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Bringing back an old layout stirs memories

Bringing back an old layout stirs memories Bringing back an old layout stirs memories

You might have noticed how different this page looks compared to its normal layout. Normally, my column is squeezed into one strip down the lefthand side of the page, making room for a sizable “Without Words” photo just above where Ross writes his “Musings and Ramblings” every week.

This “new” looking layout actually isn’t new at all. It’s more of a throwback to the days when we used to alternate between horizontal and vertically aligned “Without Words” photos. The two different layouts gave us the flexibility to fit in photos that happened to be taller than they are wide.

I was inspired to do this when our co-worker Sami offered us this amazing close-up of her happy-looking pup. It didn’t take long at all to realign the page so we could fit in a nice, tall photo. I now have this layout saved as part of our templates, so it’ll be available whenever we have a quality vertical photo to showcase.

Since this layout hasn’t been used in about 10 years, it actually makes me feel a little nostalgic about my first few years here. At the end of last month, I marked my12thyearatthe Tribune-Phonograph. I was just a 28-year-old quasi-adult when I took the job as editor here, and now I’m a mostly grown-up 40-year-old with some crucial life experiences under my belt.

Over the years, I’ve shared this Page 4 space with many other writers, both full-time reporters and summer interns. They’ve all shared their unique perspectives on life, telling stories about everything from boyfriends and pet cats to theories about the infamous “Making a Murderer” documentary. For the interns, it was their first time expressing themselves in print outside of class assignments.

When I first started, my partner in crime was reporter Ben Schultz, a proud native of Athens who helped introduce me to this area, along with his brother, Tony, proprietor of Stoney Acres Farm and its ultra-successful “Pizza on the Farm” events. I’ll always be grateful to the Schultz brothers, and their entire family, for welcoming me to the area, especially since I was originally a city kid from Minnesota who rooted for the Vikings. Ben now lives in Fargo, N.D. with his wife and has a job outside journalism, but with the inclusion of Ross about two years ago, things came full circle in an interesting way. Ross and Ben share some undeniable parallels. Both grew up in small upstate towns (Ross in Hayward, Ben in Athens), and both went to college at UW-Madison — an experience they both love talking about. Badger blood runs deep in their veins, and they never tire of talking about their alma mater in glowing terms. They also both happen to have deep interest in history, science fiction and college football.

In fact, I often refer to Ross as “bizarro Ben,” since, despite all of their similarities, Ross is as extroverted as Ben was introverted. If it ever works out, I’d like to arrange a meeting between the two of them just to hear the conversations.

To borrow a phrase, the history of Page 4 doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but it definitely rhymes.