Posted 6 years ago
OK... How best to describe this unusual and monumental piece of historical memorabilia. 'Memorabilia' doesn't sound right. 'Unique treasure' sounds so high fallootin'. It is both a fascinating and terrible thing, and represents a moment that still brings a tear to my eye.
How best to describe this moment and my personal experience of it...
I was at Temple University in Philadelphia, studying in the Radio-Television-Film Department. I hadn't watched the news on television, and had most likely been playing punk LPs during breakfast. I hadn't ridden my bike to school that day, as it was gloomsville, weather wise. So, I took the old time Philly trolley from University City into town and the Broad Street subway north to the Columbia Avenue exit. As I reached the news stand at the top of the stairs I saw this newspaper and completely stopped in my tracks. I'd never bought the tabloid style Daily News in my life, but I can remember reaching into my pocket for change and reaching for the paper, and buying it, as if it was all a movie about someone else going through those motions.
Later that day I decided to go to the Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News offices to try to acquire the press plates. I wrongly believed that the plates were still being done on tin, but they had switched to a system where everything was done on film first. I calmly talked my way right into the printing plant and composition area, explained what I was looking for to a pleasant fellow, and was brought up to speed on the techno change by him, then he gave me these photo plates.
They do not say 'Daily News' across the top because that is set up differently during the printing process.
I always meant to mount the front page on a light box, but I think my emotional connection to a childhood growing up to teenage years surrounded by the Beatles and their music kept me from being so casual with something so impossibly sad.