Raider Record Vol. 22 #7It’s time once again to dip into the ’80s and revisit another issue of the Raider Record, the junior high school paper of which I was copy editor between 1985 and 1987. As always, you can find every issue from that period scanned in PDF form here, or you can view or download this specific issue here. Going through and scanning these, lots of memories came bubbling up to the surface, so I thought it would be entertaining to record those for posterity here.

As opposed to the previous issue, where I came up completely empty on memories (and in hindsight, I didn’t even have anything with a byline in that issue), I can see some things that cause a few synapses to fire in this final issue of my eighth grade year.

  • With articles such as the uncredited opinion piece on Chernobyl, the slang article, and the “War on Libya” editorial round-robin, I can see where I was starting to do a lot more importing of graphics I’d prepared at home. The “War on Libya” headline looks like Raider Record Vol. 22 #5it was created in The Print Shop, while the others mentioned had non-Newsroom typestyles created in a Beagle Bros. program called Font Typer. The Newsroom was limited to two small body copy typefaces – serif and sans serif – and two or three ‘headline” typefaces (sans serif, a Times Roman-esque serif, and the script font always used in the “Raider Record” banner on the front page). I mention all of this techspeak just for contrast: how many fonts does your Windows PC have on it? The Font Typer program had dozens of fonts that The Newsroom didn’t have (and couldn’t use, as there was no universal standard, i.e. OpenType, TrueType or Postscript); I was creating that stuff at home, saving it to disk, and importing it into The Newsroom. It was a very new experiment at the time, but the variety of fonts would almost get out of hand the following year!
  • Slang on page 5: “gay (as in happy)”. I got a big laugh out of this. Different times, huh?
  • The all-hands editorial on the Libya attacks (page 2): a really interesting cross-section of opinions here; I find this sort of thing an absolutely fascinating frozen-in-amber moment in time. I’m kind of amazed how much of a peacenik I was even at that age. It’s also interesting how the standard (westernized) spelling of the name of a foreign leader changes over time.
  • One thing I could’ve done without: the little I-D-I-O-T gag at the bottom of the page. After the fascinating spread of opinions above it, this has no place here, and I really find myself wondering where it came from. I didn’t expect to find anything that I’d feel so strongly about in my junior high newspapers that I’d disavow it completely, but here we are: I can’t believe that made it in editorially, and I can’t believe it got throw the layers of grown-up oversight that took place over our heads (meaning the class advisor and the principal of the school. Different times?

Eighth grade was over. Year one of newspaper was over. I remember being thrilled at what we’d done, and being even more thrilled at the prospect of being in the driver’s seat as far as the look and feel of the paper the next year. That summer, my family would be taking an extended vacation up the east coast to New Jersey and New York, and I’d be computer-less in a way that’s almost unfathomable in this day and age of browsing the ‘net from one’s phone. Surely 1986 would only be getting better.

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Earl Green ()

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