The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 11
on the back cover, Don Peery's "10 Reasons to Buy a
Peery Home." His ad would run for the subsequent
13 issues - giving the magazine an anchor to build on
well into 1977.
There's another part to what made that fall among
the most exciting times of my life. There at the right
of the words "FALL/1974" and "INAUGURAL ISSUE"
is the simple declaration: "60 cents." And toward the
back was a little box offering the deal of four issues for
$2. Or 12 for just $5.
Point being, yes, you can sign up advertisers to help pay
the print bill, but if there aren't readers out there paying
attention to your content and to those ads, you are very
quickly facing the reality of no, it couldn't be done after all.
FORTY YEARS AND MORE THAN 300 ISSUES
later, the same principles and the same deep gratitude
apply. This 148-page issue would not be possible without the nearly 60 pages of advertising messages in it.
Nor without the subscription copies that go out not
only all over the Roanoke Valley, but also to states all
over the Southeast and beyond. Nor without copies
coming off the newsstand racks at the likes of Barnes
& Noble, Kroger and other outlets.
And you know what, that 60 cents in 1974 is just over
$3 in today's dollars. So our per-copy price has gone up
only slightly over the 40 years. Thank you, Roanokers
everywhere, for staying with us.
I like to think that our journalistic efforts over those
years have made that staying with us a relatively easy
call. Look through the covers on pages 83-87 and I
hope you'll see some of the reasons why I hope that's
true. Start with the portrait of Ann and Horace Fralin
and Norma's wonderful story on them and their home
in 1976. Look at the even more intimate portrait of
Bern Ewert and the equally powerful story in 1980
on the city manager's challenges by the magazine's
second editor, Brenda McDaniel (and be sure to see
her delightful essay on Roanoke over the last 40 years,
on page 40), which began a series of strong topical
I like to think that our
journalistic efforts over those
years have made that staying
with us a relatively easy call.
pieces from Brenda on things like the city running
Piedmont Airlines out of town, the zaniness of the
Roanoke County Board of Supervisors and others. Or
the stinging story on The Grinch Who Stole Explore
Park, from now-30-year editor Kurt Rheinheimer, who
brought gloriously sophomoric humor (Star City Seer!)
to the magazine in 1981 and hasn't let it leave since. Or
his sneak-preview that introduced Valley View Mall to
the area a year before it opened. The list goes on and
on, and includes cover stories on Sam Snead, Debbie
Reynolds and Richard Hamlett, Sidney Weinstein, Dick
Cranwell and scores more.
And the photography . . . the names of our cover
shooters are truly the Hall of Fame of Contemporary
Roanoke Photographers . . . Tom Porter, Richard Ustinich, Marty Snortum, Karl Phillips, Greg Vaughan, Doug
Miller, Sam Dean, David Hungate, Angel David Verde.
Enough about the past. This issue's contributors
include not just Brenda, but also Bern Ewert, finally
telling the inside story of the Design '79 project. Sandra
Kelly sitting down with 30-year pal Roland Lazenby
to talk about old times and about Roland's amazing
new book, "Michael Jordan: The Life." Dan Smith not
only visiting the restaurants that have been around here
as long as the magazine, but also talking to the likes
of Ed Walker, Bonz Hart, Chris Morrill and Warner
Dalhouse about what this place will look like 40 years
from now. Kurt's 40-year look-back at the 5K race as a
devolving entity in the valley. And lots more.
Time to get to reading. As I said at the end of that
note of 40 years ago, in another dose of pioneering
language, tell us what you think. -RICHARD WELLS