starts its 127th year with this issue. Instead of tooting the newspaper’s horn this birthday, we’d like to celebrate the community that’s made it possible. You are the people who place the ads and read the Sentinel every week — every day for those who stay abreast of happenings on our website, ramonasentinel.com. It’s your support that keeps this community newspaper healthy and strong.
In his book “On Memory’s Back Trail,” Ramonan Charles Darrell Beck provides a history of the Sentinel, starting with its beginnings in Julian, followed a few years later by its move in 1893 to Nuevo (later renamed Ramona). By 1901, what was
, and it’s been that since.
Owners and publishers have come and gone, but few were as colorful as James A. Jasper, whom Beck describes as a self-made man with “exceptional character and values of fairness.” He purchased the paper after its previous owner failed to report a murder in which the victim’s body “fell against the Sentinel door.” The shooter threatened to blow up the Sentinel if it reported the killing.
Jasper’s first editorial, “Hoodlumism Rampant,” resulted in a visit from an “indignation” committee threatening to “blow the Sentinel to hell” if anything like that appeared in the paper again, Beck reports in his book. Jasper stood up to the committee, gaining its and the town’s respect, and the rest is history.
This newspaper belongs to the community, and it has a responsibility to the community it serves. All of us at the paper today take that responsibility seriously. We know we’re here for just a time. While we’re here we’ll do our best to maintain the public trust, report all the news from students on the dean’s list to what our elected officials are doing, record Ramona happenings, give businesses and customers a common venue, provide an open forum to share ideas and opinions, and so much more. It’s what we love to do.
The heart of Ramona is its people. That’s why those of us in the news department enjoy telling your stories and those in the advertising department are enthusiastic about helping our advertisers shine.
We thank you, Ramona, for the privilege of serving you. You’ve supported us as we’ve gone from typewriters to computers, and we’ve relished the opportunity to witness a town that once was the turkey capital of the world evolve into a wine tasting, art, antiquing and music hub. Few towns can boast having more feed stores than supermarkets, a reflection of its ranching history and equestrian lifestyle. A common thread has been the independence of its people, who, like Jasper, are worthy of our respect and admiration.