Monday, December 30, 2013

Pacemaker time for John Olesky

BJ newsroom retiree John Olesky will have a Pacemaker implanted Jan. 2. 

I'll stay overnight in the hospital.

But I should be available for BJ Alums posts if anyone has information to be posted.

Just email me at with the information. 

If you have advice about or experience with a Pacemaker, email me at the same email address. I will appreciate it.

Thank you.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Front pages popular even as newspapers fade

Newspapers are dying. But their front pages aren’t.

At a time when print advertising revenue continues to decline and publications are laying off staff in droves, newspaper covers are increasingly being shared digitally — helped along by the ease of posting on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.

But why? More than anything, these A-1s are seen as an encapsulation of a historical event, to be seen and filed away for a distant time when we want to remember how much something mattered in its day.

Sharing a front on Twitter — or saving a digital copy as a PDF — is the modern-day equivalent of cutting out and saving a page from a significant edition, or just a funny New York tabloid front.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Oops moments for careless newspapers

Sometimes the juxtaposition of stories in newspapers can create unintended and even red-faced situations.

Buzzfeed rounded up a group of them, including one where someone inserted the F-bomb into a story, mindful of the time a BJ linotype operator pounded out "Stick this slug up your ass" and it wound up printed in the Beacon Journal.

Check out the poor judgments in newspaper layouts and story juxtapositions at

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hopeful news about Harry Liggett

Harry Liggett, John Olesky in 2012
Former BJ State Desk editors

There's encouraging news about BJ newsroom retiree Harry Liggett, founder of the BJ Alums blog, from his son, Bob Liggett.

Bob's response to my inquiry:

Dad is at Copley Health. More coherent. Starting slowly to eat real food. Still weak though. Needs to keep up with the rehab. 

Harry has been in and out of Akron General since his August surgery and has spent recuperating time at Copley Health Center and Select Speciality Hospital on West Market.

Ohio State graduate Harry attended his Dennison High School reunion in July before the cancer surgery. He was assistant news editor at the BJ and was part of the crack 1970s State Desk team run by the late Pat Englehart, who died in 1995 in Florida. 

Bob Liggett is a University of Akron accounting graduate who works for KeyCorp and lives in Akron.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hugh & Sharon Downing and the remarkable The Villages

By John Olesky (BJ 1969-96)

Paula and I just returned from a two-week visit to The Villages, Florida and retired BJ printer Hugh Downing and wife Sharon, who live in a place like no other I've seen in my travels to 52 countries and 43 states.

It's the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States, with more than 100,000 residents and a median age of 66. Every village within The Villages has a recreation center, swimming pool and golf courses (about 70). 

The amenities are built before the first home is constructed in each new village. The recreation centers are huge, with several rooms handling 300 to 400 people apiece. Shuffleboard is almost a religion. There's even a Polo Club. 

Some 40,000 golf carts are a preferred method of transportation by Villagers. The carts have their own lanes on the streets and roads. 

Paula and I rented in the Orange Blossom Village, where this amazing collection of homes for those 55 or older began in earnest in the 1980s by Michigan businessman Harold Schwartz after a 1970s attempt fizzled. 

The Villages is northwest of Orlando and northeast of Tampa in Sumter, Marion and Lake counties. 

There are several town squares, which have music and dancing outdoors every night of the year. There are hundreds of clubs for a multitude of interests. Villagers are big on charity work, including sending thousands of packages to the military overseas with an assembly line that would make Henry Ford proud. 

When we watched the Christmas parade on the Polo Club grounds the belly dancers, cheerleaders and twirlers were in their 70s, give or take a decade.

Every resident of The Villages is part of a de facto Chamber of Commerce. They all enthusiastically tell you that it's a lifestyle, not just a place to live. 

The photo montage with this article provides just a glimpse of life in The Villages. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Printers Club's 'Kay' Reeves dies at 85

Anyone who had lunch at the Printers Club across the street from the Beacon Journal in the 1980s and 1990s would remember the congenial Kay Reeves, who with her husband, Red, frequently served customers food and drink.

Kay, whose given name was Rita, passed away on Thursday, December 5, at age 85. Her husband, Charles “Red” Reeves, died in 2006. He worked in the Beacon Journal Composing Room for 32 years.

Rita C. (Harned) Reeves was born on March 22, 1928 in Grayson County, Ky. She also was preceded in death by her daughter, Judith Lee Hartman.

Kay is survived by her sister, Christina Miller of Indiana; her remaining children, Thomas Reeves, Robert Dornbush, Roger Hartman and Phyllis Limberg; as well as her many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Kay was active in her community as an auxiliary member of American Legion Post 611 and the Fraternal Order of Eagles #555. She worked for the Printers Club for over 20 years.

Per her request, there will be no viewing hours. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Matthew Catholic Church, 2603 Benton Ave., Akron on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013 at 2 p.m. Refreshments immediately to follow at the Fraternal Order of Eagles, 89 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Summit County Children’s Services, 264 S. Arlington Street, Akron, OH 44306 or St. Matthew Parish School, 2580 Benton Ave., Akron, OH 44312. Adams Mason Funeral Home & Crematory, 330-535-9186.

Information from obituary in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Reconnecting in Florida

Ever reliable BJ Alums correspondent John Olesky (left) sends warm greetings from Florida where he and Paula Tucker paid a visit to Composing Room retiree Hugh Downing (right) and his wife, Sharon.