Dick Palmer: '30' is old-time newspaper jargon for 'the end'

They say time flies when you are having fun, and I guess they got it right. As I look in the mirror, my reflection suggests it may now be time for me to change direction and seek other opportunities. No small decision, indeed. In fact, at first t...

They say time flies when you are having fun, and I guess they got it right. As I look in the mirror, my reflection suggests it may now be time for me to change direction and seek other opportunities. No small decision, indeed. In fact, at first the very thought was agonizing.

This will probably be my last weekly column in the Budgeteer, an original family business started by my father in 1931 with a questionable investment of $35. I was only a year old at the time.

A few years later, I got serious about my involvement and worked after school and weekends as a printer's devil, a Family Budgeter carrier, supervisor, truck driver, advertising salesperson, advertising manager, "Action Editor" -- addressing hundreds of local governmental red tape issues (very successfully, I might add) -- writing editorials galore, featuring profiles on more than 300 area residents that contributed meaningfully to Duluth and area communities, writing stories about hundreds of community interests and, ultimately, becoming the editor and publisher back in the late 1980s. I retired in 1995, but continued writing a weekly column from my home or wherever I happened to be (thanks to the computer age).

I look back through the years with pride on the many Budgeteer community accomplishments that transpired through the efforts of scores of wonderful employees and hundreds of carriers. It has been an exhaustive and challenging ride with plenty of craters, hills and bumps in the road to keep things interesting.

Speaking of carriers, did you know that Michael Rouleau once delivered the Budgeteer? He's the former Duluthian that started and owns all the Michaels stores throughout the country and he personally gave me credit for helping him focus on life's responsibilities leading to his wonderful career adventure. Wow! Through the years, thousands of boys and girls had Budgeteer routes. Many remained in the area in various professions and trades; others moved on to make contributions throughout the country and even the world. Without such wonderful and caring kids and their parents, there would be no Budgeteer today.


The Budgeteer is now in its 77th year without, to my recollection, ever missing an edition -- including some nasty blizzard challenges. Some years back, the plant that was printing our paper closed without warning, giving us no options for our next edition. We scrambled, but were able to find another printer, the Mesabi Daily News, owned by the Superior Evening Telegram, and continued on without missing an issue. Another time, we had a devastating fire in our building on a Tuesday morning, but, again, shifting our employees around, still got the paper out on time. Today, after a few ownership changes, the Budgeteer is now part of Forum Communications with headquarters in Fargo North Dakota. Forum also owns the Duluth News Tribune.

As for the current Budgeteer, it continues to have a very positive future representing area neighborhoods throughout the Head of the Lakes. Perhaps I may have the opportunity to make a contribution from time to time. I shall miss the weekly deadlines, but I promise you that I'm not going to fade into the sunset, not on your life!

If you read the News Tribune this past week, management let several newsroom employees go for economic reasons. The print industry today is facing a major hurdle with, obviously, increasing production costs and stronger competition from TV, radio, direct mail and, of course, the Internet. As a result, budgets are being actively reviewed in an effort to keep the ship afloat.

Although I am a contract writer at the moment, younger writers are always in demand for fresh ideas and an eagerness to compete. Sometimes that concept is hard to swallow by old-time curmudgeons like myself, but it is a fact of life, and I support it.

I was asked to write once a month or maybe twice a month, but that schedule doesn't fit my style, so I opted to pull back.

I shall miss my weekly offerings in the Budgeteer covering a stretch of around 50 years. Interestingly, my father Herb Palmer, the founder of the Budgeteer, wrote his last column one week before he died at the age of 95. Once you get hooked on writing weekly, it is certainly a part of your chemistry.

The Budgeteer currently has a wide mix of writers and that is a plus for readers. In addition, local news, classifieds and newsy notes highlight a very fine weekly publication I am proud to have had a part in.

God bless you all!


And on the lighter side

Ole and Lena opened a tourist motel. The sign in the front said "TV." One of their first customers complained there was no television in his room: "You advertise TV on the sign." "Oh, dat," said Ole. "Dat means Tourists Velcome."

Dick Palmer is a former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer. E-mail at .

Click on the link by the comments to read Tom West's take on Dick Pamer.

What To Read Next
Get Local