The Chapin Times has printed its last issue
Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) - The Chapin Times has announced that last week’s issue was its final issue. The small-town print newspaper was begun 42 years ago with Thad Bruner of Lexington as its first editor and publisher and Homer “Bud” Timmons, a Chapin resident, as its general manager and director of advertising.
For all those years, people of the area waited for the weekly issue to come so that they could see what their neighbors were doing, what was happening at the local school, with the Boy Scouts, at another church, or what the local Ruritan club was up to. As a member of Lexington / Richland School District Five’s Board of Trustees and the president of the Chapin High Band Booster Club, my dad was in it many times. I was featured as a pre-teen when I was named the 4-H Club’s Boy of the Month in the late 70’s and I think I still have that clipping at home somewhere. It meant that I had made it to the big league to be in the Times!
Later, Bud Timmons and his wife Dee bought the paper from Bruner and began to run it themselves. If you wanted to know what was happening or what was on sale at a local store, you looked through the Chapin Times each week. According to the Timmons farewell letter printed this week in the Chapin News, when it began, Thad Bruner wrote, “The Times will seek to offer a voice, a means of communication, and a source of news for all residents in the growing Chapin area. Other areas to be served will be Pomaria, Little Mountain, Ballentine and White Rock. In founding The Times, we feel that this area offers great community spirit and a tremendous growth potential.” It really did do that for most of those 42 years. Now, what you would eagerly wait a week for, that chance to feel those comfortable pages of soft paper between your fingers and find out what was really happening around your town, can be found on the device in your pocket in moments.
Now, both Bud and Dee Timmons are reportedly facing the health problems that come as we all get older. It happens to every one of us and is just a part of the process. Although we may be ready to retire, slow down, or even cross over the river to the other side, we hate the impact that it has on the people and things we love. I can imagine that’s the way that Bud and Dee feel about the Chapin Times. It’s been a part of their family for so many years.
Now, suddenly, Bruner Publishing Company of Lexington has decided to cease operations. Bruner printed The Chapin Times from day one, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a living in printing. With folks like Vista Print hawking $10 business cards on television, mega-printers shipping things from across the nation nearly overnight, the internet, and the speed at which young people want to get information, too few people were willing to wait for the paper to come once a week. Even fewer are willing to pay for what they can get on the internet for free. Truthfully, most print papers are dying at about the speed of how ever long their obituary column is that week; Every name in that death roll often means another subscriber lost.
Again, turning to their farewell letter printed in full length in the Chapin News on Facebook, the Timmons said, “We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of you who have subscribed to our publication and supported us with advertising and information throughout our 42 years of operation.” You can’t hide class and grace and I know that the Timmons are truly thankful for the great ride they had and the wonderful life they had with and in Chapin.
One person that they specifically singled out to thank was former Chapin Mayor Stan Shealy. The Timmons said they specifically mentioned him by name for, “All of his help through the years, with columns that he has written, photos that he has contributed, and assistance in other ways.” Once again, a tip of the hat to the past and a beautiful “thank-you” offered with true sincerity and grace.
Well done Bud and Dee. Rest, you deserve it.