Volume XVII, Issue 29 # July 16 - July 22, 2009

Letter from the Editor

Stories Behind Your Bay Weekly Stories

Every distribution spot has stories to tell: Just ask our drivers

Where did you get your paper this week?

Not from Wal-Mart in Prince Frederick. Five hundred or so Bay Weekly readers were disappointed when they looked in the big-box lobby for their paper. We’ve been tossed out by a new manager — though his predecessor offered us the space because of requests by his shoppers.

If you shop big, Prince Frederick’s Safeway and Food Lion are good places to make your pickup. Lord Calvert Bowl, Calvert Library, Apex Cinema and a dozen restaurants also stock Bay Weekly. We thank them for allowing us space. Even better, we hope you’ll thank them, too.

Bay Weekly reaches you compliments of local merchants. Our distribution partners — more than 500 of them — get no pay for the space they give to Bay Weekly. Your thanks tell that the paper is a benefit to you; you, in turn, benefit them, because most of us pick up a free paper where we’re already doing business and spending money.

It’s a wide circle of connection that’s good for everybody. Here’s how it works, in the words of Tom Tearman, who delivers Bay Weekly’s southern Calvert route.

I was on lunch break July 2 at Solomon’s Pier with my wife, delivery partner and Bay Weekly writer Margaret Tearman, Tom writes.

A man sat down next to us, joined minutes later by his wife, who was happily waving a copy of Bay Weekly. We heard her say “Look, it’s here already,” and they sat reading it together. They laughed, really laughed, when they saw Alexander’s of Annapolis’ lose the fur ad on the back cover. So of course we introduced ourselves.

The couple is from Woodbridge, Virginia. They come down every Friday afternoon to a Solomon’s marina where they keep their boat. Solomon’s Pier is their first stop, he said, so “she can get her Bay Weekly. It’s her routine.” Because of the July 4 holiday, they arrived on Thursday. He wanted to stop for lunch, but she hesitated because she would rather wait until Friday “when Bay Weekly would be there.” He promised her he would “drive back to the Pier on Friday to get the paper.”

Of course we deliver on Thursdays, so here the paper was at Solomon’s Pier waiting for her.

He also spends a day a month in Annapolis doing “boat stuff.” For over a year, she had been intrigued by Alexander’s ads in the paper, so she decided to try it out while he was shopping in Annapolis. Now Alexander’s is part of their monthly routine: He does boat stuff while she gets one or another beauty treatment.

Our Solomons’ readers take the paper back to Woodbridge to share with friends — who also now read Bay Weekly online.

That’s one of the many stories our drivers bring back. Would you like to hear more? Let me know.

Our drivers are interesting stories in themselves. Tom, for example, is the retired division chief of A/V Exhibits for Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

No, Wal-Mart is not in Tom’s territory. Driver Jim Lyles (who’s his own story) made that delivery. Jim’s looking for new homes for those 500 papers. Help him and us by telling me about new places you’d like to pick up your Bay Weekly: editor@bayweekly.com.

       Sandra Olivetti Martin
     editor and publisher