Just sayin’…

March 2nd, 2024Just sayin’…

So, we just hit the 300th edition of The Local. That's a pretty big milestone for a little local paper. Well, not so little. This edition is 104 pages. Massive.

By Donna Kelly

So, we just hit the 300th edition of The Local. That’s a pretty big milestone for a little local paper. Well, not so little. This edition is 104 pages. Massive.

It created a little bit of consternation at the office. You see, our printer can only do 80 pages – something to do with staples. So as we reached 72 pages of real estate, The Local side of things was looking a bit sad. Just 8 pages for all the news, well no news, just adverts.

I was reaching for a chardonnay when I realised there was a solution. Two publications. And insert House.Land.Home.Premium into The Local. Problem solved.

And that is how we are at 104 pages. Seventy-two of real estate and 32 of local news. No wonder I am tired.

So what do you write about in a column for such a noteworthy event? Hmmm.

I have decided to go rogue and talk about three of some of the most fun times in my career. All which happened while working on the Centralian Advocate in Alice Springs. A corker of a paper where, when I arrived, was told by the editor to park any “Mexican ideas”, which I think meant any progressive thoughts about indigenous issues. I kid you not. Anyway, racism aside, here are my three top fun times.

First, when we first arrived, (and of course Kyle came along) I was sent to the Camel Cup. Yep, annual event, good fun. But being youngish, and having no money, we looked at the beer prices and decided just one would have to do. But then we found the Media Tent. Free booze! (Remember, these are the good old/bad old days.)

So we got stuck in and then went to check out the races. And watched as a jockey fell off his camel and dropped a little pouch of something. Being kind, and street smart, Kyle collected it up and returned it to the jockey who then asked if we would like to partake of a little gunja. Why not? Of course, like Bill, we never inhaled.

Anyway, after a bit we wandered off, me still holding a glass of chardy, to try and find the way to the highway but eventually came across some Aboriginal people who kindly told us we were heading the wrong way into the bush and pointed us back to the road where we hitchhiked a lift in the back of a ute.

The driver dropped us at the Todd River and Kyle jumped out first, gesturing for me to follow. I leapt into his arms, a tad lighter at that stage of life, and he caught me, before we went hurtling down into the dry river bed.

Well trained, I jumped up, fullish glass still in hand and off we stumbled home to Caterpillar Court. Fun times.

Alice Springs was also Ground Zero for all the nutters in Australia. They headed for the local newspaper office to talk about their adventures and trips – on bikes, on pogo sticks, on unicycles (Sam is not a nutter), and even on ponies.

Luckily we had a young cadet, Crispin, and it was his job to take on all the people who thought they were the only ones to ever make the trek across the centre of Australia.

One day we had a couple come in who said they had spent the night on a space ship before their arrival into Alice. “Great,” I said. “Just one moment.” And I ducked out the back calling out “Crispy, one for you.” Only seasoned journos know how nice it is to duck shove a nut job.

Final story. A very nice female journo was talking to a contact who we all knew she fancied. She chatted and flirted over the phone as she sort of interviewed him and then finished the call – with – drum roll please: “All I need from you now is a headjob.” I kid you not. She looked like a deer in headlights, dropped the phone down and fell to the floor.

Being the deputy editor, I said she had to call back immediately and ask for a head shot. She refused. The story never ran. Just sayin’…

More Articles

Back to top