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October 15, 2005

Long-time friend Manuel Terronez and his lovely wife, Glenda, have returned to Italy for an extended visit with their son, a regular Navy officer, and they have promised to bring me some more copies of the daily armed services newspaper, The Stars & Stripes, the paper I worked for in the Pacific area during the waning years of World War II. An issue is still printed for U. S. troops in the Mediterranean. Scanning the first copies they brought me was an interesting experience recently. For one thing, it enabled some comparisons between now and then in production of the paper. The people who do that now have several advantages, including a central page formatting facility (probably in Washington D. C.) plus some editing assistance that was not available to us in the Pacific during WWII.

Also, I noticed right away that the present Italian edition is sold for fifty cents per copy, and each copy apparently includes about fifty-six pages. By comparison, our version, printed during wartime shortages of just about everything, including money, sold for two cents per copy and the usual number of pages was about ten or twelve. We accepted no advertising, while the current Italian edition apparently sells advertising space to anyone. Times, and regulations, have a way of changing. Anyway, thanks to Manuel, and Glenda for letting me look over the Italian version of today's military newspaper. I owe a great deal to that paper, and it is fun to compare today's version with the one we produced during the Big War in 1945-46.

Incidentally, the S&S reunion association, composed of writers, editors and printers from all editions, will have their annual reunion later this month in Bloomfield, Missouri, where the paper began. CBS' Andy Rooney, a WWII writer in Europe, will be keynote speaker. I will not attend because of a previous commitment, but my bound volumes of the Pacific edition, all produced during that great war, will be donated to their museum in Bloomfield later this year. More about this later.