David Trinko: Mountain of memories in the old newsroom

I strolled through my memories while walking in the old Lima News building on Elida Road for the last time earlier this week.

We moved our offices out of 3515 Elida Road last Friday and into 205 W. Market St., Suite #100A on Monday. While we’ve been preparing for the move for several months, it was still a slog getting the last of our stuff out of our home for the past 28 years.

It was also a personal slog for me. I’m not an overly emotional person usually, but I am sentimental. It was hard leaving behind a place where so many memories were made.

People hate change. I know that, based on the numerous calls and emails I’ve received about the sundry of changes happening at The Lima News. It’s a lot for everyone to absorb. For me, the change in locale might be the hardest.

At one time, it was the nicest newsroom I’d ever seen. Newsrooms aren’t known for cleanliness, I learned at the other three newspapers where I eventually worked. Lima’s newsroom was spotless when I first arrived right out of college in 1997. Everything was so orderly and efficient.

Then there were the great characters who worked there. If you’ve never met a group of journalists before, they’re a rare breed. They may be strange people, but journalists are fun people, since they know a little bit about everything and tell great stories. We can move from deep philosophical conversation to absurdist observations in milliseconds. We can have a macabre sense of humor sometimes, and nothing’s off-limits.

I remember a group of us regularly throwing a football around the back of the newsroom, until one night someone accidentally hit the late sports legend Tom Usher with the ball. (“In the head, Dave! He hit me in the head!” I heard Tom say many times afterward.)

I recall the confused look on former reporter Bob Blake’s face when he overheard a conversation about the roof partially blowing off my house during the 2012 derecho. He marveled as I calmly talked to my wife then returned to directing our newsroom’s coverage of the storm. I reminded him there wasn’t much I could do about it right then anyway.

There were some really fun and interesting people over the years, colorful characters the community got to know, such as Ron Lederman, Mike Lackey and Tom Lucente, and people you wouldn’t have known, such as designers Jeff Braun, Denise Hunter and Jeremy Yohe. They all hold a special place in my memories. As I walked through the building looking for our last remnants of items to move, I thought about where each of these coworkers and friends once sat and cherished some long-past moment.

Over the years, I’ve crawled under nearly every desk to perform pseudo-IT tasks. I’ve climbed into the ceiling to throw cables. I don’t think there was a room in it I hadn’t entered by the time we moved out.

That building wasn’t perfect. The heating and cooling system had a mind of its own, so sometimes I sent early-morning alerts to our staff about whether it was brutally warm or bitingly cold in the building. Someone left a trail of ink stains down the main corridor years ago. The internet liked to cut in and out for no apparent reason. There may or may not have been a ghost picked up by a security camera in the old press room.

The new owner, All Temp Refrigeration, has amazing plans to fully utilize the facility. I’m excited for them. I’m excited for The Lima News as we’re back downtown.

Still, our dysfunctional little family loved it out on Elida Road. For a long time and for a lot of people, it was home. I’m going to miss it.


See past columns by David Trinko at LimaOhio.com/tag/trinko.

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David Trinko is editor of The Lima News. Reach him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.