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As I was preparing the content of the maiden edition of Pennsylvania Bridges, set to launch tomorrow, June 25, I noticed a trend. Many of the stories share a common theme, one of remembrance. I soon fell down the rabbit’s hole of memory, and began thinking about the events and people who shaped my own early interest in publishing.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write.” Most published authors, myself included, have trotted this little gem out on one occasion or the other, contributing to one of the ever popular myths surrounding the business of writing, that writers are born with the desire and drive to write. What I can remember, however, is the day I realized I wanted to go into the business of publishing.
The year was 1993. I was a sophomore at Frayser High School and had recently joined the staff of the school newspaper, the RamPages. I quickly advanced from rewriting a popular advice column to writing and editing articles, and had the opportunity to help determine the content of the publication under the guidance of English teacher and newspaper staff sponsor, Pearl Washington. We were all set to send out the material for the second issue of the year when calamity struck.
We were informed not enough money had been allocated in the school budget to pay for layout and design services. [Most schools at that time contracted out for layout and design services as we lacked the appropriate software to do it in house.] There were funds available to offset the costs of printing the issue but we had to deliver the files, camera ready, directly to the printer. Upon hearing this news, Ms. Washington and I soon found ourselves in the school’s “computer lab”, a small room in the school library that contained an outdated Apple II with PrintShop software, printing out clip art and typewritten articles that we later literally glued onto a page. It was hard, frustrating, even messy work, but I fell headfirst, truly, madly, deeply in love with the effort.
When everything was said and done and the issue came back from the printer, I grabbed one from the top of the stack and eagerly opened the page to the staff directory, scanning for a phrase that gave me a thrill like none I’d ever experienced before: “Carla E. Anderton, Managing Editor.” In that moment, seeing those words in black and white, I knew that while I was born to be a writer, I would also spend the rest of my life as an editor, bridging people and stories much as I now strive to do so in my current position as Editor-in-Chief of Pennsylvania Bridges.
Twenty two years have passed since that day and, with notable exceptions, I’ve been in the publishing business ever since. I’ve always believed media should uplift and inspire, so I’ve shied away from publishing negative stories, and focused on profiling people and organizations making a positive impact on their communities. Pennsylvania Bridges adheres to the same philosophy.
As you peruse the pages of our maiden edition, it’s my hope you’ll find a story that will uplift and inspire you. Know of individuals or groups living or working in Washington, Fayette, Westmoreland or Greene counties you feel should be recognized? Send us an email. We welcome your comments and input.
Until next time,
Carla E. Anderton