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From the Editor

Anonymity No More

Longtime readers of the Huntington Quarterly will note that this edition is significantly larger than in years past. The average size of the publication over the last 17 years has been 72 pages. By contrast, this issue measures 140. Why? Well, in three words, “We Are Marshall.”

It is my contention that the making of this film will prove to be the single most significant event in the history of both Huntington and Marshall University. And what better way to document something so consequential than with a Commemorative Edition of this magazine devoted entirely to the making of the motion picture?

To any skeptics who might read this and say that a special edition is just a way to cash in on the excitement surrounding the movie, I would respond by stating that this issue will not turn a profit. It will not even break even. In the end, it will lose money.

Even with a modest increase in advertising revenue for this edition, it will not cover the costs to produce a 140 page magazine printed on better quality paper, the higher postal rates resulting from increased weight, the special protective polybag wrapping for our subscribers or the overhead that comes with hiring additional writers and graphic designers.

“It is my contention that the release of this film will prove to be the single most significant event in the history of both Huntington and Marshall University. ”

So why do it? Because some things in life are more important than money. Nothing means more to me at this point in my life than doing my absolute best to publish a magazine that captures one of the greatest years I can ever recall. Nothing means more than contributing in some small way to the release of a film that tells the inspiring true story of our community’s rise from the ashes.

I started this magazine in 1989 as a way to portray Huntington in a positive light. Growing up, I always had a sense that Huntington was special. My feelings were confirmed when I went away to college and traveled to different parts of the country. I would always come home with the knowledge that my little corner if the world was truly unique. On those occasions when I met people from other parts of the country, I typically encountered questions like, “Huntington, is it near Richmond?” or “I’ve never heard of Marshall. Where exactly is that? ”

While Huntington, W.Va. was anonymous to some, it was misunderstood by others. The negative stereotypes about our region and its people were many. I grew weary of people associating our state with films like “Deliverance” or television programs like “The Beverly Hillbillies.” I made a point of choosing a career that would allow me to spread the word about all the good things that reside in this region, and maybe even enlighten a few people along the way. However well intentioned my efforts may have been to date, the positive publicity that will come with the release of “We Are Marshall” will be staggering by comparison. And it is for that reason that I say this motion picture will be the most significant event in our community ’s history.

For the first time, millions of people from around the world will see the heart and soul of this city. Through the film, they will pay witness to our strength and resolve. They will watch as a community bonded by sorrow forges on to honor those lost on that fateful night in November.

They will see that Huntington is the home of good people – people who are educated and proud with a deep sense of caring for one another. They will watch as a football team destroyed by a fiery plane crash rebuilds and becomes the winningest program of the 1990s. It is a heritage we can all take pride in.

In time, our anonymity will lift as more people from around the world associate positive things with Marshall University and Huntington, W.Va. The university will grow and flourish as will the city. And that is something the 75 friends we lost would have surely wanted.





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