T & G on-line stories will come with a price! (or: Why would anyone pay $$ to read the crap written by Sid McKeen?)

By Rosalie Tirella

Several years ago, when I first began InCity Times, I wrote a column about the Telgram and Gazette’s ANCIENT columnists: Ken Moynihan, Al Southwick, Bob Nemeth and, of course, the least talented of the T & G geriatric ward, Sid McKeen. I wrote the story after I had just read all of the above columnists’ op-ed pieces for the week and lo and behold!!! the four T & G geezers had all written about their poor health. One of the oldsters had written about his trip to the hospital emergency room, another about all the pills he had to take, dragging the reader through his med regimen. And to top it off, I had overheard this nugget in a restaurant: “Al Southwick had a lot of trouble … getting out of his chair.

This was both hilarious and sad!

Here we were, Worcester, the second largest city in New England, the city on the move, the city on the rise – and we had op-ed writers – writers who wrote for our paper of record! – opining about Milk of Magnesia. None of these guys was/is younger than 85! The T & G had been home to these Grumpy Old Men since World War II.

I wrote my Green Island Grrrl column thinking, the T & G will have to hire someone new, YOUNG – or at least middle-aged. If they don’t, they will risk looking out of touch and stodgy.

Nothing happened. The newspaper readers of Worcester County were treated to more stories about retirement, Florida snowbirding and overly nostalgic looks by Southwick of a city that really never existed. A city that wasn’t racist, classist – or even dirty. Every time he wrote a Sunday T & G column, Southwick gave Worcester’s old money guys – the industrialist farts who built this city (The Booths, Stoddards, Fletchers) – a blowjob.

Depressing.

But I assumed sooner or later these guys would kick the bucket and then – and only then – would the T & G be able to hire a writer who actually had a pulse, er, I mean, used a cell phone.

Well, when former T & G editor Harry Whitin FINALLY took the hints the New York Times Co. kept throwing at him (or so the spouse of a T & G worker intimated) and resigned, new/old editor Leah Lamson dumped Ken Moynihan and moved Al Southwick to deadsville (Thursday). It was good not to see Southwick in the Sunday paper. And Monynihan had been kicking around Wormtown papers for way too long.

Still, Lamson didn’t bring in any young blood.

She has, however, decided, with the T & G money guys/gals, to charge us on-line readers for reading the crap written by Sid McKeen, Al Southwick, etc. So now instead of logging on to the T & G website and skimming most of the stuff to get to something half-way interesting, we will be forced to pay to read the drivel – especially SID McKEEN!!! Gak!!!!

Well, don’t worry! There are plenty of single copies of the T & G floating around local diners and coffee shops. Just go to one of them, buy a cup of java and get your caffeine and T & G fix for free. It only takes 5 mins to buy a coffee – 4 mins to read the T & G from cover to cover!

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