Please Support Your Newspaper
By: Milton Smith, Contributing Writer
I believe that the printed word brings us the best and most truthful
news. Of course, there will be opinions but if you don’t like or agree,
don’t read them! Of course, that’s my opinion because I grew up in the
My Dad, Charles Smith, was raised in the Brandon (Abney) section of
Woodruff and always wanted to write. As with many in our area, he
got a job in textiles, married, and had three kids but still yearned
to write down his thoughts and opinions and share them with others.
I was born in Lyman, where mom and dad worked at the Pacific Mills textile
plant. While he worked in textiles, he was hired by “The Grit,” a
nationally circulated newspaper sold by young boys, as a stringer (a
writer who reported interesting local events like storms and
trainwrecks but were never identified.) If “The Grit” published a short
article by the stringers, they were paid $10, which was a lot of money
in the late 1930s.
After a stint in Chapel Hill, N. C. changing over a plant that weaved
army blankets to weaving sheeting material after WWII, we moved
back to Woodruff with the idea that Dad still wanted to write and start
a local newspaper. The only problem was that he didn’t know
“pea-turkey” about printing and producing a paper…..but that didn’t
While working as an accountant for Wofford College, he started a
small printing business in Woodruff, producing envelopes, letterheads,
and billheads for the local businesses. He and my uncle, Ben Cox,
found an old newspaper printing press in North Carolina. The problem
with the press was that it was taken apart, in a big pile in a basement, and
there was NO book of instructions. Uncle Ben and Dad took on
the challenge. The press printed two pages at the time. You then had
to turn the paper over and print the two facing pages and fold it.
My sister and I stood on the running board (a step down both sides of
our car) and threw papers in the yards of the houses all over the area.
For nearly fifty years, we published “The Woodruff News” and “The
Inman Times” serving both the northern and southern portions of
There is nothing like a hot cup of coffee and reading the newspaper in the
morning. Speaking of newspapers, Mike Snyder, great banjo and
mandolin player on “The Grand Ole Opry,” told this story recently.
Two monkeys sat in the tall grass in the hot African sun (115
degrees). One turned to the other and said: “I’m bored. There’s
nothing to do, nothing going on, I’m hot, and it’s driving me crazy.”
His monkey friend replied smiling: “If that’s the case, you see those
lions down there in the gully, just go down there and kick the big male
in the backside. That should start something!”
After thinking a spell, the first monkey decided to try out his friends’
suggestion. He slipped through the tall grass quietly, moved slowly
up on the big, old lion, and when the time was right, ran out and gave
the lion a swift kick in the backside. The monkey ran, jumped up in
the trees and was swinging away on vines like Tarzan.
After the lion got his breath back, he saw the monkey and chased
after him. The monkey, swinging through the trees, saw that he was
losing ground and jumped down into a vacant campsite. He sat down
in a camping chair, put on a pair of sunglasses, and opened a
newspaper just as the old lion ran through the camp.
As the monkey looked over the newspaper, the lion asked: “You see
anyone run through here?” The monkey shook his head back and
forth and said, “Not since someone kicked you in the backside.” The
old lion turned and frowned and said, “It’s not in the newspaper
already, is it!”
Thanks for reading. Shoot low, sheriff, he’s riding a shetland pony.”
Milton Smith is the former editor/publisher of “The Woodruff News” and “The Inman Times” and retired after 37 years as a District FourSchool Board member.