It is my claim that our new office space, at 51 The Square in Bellows Falls, is the coolest newspaper office in at least New England, if not the whole country. And on what basis do I make that claim?
It's in an awesome location, it has been the site of several live concerts, it's a flatiron-shaped building, the interior walls have a great color scheme, we have a huge mural and five other paintings on the outside of the building, we've created an art gallery in our front window area, and we have a working disco ball. Yup, a disco ball, hence the title of this column.
If you know of a cooler newspaper office space, let me know, and I'll reconsider my claim.
It is no easy process, starting up a newspaper, especially one like The Messenger, which covers Southern Vermont from Rutland to Brattleboro and into New Hampshire, with a core coverage area of some 45 towns.
Everything from town to feature headers had to be created from scratch, and decisions as mundane as font type and sizes (and yes, readers love our larger type size - thank you Baby Boomers!) for text and headlines had to be worked out, decisions that take on a disproportionate frustration factor when traveling between a couple of different computer networks.
Don't even get me started about installing phone and Internet lines.
But now this is our seventh issue, start-up bugs are getting ironed out, and the response from our readers has been wonderful. Everyday people come into our office and congratulate us, and Co-editor Joe Milliken and I are constantly being stopped when we're out and about and asked about The Messenger. People love having a great, local paper back, written by long-time local writers, a paper with lots of information, pictures and personality.