My first week at The Chronotype last summer I was told we’d be leaving that location and moving somewhere new within the year.

Well, now my co-workers and I are officially settled in at our new office, 326 S. Main Street, Suite 102.

During the packing portion of the move, it became quite apparent the differences between the generations. Loading boxes and boxes of old sports files, I wondered if I would ever need them. At the same time, if I had tossed them, I would soon realize there was something in those folders that I could use.

Growing up with the internet and being used to doing work digitally, I am not accustomed to organizing large amounts of hard copies. Storing files on a local server or on the cloud doesn’t make a mess of my desk. I have plenty of issues with that already, even with a limited number of paper copies.

I was told some of the files were handed down to Dave Greschner when he started, and now I’m in charge of them. Each folder was labeled by sport and year, but finding what file cabinet, which were dispersed throughout the office, a folder was in is like finding a needle in a haystack. Where is the search function? Where can I press command-F to find what I’m looking for?

With not enough room to store decades worth of history in the new office, the boxes of files sits in an extra room in my house. I plan to sort through them folder by folder some day, but if you read my last Writer’s Block, it’s no guarantee that I have the new project started by summer. I’m sure there are some pages that can be thrown out, and others that are worth keeping. It can be difficult to know what have value and what is just clutter that has stacked up because there was plenty of storage at the old office.

The good thing about technology is I can scan the pieces of paper into a digital file and hold onto that. The only issue is that while hard copies can be lost or damaged, digital doesn’t necessarily provide the solution. There are already files on our server that I can’t open because the software on my computer has been updated. It appears there is no correct answer to saving history.

With fewer pages to organize, that means less items like staplers and paper clips. We had enough paper clips at the old office that if we strung them together we could probably reach the front door of our new place. There were always stray clips laying around the carpet. I can’t imagine how many made their way up into a vacuum over the years. Now I seem to use more .doc and .pdf to keep pages organized. Although having a print out in front of me is sometimes desired as the constant looking at screens is most assuredly bad for my eyes.

Whether you grew up with the wide use of the internet like me, or are used to hard copies, saving history is chore, but one worth investing time into. There were a few gems in the quick perusing of sports files, like photos from high school sports teams in Rice Lake from as early as 1908, as well as the Early Bird football previews dating back to 1973. Hopefully with more searching I’ll find some more. It will take some time but there is certainly some important pieces of information located within that stack of boxes I loaded up a few weeks back.

For now if questions of the past arise, someone with four decades of covering the local sports scene is just a phone call away. And there are plenty of other community members that will gladly lend a helping hand if asked. I may not know what box or what folder to find the information I’m looking for is at, but the collective wisdom of long-time sports fans in Rice Lake have just as much — if not more — history ready to be shared.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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