In the years-ago time, in the days before computers, the wire service teletype machines clacked away in newspaper and broadcast newsrooms bringing the news of the region and the world.
But in the quiet of the Christmas holiday in the offices of AP and United Press International, the teletype paper coming from the printers would be graced with holiday art.
For those of us who at an early stage in our careers had a turn with the lonely Christmas Eve or overnight vigil in the UPI bureaus around the country, as older writers got to spend time with their families, the holiday art created and transmitted by teletype operators is one of the special memories of working for that now-dead company. The x's, o's, etc. appeared a line at a time on the teletype paper until images of Christmas trees, Santa Claus, holly wreaths, etc., took shape.
The sharing of this special art form has become part of the tradition of Flynn's Harp, now nearing four years since I sent the first column in April of 2008.
The art, now produced by computer keystroke rather than teletype keyboarding,stirred memories for those among the recipients of this weekly missive who once worked in newspaper or broadcast news rooms and recalled watching those creations emerge onto the rolls of teletype paper.
It also served as a reminder of earlier days for those in other industries who once used teletype machines for transmission of information, including one who recalled the occasional keystrokes that occurred when creation of the art followed holiday parties.
Since each year brings new names to the list of those receiving Flynn's Harp, there are some who haven't previously seen the art. For that reason, and because fond memories are served by repetition, here is a the annual reminder of this Christmas art.