The West Central Valley Voice made its debut eight years ago this week.
Eight years ago?
Hard to fathom that we (my friends, Susan and Bryon, and I) actually cranked that baby out once a week for almost 2 1/2 years.
The Voice was the best damn newspaper (if I do say so myself)...
I doubt very much that the good people of Dexter, Menlo, Redfield and Stuart, IA commemorate the day, but Feb. 13, 2003, lives forever in my heart.
Start our own newspaper? A crazy idea at best.
"Leap and the net will appear!" Susan advised me one cold, Saturday night as we envisioned our journalistic dream while savoring several cups of coffee in a back booth at the Country Kitchen restaurant in Stuart.
I shared our ideas with Bryon over the phone the next day.
"Dare to dream!" he declared.
"Go for it!" our mutual friends heartened.
So we went for it.
Sketched out a few ideas on Sunday, called on some possible advertisers Monday, and on Thursday, the West Central Valley Voice was born.
Bryon was the publisher, I was the editor, Susan was the associate editor.
|Our premier issue|
We leapt and -- just like Susan said it would -- the net appeared. Immediately.
The Voice quickly outgrew copy paper, moved on to newsprint (printed at The Guthrie Center Times), and took on an intriguing -- and at times, exasperating -- life of its own.
Faye, Nick, Marilyn, Tom, Harriet, Carol...our Voice family of contributors expanded lickety-split, and so climbed the number of Voice readers.
Seven hundred at the two-year mark.
And to think we never had an actual office; we each worked from our own PCs in our respective homes in different towns. We did whatever we had to do to work around our day jobs, families and other life commitments to bring our readers the news in an accurate, interesting and timely manner.
The Voice was as close to being a daily newspaper as a weekly newspaper could possibly be. Some mighty fine investigative journalism -- much to the chagrin of certain local personalities -- I might add.
We were quite the gutsy, persevering little news team, from circulation to sports, schools, city government and beyond.
Unfortunately, Susan, Bryon and I eventually needed to go our separate ways for various and sundry reasons. Thus, The Voice was silenced mid-summer 2005.
Still get teary thinkin' about it. Yet it feels so good to look back...
In retrospect? We were what we were.
And we were the one, the only, the fantastic West Central Valley Voice.
The little newspaper that could -- and did.