File Under: Nostalgia

Jan Wright, Publisher, art & society

As we look forward to 2016, we are also looking backward, as this issue contains no small amount of nostalgia. Call it Throwback to the Future, if you will. We had a bit of fun at 8 Bit Beercade—it seemed an appropriate location to tie together a few of the stories in this issue, and that’s what you see on the cover.

It seems the “beercade” concept is booming, and we can thank our “collective, sometimes obsessive thirst for nostalgia” for that, as Chip Joyce nicely articulates in the article. Where the arcades of yesteryear were a teenager’s domain, today’s beercades are geared for older “kids”—Gen Xers and the like who fondly recall the eight-bit graphics of Atari and early Nintendo. I never really played video games, but I know there’s an old Atari and a vintage Gameboy in a box somewhere in my basement.

When the managing editor (also my son) thought of writing about magazines of Peoria’s past, he asked about my sensitivity to the topic. Like old school photos, some are funny to look at, while others are painful, but I thought it would be fun to look back (and another item to file under “nostalgia”). Failures teach us a lot, and I’ve learned there is no shame in admitting a mistake and moving on. After 25 years, many of our current readers won’t remember a typo or two, and those who do can have a chuckle along with us. (Believe me: we will never misspell “Caterpillar” again!)

“Full Circle with Marty and Dave” brings together the stories of two magazine publishers who couldn’t have been more different from one another. I’m sure Dave would be amazed that our magazines are still in print in 2015—and that his oldest son is writing about Marty Wombacher and People of Peoria. Back then, we couldn’t understand how his magazine got placed in the grocery checkout lines so quickly; the thought of bribing the delivery drivers with a pizza party certainly never occurred to us!

Marty’s story about meeting Dave on a local radio show made me laugh out loud, as did his tale of trying to sell advertising to our clients. He’s one of the greatest characters Peoria has ever produced, and we had a lot of fun working with him!

It’s currently 60 degrees in the middle of December… If, by the time you read this, you need a bowl of chili to warm you up, you can click here to whet your appetite. Happy New Year! a&s

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