When I was a child, I would often spend days helping my aunt at the farm. The family had four boys, so an extra girl for the garden/canning was helpful. At noon, my uncle and cousins would come in from the field and while we had lunch, the radio would go on and we would listen to Paul Harvey tell a story. Harvey would always draw us in with “Here’s the Rest of the Story.”
When Bill Bruns was editor of the Palisadian-Post, he oversaw special monthly issues that provided important income at the weekly newspaper. Regular advertising income always declined during the summer as people went on vacation, but the Post could always count on its Fourth of July parade program.
“That issue was a big money maker for us,” Bruns said. “It really saved our bottom line every summer.” Generally, before expenses a decade or so ago, advertising revenue totaled more than $30,000.
The Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PABA) organizing committee was happy to have someone do all the leg work, securing advertisers, interviewing and writing stories, supplying the photos and printing and mailing the issue.
After the Post was sold to a local resident in 2012, PAPA President Daphne Gronich was trying to raise funds for the parade in 2014. She wondered if the new owner, Alan Smolinisky, would consider donating some of the parade program advertising dollars to PAPA.
This naïve editor said, “I’m sure he’d consider it.”
Gronich met with Smolinisky, and he told her “No.”
Scott Wagenseller, the CEO of Gates Security and a PAPA board member, said, “We could publish it ourselves,” meaning PAPA and the American Legion. At the time I was producing a monthly paper for Ronald Reagan Post 283 and Scott was the commander. I remember telling him, “Do you know how much work it would be for one person?”
Undeterred, the plan went ahead that PAPA would publish its own parade program (with yours truly as editor) and any money after expenses would be retained by PAPA.
Kendy Veazie, a prior advertising employee at the Post, who had been let go by Smolinisky, was hired to sell ads.
It was not easy. The Post threatened Veazie with a lawsuit. This editor was tasked with writing stories and doing the layout, while also hiring reporters who had been terminated at the Post. Somehow the program materialized, and a small profit went to PAPA that year.
PAPA has continued to produce its own program every year, even as the Post publishes its own 4th of July edition. The money advertisers spend at the Post goes directly to the Post. That periodical is mailed only to subscribers.
In contrast, the money advertisers spend on the PAPA publication (after expenses) is retained by the nonprofit, supplying needed funds for the following year. Also, the PAPA parade edition is mailed to every household in Pacific Palisades.
Today and tomorrow, look for the parade program in your mailbox. Extra copies will be available (for free) at Collections Antiques. . .And Books, at 15326 Antioch. The entire parade program, plus bonus pages, will be available on Palisades4th.org.