Inside the June/July issue
From the desk of the editor
Imagine my surprise and excitement when Publisher Frank Wood revealed West Virginia South Magazine had won Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.’s prestigious 2012 Magazine of The Year Award.
No, seriously, imagine it…
My apologies to the boss for initial under reaction: the lidless goldfish stare, the “Really? That’s great…isn’t it?” The deafening silence. My incredulity came not from disbelief that we had won or lack of faith in the product, but from a personal track record of falling…just…shy.
Beginning with the crowing of my archrival as queen in the Lester Christmas Parade circa 1976, a cosmic lesson I apparently had to learn about not being first presented. Just four years old, I blamed the women’s liberation movement. Mom had made me wear pants for the blustery occasion. Cindy Strutsherstuff modeled a skirt, with matching acrylic hand muff. Here we were during the Ford administration in rural West Virginia, and I was making a statement in legged polyester. Know what that statement proclaimed? Happy Second Place, First Loser.
From there, a string of seconds assembled. Second place in a college journalism contest. Second in a national sales competition (forget that it was national). Second in writing competitions. Second in races. At honors banquets, in anticipation of honorable mention, I’d return to the buffet for seconds while they were announcing the first place winner. Resident of the state with the second highest rate of heart disease…I could go on.
Just when I had settled in enough to laugh about dealing with Second’s Disease, there arrived after much persistence and cooperation this unanticipated first place jewel. A cup, actually, a big one. Big enough to quench the post-race thirst of the Kentucky Derby winner, I imagine.
Brenda Pinnell, the magazine’s graphic designer and also winter of the CNHI Best Graphic Artist title, called it a moral victory. Then, it hit me just south of the egg on my face. I hadn’t won – and that was the key. The magazine had won, a joint effort, a journal about southern West Virginia constructed by southern West Virginians. A grand collaboration.
No one took this for the team. The team took this. The visual artists like Brenda, photographers, the freelance writers who sweat bullets over the deadlines, the sales crew beating the bushes for advertising that is the lifeblood of the publication, the copy editors who weed through and reel-in all the crazy and unintelligible ramblings – all played crucial roles. Thank you Circulation, for getting us on the shelves. Thank you subscribers. I could go on and on.
For what amounts to the first such award for a Beckley Newspapers Inc. publication, thanks for helping us break old records – and for allowing me to be a part of it all.