I remember when I earned my first promotion working my first job out of college, at The Noblesville Daily Ledger newspaper in 1986. I went from being a beat reporter for Westfield and Sheridan, to filling a vacant desk left by a retiring People section editor.
At the time, the society page, which some called it, was devoted in the community newspaper to cultural and charity events, favorite recipes, snapshots of happenings, and announcements of people getting engaged and married, celebrating birthdays, playing host to open houses and commemorating milestone wedding anniversaries. There were also birth announcements that The Ledger referred to as Storkfeathers.
The Ledger’s society pages were filled with all of these types of items that some days, we’d have a backlog of items that needed to get published in the newspaper.
The Times’ publisher Tim Timmons likes to refer to these types of news items as Bible clippings. They’re newspaper clippings of items that folks like to cut out of the newspaper and save forever. Items that are often found saved in the pages of a family Bible. Death notices are also Bible clippings.
While we still receive a lot of obituaries -- which by the way The Times still prints for free along with a headshot of the deceased -- I notice that through the years, we’ve seemed to receive fewer and fewer engagement, wedding and anniversary announcements. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any of these announcements submitted for our newspaper.
While during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) pandemic, I expect there have been fewer weddings, birthday parties and anniversary open houses. But people still celebrate those milestones. So why not share them with our readers?
My mom and dad still celebrate their milestone even if they don’t get out and go anywhere or have in company. In fact, my parents are celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary today.
My mom is 89, and my dad is 95. They still drive and have good vision, although their hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, and they’re a little slow getting around. My mom broke her hip a year ago this week and had partial hip-replacement surgery a year ago today, recovering and going home within a month.
My parents still enjoy reading the newspaper and all of the articles that I write. They’ve been reading my articles since I was on the newspaper staff in high school.
When my mom and dad celebrated their 25th and 50th, I sent the open house announcement to the local newspapers back home. And for their 50th, I also sent a special request for the Presidential Greetings Office at the White House to send a greeting card signed by President George W. Bush. Birthday cards from the White House may also be requested for folks celebrating their 100th birthday.
About 18 months ago, The Times transitioned from five days of print to one day of print, on Wednesdays, with E-editions emailed to subscribers email inboxes five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday. An E-edition is an electronic version of our newspaper and may be downloaded as a scrollable PDF, which allows documents to be shared among computers without losing formatting.
Timmons has said that the majority of The Times readers don’t hold a printed version of The Times in their hands anymore. More and more people read the online edition and fewer are asking for print. Even advertisers want a product they can click.
Also, by the way, we still publish submitted announcements of weddings, engagements, anniversaries and births, plush milestone birthdays and open houses in The Times.
We invite folks to submit their milestones, which are published free of charge.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com