When Two-Lane Livin' was born...
Lisa's first column, from the very first print issue of Two-Lane Livin'
Published in the very first issue of Two-Lane Livin’ Magazine - September 2007
Eight months ago, Two-Lane Livin’ was merely an idea. I was considering an entirely different project, thinking of the local columnists and writers who could also participate. At one point, my ever-practical husband Frank, said, “If you’re going to get all this together, why don’t you just do your own?” Ding! The light bulb came on, and I was inspired.
I have always felt Central West Virginia was overlooked; felt we needed better communication, promotion, and presentation. I believed a regional magazine for the area will fill that need. So, we formed Stumptown Publishing, LLC, and began to organize.
The name of the magazine was not such an easy task. We searched for a theme that represented our area well and had a long list of different names. Over time, we narrowed our list down to three main choices. When we began to research the availability of domain names, however, the options were narrowed down to one single theme, ‘Two-Lane’. Seems that no one on the entire planet has ever wanted any two-lane-related domain name. (Imagine that.) This enhanced our idea that truly, there was a need for such a magazine.
“Living” is a popular name for magazines these days. There’s Southern Living, Country Living, Cottage Living, Martha Stewart Living, and more. I love them all -- I’m a magazine junkie. But, for us, “Living” seemed so formal, and, geez! How could we possibly compare to Martha? I chose to drop the ‘g’ on ‘Living’ not only to better reflect our lifestyle, (and distinguish us from Martha Stewart) but also because my Ohio-based Mother who taught college Grammar for years, once told me after I moved to West Virginia, I “lost my ‘g’s.” So, Two-Lane Living, as well, lost a “g”.
Not long after we had a name, Two-Lane Livin’ took on a life of its own. The idea became a group of columns, a kid’s activity page, and a crossword puzzle. It then developed two monthly contests, that began receiving entries. Two-Lane Livin’ became a network of partners, a list of clients, a collection of photos. Then it became a digital layout tucked inside a desktop computer.
When laid out on the pages, Two-Lane Livin’ became a reflection of a lifestyle for a region where folks wave at their neighbors, share the garden harvest, and get together with friends to do some ‘porch sittin’. Now, finally in print, Two-Lane Livin’ is a magazine full of information, articles, and ideas to help us all enjoy our Two-Lane Lifestyle even more.
Our magazine’s character though comes from our columnists. Each one a resident from Central West Virginia, many of our columnists were merely waiting to bloom. They all believe an enjoyable life includes laughter and challenge, learning and fun. They’ve been sowing the seeds of learning and experience, and in Two-Lane Livin’s premier issue, we present a wonderful group of writers -- many public for the first time.
We hope our readers will benefit from our articles by leading healthier, happier, more active lives, of course. Still, Two-Lane Livin’ can’t be all serious. Central West Virginia isn’t the ‘depressed’ place outsiders make it out to be. We enjoy life. We have wonderful musicians and beautiful parks. We enjoy the sight of wildlife on a regular basis, like deer preparing to mate in our back yards. (See photo.)
So, come along inside. There’s something here for your entire family. Learn with us, grow with us, and play with us. We’re already neighbors, so let’s be friends. Two-Lane Livin’ is produced by folks just like you. We found reasons to smile, reasons to feel good about ourselves, and we want you to have a part of it.
We want to make connections, learn and grow, embrace our lives here, laugh a little -- and we want to bring all of you along. Life is about what’s between the lines, not just what’s written upon them. That’s the two-lane lifestyle, and this, is Two-Lane Livin’.
Postscript, 2020: Two-Lane Renaissance, rising from the ashes of Two-Lane Livin is based on the same goals and themes.