Sunday, July 7, 2019
As many have experienced and most others can deduce, being told your company is closing is profound.
But what quickly became clear last week in announcing the closing of The Vindicator is that an entire region is losing something.
Last Saturday, not 24 hours into this fog, a friend treated me to breakfast just to talk life and “next.” As we left the restaurant, I caught eyes with a family entering the restaurant. Their eyes ignited when they recognized me.
(That’s still real cool, by the way, and still surprising when it happens.)
He just apologized to me that this happened. I, still learning then how to talk about this, simply apologized back to him. I said “it’s bad for us and for the whole community.”
The lady was more profound. She just grabbed my hand and said “You’re going to fix this, right?”
That was the beginning of a week of measuring how widespread the impact is being felt.
A Tuesday night forum hosted by the Youngstown Press Club and Youngstown Rotary drew almost 200 folks. Among the most significant moments for me was a person saying “We lost our hospital; we lost our car factory. We cannot lose our newspaper.”
With all that in mind, I wanted to just share bits of some emails that came in this week.
“I just read my daily Vindi, and was very sad to hear about the Vindi stopping the presses later this summer. My grandparents, parents and my siblings and I have always enjoyed the Vindi – this is really sad news for our family and for the Valley.”
“Friday’s announcement truly broke my heart and when I should have been sleeping, I pondered so many thoughts about what The Vindicator has meant to me and, more importantly, what it has meant to our Valley.”
“In my house, holiday season arrives on Thanksgiving morning. My mom cooks a big breakfast, the Macy’s day parade is on the TV and my dad is sent out to get The Vindicator with all the ads in it so we can scout Black Friday deals.
The year I was finally old enough to drive, it was the biggest deal in the world when my mom sent me to get The Vindicator. It felt like I got to be a part of the tradition I’d always seen.
I love The Vindicator. If there’s anything I can do as a community member to help, sign me up. I don’t want to lose the tradition I’ve always seen in Vindy.”
“I’m sure you have thousands of emails and things to deal with so I’ll be brief. We join everyone else in sharing your heartbreak. It doesn’t even seem real yet. Be assured of my family’s prayers and appreciation of you.”
“Right now, I’m in the state of Texas visiting family. I’m also in a state of shock, having heard the news about the impending Vindicator closing. And hoping against hope that somehow this doesn’t come to pass.
My heart has always been with newspapers. I even had an opportunity to contribute to the Vindy as a correspondent years ago. I can’t imagine our Valley without The Vindicator. Its staff has informed and entertained, but more than this, the paper has been a much-needed watchdog.”
“I am so sorry to hear that The Vindicator will close. I grew up with the newspaper and my husband and I continue to receive it 7 days a week. We have never been without it. I feel for all of you.”
“I’m very sorry to see the Vindy close. I never thought this would happen in a million years. I delivered the Vindy on Sundays in Warren when I was a kid in the 1960s.”
Todd Franko is editor of The Vindicator. He likes e-mails about stories and our newspaper. E-mail him at email@example.com. Tweet him, too, at @tfranko.