My Huntington

By Jack Houvouras

Jack Houvouras

 

Our story on the My Huntington Movement in this edition got me thinking. Many of the organization’s goals remind me of why I started this magazine 29 years ago — to showcase what Huntington has to offer, to share the positive aspects of the region and to change the narrative about the city we call home. In fact, it calls to mind the column I wrote in the premiere issue of HQ released in the fall of 1989. After re-reading it, I thought it would be interesting to share with you:

January 1988 was an important time in the formation of the new Huntington Quarterly magazine. It was during this month that the first storm of the winter season swept through Huntington in the early evening, leaving behind an inch of snow over the city. It has long been a tradition of mine to take a walk through the first snow of the season, while the storm is still in progress, as I find it a rare and memorable experience. On this particular day, I found myself walking through the woods near Ritter Park. It was then, as I looked out over the trees and park benches covered in snow, that I realized there was something unique about this city. There aren’t many places, I decided, as beautiful as Huntington in the midst of an evening snowstorm. I walked on, thinking all the while that this is where I would like to make my future.

Starting a magazine in Huntington was purely an extension of my interest in the city. Additionally, I had developed a love for writing over the years which defined, in many regards, what I wanted to be in life. Nothing, I determined, could ever be as fulfilling as the ability to reach others through the art of the written word.

In January of 1989, I began planning what is now the premiere issue of the publication. While talking with my best friend at my apartment, we began brainstorming as to ways we could make such a venture work. We knew that Huntington was a special place, but what we didn’t know was how people in town would react.

In defining the editorial mission of this publication, I took a number of things into account. First, I wanted to entertain and inform readers in much the same manner as any local or regional magazine. In addition, I hoped to use the magazine as a means by which to promote the city. It was my belief that if we, as a city, were able to put out an attractive, well-written, quality-produced publication, the word would get out. There was no reason, I felt, why Huntington could not have a publication of its very own, and the time was right for the magazine, and the city, to break ground and move ahead.

Today, the question concerning people’s reaction to the new venture remains unanswered. The success of Huntington Quarterly will be measured by reader response, advertising support and, ultimately, subscriptions. The first checks to Huntington Quarterly have already been mailed in — including one from New York and another from Athens, Greece. The support has been encouraging. I can only hope that it will continue in the coming months. I started this publication for a number of reasons — the greatest of which was my desire to make a contribution. I wanted to give the people of Huntington the chance to feel proud, at least four times a year, about living in this special city. Huntington Quarterly grew out of those dreams. I look now to January 1990, and to the future of the city, with confidence and pride. I challenge each of you to join me.

 

Looking back, it’s reassuring to know that a new generation of Huntingtonians shares the same sentiments about this community that I wrote about nearly three decades ago. And with the help of efforts like those of the My Huntington Movement, I am certain this region will continue to grow and prosper for years to come.   

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