Volume III, No. 1, Fall 1975
They say the third time's a charm. If so, this, our third year, promises to be the best yet!
For four of us, the third year holds a special significance. Suzanne, Terry, Jenny and myself are the last members of the original staff. We have been involved with Bittersweet and watched it grow from the very beginning. I must say, the growth has been quite satisfying. Not only the growth in numbers--from 0 subscriptions to over 2,000 (I sold the first one)--but also the growth in professionalism. Compare a copy of our first issue to this one and you'll see what I mean.
We've also grown ourselves. The valuable skills learned in photography, writing, layout, business and publicity are far overshadowed by what we have learned through personal relationships with one another and with our contacts. We--and all other staff members, past, present and future--owe Bittersweet a lot.
Being editor is a challenge. I'm always being asked for advice, ideas, suggestions. And being in charge requires making more decisions.
The new staff and editors aren't the only changes, however. As many of you have surely-noticed, we've discontinued our wrap-around covers. Though we received many letters from readers who liked that style (we did too), it limited us too much in the pictures we could use. Our new format (a picture about an article on the front, a seasonal photo on the back) should be just as pretty.
Teresa was very busy during May, designing a new brochure. We think it's more professional (not to mention better looking), and better describes what Bittersweet is all about.
Most of you probably got your last issue without the customary plastic mailing bag. That isn't a change; we simply ran out. Sorry about that.
A change we are quite excited about is the move to our newly-completed high school. We now have a darkroom right around the corner and can do our developing work without running over to someone's house. Also, everyone interested in darkroom techniques is able to participate.
Many people also participate in mailing. If by some chance you don't receive your copy please let us know and we will see that you get it.
FROM THE PENS OF OUR READERS
BITTERSWEET is a great magazine. It keeps me on end for hours. I read it over and over. Keep up the good work. I will send a donation of five dollars per month for as long as I can. Thanks again for the hours of good reading.
Just a thank you to you for the fine magazine sent to Farber Branch Library. We have an enthusiastic group of Senior Citizens who use a number of your articles for their monthly programs.
Of course I don't know you, but I sure do feel as though we were acquainted. I have enjoyed your work a lot and hope you can keep it going. One question--what were the names of some of the wood used in the making of the water wheels? I know there was a very hard wood used and especially under water. Accept my little extra money and use it as you see fit.
It seems that just about any hard wood was used. We have been told that bald cypress, oak, ash and hickory were all used.
Congratulations for Putting out such a fine magazine. I'm constantly impressed that high school students can accomplish so much so competently. The magazine looks more professional all the time, and the summer issue is perhaps the best yet. The "Into the Dye Pot" page is very handsome. And thanks for running the collection of old snapshots; they stir up memories--they're so much like the old, brown photos stored away in a box in our own attic.
Princess Anne, MD.
Dear Bittersweet Staff:
May I again say I really like the BITTERSWEET publication and would like to tell you some of
the things I'd like to see in forthcoming issues: detailed and comprehensive study on quilts and
quilting with old and new patterns; an article on water witching or dowsing for wells; articles on
flowers from Grandmother's flower garden and herbs; study on basket making, weaving, types of
baskets, uses and materials used and antique collections; articles on plants used for "greens" in the
spring and how to identify them; article on rail splitting and stake and rider fences; articles on
springs and their locality; and on churches and old cemeteries.
Sorry I've taken up so much time, but would be interested in these. I "plug" for your publication all the time and certainly hope it continues to be as well written in the future as in the past.
Articles on churches and cemeteries are in this issue (pages 24 and 46), and we are presently doing research on greens, quilting and baskets. Thanks for the suggestions. Does anyone else have ideas for stories we might do?
Dear Mrs. Massey:
You are to be congratulated on the total excellence of BITTERSWEET--content, make-up and consistent quality. And since I'm a genuine hillbilly, I enjoy all the articles about the older ways of living and doing things. I have childhood memories of Grandmother tanning a deerskin (she used ash-hopper lye) so that we could see how it was done, and of making tallow candles in her old mold (oops, but they were a smelly mess'), and of mother planting a row of cotton in the garden so we could see how it looked growing in a field. With Mother's mother living with us on the Old Home place near Leslie Arkansas which Father's family had homesteaded, all the returning and visiting old settlers included us. The tales I've heard' What a shame they weren't written down while still fresh in memory.
Lois Merrill Griffin
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.