This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Pulitzer Award and the 25th Anniversary of the closing of the Arkansas Gazette newspaper, which received the Pulitzer for its coverage of the Little Rock Central High School desgregation crisis in 1957. A recent reunion of former Gazette friends and colleagues reminded me that I memorialized the final hours of the Gazette with a short essay, written in 1991 after the close of the venerable newspaper.)
It felt like the last day of school. Everyone was dressed casually, more casually than they could have gotten away with under normal circumstances. No one was really working, only going through the motions, half-assing their usual assignments. Waiting.
The atmosphere was charged with an odd euphoria, like a controlled free-fall. Any second, our time here would be over, so it wouldn't matter how we behaved in this moment. We were waiting for an announcement that may or may not come that day, but it was an announcement we knew would come eventually. The Arkansas Gazette newspaper would close, and we would be summarily dismissed, marking the end of an era.
Hal Hutchison, M.Ed.
Hal Wofford Hutchison, M.Ed., is a former columnist, writer and editor for the Arkansas Democrat and the Arkansas Gazette newspapers. She has also been a secondary educator, and a university counselor and administrator. She lives in Little Rock, Ark., with her husband of 23 years and their daughter.