This is the 34th January I’ll be starting a new year as the publisher of this magazine. That’s amazing since I’m only 45.
OK, well, I feel 45. Or … I remember when I was 45. Or … oh, you get the picture.
Let’s just say that when I began this adventure, I could easily blend into the crowd at Kelly’s Logan House and no one would bat an eye. Now, people would think I was there because my son or daughter was playing in the band.
Thirty-four years … and counting. I wouldn’t have bet on that with your money.
John Lennon nailed it. Indeed, life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
And what’s happened to me is to find myself at the helm of this storytelling vessel called Out & About Magazine. Considering the storm we just weathered, the fact that our ship is still sailing is a testament to resilience and relationships. Mostly relationships.
I’m realistic enough to confess that Out & About likely wouldn’t have survived COVID had many in this community not valued our contribution. After all, for nearly two years the very notion of getting out and about was taboo. (In fact, one smart aleck suggested we rename the magazine In & Alone. I didn’t see the humor.)
But what I did see is a public that appreciates our storytelling. Our positive approach. Our recognition that community pride runs deep. And a community that relishes reading stories that spotlight that pride.
Just days ago, I ran into a retired city official at Kozy Korner who I respect deeply, someone I hadn’t seen since a year or two before COVID. He enthusiastically expressed his continued joy in reading the magazine. Then he rattled off a pair of story ideas for us to consider. They were good ideas.
Such encounters have become more frequent post pandemic. That may be in part because it’s reassuring to see the familiar after enduring such uncertainty. It’s also likely that as we’ve evolved and broadened our subject matter, many more see Out & About as a worthy platform for a story they hold dear.
Without question, technology has profoundly changed publishing. And the media herd has been thinned to disconcerting numbers. But storytelling can and must live on, whether it be in print, digital or over a beer at Chelsea Tavern.
So, if you’re not getting out and about as much these days to find the printed version, fret not. Join the more than 12,000 who have found our complimentary digital subscription just an email away.
In the meantime, keep those story ideas coming. As someone famous should have said: We’ve just begun to write.
— Jerry duPhily