I had been on the Gallia County Farm and had found an old printing press. I went and told my step-grandfather Clarence about it. He told me it had been there so long he didn't think it functioned any more. But he didn't mind if I played around with it. I turned it on and was amazed to discover it worked. Apparently quite a few papers could be printed at a time. I decided to stay here on the Farm and the more I thought about it, I decided it would be interesting to put out a school newspaper for Southwestern High School, which I didn't think had a school newspaper. I could sell the papers for a quarter apiece, and could probably even make some money.
I thought about the articles I would put in the paper and how long the paper would be. If it worked at Southwestern, I would write papers for quite a few different schools at different communities.
I thought I would have one article about eight pages long on the inside which would cover the history of the United States Supreme Court. But in general the paper would be very inflammatory and critical of the school administration.
I decided I would have some articles strongly criticizing the principal at Southwestern, whose name was Ezell.
I worked on the paper until I was finally able to have a number of copies of it printed up. I put the copies together but I still needed to fold them up.
I went to Southwestern and parked in front of the school. A young black boy walked out front and I signaled him over to me. I showed him what I had and I asked him if he was interested in selling some of the papers for me. He said he was interested and we sat down and began folding the papers.
The first paper I picked up had the front page printed backwards. I pointed out to the boy that that page was defective. I folded it and we then folded some others. I found another one which had a defective front page because the columns had been cut off. I had also looked at one of the pages before and had circled some of the words in ink.
The front page of the newspaper was in color and had a picture of a standing man wearing something red.
As we continued folding, I asked the boy what he would charge me for selling the papers. He sat and thought. Finally I said, "I'll pay you half of whatever you get."
I thought he would be selling the papers for about a quarter a copy, so he would probably make about $15. He seemed very satisfied with that.
I asked him if there was a school newspaper here. He said no and I said, "Well there'll probably be a lot of kids that'll be very anxious to read this then. You ought to be able to sell them pretty easily."
I felt extremely good about it. I felt as if I were doing something I really enjoyed.
I told the boy he might have some problems selling the papers. I said that if anyone gave him any hassle, I wanted him to call me immediately, because I was a lawyer. I pulled out one of my cards, which said attorney-at-law on it. I told him I expected we would have some problems, but that he should not worry because I was going to protect him. I then said, "But I have to explain to you what you can and cannot do as far as selling these."
I knew there were places where he could and places where he couldn't sell the papers. I was going to explain his rights to him, as far as where he could sell the newspapers in relation to school property.
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