A colorful collection of Groundwaters newsletter covers.
I’ll wager that some of you may remember picking up free copies of a colorful 32-page magazine called “Groundwaters” at your local library, organization or community store every three months for quite a few years.
They featured wonderful family-friendly stories – fiction, memoirs, nostalgia, essays – and lots of poetry that stirred the heart, all written by local talent. Veneta resident, Judy Hays-Eberts, started the publication in fall 2004 and produced a new issue quarterly – every three months. She distributed it to the communities of Veneta, Elmira, Noti, Cheshire, Lorane, Crow and other nearby areas.
After a few years, however, health issues caused her and her husband, Sonny Hays-Eberts, to make the decision to shut it down.
Four of us who were helping her at the time – Jennifer Chambers, Pat Broome, Jim Burnett and me – offered to take it over and continue this publication that we had come to love. We set it up as Groundwaters Publishing, LLC and in June 2008 it was signed over to us by Judy and Sonny. We negotiated an arrangement with the Applegate Regional Theater (ART, Inc.) to operate under their non-profit umbrella and began producing 700 copies of each quarterly issue. I printed those copies at home on 11 x 17 paper on our dependable HP workhorse printer and we all got together the first part of every January, April, July and October for the next seven years to fold and hand-staple all 700 copies.
We expanded our distribution further to Alvadore, Junction City, Creswell, Cottage Grove and Eugene, thanks to generous donors, and under the 501c3 license, we were able to sponsor writing projects at the local grade schools with grant money we were awarded.
We stopped publishing the quarterlies after the April 2015 issue was distributed due to the increased cost of printing and the fact there were only two of us remaining to produce it. Pat Broome and my brother Jim Burnett, aka “Jiminy Cricket,” were no longer able to continue. Since then, Jen and I gave up our 501c3 status and began producing annual paperback anthologies that were the equivalent of three issues of the magazine.
Why am I giving you this bit of personal history? Because I have been storing multiple copies of those 32 issues in file cabinets and boxes all these years and I’ll no longer have the storage space for them. We’ve been putting together sets of the issues to give to area libraries that don’t already have them, senior centers, and individuals who have asked for them. We still have quite a few copies left that we really don’t want to dispose of if we don’t have to.
Pat Barons, who organizes the annual book sale for the Friends of the Fern Ridge Library in Veneta, has agreed to distribute them at their sale earlier this year on Feb. 11-12, and still available on their “every day” book/magazine sale cart.
There are also quite a few issues in the free box at the Lorane Family Store, too. We are not charging for any of these.
For people who want certain issues that they cannot find, I will be happy to provide PDF files so that they can be read online or printed off individually. Just contact me via email at [email protected] These stories and poems by many of your friends and neighbors need to live on and be enjoyed by as many as possible.
These timeless issues have already provided readers with many hours of enjoyment over the years and can continue doing so. We offer our thanks to you and all of the authors and poets who have shared their talents with us over the years.