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December 1, 2012

Baumert retires after 50 years



He start as a part-time press boy in November 1962, before becoming a union pressman at the Herald. After the merger of the two papers, he moved in to the composing department, which is the part of the paper that designs ads and manually pasted up actual pages. With the advent of technology, that department, that had as many as 10 employees when Baumert started, has been reduced to just one.

Baumert has adapted to many changes in the newspaper industry, mostly due to the adaption and changes brought forth by computers.

“It used to take all day to do a full-page grocery ad, now it can be done in about 15 minutes,” said Baumert. “It is a lot quicker with computers, but some of the most fun was when there would be about five us sitting around the stones (concrete table) setting ads,” he added.

Baumert said President Kennedy’s assassination was the biggest news story of his 50 years at the TH.

“I don’t think we had an 'Extra’ that day because it happened before we went to print.”

He said that when the newspaper received word that Washington High School’s Steve Bouchie was named Mr. Basketball, it required sending the photo to the Vincennes Sun-Commercial to be separated into color negatives, so it could be published in color.

“Having color was big for us back then,” he added.

Baumert has also seen many changes in Washington.

“Main Street has probably seen the most changes. It was Ôopen for business’ back then. There were so many stores then,” he added.

Baumert has been married for 48 years to Cathy and they have one son, B.J, who has two children, Codie and Clarissa.

“I have worked with an awful lot of good people over the years. That is what I will miss the most,” Baumert added.

Baumert said he is planning on just “coasting” for the foreseeable future.

“We love to travel. We do have a cruise planned for next year.”

Baumert was honored with a Times Herald dinner party on Thursday evening. Along with several mementos, Baumert will be honored with a named planter in front of the Times Herald’s building.

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