John Blaauboer has played a crucial role in the production and distribution of the Daily Gazette since he first joined the pressroom staff in January 1991.
Blaauboer followed in both his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps by becoming a pressman. He is part of the overnight team that operates the large press that prints each issue of The Gazette. Since 2014, his specific role has been to run the folder, the piece of equipment which helps transform the large rolls of newsprint into the individual newspapers one purchases at a store or finds on their front stoop each day.
He’s remained with The Gazette ever since for two reasons: He not only likes the “consistency” of his job, but also says he actually enjoys working nights.
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Blaauboer fondly remembers a couple of things from his early years at The Gazette. First, he was among the dedicated team members who got the paper out during the March 1993 blizzard. While he’s not sure if anyone actually received their paper for a couple of days due to weather conditions and travel restrictions, he certainly recalls that “we printed it.”
He also tells of a popular weekly tradition in the pressroom, one he sorely misses: “Every Friday night, we’d order pizza from Marino’s.” One of the pressmen would call in the order while another would serve as the designated pick-up person. Everyone would enjoy a slice or two while working. It served as an instant pick-me-up and often “broke up the monotony” of the workweek.