Newspaper editors agonize over the content of the front page whether it’s the New York Times or The Granby Drummer. On any given day there may be several events in play that deserve a “lead” headline and right-top placement. If that is bad news, which human-interest piece will give it appropriate balance? What other events and photos deserve space? Dailies have guidelines and an editorial group meeting to make the decisions.
Monthly community paper editors don’t have an entire world to deal with, they have a community they know well. But one thing is certain, if it is of import to the readers and has impact on their lives, it will be on the front page of the current issue.
Combing through Drummer archives to find the highlights of the past 50 years, it became apparent that the front page was a reliable source of historic markers and issues of importance. Budgets, for instance, are yearly events that dominate the Drummer’s front page—and pages 8, 10 and 12. Some are marathons (such as the four-referendum slog in the mid-70s) and some are like this year; a lean and reasoned response to an unprecedented world-wide pandemic. Budgets are front page news.
Special events, new commercial construction, new services and GMHS State Championship sports teams; all front-page news. The pages shared here represent some of the highlights of the 1980s with the decade’s sparkling centerpiece—Granby’s bicentennial celebration in 1986. This doesn’t begin to tell the story of the residential growth that was reflected in the need for additional space at GMHS. The 1980s, as was true in the decades before and those to come, brought dramatic change to Granby and a growing population that thankfully savored and wanted to protect its wooded acres and rural character … and eventually, championed a return to its earliest roots—agriculture.