I've been around newspapers all my life.
My earliest memories are of sitting at the dining room table on that rare Sunday morning that my dad didn't have to work, watching him disappear into the pages of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
While he was reading the paper, it was like he was in another world. He wouldn't talk; he wouldn't respond to questions. About the only sound he'd make was a brief grumble as I stole the funny pages.
As soon as I was old enough to ride a bike, I got a paper route delivering the mammoth Sunday edition, bringing that same cherished escape to the dozen or so customers on my route from the bright orange banana seat of my two-wheeled speedster.
It was a low-paying, zero-respect job. No one recognized how many inches of snow I had to ride through to deliver their paper. There were no pats on the back for making it an entire month without tossing the Press into the birdbath. I was only acknowledged when I was late, or when the Sunday edition ended up on the roof.
The business hasn't changed much over the years.
A dozen years ago, I was hired on at the Roundup by former editor Carolyn Dryer. Dryer waited until after she was sure I had ink in my blood to tell me I'd never get rich in this game. She didn't want to discourage me with the truth that we're seldom appreciated for the stories we cover, and often berated for the stories we missed.
At your community newspaper, we work day and night to bring you the news.
We bring you the stories that help you make informed decisions about candidates running for office or about how your tax dollars are being spent. We provide coverage on everything from council meetings, to softball games, rodeos to county fairs. We try to touch your heart with the stories of a little girl's battle against cancer, or a young mother's fight to find her son a liver donor.
The goal of the newspaper is to help illuminate your lives by bringing a world of information to you it's a goal we take very seriously at your hometown community newspaper.
Next week, as America celebrates National Newspaper Week, grab a copy of the Payson Roundup or your favorite newspaper, curl up with a cup of hot coffee, and lose yourself in its pages. With any luck, you too, will find your escape.