The Words of the Emery Family

Parson's Warehouse

Glenn Emery
August 11, 2001

My recollection about when the Parson's paper warehouse site was chosen is admittedly hazy. If I'm not mistaken, it was selected well before we ever arrived in DC. I seem to have a vague recall of being told about this "perfect" location in the original sales pitch by Larry Moffit at the '82 God's Day celebration, but I honestly don't remember the timeline on that.

I do find it hard to believe, however, that Father would try to start a newspaper anywhere without first securing a suitable plant site. I think Father originally tried to buy the Washington Star building, but by then it was owned by the Post, which needed the presses and refused to sell the building. The Washington Times settled for buying the Star's Harris Logicon computer system, which was highly touted by Col. Pak as the state-of-the-art newspaper computer system anywhere. Which it probably was for the first six months of its existence. By the time we got it, it was already a couple years old, and had never worked satisfactorily for the Star. The keyboard layout was superior for editing, but the system itself was creaky and slow and crashed daily. We overwhelmed it almost immediately, though it took several more years to replace it. Keith Cooperider and his troops did an outstanding job of keeping that thing running with baling twine and chewing gum.

I do vividly recall the renovation work at Parsons that went on around us as we filed stories on deadline (this was pre-computer, typing hardcopy on IBM Selectrics). One day a steel demolition ball came crashing through one of the walls of the temporary newsroom, showering everyone with shards of bricks and dust. It was unnerving. Hardhats appeared immediately afterward. I also remember when the wall was removed to provide the view to the arboretum. It was so hard to stand there in that dark, empty concrete box and imagine how it would eventually appear.

My best friend, Tom Hennessy, was intimately involved in that renovation. The last I heard he had gone to California. If anyone knows where he is or how he's doing, please let me know.

Remind me to tell you about the huge circulation scandal at the very beginning of the newspaper's life. It remains a monument to heavenly deceit.

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