FROM VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1, November 2019
A few Sunday mornings ago, they were sitting in their front room, kind of at a loss after binging through another pointless TV show.
After a few minutes, once the fog cleared from Dave’s consciousness, he looked over at Alison, to see she was coming out of that same fog. He took a sip from his beer, which was nearly warm by then, and pondered what to do next.
It struck him to ask her, “So, what next?”
She looked his way, not necessarily at him and considered. “I don’t know. What is there to do?”
“We could get out of the house for a while. Maybe go listen to some music,” you know, ‘cause that’s a thing on Sunday afternoons.
So, the search began.
After they had rifled through the local magazines on the coffee table, and the internet on their devices, Alison stood up and put her hands on her hips and spoke in frustration, “Everything’s getting lost in the shuffle! We have 6 different publications on the coffee table – all with niche calendars of events. I have a facebook feed filled with “Events I Might Like” from some AI curated database, to be sure.
“I’ve even click the ‘interested’ button on events now and then, and shared them with you, hopeful one of us will remember and will still feel like going when the time is right. Now, I can’t find them! They have just disappeared into the void. I’ve even downloaded several apps to help me try and figure out what’s happening at any given time but then learning how to use them takes time and concentration.
“You know, I work 40 hours a week in front my computer screen, giving time and concentration to the digital workplace. When Saturday rolls around, I Just. Need. To. Stop. I shouldn’t have to work so hard to figure out how to connect with people in person.
“I need a simple, down-n-dirty-this-is-what’s-happening directory of events that I can hold in my hands, draw on with my highlighters (which I never get to use anymore) and hang on the refrigerator right next to our don’t-forget-the-juice grocery list.”
“Hmmm,” he thought to himself. “You know, back in the day, I used to publish a magazine with a calendar of events just like you are wanting,” he said out loud, half musing.
They looked at each other in dawning awareness. They both had experience in the publishing world. Alison wanted to write. Dave wanted to do design and layout. Neither had the so-called ‘proper education’ for those goals, yet they had their experience, and they had their desktop computers and the software needed, and they had an idea to work on that might make a difference.
Stereophonically they said, “We should do this.” After the goosebumps passed, they chuckled a little.
“Absolutely,” Dave heartily retorted.
“Oh my God,” said Alison, incredulously. “What will we call it?” They went back and forth with a few things for a while, before realizing that the name would come naturally when it was time.
Over the course of the next few days they talked almost non-stop about what they wanted to see in this. Arts and entertainment were decided on fairly quickly. And it had to be local, or as Alison would phrase, ‘hyper-local’. “We don’t need more info on national artists. They get enough already,” decried Alison.
Dave was more interested in the calendar part of the project.
“It’s a directory of events,” insisted Alison. “You go to a certain place, you look up a first piece of information that will lead you to a second piece, and perhaps a third piece, to get to what you were looking for.”
“It’s a calendar of events,” Dave argued, “because you go to the day you are looking for and find out what’s happening!”
Once they both agreed they were saying the same thing, only with different semantics, it soon became clear that they could compromise, and call it something completely different, yet so apropos. “It needs to be more than just an arts and entertainment,” Dave urged. “I mean, I think we should include even things like city council meetings and library events and stuff like that.”
For the next few weeks they worked feverishly to pull together the information they needed. They thought long and hard about a feature story with which to kick off this still unnamed publication.
It dawned on them that their friend Jen Young, was getting ready to put on a show. They thought it was brilliant. ‘What better way to show what we stand for,’ they agreed.
“I want to talk about the untamed artist with raw creativity, that do what they do because they like how it feels,” said Alison, “I want to write about what it means to be doing art here, in this community, and I want to talk about the things that make us all unique while also pulling us all together.”
On the second Sunday into the project, they went downtown for breakfast, and to take pictures for the blog Alison had created to supplement the magazine. They were still batting around names.
“I want something non-traditional, a little off-the-wall, so to speak. You know?” Dave had said that first Sunday. By then they were wrestling around with a few names, such as The Venue, or The Street or some such silliness. Neither of them was strong on anything as of yet.
Once they were seated, “I’ll have some coffee, please,” Dave said to the server, answering their question.
“Do you have fresh squeezed orange juice?” asked Alison, teasingly. The server smiled and said yes, then left to get their potables while they studied their menus.
But something had distracted Alison. It was something fuzzy, in the back of her head, in a way. She tried to focus on the menu but could not. Something was nibbling around the edges of some question she was studying.
When the server put the glass down in front of her, she reached out to pick it up, feeling the coldness of the surface, the slight moisture from condensation. She looked at it as she lifted it to her lips, noticing the beautiful orange hue. It did look freshly squeezed, didn’t it?’ she thought.
Then it came to her. Just as the liquid passed her lips, she knew the answer. “I know the name of our magazine.”
A few weeks later, just before they left the house to distribute their new baby, Dave looked at Alison and said, “Here’s the Juice! Hope you like it.”