Today we attended the funeral of former Dallas Times Herald editor Ken Johnson, whose son Clay is a good friend of ours.

Several people gave eulogies, and a couple of old friends talked about when Times-Mirror hired Ken to come and run the Times Herald, back in 1975, I think. They talked a lot about the Dallas newspaper war, about the great stories that were done, the great staffs that were built. And one of his old friends, a non-journalist from Philly, said something about how Ken “ran a great newspaper back when good newspapers mattered.”

My husband and I just looked at each other. I know what we were both thinking: I guess people don’t think they matter any more.

Maybe they don’t.

And yet… everyone ran out to buy copies of yesterday’s newspaper with the historic, front-page news of Barack Obama’s election to the presidency. People wanted to buy copies as keepsakes for themselves, their children and grandchildren — as tangible evidence of a memorable, history-making event. So many copies were sold that the morning’s edition sold out, and the papers had to print up thousands of extra copies. And this happened not just in Dallas, but all over the nation.

What will people do to preserve their memories of great events, I wonder, on that day when there are no more newspapers being printed?

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