by Lynette Sowell
My Front Porch
This Thursday we will open our office doors for a special event that has been 125 years in the making – the start of the 125th year of newspaper publication in our city.
The 125th anniversary or birthday has a special term attached to it. One hundred years is considered a centennial. So, what’s 125 years called?
It’s a quasquicentennial. My spell-checker doesn’t like this term, but it’s a real one.
It’s pronounced “kwaz-kwee-centennial” and is not an old one, but was coined in 1961, when an Illinois engineer asked Funk & Wagnalls, a dictionary publisher, what word could be used for a 125th anniversary. Dr. Wilford Funk came up with the term, which at the time he said would not appear in any of the company’s dictionaries “until it has established itself in wide currency.”
Well, last I checked it’s not established in wide currency, but here we have a quasquicentennial upon us.
The Copperas Cove Leader-Press will be rolling out Volume 125, Issue 1, and we’re having a party on Thursday. The newspaper changed names as it changed hands over the years, but for the past 40 years has been the Copperas Cove Leader-Press.
On Thursday, starting at 6 p.m., we will have announcements and recognitions, cake and refreshments, plus giveaways courtesy of many local businesses. For the bigger prizes, you need not be present to win on Thursday. In addition to the refreshments, we’ll have a selfie corner so YOU can be in the paper. We’ll also have selected volumes of our archives from as long ago as 60 years for you to look through and enjoy. You will see some familiar faces of our community when they were younger and you will likely see some faces who are now part of Copperas Cove’s history.
Why are we celebrating? It’s not a pat on the back for ourselves, the current staff of the paper. It’s for the ones who have come before us, who do what we do now and will continue to do for as long as we can. They are the ones who led by example, covering the early days of Rabbit Fest, the opening of businesses like Cove Feed & Seed, and keeping up with our Fort Hood neighbors, meeting arriving flights during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. They were the ones covering the shooting at Luby’s during which Cove residents were wounded and some killed. They were the ones keeping pace with change in our city, to include new schools and new housing developments, discussions of a bypass around Copperas Cove at least 30 years ago which at last became a reality.
We’re not so much celebrating us, as we are celebrating community journalism. We work in this community, volunteer here, live here, shop here, worship here, right along with the rest of you. We sit through meeting after meeting, read document after document, and go to events to shine a spotlight on our city. Sometimes the spotlight doesn’t show us what we like to see, and sometimes it makes us proud to say that yes, “Copperas Cove is our town.”
The presses that once rolled in an Avenue D print shop have ceased decades ago and we print at another location, like many hometown newspapers do, but our message continues as it has for 125 years.
Despite the changes that come with technology, we strive to remain relevant and true to what we believe our community deserves: local voices recording and sharing for readers both now and in the future, what is happening in Copperas Cove and who is making it happen.
I hope you will come celebrate with us. We are still here and working to promote our local businesses and residents, keep people informed on issues that are important to them.
And like the old-timer said, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise,” I hope and pray we will continue to keep doing this for another 125 years.