I feel a kinship with the Goss Community Press that prints the Vineyard Gazette every week. The blue Goss Press has worked full time, without a vacation, since 1975, just four years longer than I have been at the Gazette.

I started working at the Vineyard Gazette 40 years ago, in 1979, and am now the longest full-time employee. Today, I am slower, but the press can still run one section in less than an hour.

The loud rumble of the press when it starts to roll, always gets to me on a Thursday afternoon. The sound is like a train leaving the station. Henry Beetle Hough wrote a book called Once More the Thunderer, referring to its predecessor.

I am in awe of how many giant barrels of ink, how many miles of paper has run through it while I’ve been around. Today, the ink is different. When I started working at the Gazette, the ink was a petroleum product with a pungent smell. Today we use soy-based ink and it is odorless.

The Goss Community Press is the only essential tool that hasn’t changed or been replaced in all my 40 years. Computers are everywhere now and their operating systems have changed numerous times. A Royal typewriter is in residence next to my desk. I can’t remember when I last touched it.

I recall the press not being able to do its job only once, in August 1991, when Hurricane Bob knocked out the electricity all over the Island. We printed that edition on Nantucket.

During my tenure, the list of the wonderful people appearing in the pages of the Vineyard Gazette in story and pictures is long. I treasure memories of Dorothy West walking briskly into the newsroom with more enthusiasm about some little item in her Oak Bluffs column than we often had about a page one story.

I remember so clearly sitting down with Islanders who are no longer with us, to hear and report their stories, including Craig Kingsbury, Franklin Benson and his son Norman Benson at their Lambert’s Cove homes, Louis S. Larsen aboard his fishing boat Mary Elizabeth out of Menemsha, and Jimmy Morgan on his old wooden fishing boat Mary and Verna. Many times I sat down with these folks more than once.

I also treasure the memories of many who have worked inside the newspaper and those who have visited like Louise Aldrich Bugbee and William Caldwell. Richard Reston and Jody Reston who ran the paper for most of the time I have been here taught me so much about being a good journalist. Sally Reston, the co-publisher with her husband James, would walk into the building on a Friday morning after the press run carrying fresh homemade muffins.

The number of us who still remember Henry Beetle Hough up close and personal keeps getting smaller. I recall his walks with his collie Graham, coming by the Gazette with his freshly written editorials. He was so kind to me and anyone in his appointed path.

Thirty-seven years ago, Henry and I entered into a partnership, which continues to this day. At the time, he felt he was too frail to attend to the early morning duty of maintaining the National Weather Service cooperative station in his backyard. He started that Edgartown station in 1946, just after World War II. He and the weather service wanted the station to continue and asked me to take it over. The weather service sent a man named Tony over from the mainland to move the station from Mr. Hough’s house to mine.

“Doing the weather will make you a better writer,” Mr. Hough and Mr. Reston told me.

The greatest gift the Vineyard Gazette gives me daily is a foundation for which I can be a storyteller in words and photographs. For a piece on Craig Kingsbury, we sat together in an outbuilding next to his big barn. His voice was raspy and measured. The key question of my day was: “Did you bring the first skunk to Martha’s Vineyard?”

“No,” he said.

The conversation then went in another direction to my delight. He recalled as a youth being a crewman aboard the famed schooner Alice S. Wentworth, out of Vineyard Haven, the last of the great coastal schooners. Zeb Tilton was the captain. I sat there feeling so fortunate, feeling so lucky, hearing what to him was only a small piece of his colorful life, but to me was a gem as precious as any of the Island’s jewels.

A blank piece of paper doesn’t sit long in the building. Interviews and ideas transform into stories, once written on a typewriter now on a computer. The stories are laid out and then made ready for the press.

And although the Goss Community Press stretches back to 1975, the end result goes back further, to 1846 when the Gazette first started. After the press run, the stories are sent out into the world to be shared, to be discussed, to be praised or damned depending on the subject and the audience.

And for 40 years and counting, my byline has been a part of this process, for which I will always be grateful.