Letters to the Portland editor: April 24,2009

What was once a top-quality, prestigious paper, has surely come down.
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  April 22, 2009

HOPE FOR EX-NEWSPAPER TYPES
Having worked at Guy Gannett for years, I have sadly watched the papers drop in size, content, quality. The Saturday and Monday papers are pitiful. One wonders when we'll see the announcement like the Rocky Mountain News [which shut down February 27]. (See "Fold or Float," by Jeff Inglis, April 3.)

What was once a top-quality, prestigious paper, has sure come down. After Jean Gannett Hawley died, Maddy Corson tried to keep things going, but the times had turned. Ads dried up as other media pulled money away. Top writers read the handwriting on the wall and left for greener pastures.

I ran the Gannett Book Division, and published 85 Maine-themed books in 11 years. As general manager and editor-in-chief, I saw the signs. I went back to authoring for national publishers and am working on two more books now, my 61st and 62nd, for 2010 publication.

At 70, I found a "new career" giving illustrated PowerPoint presentations on cruise ships. My wife and I now do four or more cruises to various parts of the world each year. I give three "talks" each week and we sail the Baltic, Caribbean, British Isles, Bermuda, etc. There is some fun in the "Golden Years" (i.e., 70 to 75) and booking ahead for several more years.

Plus, as we cruise the Baltic, we pick up good interviews for my upcoming Viking adventures book.

Why retire? Life offers lots of fun, adventure, and challenge if one is willing to go after them.

Allan Swenson
Kennebunk

  Topics: Letters , Culture and Lifestyle, Travel and Tourism, Cruises,  More more >
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