Stuck in the '70s

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Welcome to T&C Shopper's First Issue

(Blogger's Note: Below is my first column for the Towne & Country Shopper, published 5/4/06. Future columns will appear on my "Reminiscin'" Link.)

Welcome to Towne & Country Shopper.

You hold in your hands our first-ever issue. Hang onto it -- you may be able to sell it on Ebay for 5 times what you paid for it several years from now.

We’re glad to be able to present this new paper to north central Arkansas, and have lots of plans for serving you in the future. Ten thousand copies of Towne & Country Shopper will be distributed in the area, including Independence, Jackson, White, Stone, Sharp, Lawrence, Cleburne and Izard counties. In addition to ads from area businesses, we’ll offer space for your display and classified ads at great prices, along with some community news and information about upcoming events in the area.

The Shopper is the brainchild of our general manager, Ted Stepanek. Ted’s got umpteen years of experience in print media sales and was behind the startup of a similar paper in Indiana. About a year ago, while Ted and I were working together at another local shopper paper, we would dream about taking our show on the road. Why, with my newspaper and graphic experience and his ability to drive sales, Ted said we could have our own paper and make it exactly what we wanted and what we saw the readers desired. We had the skills, but not the technology. Now, a year later, we’ve got all the modern equipment, to go along with our abilities, to bring you the nicest tab possible.

Of course, keep in mind, this is our first issue. So, we’re a little thin on the classifieds. That’s where you can help out. Our classified advertising rates are $2.50 per week for 30 words. Not too shabby. You’ll find a form in this paper to fill out and get us your ads.

We also welcome news of your group, church or organization’s events. You can mail them to us at 848 Harrison St., Batesville, or e-mail me at We’ll get them in here as space permits.

I’m excited to have my hands on the computer to create a weekly shopper paper and the outlet for said creativity. See, I’ve been in the media business in Batesville for 24 years now. I’ve thought several times, after having worked for every media outlet in the area, about leaving and going to another newspaper out of town or out of state. In fact, last month I went to Florida for a job interview at a newspaper there and received a pretty decent offer. However, life is complicated when you’ve got a couple of teen-agers and roots so deep in the Ozarks it’d be near impossible, if not at least painful, to tug them out. So, I’m staying here in this beautiful part of the country with its friendly people. The Shopper provides me the opportunity to get out of selling appliances at the local home improvement warehouse (where I was obviously out of my element for about 10 months) and back into my field.

Some of you may know I’ve written a column for a couple of different publications, and I’ll be doing the same here. Mainly, I enjoy writing about growing up in the 1960s and ’70s in American suburbia. But, I’ll also write about stuff that affects us in the 21st century. You won’t find any political jargon in this column, or usually anything that’s gonna rub anyone the wrong way. Hopefully, it’ll just be good fun and reflection. And, hopefully, our Towne & Country Shopper will be something you grab up each week with your iced tea, sit out on the porch and look for some good bargains or find something you’d like to do over the weekend here in our neck of the woods.


  • At 4:58 PM, Blogger Wander said…

    Just picked up your first issue. Great job! While I was eating lunch at the Pit Stop out in Deshe someone dropped off a stack of them. I'm hoping that this endeavor turns out very well for you and I'm really looking forward to the return of your Reminiscin' column.


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