On the evening of Monday, May 18, I was overwhelmed by the support that this community showed for the Voice when you gathered at Roscoe’s to raise funds and spirits. My commitment to community journalism and the Voice was renewed by the outpouring.
Earlier this year, a group of Voice supporters–aware of our recession blues–began meeting over beers and burgers at the Olive Lounge to hatch a plan to help bolster their newspaper. They had become aware of the particular stress that we have felt over the past two years–as all local businesses struggle to stay in the black.
When the Friends of the Voice came to me with the idea of holding a fundraiser, I never expected that they would end up packing Roscoe’s, the new restaurant directly below our office. I chalk up much of the success of this fundraiser to the persuasive powers and good karma of Howard Kohn, Diana Kohn, Seth Grimes, Sue Katz Miller, Jill Feasley, Elizabeth Brinkama, Jay Keller, and Roz Grigsby. We’re not sure how many people were in attendance in total. But we do know that over 200 people signed up to support us.
(And I am well-aware of and grateful for the tremendous support I receive every month, most notably from my longtime Assistant Editor Julie Wiatt–but also from the many contributor, volunteers, and advertisers who keep this grassroots newspaper chugging along.)
While it has always been a monthly struggle to publish the Voice, running this humble publication over the past 16 years has been my dream job. (The Voice turns 21 this year.) We strive to be the Life Magazine of the community, keeping track of the many people and their stories which make this the place I call home.
I am motivated by tremendous affection for my two hometowns: Silver Spring is the location of my earliest memories, from the little brick house on Dublin Avenue to Dennis Avenue Elementary School and Giffords’s ice cream shop. Takoma Park has been my home for the past 20 years, such a neighborly place that you can rarely walk down the street without running into a friend and an excuse to grab a cup of coffee.
My daughter is probably a little bit tired of hearing me tell her how lucky she is to live in a hometown. But she is lucky. Places like this have been disappearing for 50 years–places where your home was more than a place to park your car and pull down the blinds. And hometown ethos is what has made it such a joy to try to capture Takoma Park and Silver Spring in print, (and increasingly online).
Hometown spirit is worth preserving. I think that the current economic crisis is causing people across the United States and across the world to pause and consider life on a more elemental level. The gadgetry and big boxes are hollow next to good old fashioned neighborliness and personal connections that were on display at Roscoe’s on May 18.
Thank you all.
— Eric Bond, editor
Silver Spring Voice