Community

The Last Word

from the InFocus Magazine Team

My dog’s muzzle is grey. Really grey. And I don’t remember when that happened. I am sure my other dog, who is 14 and deaf, would have a grey muzzle too if you could see it through her white fur. This may seem like an odd analogy for the passing of time, but it is just one more reminder of how quickly time passes—and we can’t do anything to stop it. But one thing we can do is slow down and enjoy. Stop and smell the roses, as they say. So that is my new motto, and that is exactly what I am going to try to do.

You hold in your hands the final issue of InFocus. After 24 years—more than half my lifetime—and 195 issues, we are moving on. My mom and right hand for every single one of those 195 publications, is retiring, and I am excited to put more attention into my busy graphic design business, our farm and my family—toddler son and aging pets included.

There are not enough words to thank you, the people in this community, for embracing InFocus like you did. When we started in 1993, the concept of a magazine-style publication was a foreign one around these parts. But we had great support right from the get-go, and I am forever grateful for those who took a chance on an unseen publication and concept. We hope we have done you proud.

Special thanks also have to go out to all the wonderful local people who have contributed to InFocus along the way, including our current roster of wordsmiths, Kenzie Andrews, Debbie Bowman, Laura Busheikin, Kerry Hale, Terri Perrin and Kendra Quince. As an editor, I was blessed with having faith in the talents of my writers to do justice to each and every story they were assigned, and I was very rarely disappointed. And of course to Boomer Jerritt, who set an impossible standard for quality photography right from the first issue. I am very grateful he walked into our makeshift home office that day more than 24 years ago to apply for the job of staff photographer. InFocus would not have been the same without his talented eye and insightful photographs.

And to my mom, Nancy, who as mentioned above has been my right hand for 24 years. As I stayed tucked behind my computer she was often the face of InFocus, and we could not have had a better ambassador. I am so fortunate to have the relationship we do, and to have been able to work so closely with her all these years (even though I am sure she wanted to bail on me many, many times!) But that is the thing about moms—they support you in everything and have nothing but your best interests at heart, even if it is sometimes at their own expense.

Which brings me back to stopping to smell the roses—I am looking forward to the extra time and freedom to be there for my three-year-old son, and teach him to follow his dreams as I have done. Time flies by and life is precious, as our whole family has learned this year in particular. Make time for the people and things you love, and do what makes you happy. Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. Don’t be afraid to choose wisely.

For now, farewell. You can read more about our journey with InFocus in this issue. Thanks for the memories Comox Valley.

~ Tyra Lewis, Editor / Publisher

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One of the first people I met when I started selling the advertising for InFocus Magazine was a very experienced older man who was responsible for the advertising for his business in Courtenay. I still remember his words, “This is a good magazine, but I wonder what you will find to write about in six months’ time.” Well, that was 24 years ago, and over many months, countless issues of InFocus, and many more visits with this gentleman (who, by the way, turned out to be one of our most loyal advertisers)—we have never run out of ideas for articles. The Comox Valley is a very unique community. We are fortunate to have a climate that allows us to ski, swim, hike, play, fish, golf—often all in the same day!

I have also been fortunate to meet and engage with so many people involved in every aspect of business in the Comox Valley. Over the years, I have seen many businesses come and go—changing the face of Downtown Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland. Some of my advertisers have retired, many have revamped their businesses to change with the changing times. I’m always sorry to see some of my advertisers leave, always concerned about how the change will affect the downtown core, and always amazed that the new stores fit in so well with the overall scene.

Many of the stories you read in InFocus come from suggestions given to me by people I come in contact with during my travels around speaking with people about advertising. They are always taken back to the office for discussion, and many great articles have come out of those suggestions.

I have made many lasting friendships with my advertisers—relationships I will always cherish. Some of our advertisers have been with us for the entire time, and I have enjoyed discussions with them about so many things other than advertising. I will miss working with them and seeing them on a regular basis. I would like to thank each and every one of them for the support they have shown to us over the years—they have been a pleasure to work with.

~ Nancy Newsom, Advertising Manager

 

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