By JAMES BROWN
Glasgow Daily Times
Brenda Roberts came to the Glasgow Daily Times’ office Thursday afternoon with a photo in her hand. In the photo are two men, one being her father, James Lee Grinstead.
As you can see above, he is standing over something that has reflected the light of the flash from a camera. He is setting type for a page in the Glasgow Daily Times in 1953 and the light has bounced off lead type. James told his daughter he was working on an editorial page in the Daily Times. He knew what he was doing when the photo was taken. In the background, Brenda said is Keith Gerald, who is from the family that started Gerald Printing in Scottsville. Her father told her that as well because he knew who was there when the photo was taken.
“He has an incredible memory,” Brenda said Thursday.
What sparked the conversation about James’ days at the Daily Times was when he saw the front page of Section C from Sept. 7. That page included the Sept. 24, 1953, edition of the Glasgow Times proclaiming it was the first issue of the consolidated Times and the Evening Journal. Another front page pictured was the one below.
James told his daughter he set the type for that page. She told me Thursday she asked him how he remembered that and he said because the newly elected judge-executive waited at the Daily Times office for the page to come off the press so that he could grab a copy. It was a literal “hot off the press” moment in history.
As noted previously, the story regarding Nunn’s victory states he was the first Republican to win the county judge position with this lead: “For the first time in its history, Barren County has elected a Republican County Judge.”
The story also points out that Nunn apparently split the Democratic ticket, which led to much calamity in the weeks that followed.
(Of interest, it took at least four days for complete enough results from each precinct to be tabulated to select a winner. These days, people get nervous if they do not have complete results within two hours of the polls closing.)
There are several things on the Nov. 6, 1953, front page that are entertaining beyond the historic moment.
Donald Thomas claimed the top amateur award and was rewarded with $50. I love the lead paragraph of the story telling about his victory: “Donald Thomas, Glasgow blind boy and his ‘seeing eye dog’ won top honors in the Amateur Contest yesterday afternoon at the Glasgow Tobacco Festival at the Western Warehouse. He played guitar and sang. First prize was $50.”
The way the beginning is written suggests it is written for an audience in which everyone knows what and or who is being talked about. I don’t know if it means Donald Thomas was blind and had a dog with him, or if that was part of his act. Either way, it is amusing.
Update: Robert Wyatt, son of Arvel Wyatt, brought photos by the Daily Times on Monday. We scanned them in and e-mailed them to Peter Clemens in England. Unfortunately, they were not photos that included Peter’s mother or father and he didn’t think they were taken in his village in England. The two have begun to communicate via e-mail and those messages and other information will be written about in the near future. Helping connect Robert and Peter has been a great experience. The last month of learning their stories reminds me of why I have the greatest job ever. Thank you to both.
James Brown is editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. He can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.