Bobby Scarrow is leaving the Booneville Democrat staff after 41 years, effective on Friday.
With the Democrat office moving to the Times Record building in Fort Smith, and with him only working one day per week, retiring just made the most sense Scarrow said.
Scarrow came to the Democrat the weekend after Thanksgiving in 1976.
While at the Democrat, he managed the commercial print shop until 2001, while also helping on the paper. After the print shop closed he has worked with the composition of each week’s paper.
Along the way Scarrow has seen the paper utilize Compugraphic-type systems and Macintosh SEs to the current web-based methods in use today.
Besides creating the printed materials for so long, there have been print ads to build, as well as pages.
“It’s been quite a ride,” said Scarrow. “I’ve pretty much done everything but front office work, and I did some of that while running the print shop.”
Along the way, through more than 2,100 weekly editions, Scarrow has had numerous general manager and publisher supervisors.
“There have been so many general managers — we were a training station for general managers for a long time,” he said.
The Democrat is not Scarrow’s only newspaper experience. Before coming to the Democrat Scarrow worked at the Eureka Springs Times Echo, starting as a linotype operator, “hot type,” Scarrow said.
“When I first started in the business they told me, ‘learn to run a linotype and you’ll never be out of a job,’” said Scarrow. “They did not see the cold type coming at that time.”
When the Times Echo was sold to Donrey Media he worked for the then-Democrat parent company before transferring to the Democrat.
His printing career started even earlier.
Prior to working for the Eureka Springs newspaper, Scarrow worked for General Business Forms, also of Eureka Springs.
“My first job was picking out hand set type of a drawer,” he said.
By freeing up his schedule, Scarrow said he will probably spend more time gardening and creating wood carving figures.
Scarrow is married to Freida Scarrow, who is also a former Democrat employee — she retired in 2007. They have one daughter, Donna Glidewell, two granddaughters, two great-granddaughters and another on the way.