Thank You & Good Luck | A letter from former Northsider publisher Worley Rodehaver
I want to thank the Northsiders who came to a party arranged for me by Maureen Wood in October. I thought maybe some of you who saw me drifting about in Northside during the last 20+ years might be interested in what it was that I “really” was doing.
When you are in media you are an “outsider”. You are an observer. You cannot be part of what is going on because it is your responsibility to report on things good and bad. I only strayed from that observer role two or three times during my years in the media. Even thought I retired and am no longer publishing the Northsider, media junkie that I am, I still publish GLBT News. I am doing that because back several years ago I promised people in the GLBT Community I would publish GLBT until I was unable to do so. Here is why.
June Delph was a Realtor at the time and was one of my advertisers in Uptown News. I was advised that she was going out of business to care for her son who was coming home from California with AIDS.
That seemed like something people should know more about, there was no GLBT paper in the city at the time, so I felt there should be one and I had everything I needed to start one.
I have never made much money publishing papers and finding advertisers for a gay paper in the mid-90’s was like trying to sell ads in a subversive publication. I was limited to a few gay-owned businesses, etc.
I wasn’t making a very good living with Uptown News and I was losing money in GLBT News so I gave up and shut it down. But, then Matthew Sheperd was hung on a fence, pistol whipped and left to die. I went to a candlelight service at UC (with my camera–always carry my camera) and when candles were being lit, I swung around and shot a couple behind me. When I developed the photo it was a boy and girl, hugging each other and crying.
Money or not, back came GLBT News with that pledge not to quit. Since that time there have been several other publications enter the market mainly focusing on the bar scene, but GLBT News continues with a broad community focus.
I have published several papers, down through the years, worked for two dailies and for 10 years edited the Episcopal Diocesan paper, The Interchange. During those years I learned to do layouts, I had been doing photography since junior high and had set up my own darkroom. I interviewed people, wrote stories and then put the whole thing together for the printer.
In the early 80’s I left the diocese. Since that time I have done a singles publication, a religion forum, the Appalachian Connection, Uptown News, Walnut Hills News and The Northsider.
When I first obtained The Northsider, then called On the Avenue, Peggy Weyand did the layout and most of the editorial content for the publication but she moved on to work for a local church.
I have been involved one way or another in distributing all the papers I have published. I drove delivery as far as Dayton with the Singles paper, and delivered Uptown News for a while by myself.
Boy Scouts, a local civics class and individuals delivered The Northsider (and Uptown) for a couple of years then I organized high school students. I would guess upwards to 50+ students helped down through the years. I drove the delivery vehicle to make sure the paper was delivered. We even used two-way radios to keep in touch as delivery went along.
For some time Barb Boylan helped schedule teens each month. Karen Halaszyn came on board as sales rep for the Appalachian Connection and since then has worked with all my publications. Joe Wilks, who started off as my shadetree mechanic (I couldn’t afford repair shops) continues with me today as driver/delivery person.
So, until I retired from The Northsider and gave it to council at no cost I did the layout, most of the photos, most of the editorial content, went to Dayton to pick it up and delivered it with the help of Northsiders. By the way, I had a printer in London and then in Connersville, Indiana (an overnight stay), then in Tipp City and now just south of Dayton.
I wish community council the best of luck as they continue publication of The Northsider. I hope they do not have the ongoing money challenges I had.
BY Worley Rodehaver