Category: Argonaut History

The early Argonaut: a view from the production department

The Argonaut that you are holding in your hands (or reading on your monitor) is the 1,891st issue of this newspaper, which was founded by the late Dave Johnson on November 25th, 1971. I began my newspaper career at The Argonaut eight years later, so I missed the excitement of being a part of a brand-new publication. By the time I arrived, a lot of the kinks had been worked out. With my background in art and retail, I must have seemed a good choice for the job of “production artist” which consisted mainly of being able to stick little pieces of paper to cardboard. It was tedious, but I loved it. I had never touched a computer in my life; but that was okay because, in 1979, the only employee at The Argonaut who used a computer was the business manager. This “computer” communicated with its operator by spitting out a continuous flow of green and white striped paper, perforated at the edges. Pretty dull stuff. Over the years, the technology in all of our departments has changed — sometimes gradually, sometimes in huge stressful leaps. Looking back, it’s difficult to remember exactly what we did or how we did it in any particular year. Old equipment has been replaced, old software discarded. Much of the story would be lost if it were not for a copy of...

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The Argonaut tries a new managing style, the executive committee

Although a relative newcomer to The Argonaut staff (with only five years under my belt), I have been an avid reader of the paper since it was first published. My hobby of sailing became my lifestyle when I moved aboard my boat in the late ’80s. Darien Murray was a good friend and she is the one who suggested I interview at the paper. I came, I saw and they hired me. Yay! I enjoy the diversity of the work in a local newspaper and the opportunity to make the paper as good as possible. As ad director, I became part of the “executive committee,” a three-person group that took over the day-to-day running of the paper when David Johnson decided to go into semi-retirement. The group is made up of our present publisher Carol Hector, our business manager Carole Keenan, and myself. Dave made sure we attended events where he could introduce his “ladies” and proudly tell of our accomplishments and how we had made his life so easy. The concept of an executive committee was intriguing, especially among those from other newspapers. Dave wanted to insure that The Argonaut would have continuity into the future, with or without him. It may not work for all papers, but we are lucky to balance each other and bring diverse opinions and experience to the...

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34.7 years of Argonaut history — a personal view

The 35th anniversary that The Argonaut celebrates this week brings to mind nearly half-a-lifetime of memories, rendered all the more poignant by the tragic premature death in May this year of the newspaper’s founder, editor and publisher, my dear friend David Asper Johnson. I met Dave nearly 35 years ago. I was the founder in 1968 of an avant-garde literary magazine called Beyond Baroque, which by early 1972 was also a cultural center located on what was then West Washington (now Abbot Kinney) Boulevard in Venice, and had just become the nonprofit Beyond Baroque Foundation, now in the Old Venice City Hall. To support myself I ran a small printing business, and when I saw an early issue of the twice-monthly Argonaut, I wanted to place an ad in it for that business. Only a post office box was listed as an address for The Argonaut, so I telephoned. Eventually I spoke with the newspaper’s publisher himself, and he insisted he would come to pick up my ad. It soon became obvious that The Argonaut was published out of Dave Johnson’s residence in Playa del Rey, and that his public office was his tiny but sporty yellow Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia. As we sat in his car office talking, one editor to another, he offered me a job proofreading The Argonaut every two weeks and I jumped at the chance to...

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The early Argonaut: a view from the production department

The Argonaut that you are holding in your hands (or reading on your monitor) is the 1,891st issue of this newspaper, which was founded by the late Dave Johnson on November 25th, 1971. I began my newspaper career at The Argonaut eight years later, so I missed the excitement of being a part of a brand-new publication. By the time I arrived, a lot of the kinks had been worked out. With my background in art and retail, I must have seemed a good choice for the job of “production artist” which consisted mainly of being able to stick little pieces of paper to cardboard. It was tedious, but I loved it. I had never touched a computer in my life; but that was okay because, in 1979, the only employee at The Argonaut who used a computer was the business manager. This “computer” communicated with its operator by spitting out a continuous flow of green and white striped paper, perforated at the edges. Pretty dull stuff. Over the years, the technology in all of our departments has changed — sometimes gradually, sometimes in huge stressful leaps. Looking back, it’s difficult to remember exactly what we did or how we did it in any particular year. Old equipment has been replaced, old software discarded. Much of the story would be lost if it were not for a copy of...

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AUGUST 2, 1984 THE ARGONAUT

Olympics come to the Marina Sunday BY JUDY BRILL A few minutes before 8 a.m. Sunday, August 5th, some of the world’s fastest women runners will come to the starting line at Santa Monica College. At the sound of the gun, they will take off on a grueling 26-mile, 385-yard contest along the Olympic’s largest venue — the marathon course, through six Los Angeles communities — en route to the finish line at the Coliseum. The halfway mark of this historic, first Olympic women’s marathon will bring an expected 60 women athletes right into our own backyard, as the course winds along Via Marina and Admiralty Way towards the Marina Freeway. And, according to some predictions, that mid-point in the race will be crucial to several runners who will be pacing themselves against the U.S.A.’s Joan Benoit. Benoit, with a personal record (PR) of two hours, 22 minutes, 43 seconds, set at the 1983 Boston Marathon, holds the fastest time for any woman marathoner. However, the 27-year-old’s standing as a favorite has been shaken due to events over the last few months,...

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