Cover, premiere issue of Anacortes Magazine, April 2012
Mockup magazine cover that never was
And now you know … the rest of the story. It was 2011 when How It Works founder Chris Terrell approached me with the idea of writing articles for a new publication titled “Anacortes Magazine.” I jumped at the chance to be part of this exciting new project, agreeing to write a few articles and submit a few photos. Included on the list of stories for the April 2012 issue was an article about my website, AnacortesToday.com. For a brief moment, a mockup cover of the new magazine featured a photo of me with my camera. But then the wiser decision prevailed: I was bumped as “cover boy” by talented musician Jacob Navarro. Attached you will see both “prototype” and actual cover designs. The following is the AnacortesToday.com article tucked away inside:
The year was 2003, and the Internet was not yet a universally shared passion. But at the prompting of How It Works founder Chris Terrell, photographer Steve Berentson launched a photo journal titled AnacortesToday.com.
Berentson acknowledges with a smile that he’s missed a day or two along the way. But nine years and more than 4,000 images later, his commitment to the digital chronicle still finds him swinging the strap of his camera bag over his shoulder each time he leaves home.
“I would use the expression labor of love,” said Berentson of the website, “but the reality is I love posting daily images that reflect life in and around Anacortes. From the Cap Sante panorama to Homecoming Parade, trail walk to Chamber of Commerce meetings, AnacortesToday gives me opportunity to share glimpses into the life of a very special American community.”
Berentson is a fourth generation Skagit County native born in 1952 in the hospital once located where the city library stands today. Childhood memories include walking from his 33rd Street home to Mt. Erie School on an unpaved street. Ace of Hearts Creek ran through the family’s back yard, and Sunday afternoons were often spent at Grandpa and Grandma Berentson’s large home next to the Lutheran Church on “O” Avenue.
“I had an awesome childhood, years that I have come to appreciate even more as I grow older and compare notes with others who were not as fortunate,” said Berentson.
Circumstances took his family away from Anacortes in 1960 but Berentson said he always knew he would return to his hometown, and he came full circle in 1980. A photography hobby during college years turned into a profession/obsession during a journalism career that included 10 years of work for Wallie Funk at the Whidbey News-Times.
“Wallie had a passion for photojournalism,” said Berentson, “and he encouraged all of his writers to hone their photography skills as well. It was very difficult for me to set the camera aside for a while when I went to work as a staff writer for the Skagit Valley Herald in 1980.”
“I still love talking to people of all ages and backgrounds,” said to self-employed PR consultant, “and I still get great satisfaction out of opportunities to take a photo of new friends and acquaintances.”
Look to a recently redesigned AnacortesToday.com and you will see clear evidence of Berentson’s heart for Anacortes and his fellow Anacortesans.
“Time flies when you’re having fun,” said Berentson. “I love the redesign the How It Works crew has done, and as always I’m looking forward to framing up tomorrow’s images.”
“I’m grateful to a city full of people who invariably say ‘yes’ to my request for a photo … to being part of the AnacortesToday adventure. It’s been a great run, and there’s no end in sight.”
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
Photos are available for use as prints and online use. Please contact me for pricing.
$12 for 5 X 7 inch archival print, mailing included.