The popular two-term governor’s strategy was to invite former Tennesseans back into their home state as a way of reuniting past with present with future.
Like cities from Memphis to Bristol and Union City to Benton, Cleveland climbed aboard the homecoming train to pay tribute to the volunteer spirit that has given Tennessee a favorable image across America.
Much the same can be said — but on a smaller scale — of a unique event coming Friday. In observance of this community’s role in making possible the 160th anniversary of this newspaper, the Cleveland Daily Banner will host its own Open House, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Because we’re expecting a crowd, the birthday cake will be a little larger as we prepare for our own Company’s Comin’ celebration.
This “prime time” festivity is open to everyone — civic leaders, government officials, politicians, nonprofit organizations, business and industry representatives, denominations of all faiths and beliefs, educators, professionals and any group or individual.
Perhaps most importantly, Friday’s festivity is a tribute to our loyal readers and advertisers whose faith in our mission and belief in our product have enabled us to become Cleveland’s longest running newspaper in the history of this ever-growing community.
The Open House is being held in “prime time,” meaning that visitors will be welcome into our doors during the morning “deadline.” That means our staff — in particular, the newsroom and composing department — will still be working to get Friday’s edition on the press. It is rare for such a celebration to be hosted by a newspaper during its most critical hours, but that’s why Cleveland Daily Banner publisher Stephen Crass has selected this four-hour window.
As the Open House gets underway, our news writers will be wrapping up their stories but other tasks will be ongoing. And, our paginators in the composing department will be working to complete news page designs. If all goes as hoped — in other words, if we meet our deadlines — our press operators should be rolling off the day’s first issues by 11:30 a.m.
Without the support of the Cleveland and Bradley County community, and the loyalty of our readers and business partners, this newspaper would not have passed the test of longevity. But we have, and full credit goes to those who will be visiting our 25th Street offices on Friday.
Refreshments will be provided and tours of our building — which opened in January 1970 — will be given. And for those who arrive early enough, you’ll get a glimpse of what goes on during “deadline” hours in the news, composing and press areas. You’ll also view other departments although their commitments will have been completed for the Friday edition and they’ll instead be focusing on the Sunday paper.
Like Tennessee’s plaid-shirted governor 28 years ago who pioneered the Homecoming ’86 celebration, we at the Banner are just as excited to showcase our heritage by welcoming in area residents who have made it all possible.
Our publisher said it best in a front page news story in Wednesday’s edition when he pointed to the significance of 160 years and those who have made it possible.
“The residents of Cleveland and Bradley County, whether they were born here or relocated here in search of jobs or quality of life, and the business community, have all played a significant hand in shaping the history of the Cleveland Daily Banner,” Crass stated. “Without their support, and their loyalty, the Banner could not have enjoyed the longevity that has allowed us to serve this community, and to be an integral part of it.”
The invitation list is wide open.
Our front step is your welcome mat.
Please join us Friday. Drop by for a quick “howdy” or come on in for a full tour and a heaping piece of birthday cake. Either way, we’d be proud to have you here.
An Open House is not an everyday occurrence.
But an open door is an any-day tradition.
Pardon our excitement as we dust the desks and shine the floors ... but, well, company’s comin’!