Publisher’s Corner

Celebrating Our 16th Birthday with a Return To Mayberry

I used to turn on the news first thing in the morning while getting ready to go to work. Being a journalist, it is part of my DNA to catch up on the latest events of the day. But lately I have taken a break from the reality of bombings, wars, murders and political strife in Washington. It became too much for my often-optimistic persona. So I have decided to return to Mayberry for some R and R. Reruns of The Andy Griffith show are helping me repair my skewed sense of humanity. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of drama in Mayberry. Deputy Barney Fife loaded his one bullet into his gun the other day and Andy almost got shot. But alas, ceiling tiles met their doom. And Aunt Bee went to Montpelier to care for a cousin and Andy and Opie had to fend for themselves for a week. The biggest crime wave in Mayberry deals with moonshine stills and a drunk named Otis. Or occasionally a flim-flam man passing through town selling snake oil. And when there is wisdom needed, Floyd the barber is there with his mindful oratories. I suppose it’s naive of me to think our world could ever be like Mayberry. And I know I will return to CNN and FOX news sometime soon. But for now I am going down to the soda shoppe for a root beer float. Then maybe I will join Andy and Opie for a sit on the porch swing. Maybe Andy will play his guitar for me and help sooth my news weary soul. Andy will smile ear to ear and say to me, “Howdy stranger.” And I will say, “Howdy Andy.” And all with be fine and dandy!

Speaking of a return to simpler times. Have you heard about the hands-on sustainable workshops offered in Bourbon, MO just 70 miles from St. Louis? Dan and Deborah Payne of Environmental Energy Consultants are taking pages out of Mother Earth News and helping people learn the skills that helped our forbearers get by a century ago. You can learn how to construct shelters using straw bales, cordwood and earth bags. You can also learn how to make cheese, soap, baskets, natural paints, a living roof and even a cob oven. And there will be workshops in solar electricity and survival skills, too. See story on page 5.

The Healthy Planet turns 16 this month. We have published 192 monthly magazines in just over a decade and a half. It has been our pleasure to be St. Louis’ source for health, wellness and green living. I have been in publishing for 35 years including my time as co-owner of The Webster Kirkwood Times. And the best part is, I am doing exactly what I love. Some people build model airplanes or china cabinets, and I build publications. I love the challenge. Like a 1000 piece puzzle, we take all the pieces and put it together each month in a package we hope you enjoy. We value our relationships with all our advertisers, our vendors and our readers. And we look forward to many more years of helping you get healthier, happier and “greener.”

I got to play Bellerive Country Club on Earth Day, April 22 as part of media day for the upcoming 74th Senior PGA tournament May 21-26. I got to ask Steve Finn, Asst. Executive Director of the PGA Gateway Section if golf is getting “greener”. He told me that every golf club he knew has a recycling program and an ongoing plan for water conservation. Rees Jones, who managed the 2005 renovation of Bellerive, heads a design company committed to environmental stewardship. Golf is getting greener, one birdie at a time. Look for a future Healthy Planet article, “The Greening of Golf” in an upcoming issue. To purchase tickets to the Senior PGA tourney at Bellerive visit www.spga2013.com or call 1-800-PGA-GOLF.

Reporting From Mayberry ,J.B. Lester; Publisher