It Takes A Village

Sometimes I think I just don’t understand time,  but Youngstown, in my heart of hearts, I know that you’ve been buried under snow far too long.

Too often I find myself emulating the weather. Frozen, sluggish. Too long I have been buried in my own body, not doing much of anything but sulking.
But enough of that.

We have been a bit frozen, and for that I apologize. Our Eddie Loves Debbie issue is being postponed till Fall semester, but I reckon if you are here, you knew that. While it is a pity it will be a little longer till we get to hold it in our hands, chew through it with our eyes, this doesn’t have to be a completely bad thing. This gives you a chance to send us your story. Our voices have been buried under silence for too long.

I love this place.

I have always loved this place.

Even as a teenager, idling on the street and scowling, even as I cursed it, I loved it. My father is always listing the other options of where else we could have lived. Places he’d prefer. Not being a native Youngstownian (..?) he perhaps is blinded to its brighter better parts. When I’m fighting for sleep I close my eyes and imagine me, if I grew up in those places, and the narrative of my life: Couri in a cowboy hat, one of those pink mesh ones, a large belt buckle, a habit of whistling low and speaking in an overly ornate accent, my thumb hitched in one pocket—Couri tan, with glasses and a cold face. How much of myself is where I come from?

I feel like its a lot.

I feel like I couldn’t be who I am anywhere else but here.

I know I can’t be the only one.

Youngstown is special. In a way it raised me, made me, and that feels special.

And now Youngstown is making the Jenny, and that is mega special. But it can’t be done without you guys, your voices, your stories. It takes a village to make a lit mag. Without your hands, your eyes, your words, we are nothing, and so I thank you, for your attention and contribution, and ask you humbly to please wait with us while we unthaw.

It will be Spring, one day.

-Couri Johnson

P.S. The videos from the most recent reading are up and waiting for you on our youtube page. Check out me being short and  awkward:

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