Every vocation seems to have its' form of initiation; for example student nurses may be asked to leave the hospital's operating theater and get an Otis Elevator. A tool-crib attendant may be asked for a smooth flat file or a motor mechanic's apprentice will be told to get a left-handed monkey wrench.
The newspaper business knows no exception to the rule.
It was Wednesday and that represented publishing day at the Watchman-Warder.
Approximately one hour before our Zurich flat-bed press was to roll; Steve Brasier burst into my office and seemed to be in a state of anxiety. "Hoop," he said, "we have to go to press and I just found out that we haven't got a sufficient amount of paper to complete our run. We're desperately in need of a paper stretcher and I want you to go over to "The Post" and ask Tommy Curtain to loan us theirs."
Anxious to please I took off down Kent Street, rounded William Street and into the office of "The Post" where I asked to see Mr. Curtain.
It seemed like ten minutes before he came out from their pressroom and approached the counter where I was waiting for him.
"Tommy" asked me what he could do for me.
Explaining the situation we were in, he told me that he had loaned it to John Deyell, owner of "The Watchman-Warder Book Binding" plant on Lindsay St. N.
Thanking him I raced through the back lanes until I reached Lindsay Street and raced down to see Deyell.
"Sorry" he said, "but I gave it to Ernie Blewett on the promise that he would return it to the "Post" when he was through with it but I am sure he'll give it to you if you approach him.
Realizing time was of the essence, I rushed up Wellington Street heading for "Blewett Printing" plant located on Victoria Avenue when I suddenly thought "paper tears when stretched." It was at that point I knew I had been had.
Reaching the Warder I went into the pressroom where Steve greeted me. "Where's the paper stretcher?" he asked.
"Steve," I replied, "if I ever find such a thing I can assure you I will wrap it around your head."
I knew I had been officially initiated into the newspaper business.