“Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.”
Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road, 1942
In February of 2013, my friend Rose Epperson decided to take a ‘jump at de sun.’ We were sitting in our shared hotel room in Los Angeles for the Landscape Industry Show and I mournfully informed her that I had to pull the plug on my beloved publication. It had been a good go for 17 years, but the economy had finally pulled me down.
I watched in the previous years as more and more addresses came back labeled “PO Boxed Closed,” or “Attempted: Not Known.” I felt each one keenly, especially when they were a small business. I imagined someone holding on a rope or a ledge … and holding, and holding. Until finally, the rope frayed and snapped or their fingers finally gave out and they plunged to their demise.
Well, now I was the one plunging. I worked hard to stay aloft, but the revenue to keep this publication alive came from advertisers who targeted turf and landscape professionals in the Southwest. And that market had shrunk considerably.
But Rose, like many readers, loved the publication. Although it was a huge risk for her small business, EpiCenter Management, she made the leap of faith to get it off the ground again. It took a year of planning and preparation, and we officially relaunched in January 2013.
And we’re still here and planning for 2015! Thank you to everyone who has supported our efforts. All of you who sent in your $30 subscription payment helped tremendously.
Our advertisers are the backbone of this publication, and I’ll ask you again to please look to them first for your product needs. We have some of the best companies in the business in these pages, and they need your support as well!
The Great Recession “officially” began in December 2007 when the housing bubble began to burst and ended in June 2009. But the effects wore on and on and even today, LA Times reporter Scott Martelle recently wrote, “For many, family income and lifestyle have yet to recover – and likely never will … while Wall Street might be soaring, most of the rest of us are not.”
Green shoots are poking through, though. Our annual Desert Green conference had some of the best attendance in years. A lot of folks whose funding for conferences was pulled for years were back! And we saw many new faces as well.
We’re looking forward to an exciting and productive 2015. I am awash with gratitude for this renewed opportunity and thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and the coming year brings abundance and good health to you and yours.