Editorial: Celebrating 40 years
March 26, 2014This week we are celebrating a major milestone. It was 40 years ago, on March 28, 1974 when the first edition of The Valley Roadrunner was released.
Page 1 headlines in that first edition included "Roadrunner arrives with news of Valley, Valley to help Sandy" and "Super collector Pecaro tells of new superhero." Advertisers in that first edition included the Valley Center Market, North County Ranch Supply, Griffin Pharmacy and A-1 Irrigation. Only a handful of businesses advertising in that first edition are still in operation today, a true testament to the ever-changing landscape in Valley Center.
The most interesting thing to me in that first edition though, was the first editorial ever written for The Valley Roadrunner and I would like to share an excerpt from that piece with you today. It was called "Last paper?" In that editorial, D. Van Quackenbush highlights his time in the newspaper business, noting he began as a reporter in 1947 working for nine different newspapers. He wonders if he will ever be able to put down the proverbial pen and paper.
"We think No. 10 is our last paper because we regard the 'Highway to the Stars' as the bit of acreage closest to Heaven as a body can get. And when Home is Heaven… well, what's the point in looking any farther?
"Scratch any Valley Centerite, as we have in many conversations lately, and you come up with a page-full of colorful quotations extolling the virtues of living in the shadow of Palomar.
"So if we can scratch a living from the Roadrunner in the manner toward which one ought to strive in the days of the 'crunch,' we'll be here to stay."
Quackenbush goes on to explain how he will issue an "opportunity and a challenge" each week.
"The opportunity includes (besides being able to live in this paradise) the chance to have a role in the development of Valley Center. To us, this doesn't mean telling anybody what to do. It means providing a place of focus for the expressions of community leaders and the people.
"The challenge is to build the kind of newspaper that residents will come to value and businessmen will want to patronize. A good newspaper isn't built overnight. It takes time to acquire and train a staff to produce the product. And it will take time for us personally to lean to know the people and to find out what's going on in the area we will be covering.
"… We feel terribly pleased to be a part of the 'Palomar Country' – and almost like a pioneer in an area whose growth and development is mostly yet to come."
The reason I love this editorial so much is because these values still stand today. The Valley Roadrunner still wants to report the news and be the go-to source for local information. We believe this is an opportunity to have a role in the development of Valley Center and we plan to continue on for the next 40 years as the kind of newspaper that residents will continue to value and business people will continue to patronize.
So Happy Anniversary Roadrunner and here is to another interesting and fruitful 40 years!