Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gallons Of Rubber Cement

My love affair with rubber cement began when I started in the newsroom at WICC. We went through the stuff at a fairly steady rate, pasting up versions of stories from the AP and UPI newswires, as well as drafts of our own take, ready to be used on the air.

Much later, when I started work as a columnist for the Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice, we were still using typewriters and copy paper for a few years, which meant more rubber cement to keep the sheets together.

Between WICC and the Voice, I started our radio reading service for the blind and my need for the sticky glue went through the roof as we pasted up each item onto the back of used 8.5x11 paper to make it easier to read over the air.

I’d go to the local stationery supply store and walk up to the counter with two gallons of the stuff and not bat an eye. The owner did; I didn’t. He gave me “the look” and I asked “how much.” That was the first time; the second time I got The Look and I just smiled.

After they dropped it, as did most stores (not many people use gallons), I bought it from Staples wholesale but they finally said I was their only customer and they also dropped it. Now I deal with a fellow who supplies small school districts with supplies you’d think went out of style decades ago. “No,” he told me, “there are places where conditions are still fairly primitive and they aren’t even up to mimeograph machines yet. I provide all those outdated materials, including your rubber cement.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee Tom, that would make a nice Christmas gift! I'll bookmark it.

Exit 318

April 27, 2009 6:33 AM  

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