It takes a village

By Nancy Black

Seven hundred. That’s how many editions of White Rock Lake Weekly we have published since our inception in 2009. We’re not only shouting, “Happy New Year!” this week, we’re cheering on our 15th year of bringing family-friendly community news to East Dallas. And I feel we are just getting started!

If you haven’t noticed, we have built a solid team here at White Rock Lake Weekly (WRLW) who pride themselves on bringing our community the best of what we have to offer every week. My business partner, Andy Simpson, likes to call WRLW a buffet; there is something for everyone. “If you don’t like the beets, move on to the potato salad,” he says.

Do you like sports? David Mullen, our ace sports fanatic, brings the world of sports to your fingertips every week with his Mull it Over column. From pickleball to the Super Bowl, he covers them all with a deep understanding of each sport and its rules and history.

Into cooking (like me)? Sara Newberry brings her original recipes to these pages, tempting readers with her unique flavor combinations and creations. Dr. Beth Leermakers offers an inside view into all creatures great and small as our resident animal expert. Shari Goldstein Stern, a legend unto herself in East Dallas, entices readers with her theatrical reviews of local theater productions. William “Bubba” Flint is our fabulous editorial cartoonist, and he is always spot on in his amazing drawings. I look forward to receiving his funny and sometimes poignant artwork each week.

But it’s not just what’s on the page each week that matters. The people who work behind the scenes at WRLW are what make it run like a well-oiled machine. The amazing person and graphic artist Ashley McKnight brings our ads and special Dine the Rock and Shop the Rock sections to life each week. Our very own “Scrabble Genius” (yes, it’s a real thing) Pat Sanchez scrutinizes each and every word, number and line on the page every week as our long-time Copy Editor. And my personal secret weapon is Karen Kliewer, my super-smart dear friend and confidant. She reads my editorials even before Pat.

And then there is Andy. Andy Simpson is the whole reason this humble community newspaper exists. Not only did he conceive of the idea, he has created a distribution system to rival big town publications. We have more than 400 distribution locations in East Dallas, and he manages them all with his own team of heroes: Jorge Olvera, Billy Griffin and Mark Alonzo. Every Thursday those devoted men are out delivering the papers, regardless of the weather.

Of course, there would be nothing to deliver if it weren’t for our friends at Greater Dallas Press (GDP). Not counting when we all shut down for COVID or the week the ink literally froze at the printer’s because of the state-wide power outages in Texas, GDP has always delivered a beautiful final product for our readers to enjoy.

I have not forgotten the most important part of WRLW — our readers. If you all were not picking up the paper each week and cheering us on, we would not have survived the ups and downs of the harsh publishing world. Thank you for being a part of our family.

Fifteen hundred. That is how many issues we will have published if (when!) we celebrate another 15 years. It will be the year 2038. Wow! That is hard to comprehend. But I guess in 2009, when we started the paper, the year 2023 seemed just as far away. 

Who knows what the future will bring? That’s why we have to celebrate today! 

Happy New Year!