It was 1994 and I had just purchased my first personal computer. I subscribed to America Online and paid outrageously high hourly fees to chat about spirituality and healing with strangers from across the country. Some of these people became friends. One became my wife.
At some point I realized that the same woman was in both my A Course in Miracles and Reiki chatrooms. Personal chats became long phone calls, and before long I found myself taking my first drive up Interstate 35 from Northwest Missouri to the Twin Cities. I met Rachel and her 6-year-old son Kyle and the three of us spent a weekend exploring the area. Kyle always rode shotgun, and my earliest memory of him was as a passenger sitting behind him. He raised his arms and asked, “Can you help me, mister?” and I stretched my arms around him from behind and tickled him. Rachel served as tour guide, driving us from her Woodbury townhome to Afton, and then we followed the St. Croix Trail north all the way up to Taylors Falls, where I fell in love with Minnesota’s beauty.
The next day we explored St. Paul, visiting Mississippi Market at its former location at Randolph and Fairview. It was there that I picked up a copy of The Edge. Little did I know then that it was my destiny to take that Edge newspaper home with me. By that summer, I had decided to move to Minnesota, and that meant I had to look for work in the Twin Cities. As an experienced journalist, I mailed my resumé to three publications: the Star Tribune (received a rejection letter), the Pioneer Press (received no response) — and, due to my growing interest in spirituality, The Edge.
Two days after mailing my resumés, I received a call from The Edge’s publisher, Gary Beckman, who said his editor was leaving and did I want to talk to him about the position. I said yes. I hopped in my car without checking the weather forecast and was stalled for several hours in a blizzard north of Des Moines. After arriving in Woodbury around 4 a.m., I asked Rachel to call Gary in the morning to delay our meeting. About 11 a.m., still tired from the wintery drive, I met with Gary at his Coon Rapids home and got the job. And then I asked Rachel to marry me.
I moved to Minnesota in October 1995 (during another snowstorm) and my first work with The Edge involved looking over the final edition edited by Lynn LaFroth before it went to press. I was charged with taking over the helm as editor at the start of The Edge’s fourth year of publication.
As hard as it is to believe, The Edge is 25 years old this month. Already mature in magazine years, this publication has seen a lot in its 298 months of life. In the early days before email, contributors mailed in articles that needed to be typed, and faxes came in to me at all hours of the night. The publication’s cover, once only one color, became full color. Its size nearly doubled when we introduced the biannual Edge Directory. The original folded, tabloid-size newspaper in two sections transformed into an easier-to-read stapled magazine. Its companion website became home to many articles we no longer had room to print.
The great change occurred in 2008 when print publications nationally began losing advertising revenue due to the growing footprint of the Internet. Some, like The Rake magazine in the Twin Cities, stopped printing and became digital editions. Others quit altogether. This is when Gary Beckman decided to sell The Edge to me and his lead sales person, Cathy Jacobsen, while continuing to produce Edge Life Expos & Events.
In its life span, The Edge has witnessed the mainstreaming of complementary medicine. Integrative practices like acupuncture, homeopathy, hands-on healing and other natural therapies are now offered routinely to patients in local hospitals. Massage centers can be found in strip malls nationwide.
So, too, has The Edge seen a vast shift in how the public responds to spiritual practices. Mindfulness and meditation have become accepted ways to find personal harmony. Every other Sunday I join my wife, my mom and my two sisters in using colored pencils to personalize mandalas and nature scenes while listening to soothing, hummable songs from Iceland.
And quantum understanding continues to come to the fore through healers, teachers and transformation agents. What was groundbreaking in 1992 is now the foundational bedrock for experiential processes in 2017. Light years seem to separate what we knew then and are coming to grips with now. Study groups that once gathered to listen to the wisdom of angels now hear guidance by cosmic communities of beings who tell us to be in our hearts as we navigate these turbulent waves of change.
Throughout these past 25 years, The Edge has been here to share with you perspectives and insights offered by those who are leading us back to ourselves.
KEEP IT LOCAL
Perhaps the greatest change in the past 25 years of publication has been the ebb and flow of local people who offers tools, practices and products to assist us in living holistically.
With its birth, The Edge gave businesses like Present Moment Herbs & Books, Tao Natural Foods, The Meditation Center and dozens of other small businesses a new, exciting way to be seen by people who embrace what they have to offer. Now, 25 years later, The Edge continues to do the same thing for those and other businesses who find it hard being noticed in a world in which googling is how people find what they are looking for.
The Edge has stayed vital much longer than the average life span of periodicals, in spite of the dire economics affecting all print publications. That is because of the support — and vibrancy — of the holistic community of the Upper Midwest, a group of people who are as dedicated to finding balance, exploring new ways of thinking and being, and staying grounded as anyone, anywhere.
I want to thank all those who helped sell and design this publication over the years. I thank all of our wonderful article contributors. I thank you, the reader, for turning to The Edge for inspiration and education — and I thank you, the holistic business owner or practitioner, for being in relationship with The Edge to communicate with your community. And, as always, Cathy and I always welcome your comments and suggestions on how we can do our job better — in supporting you.