I bought the old design computer back in 2014, when it was just five years old: a 27-inch iMac desktop from 2009 that lasted through two different art directors, one new hard drive and nearly 400 issues of Triad City Beat. With the keyboard and everything it was close to $1,000. As a first-time business owner, I was exhilarated and slightly panicked at dropping so much money on this necessary resource.

This week I had Rob pack it up from his house, where it has been living for a year, and bring it back to the office where, today, right now, I am ripping its hard drive onto its replacement, updating the OS and Adobe apps and then putting it to work.

My wife and I spent half of Saturday cleaning this space, which like a lot of offices has lain dormant for more than a year. Unlike a lot of offices, this one hadn’t been properly cleaned since we moved in seven years ago. We carted reams of old newspapers down to the recycling bin. We filled a cabinet with archives collected through the years: photoshoot props, original sketches for covers, a stack of CDs containing Eric Ginsburg-era records requests. I used my shop-vac on the carpet. Each layer of filth and grime that came off brought back flashes of the last seven years: our first award, Eric and Jorge’s soccer ball, a sketch of my wife and me posed like “America Gothic.”

Time had stopped in here. It took a lot of effort to get it going again.

We’ve become adept at getting the paper out from our respective homes, tightened the processes and mastered the technology. Tomorrow we’ll have a full house for our first in-office production since last summer. I believe we’ve lost something by not being together for this final, creative push to birth the paper each week — the magic happens in person.

We shall see.

In the meantime, our archives are in order, the new design computer is humming to life and this is as tidy as our office can get.

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