"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

We apologize — we will do better

By on May 30, 2018 in Columnist with 2 Comments

Mike CassidyBy Mike Cassidy


A day after the May issue of The Good Life went into the mail, we started to receive phone calls and emails objecting to the cover that showed a local artist with two of her fantasy dolls.

For some readers, the explicitness of the dolls went too far.

As one emailer wrote:

“I’ve enjoyed your magazine for years, however this issue went straight into the trash… I urge you to revert to your former ways of highlighting the fabulous travel, outdoor, local history, and garden stories you’ve covered so well to this point.”

As editor, I admit this photo on the cover was a momentary lapse of good judgment.

I’m very sorry for that.

One writer asked if this was a new direction for the magazine, or a new trend.

The short answer: No, it is not.

Going forward, we will continue to be what we have always been: a magazine sharing positive, upbeat, family-friendly stories about adventurous and wonderful people in the local area who are finding new ways to live the good life.

I hope you will continue to read us and find joy in our pages.

And now, on to this issue, which is packed with fun stuff.

Check out our That’s My Dad stories, beginning on page 7.

My original intention was to choose three or four of the entries into our contest to publish in this issue.

But as each story came in, I said, “This is a cute story, we have to run it!” Until eventually we filled six pages with dad stories.

(We capitalized “Dad” throughout the stories. That’s not exactly according to the style book, but this is one issue where we smile with favor on fathers.)

Cartoonist Dan McConnell created this month’s unusual cover, and two travel-story-told-in-drawings pages inside.

He said:

Doing a cartoon trip journal has a rich history within the artist community going back to the cave paintings at Lascaux.

When I had talked to Mike about my wife, Ann, and I going  to visit friends, David and Shan in Spoleto Italy, he suggested I do a journal of the trip in cartoon form.

The thing that stood out to me in this particular journaling effort was how small moments or situations could take center stage and become the main production number in these little plays.

For instance, the owner in the gelato store talking about a competitor, “I would be a STUPID man if I said THAT was the Best Gelato in Rome! Ask to see where he makes his gelato; he cannot show you! Look! Here is where I make my gelato! Trip Advisor says I am number one in Rome!”

The small, quick passionate exchanges, glances, sights or sounds that come together to make a trip can be photographed, possibly, but can really be captured in this serial narrative style and is easier to accomplish in a series of sequential drawings with words.

Bob Dylan’s When I Paint My Masterpiece (sample lyrics: Oh, the streets of Rome are filled with rubble, Ancient footprints are everywhere…) was an underlying theme song and I wanted to weave that into my Rome journal page.

I did that with writing it out in red, while my repetition of the word Gelato was done in cool ice cream blue and the conversations were printed in black type. The red words were to float like a backdrop  behind the rest of the story.

Rome and Florence and our home base in Spoleto seemed quite mystifying to me; weaving through the tiny, ancient city streets either by car or by foot seemed like working our way through a labyrinth… so that became another theme in the images.

I wanted to make a little puzzle labyrinth to break the fourth wall and invite the readers into an interactive piece where they could experience an approximation of the feelings I had as we were winding through unfamiliar streets. The only things missing were the smells and the rain coming down getting us soaked. The dead ends, backing up and getting lost are all there.

Thanks for the opportunity to try something new in the pages of The Good Life magazine.

Trying something new, that’s the way to enjoy The Good Life.

— Mike

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  1. Mike Kentley says:

    You threw the artist under the bus. That was a bad call. Its the 21st century. Its not safe to assume that all of your readers are old prudes. The artist seems to be well known and very good at what she does. There’s a connection to the Wenatchee Area via her partnership with the artist in Cashmere Dolls/sculptures are not my thing — but they are a thing for a pretty good segment of the population apparently. I met enough Wenatchee area locals at my wife’s Wenatchee HS reunion to be able to say that its most certainly not inappropriate for a magazine directed to middle-aged and older Wenatchee locals and expats. Ms. West deserves an apology for the shabby way you treated her.

  2. Lance and Mary Young says:

    I was very disappointed to see your apology in this months magazine. I thought this country was suppose to have a free press, not one that cowers down to every prudish, holy than thou person that calls or e-mails in a complaint! The people who complained could have just skipped over the article. They have no right to censor what everyone else reads and please don’t give them that right.

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