Slowly but surely, the modern world continues to pervade Big Sur.
You purchase the New York Times at four separate locations. You can get wi-fi in many campsites and hotels. And you can get a cell signal by the post office.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is the Big Sur Round-Uip, the local newsletter that was founded 65 (!) years ago as a way for residents to let each other know what was happening.
(We imagine, for example, the Roundup would have mentioned 1978’s staging of—ironically enough—Fire! Fire!, a theatrical “melodrama” to benefit the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade and the Big Sur Grange, featuring the inimitable Frank Trotter, right.)
We’re pleased to have the Roundup’s editor, Jaci Pappas, provide a bit more history around this wonderful institution. Take it away, Jaci!
“The Round-up started 65 years ago when a Grange member suggested that a monthly newsletter would be a good way of letting people know what was happening in Big Sur – remember, this was long before TV, email, Face Book, and Twitter came to Big Sur.
It was printed on a mimeograph until March 2006, when with community donations we were able to purchase our Risograph. This machine is similar to a mimeograph except that it prints it own stencils from the paper copy fed into it. It used to take many, many hours just to get the Round-up typed up on stencil before the Risograph.
“And the old mimeograph machine was kept running with ingenuity and grit by Mark Sullivan for years. For those of you who are not aware of the how the Round-up gets into your hands, here’s a brief overview: During the month articles are emailed to the editor and archived in a special Round-up folder.
“Then the day of deadline (this is usually the 24th but for November, December and February is the 20th) the editor transfers those articles to the Round-up Word format. That usually takes 3 – 5 hours depending on the number of articles and email format. Some articles are sent through the mail and typed into the format.
“The editor works with Marty Hartman to get any events in the coming month on the Round-up calendar that Marty creates each month. The calendar usually takes an hour or so to put together. We also receive new and renewal subscriptions during the month that are saved and opened on the deadline day of each month. It takes an hour or so to take care of the changes and print out the labels.
“The labels must be in zip code order so that the finished Round-ups can be set up for bulk mailing. Then the editor prints out the Round-up on 8-1/2x 14 paper and takes it and the labels down to the Grange where our staff printers, Julia and Seth Mazerik, use our Risograph to print out the copies needed to send to our subscription list. There are also some extra copies printed for the Library, and to be sold at the River Inn Store.
” Printing can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending on the number of pages. It can take longer if there are any ‘difficult’ pages, i.e. dark colors or sharp changes of color on pages. Our Risograph is reliable, but persnickety! Then Julia and Seth put the address labels on the mailing page, keeping them carefully in zip code order, and deliver the pages to Marty Hartman. Marty Hartman and Carol Shadwell then collate the Round-up pages and staple and fold them. This usually takes 4 – 5 hours.
“Either Marty or Carol then do the paperwork and bundling of the finished Round-ups, and Marty takes them to Andrew at the Post Office. It probably takes Andrew a good hour or two to receive the bundles and go through all the many rules and regulations of bulk mailing at the Post Office.
“And then after all these dedicated volunteers have spent a combined 14 – 17 hours, you receive your monthly Round-up!”
Subscribe to the Round-Up $9.00/Year.
Please mail a check to:
The Big Sur Round-Up
PO Box 234
Big Sur CA 93920