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Out with the old...Torii Teller turns final page, transitions to Internet

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (Sept. 28, 2005) -- As you all may already know, the Torii Teller, your devoted, weekly reading material, is bidding its last hand, as this is the final hard-copy issue.


Submitted by: MCAS Iwakuni
Story Identification #: 2005928224512
Story by Lance Cpl. Cristin K. Bartter

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan (Sept. 28, 2005) -- As you all may already know, the Torii Teller, your devoted, weekly reading material, is bidding its last hand, as this is the final hard-copy issue.

This newspaper will be our way of honoring the Torii Teller's dedication to the community providing information, laughs and smiles over the past 50 years.

No more will you have to deal with crumpled and missing pages, or an old edition. The new, and might we add improved, Torii Teller will be all electronic, updated daily with stories of news, features and sports events. Just by the click of your mouse yourself, family back in the States and friends in different countries can check out what is going on here, in Iwakuni.

Now, let's take a walk through the past and see how the Torii Teller has evolved over time, taking its many steps into the future.

Back in the 1950's, when the Pink Ladies and Thunderbirds were ever so popular, the Torii Teller was a magazine. During this time there were no computers or amazing machines that would copy a paper with the push of a button. There were diligent Japanese employees, who had no comprehension of the English language, picking individual letters from a box and placing them in their proper order to form words.

Once a page was complete, a combat correspondent would go through the galley and proof read it. Each galley would usually have more than 75 errors on it. This was the tedious weekly process that it took to keep the Station residents informed.

Outside of the Torii Teller office at that time, Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni was the Station that harbored United Nations forces at the start of the Korean Conflict. Because of Iwakuni's tactical proximity, it allowed UN pilots the opportunity to fly on a daily basis in support of the leading edge troops in Korea. Iwakuni was deemed the "Gateway to Korea."

April 1, 1952, MCAS Iwakuni was actually U.S. Air Force Base Iwakuni. A few months later the torch was passed on to the U.S. Navy, which cleared the way for the First Marine Aircraft Wing headquarters. In the midst of Iwakuni's transitions, America shifted as well.

In the early 50's, men were the breadwinners and women, who attended "Civics classes" to learn how to be proper, were the housewives. Most agreed right from wrong, there were no shades of gray; everything was black and white. Once the Elvis Presley's rock n' roll era took over in the mid to late 50's, children had voices, the fashion was drastic and the music and hairstyles were all that mattered. Kids would go to drive-in movie dates and play backseat bingo (necking in the back seat of a car), or go to a high school dance to do the mashed potato, twist and the pony.

In 1956 the cost of a coke was 10 cents and a gallon of gas was 23 cents. The average income for a four-person family was $5,319. Ten years later, in 1962, the 1,400-acre Air Station was named MCAS Iwakuni. The Torii Teller, still a magazine, followed up on the Vietnam War making sure to give Station residents up-to-date information. This was also the decade when female Marines first stepped foot on the Station.

As time went on, the Torii Teller remained a magazine until July 7, 2000, when it morphed into a newspaper. For the past five years Station residents have used the weekly newspaper as their way of getting the inside scoop of past, current and future events. It has been our goal, as combat correspondents, to provide you, the readers, important information. With the Torii Teller moving into the future of digital news, we hope the transition will be smooth and easy. Bear with us as we get our Web site updated. We all thank you for all of the support you have provided us throughout the years.