Carri Bonner, Editorial Director
First and foremost, let me say I love Palmer Grove. I do; I love what we do and while we’re still improving how we do it, I love how we do it. However, lately, I find myself questioning why I bother. Perhaps it’s a case of the blahs, perhaps it’s the weather, but lately I feel like no one is reading it, and if they are, they certainly aren’t commenting on it or giving any kind of response about it.
I feel like I’ve put a ton of my time, my energy, and my creativeness into writing something that even some members of my own family don’t read. I feel like we have so much talent that we want to bring to the world and no one is truly seeing it. I feel like we have such hopes and dreams for it, yet maybe they’ll never be realized.
I know this is a negative update from me, however, after a lot of thought, I decided to write it anyway. If you read Palmer Grove and enjoy it, let us know why. If you read Palmer Grove and don’t enjoy it, we want to know why as well. For us to grow, and for us to know we’re not doing this in vain, we have to get some kind of feedback. Good or bad, we have to know what our readers are thinking and why they think that way.
Who knows … maybe writing this will inspire a few to let us know what they think. But sadly, I have the odd feeling only a handful of people will read this.
Jeff Lafferty, Columnist
We are coming up to a date in our country’s history that has a great significance to the history of this country. We are going to be electing a president. Now stop right there. I am not going to sit here and tell you who you should or shouldn’t vote for. I am going to tell you to allow your voice to be heard for whatever reason. Take the next two months, and think about each candidate in every race that you can vote. Think about each Presidential Candidate, Senatorial Candidate, Congressional Candidate, State Representative, and any other elected official that you could be voting for in the November election.
People through history in this country have sacrificed their blood, sweat, and tears for the ability for us to have the chance to vote in this election. If you follow my columns, you know that I have rules that I think people should live by and one of them is not talking about politics, money, and religion to your friends. I believe that I am not breaking the rule because I will not tell you my personal belief. I am suggesting that now is that time for you to understand and get to know the people that are running for office. If you are one of those people that complain about government and haven’t voted in the last couple of elections, I would like to remind of you of the 2000 election between Al Gore and George Bush. The election was one of the closest in the history of our great country. George Bush won the electoral vote only 5 electoral votes while at the same time losing the popular vote. The State of Florida’s 25 electoral votes went to George Bush by only a margin of less than one percent of the vote in Florida. Think of your high school class president’s election, the school has 250 students and all of the students voted to have the same margin of victory would be less than 2 ½ students as the margin of victory. So if you don’t think that your vote counts, it counts and will count. Whoever you vote for make your decision based on what you think would be the best voice for you on the issues that you believe. Watch the debates and listen to both sides of the argument and remember there are third party candidates that may match what you believe. Pay attention to everything that they are talking about on cable news stations. All I am saying is you need to make an informed decision in less than two months with who you want to represent you in government. After all, this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Brian A. Palmer, Editor in Chief
Every issue I sit in my office and stare at this blank page. I ponder the words that I should write and worry over the message I wish to deliver to you. I often fear that the lines that I write will fall on deaf ears or possibly on no ears at all. This issue is no different.
Back in April I was asked to speak at a summit in November and I gladly accepted. I have tossed around a few ideas, but haven’t currently spent any time to really develop my material. Well, today I received an email requesting a copy of my intended outline. Now the pressure to plan ahead and develop a powerful, inspirational presentation has been turned up a little higher.
In addition to the release of this issue of Palmer Grove, the staff of Generation Voices Publications is also celebrating the release of the premier issue of our second publication, Underscore. Releasing two unique publications at the same time is something that we have been working toward for a while, but was more of an undertaking than we had anticipated. Successfully producing dual publications; the pressure continues to rise.
September also ushers in the opening of our new graphics company, GVP Graphics. This allows us to provide our talents and expertise to a wide variety of organizations and businesses. It is amazing to me that we have arrived at this point in our development so soon. Developing a growing graphics firm builds onto the already mounting pressure of running two full fledge magazines.
Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to discuss all that I do with a number of individuals. Near the end of each conversation, I am always asked the same question; “How do you do it all?” There are times that I wonder the same thing. Still, the answer is very easy for me to find. You are the reason that I do all that I do, no matter the weight of the pressure that these commitments may bring.
Every reader, artist, writer, poet, photographer, and contributor provides me with endless inspiration. When I have the opportunity to speak with those who have contributed to the previous issues and hear the stories of the reception that they receive for their works, my heart is lightened and my soul smiles. Knowing that this work provides what may be the only outlet for someone’s voice is all the motivation that I need to power on through the next struggle. I hope that this community means as much to you and that you may find a home here!
Ever since I was a young lad I’ve wanted to have a super sweet nickname, but alas it was not to be. The only one I’ve had bestowed upon me is from Palmer Grove… the unfortunate “Hipster John.” Don’t get me wrong I’m flattered they have given me a nickname, but I feel that it fails to capture my true essence. I’m a swashbuckling rogue! I play by my own rules, but by Jove I get the job done.
After much soul searching and action movie viewing I came up with a new, more fitting nickname… Rebel McFearless. This new nickname proposal was met with less enthusiasm than I had hoped. I was told such a change could only come after riding a motorcycle to the next meeting while wearing a leather jacket and sporting a moustache. None of those things happened, but I have resolved to earn my nickname.
Don’t worry though. I’m easing into my new lifestyle by starting off small. I decided to start my dangerous life by occasionally leaving my shoes untied knowing full well that I could trip and fall at any moment. On top of that I’ve drank more than the recommended one alcoholic drink per day on multiple occasions, and just the other day I smoked a cigarette! (It may have been more like a half of one; okay it was just one drag)
Stay tuned for my latest Rebel McFearless exploits in my next update.
Rachel Flesch, Artistic Director
This week has been filled with stress for me, and I'm avoiding writing about it at every cost. Instead I'm going to share with you a story from my childhood.
I've been thinking a lot lately how I miss the easy days of school and lazy summers free to do what I want. I grew up in a neighborhood filled with kids, granted I was the oldest by about three years, but I never outgrew the fun! Summers were the absolute best, my parent's had requested that the neighborhood kids not knock on the door at sunrise, so instead they knocked on my bedroom window. Our days were always full of adventures; putting on carnivals, practicing for a Wizard of Oz play that we never put on, Pokémon battles, bike races, water wars, and wars with the neighboring street.
The two streets were night and day, us being day and them being the terrors of night. They didn't have a sidewalk so a lot of the kids would come over to our street and disrupt our turf. This was not taken lightly. What typically started as name calling, and competitive banter typically led to intense Pokémon battles. After which the loser (always the other team; they didn't have the man power and cards we had) would ride off in rage.
Within the hour they were flying back down the street at the speed of light hurling water balloons and firing off water pistols. We would squeal and hoped our costumes didn't get wet before we could hide behind the bushes. Okay, maybe it wasn't exactly like that for everyone, maybe it was like that for me. Megan, a girl who is practically my sister, would storm after them in rage, typically managing to tackle someone to the ground that she'd then attempt to beat the crap out of. One of the twins would climb in the tree, rip off his shirt and hang upside down chewing on leaves and beating his chest in what I believe was supposed to be an intimidation strategy. The other one would scream at the top of his high pitched lungs and run after the enemies squealing about how they got his cowardly lion costume wet and were going to pay. My sister typically would head in the house to get mom, and once the wrath of mom was made clear, so were the streets.
Then the sun would begin to set, and our parents would call us inside for the day. The next day as the sun would rise we'd begin it all again. I miss being a kid.
Kat Bonner, Editorial Assistant
So I have recently obtained a job at a gas station not far from my house. It's a very laid back and stress-free job. Everyone, employees and customers, is friendly, though I do have one ridiculous complaint.
I don't mind having to count through a baggie of sticky change from the floor boards of a car, or having to bag single packs of cigarettes. I don't even mind being a personal Mapquest and explaining directions several times to the same person, or having to punch in lotto ticket orders every few minutes when some guy with nothing better to do keeps playing them in the parking lot for an hour and a half.
What I do mind is when people have one penny as change, and they keep it. I know I do the same thing and it has no effect on my job at all, but it really bothers me for no real reason. I really do hate it. There is a take-a-penny dish right next to the register that people will pour change into, but yet one single lonely penny ends up in the mud-caked or impeccably ironed pocket of some guy that impatiently held out their hand for their change. I know that every penny counts when saving, but sometimes I imagine that penny jangling around in that pocket until it ends up in a washing machine to be picked out and pocketed by the next person to do laundry. In my brain, I imagine a vicious cycle that would end in a change jar with all the other saved pennies, if the penny got lucky. Saving that one lonely penny is a sign I have too much free time in my own mind.
Carri Bonner, Editorial Director
I have put off doing the Weekly Update until the day it is due, again. Why? Why must I always procrastinate? It isn’t that I don’t care. I truly do. It isn’t that I don’t feel it’s important. I know it is important to touch base with our readers each week. It isn’t that I don’t have things to write about. I have TONS to write about.
I could write about Ethan’s broken ankle and going through rehab with it while trying to maintain a spot on the high school football team. I could write about my youngest daughter maturing to a beautiful, smart, gracious young woman literally over the summer. I could write about my older daughter getting “slapped” in the face with adulthood, finally finding a job and getting ready to start college.
I could write about the goals and dreams we’re setting for Generation Voices, our publications company. I could write about the personal goals I’m setting for Palmer Grove.
I could write about politics and the combination of politics with religion that our society seems to be pushing even harder toward. I could write about Chick-Fil-A and all that brouhaha.
I could write about the beginning of school, ending of summer and how that makes me feel. I could write about falling off my diet and gaining back 7 of the 30 pounds I’ve lost. I could write about the fall TV shows that have my attention.
I could … I could … I could…. But I won’t. Instead I’ll simply wish everyone a happy week and remind you that summer is ending soon, celebrate the sun! Have a BBQ! Throw a Frisbee! Walk downtown, visit a garden. Enjoy the warmth; the cold will be here soon enough!
Kyle Gordon, Graphic Designer
I moved back to Ohio almost a year ago for the birth of my son and so we could be close to family. Over the last couple months my wife and I have been struggling to find other reasons why we should stay in Ohio. Of course the obvious reasons are still there; family, Ohio State Football, etc. Still, we need more than that. My wife and I are both from Ohio and knew nothing of living in a different local. After living in Florida for two years and having the luxury of going outside and being active year-round, it is making it very difficult to want to stay in Ohio.
Don’t get me wrong, the people of Ohio are one of a kind and it feels good to be around normal people. Floridians felt so superficial, but trying to come up with ideas of what can keep us busy over the next six months is proving to be very difficult. Aside from Buckeye football games and fairs/festivals, it seems like I should be preparing to hibernate until next April.
This is why I am going to rely on you, the readers, to help me and my family out. We need great ideas to keep our active family preoccupied during the “Big Freeze” so we don’t think about life back in Florida so much. If you have any fun things to do or places to go, email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
and hopefully you can come up with some great things to make us want to continue to live in the great state of Ohio.
Brian A. Palmer, Editor in Chief
Today is my birthday. I have successfully completed my 29th full revolution around the sun. It is hard to believe that I am in my last year of my twenties and that my thirties begin next year. The past decade has been fun, but I am more than ready to begin a new chapter.
I was speaking with a friend the other day about this and she commented that nothing really changes with a birthday, that it is just another day. Although this is true, it is more what the birthday can mean. For me, it is a checkpoint. It is an easily remembered day every year where I can stop and reevaluate what has happened and what I what to happen.
The past year has had many ups and downs. I saw the release of my first magazine. I moved into a new home. I started a new career. I have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful people on this project; some still here while some have moved on.
As I move into the next year I plan to focus on all of the amazing things yet to come. In September we will see the results of the first ever Palmer Grove Photo Contest and the entries thus far have been incredible. September will also be the release of the next issue of Palmer Grove as well as the new GVP publication Underscore. GVP Graphics will be released in the next month and beginning next week all of the current and previous issues of Palmer Grove will be available in the Kindle store.
It is hard to believe that we have come this far this quickly and I am ecstatic to see what lies in store for us over the next year.
If you like what we do, we would love to have you join our staff of creative and amazing individuals. Check out our available positions here
Rachel Flesch, Artistic Director
Camping, I’ve been a few times. I seem to surround myself with people who just freakin’ love nature. I mean these folks want to put on shorts and frolic through high grass that’s full of mysterious bugs and plants that can do unspeakable things to your skin. Summer comes and the sun is just boiling you alive. Maybe it’s different for them, you know? The sun looks at me and is like, “He he, we fattened this one up now it’s time to cook her!” These people want to do nothing more than be outside though, and I just don’t get it.
“Hey Rachel can you get a few days off work?”
“Yeah, sure what’s up?”
“We’re going camping!”
“Oh, yeah… um, about that… I’ve got some plans.”
“Oh that’s too bad.”
“Yeah, sorry. I just need air conditioning and Wi-Fi to make sure these plans pull through.”
I mean I just don’t get it. What’s fun about sleeping outside? Even in a tent, it’s like “Oh, hey… we’re in the middle of nowhere, you can’t get cell phone reception, but don’t worry you’re safe. This thin fabric shelter and zipper door will protect you from the slasher in the woods!”
Even with cabins it’s frightening. I have friends with access to a cabin, and I swear the pictures they take they have to be like “Ok, stand in the corner over here and angle the camera upwards just a little. This will keep that giant gaping hole in the floor from showing up when we tell people how cool the cabin is!”
Not to mention the sleeping bags. I mean can anyone REALLY get a good night sleep in a fabric tomb? Plus, let’s face it, you always start out freezing, but wake up swimming in your own sweat. You can’t unzip it in the middle of the night either. That’s just opening the door to all sorts of scary things. Plus you’ll wake up everyone else. If you so much as breath in one of those things you sound like the kid who wore those parachute pants to school in the 90’s.
I could go on forever about how much camping horrifies me. Take the bugs for example, have you ever noticed that the bugs actually seem bigger when you go camping. It’s like “Oh, look a mosquito. Oh, hey… that’s bigger than my head. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!”
Let’s not forget about the raccoons, I remember the first time I went camping it was with a friend in middle school and her dad was like “Oh, you gotta tie the trash in a tree to keep the raccoons away.” In the middle of the night it sounded like those raccoons were having a frat party with our trash.
Someone asks me to go camping and I’m looking up renting cabins, the fancy ones with flat screen TVs and spa packages included with them. My friend’s like “Oh, no. I was just talking about roughing it.” Well, it doesn’t have Wi-Fi… I thought we were roughing it. No, they’re talking about wiping with leaves. I remember as a kid being told to just shake it. Yeah, cause that works. Oh here, I’m like a dog. I can just shake it off of me… no, it doesn’t work like that.
Have you ever been to campground showers? They apparently don’t have hot water, because that’s part of “roughing it.” I’ve never been to prison, but I have a feeling that whoever designed those showers has.
You know brownie points to you if you actually enjoy all of that, but know that when it starts to rain you can’t redeem those points for a place in my resort hotel.