By Vicki A. Brady
In 2008, my husband Terry and I, moved to St. James, Missouri to retire. With four of our eight children still at home, we had a fairly active retirement. Back then, I used to pick up The Kaleidoscope Weekly each Thursday at our local grocery story. I loved the puzzles and the heartwarming stories about the community. One day, I saw an advertisement for local authors to write for the paper. Having published a couple of books and numerous magazine articles, I contacted the owner, and offered to write for the paper. I had the idea of putting together a parenting column each week to help parents with suggestions and ideas that had helped me through the years. Rather than being paid, I traded my column for horse training ads for one of my daughters. On January 6, 2011, the first Just A Mom column was published in The Kaleidoscope Weekly . Little did we know where that column would lead us.
A Great Adventure
In 2012, I purchased the paper with six of my children, as a family business. Ben and Lindsay Brady took on the publisher mantle and, under their leadership, we grew from five communities to 16. In 2017, Helen Burch assumed the duties as publisher, expanding our coverage to 19 communities and online.
Over the past seven and a half years, through the paper, we have been honored to meet the most amazing, interesting, inspiring men, women, and children in our community. Veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and current conflicts, have been the most inspiring. Their selflessness, courage, and humility left marks on us all, never to be forgotten. Teens baking cupcakes to raise money for cancer victims, volunteers organizing marathons for veteran support services, and business owners donating time, money, and services, every time they were asked, were all stories needing to be told. It was an honor to meet these people and be called upon to write about such heroes.
Time to Retire
“All good things must come to an end,” Chaucer, 1374. During the years of owning the paper, many changes have taken place in our family. Three daughters and a son got married and eight grandchildren were born, with another two on the way! And if grandchildren don’t change your life, nothing will!
In October, after my husband’s tenth heart stent, (and the doctors warning that a trickier one was imminent,) I began to pray about retiring. The answer was: it’s time!
Words cannot express how grateful we are for so many people that have worked with us these many years. We could not have done it without our editor, Randi Fetters. I made a deal with her from the very beginning. If I could write three columns or articles in a row, without needing any edits, she was allowed to quit! Well, that never happened. She has faithfully edited the paper these many years, making all of us better writers in the process. Thank you, Randi.
We are also grateful for our columnists, especially Emily Brickler, the Managing Director of Leach Theatre. Her Art Matters column informed, entertained, and inspired our readers, setting the bar very high for columnists to follow. We are also very grateful for our advertisers and sponsors. Because of their investment, our readers have been able to enjoy The Kaleidoscope Weekly as a free paper.
Personally, I am grateful for my husband and children. Their support, hard work, patience, and sacrifices were the foundation of The Kaleidoscope Weekly.
Finally, I am grateful to God for such an incredible opportunity. Although The Kaleidoscope Weekly is considered a “secular” paper, our first issue as owners included a new column, True Stories of Faith. Each week we were able to print true accounts of God meeting the needs of people in amazing ways, and surveys have shown that True Stories of Faith has been the most popular section of our paper.
Once my husband is in good shape, I see lots of babysitting in my future; opportunities to invest in the lives of future leaders, wives, fathers, and perhaps, writers. I will also be working on some children’s books in collaboration with one of my daughters. Gardening and coffee with friends is also going to be a top priority.
Although I am retiring, The Kaleidoscope Weekly could continue under new owners with a heart for the community and vision for the future. Contact us for more information at email@example.com.
Vicki A. Brady