Since then, I’ve changed more than the weather on a typical day in Northeast Ohio. I became a wife, a homeowner, a mother, a second-time mom, an unemployed journalist, an employed (but miserable) journalist and an unemployed-AND-miserable journalist. After months of job searching, I became an UNmiserable assistant editor here at akronlife, and last June, I was named managing editor.
When I started at this publication, it was called Akron Life & Leisure. I had been a fan of the magazine ever since its first issue — the one with Stan Hywet on the cover. As a lifelong Akronite, I adored the magazine because its unique voice set it apart from other local publications. From Day One, I became part of the team that helped change Akron Life & Leisure into its new (and current) persona as akronlife magazine.
Although I’m not a fan of change in my personal life, I’ve always been a sucker for the metamorphic process. I love watching movies where a main character experiences some sort of event that changes him or her forever. (Think Selena Kyle’s transformation into Catwoman in “Batman Returns,” or Eric Draven’s violent death and disturbing re-birth in “The Crow.”) I also love makeover shows and often wish Stacy and Clinton, from “What Not To Wear,” would raid my closet at home.
That’s why I joined akronlife at the most opportune time. What could be better than having a say in a magazine’s name, content, look and overall attitude adjustment? I remember looking over our artistic director’s shoulder, watching him make the tiniest changes to that January 2011 cover. These changes, which may seem insignificant to the reader, represent life-or-death decisions in the magazine business, especially for a city magazine like ours, and I loved that I was able to watch akronlife become less “leisure” suit-y and more … lively.
Though the magazine has changed over the years, it’s still adored by its readers. Even now, when I hear complaints from a reader about a photo or article, it’s usually followed by a comment like, “But other than that, we still really love akronlife.” I guess that represents how some Akronites feel about the city in general. In spite of its flaws, we still really love this town.
This year, we’ll take you — our dedicated readers — on a look back to 2003, as we celebrate akronlife's 10th anniversary. Don Baker Jr., our editor-in-chief, shares his experiences this month on how he established this publication and the growing pains it’s survived over the years. Then, every month throughout the rest of 2013, we’ll feature an article or photograph from that first year. Some pieces may show places that no longer exist in the Greater Akron area, while others may show parts of the city that we were certain would never last but, somehow, have withstood the test of time.
We hope you’ll enjoy taking this long, strange trip with us, and invite you to join us as we continue to share our community’s unique voice.