Looking Back With a Vision to the
Future: A Letter from the Editor
The Fun Times Magazine recently celebrated 31 years of seeing progression and change by moving forward to serve the businesses of south central Oklahoma, and what a journey it has been! The old saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention,” and that was never truer than with the birth of the Fun Times Magazine.
In 1984, I owned a bed and breakfast in the heart of the Arbuckles and needed an effective and cost-efficient method to market the business. During this time, I picked up a tabloid paper in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and a vision was hatched. Surely there were other area businesses that had the same need. Perhaps we could pool our money and achieve a common goal? By spring of the next year, tourism-related establishments had joined me and a publishing project was underway. The “sales office” was the top of my washing machine and “sales calls” were made between serving breakfast and cleaning rooms! The first edition of the Fun Times was a tabloid size newspaper with one color, 12 pages and a print order of 10,000 copies. The Fun Times is now a full color, all gloss magazine, with as many as 100,000 copies printed in a year.
To coin another phrase, “ignorance is bliss." Sometimes it is better not to know what you don’t already know. I had no journalism training or a clue as to what I had stepped into. I did know that I enjoyed visiting with the businesses in the area and working to promote them as well as this beautiful area known as the Arbuckles. I loved meeting visitors to the area and potential visitors needing information to plan a vacation. I learned along the way about printing, graphics, layout, copywriting and editing, circulation, and distribution.
More fulfilling than all of that, I got to better know my advertisers and the dreams they had for their businesses. I experienced the excitement of start-up entrepreneurs and that energy helped recharge those who were discouraged. Networking businesses together was an added joy. These aspects of the business side of Fun Times Magazine are still a delightful blessing and being a small part of helping businesses grow is a tremendous satisfaction.
I am very appreciative of the enterprises that came on board with me when this was just a vision. Many of those are still with me over three decades later. Each year I meet new advertisers, as well as catch up with friends that continue to market their business through the Fun Times. These long-standing partnerships are a blessing to me and I value and am honored by the trust they place in me. The mission that was the seed that started it all is still the driving force…to promote the area and the businesses in the Arbuckles and to welcome and inform our guests about this beautiful piece of God’s earth that we inhabit.
I am grateful to family, friends, the advertisers and our readership for riding along with me for these 31 years and counting. It has taken a village to raise this 'child' and it could not have been done without the contributions of so many. Fun Times Magazine is looking forward to many more years of moving tourism forward in the Arbuckles.
LaQuita Dayton, Publisher