Notes from the Publisher

Publisher Notes – March 2014

I know……you are probably wondering why we have a lamb on our cover this month.  It is not because of St. Patrick’s Day and lamb stew, but because we long to see this dreadful winter end.  Maybe it is our sacrifice to the Gods or maybe, after 26 years, we are running out of cover ideas.  Whatever the reason, at least we can find comfort in the hope that March goes out like a lamb, and warmer weather will return. Hope springs eternal!

Speaking of hope and eternal I must talk about my friend Rob Grogan.  Rob was a writer, and in the late 90’s Rob wrote an article for us about drifting in his canoe along the Rappahannock River through his beloved town of Fredericksburg.  He asked me how to write it and I replied, “write how you feel.”  Boy, did he nail it! His words put you in the canoe with him.  You could feel the breeze, hear the water, and smell spring in the air.

Shortly after that, Rob asked me to start a Fredericksburg Town Crier and he could run it.  We gave it some thought but realized that we would spread ourselves too thin, and besides, we didn’t like to work that hard.  Rob had other ideas, and in 1997, on his own dime, he started his own publication, Front Porch, Fredericksburg.  We were pleased to see him take our concept and make it his own – good news, good people – and he nailed it!  Starting and running your own publication is not glamorous, it is hard work.  In the beginning you often question your sanity, but after surviving about three years you reach the “make it or break it” point.  Rob made it.  He and the Front Porch became the fabric of downtown Fredericksburg.

Rob Grogan, Photo credit Ryan Toe
Rob Grogan, Photo credit Ryan Toe

Last week my friend passed away after a battle with cancer.  He was only 61.  A life taken way too soon.  Rob leaves behind his wife Virginia and his daughter Lexi, but more than that, he leaves a huge void in Fredericksburg.  May the angels watch over you my friend.  These tears are for you!  You did well!

On a much lighter note, we hope you enjoy this month’s issue! It’s pretty much a tribute to most everything Irish! Martin White, first generation Irishman and this years Grand Marshall in Old Town’s popular St. Pat’s parade, is featured in the Personality Profile and Fergus Kennedy of “Mostly Irish Things” is the subject of our Business Profile! In the spirit of the season, I leave you with:

My the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Written by: Bob Tagert

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