My wife and I subscribe to the local Portland paper to include the Sunday edition.  I have to admit that I do not necessarially enjoy the paper for several reasons.  One is that most of what is contained I have already seen on TV, heard on the radio, or read on my computer.  Another is that my paper and I have always been diametrically opposed when it comes to politics.  I register as an independent since I dislike both parties equally, but I definitely lean right.

So why don’t I just cancel my subscription?  Well, we get the e edition on our tablets so I can quickly skim read, finding that which is of interest.  And, they have an extensive section devoted to local and state news that has been known to surface a few acorns from time to time.  And, in the Sunday edition, they have engaged one conservative columnist, brave sole that he is, that writes things that I generally agree with, even if most of the letters to the editors the following week grind his opinion into the dust.

So, it was with a great degree of surprise that I opened to a page in the Sunday paper that was called Meetinghouse.  I had not seen it before and as suspected, it turned out to be a new feature. The editors, under their direction of course, have decided to provide a space on the first Sunday of each month showcasing autobiographical stories that have been sent in by readers. The first week was kind of all over the place.  A lobstermans wife writing about the dangers of her husbands job, and another about returning to the woods he had hunted as a boy and meeting an elderly neighbor.  There were several and I read them all. In coming weeks, the topics are “Heading Home”, “Starting Over”, “A Lesson”, and “Now it’s funny”.

Begrudgingly, I have to give the paper a round of applause.  They have tapped into something that has been missing from the news for a long time.  That something would  be us.  We are being given a chance to tell our stories, recall our memories, and bring some reality to the media by displaying  what our lives are really like.  No spin, no bias, no anger, no hubris.  Just stories about what you and I are doing, and thinking.  For just a minute every month, the news returns to what the news used to be.  

It’s a little thing, but it’s a start.  I am sure there will be stories that will touch me while others may be of little interest.  But I will read them anyway, not for what they contain, but for what they portray.  I think it’s called civility.

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Insight, Memories, Narrative, Neighbors, Opinions, Perspective, Politics, Random Thoughts, Reflection, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Meetinghouse

  1. quiall says:

    Technology is distancing us from each other. These stories bring us back together.


  2. George says:

    Thankfully there is still a paper somewhere that concentrates on people instead of only headlines.


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