Haunts & Jaunts: A periodical trip down memory lane

A periodical trip down memory lane

“Barry Browning, left, discusses his newspaper archives.” *Photos by Rick Hinton

    Reminiscence is a vehicle climbed into, putting on the seat-belt and settling in for the ride. It means many different things to different people, taking many forms. Sometimes it’s just a yellowed newspaper to generate an “Ahh” moment as the past takes precedence and a way of life, come and gone, becomes real once more. Those moments were evident at the Tuesday, Nov. 28 meeting of the Perry Township/Southport Historical Society meeting. And…there were newspapers aplenty!

   Society Treasurer Barry Browning and President Diane Saari arranged numerous newspapers along a long expanse of tables in the meeting room. They were a representation of decades of Southside history—the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly—all intact, all still readable, and all still relevant in their own way. Newspapers were at one time THE medium for people to stay in touch and put a finger upon

The March 15, 2012, issue of the Southside Times. It reported the eventual teardown of St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove. The current tabloid style is much different than 5 years ago.

their personal time stamp in life. Today it’s much more convenient to get our news through the internet, television and social media. However, back in the day, there was not this luxury. I speculate as the Southside became slowly engulfed by big brother Indianapolis in the past, people simply read more!

There were numerous examples of papers from another time, yet the same place: The Southsider; The Southside Gazette; The Southside Newsette; The Beech Grove Herald; many examples of The Spotlight; and The Perry Township Weekly (in time evolving into the current Southside Times which you hold in your hands). Most of the papers you could carefully thumb through; others were much too fragile and brittle. Barry watched with a careful eye, along with a story for each paper.

The Perry Township Weekly, August of 1970, announcing changes to the campus of St. Francis Hospital. This paper was the predecessor of the Southside Times.

  These were the history of not only the folks and publishers who had once generated these papers, but also the people and businesses with feet firmly planted in those years of the Southside community. And a parade of consistent activities (sporting events, graduations, marriages, job changes, business comings and goings, and new things arriving just upon the horizon). Only the faces have changed as the years  have rolled by. The advertisements were a special treat: those that have gone—Kautskys Market (closed in 1970), McGinty Dodge (where a 1965 Dodge Dart could be purchased for $1,797),  and the legendary Key West Shrimp House. There were those still with us: Bucks Market and Adrian Orchards, for example.

   It was a good night to take another trip down to memory lane.  Never mind the storage issues. Barry Browning was all smiles. He was in his element!