The Young Paste-up Artist and His New Daughter: 1981

One of the fun things about owning a cafe is the people who come in, popping back into your life after long absences. One such fellow is photographer Robert Tobey, with whom I worked in my callow youth as a paste up artist at the Valley Advocate in Amherst.

Tobey was the roving editor…his job was to come in on the weekends and trim stories or write headlines for the Connecticut Advocates we produced. In those days we pasted film onto paper using wax, and wielded X-acto knives to trim the articles down if they didn’t fit.

I spent a lot of energy in those days wishing that I was the editor, and was jealous that I could not write the headlines or cut the copy. All I got to do was paste up endless galleys, and apply tape borders to the photos. I knew that I could be a great editor, but in those days I was a lowly paste-up guy, working weekends and watching my ambitions come up against brick walls.

This photo shows my daughter Kate as she slept on the old Advocate’s paste up floor. Now Kate’s expecting her own little girl, any day now…thanks so much to Tobey for sharing this photographic memory with me.