Founder’s Forum: Print Edition Returns As Founder Semi-Retires

JB Lester

As August winds down, I can be found recycling old papers from our office in Webster Groves and getting ready to shut down the office completely in September. This is all part of my retirement from publishing that has covered almost 45 years between the Webster-Kirkwood Times and The Healthy Planet magazine. In between there somewhere was also St. Louis Health Magazine that my wife Niki and I published for about 6 months. It is safe to say that publishing is in my blood.

Now it is time to pass the baton to my friend and colleague Susan Hunt-Bradford, who has brought The Healthy Planet magazine back to print with this September edition. It has been 2 1⁄2 years since we last had a print edition. It warms my soul to see that THP is back in print and can once again be held by hand and read anywhere you want to take it. The hiatus due to the Covid pandemic was tough on all of us, including Healthy Planet readers. Even though we have had a popular website over the past two years, there is no mistaking that people love the print edition. Well, rejoice, THP is back and can be picked up at your local supermarket and a variety of other spots around the St. Louis area.

I will continue to help Susan by working on the online edition and advising as best I can on a part-time basis. I still have a love for the magazine even though I am retiring. I still need to stay relevant while taking more time off. All retirees need to stay busy and relevant if they want to keep their sanity. I can’t wait to see how Susan does with the magazine — how she makes it her own and works to bring it back to mirror its glory days. If anyone can do it, Susan Hunt-Bradford can. She is a dynamo.

While I spend more time sitting on my porch and watching the goldfinches gnaw at the fading purple coneflowers, I will be remembering all the great years I have had in publishing. So many great editions, so many great staff people and clients who I really grew to know and admire. In 25 years at The Healthy Planet magazine, there was never a day that I wished I were doing something else for a living. I have been so fortunate to have worked on my college paper, then started a community paper and founded a magazine as popular as The Healthy Planet. And it looks like the readers are in store for many more months of The Healthy Planet to come. It has been a pleasure to serve the thousands of readers that have come my way over the years. Please continue to read and then recycle the Healthy Planet magazine, your source for healthy and green living. I know I will be an avid reader!

Fondly, J.B. Lester; Founder