Once word spread that i a young green alien from

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Unformatted text preview: y warm and gracious and polite, almost to the point of being nosy with their friendliness. They nod and speak to everyone on the downtown streets. They ask about your health, the weather, and they invite you to church. They rush to help strangers. Hut they don't really trust you unless they trusted your grandfather. Once word spread that I, a young green alien from Memphis, had bought the paper for fifty, or maybe a hundred, or perhaps even two hundred thousand dollars, a great wave of gossip shook the community. Margaret gave me the updates. Because I was single, there was a chance I was a homosexual. Because I went to Syracuse, wherever that was, then I was probably a Communist. Or worse, a liberal. Because I was from Memphis, I was a subversive intent on embarrassing Ford County. Just the same, as they all conceded quietly among themselves, I now controlled the obituaries! I was somebody! The newTimes debuted on March 18, 1970, only three weeks after the midget arrived with his papers. It was almost an inch thick and loaded with more photos than had ever been published in a county weekly. Cub Scout troops, Brownies, junior high basketball teams, garden clubs, book clubs, tea clubs, Bible study groups, adult softball teams, civic clubs. Dozens of photos. I tried to include every living soul in the county. And the dead ones were exhalted like never before. The obits were embarrassingly long. I'm sure Spot was proud, but I never heard from him. The news was light and breezy. Absolutely no editorials. People love to read about crime, so on the bottom left-hand corner of the front page I launched the Crime Notes Section. Thankfully, two pickups had been stolen the week before, and I covered these heists as if Fort Knox had been looted. In the center of the front page there was a rather large group shot of the new regime—Margaret, Hardy, Baggy Suggs, me, our photographer, Wiley Meek, Davey Bigmouth Bass, and Melanie Dogan, a high school student and part-time employee. I was prou...
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