile doesn’t include her birthday, no one knew.

The Johnsons dropped a line to the Larson home over the weekend. Chaos incited when the phone rang because the Larsons forgot their landline even existed.

Ellen DeMaris and Johnny Rosenberg were wed on Saturday, in front of a teary-eyed crowd of two. The two sat at opposite ends of the chapel because social distancing.

The youngest Miller girl went on a date to the Friday night Watts show with a Hansen boy, but since it’s 2020, no one cares.

The Stacyville neighborhood gathered for a birthday party for a Hackenmiller kid Sunday. Party favors included hand sanitizer and N95 masks.

Again, I hope you’ve had a laugh, especially if your last name is coincidental with one here. Here’s to hoping that things will look up soon in 2020, and that we stay more connected than we were in 1965.