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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

PN marks 22 years… What’s the catch?


Catch-as-catch-can…That simple phrase seems to capture what confronts many of us small businesses these days as we try to improvise with supply chain issues, limited means and all the challenges we hope will unite us by paying attention.

Catch-as-catch-can is also why we hope you and other folks read Positively Naperville in print monthly and online daily.

Who’d have thought on Sept. 1, 2001, when this publication launched that our catch phrases “Catch the spirit” and “Catch someone reading PN” would put us in this Catch-22 now?

During a recent brainstorming session to come up with our front cover to recognize our first 22 years as a community publication, Tim and I both found ourselves humored with thoughts of Catch 22, a popular war novel written in 1961 by American author Joseph Hiller.

A “Catch-22” is a provision in army regulations, exemplified by fictional character Captain John Yossarian in Hiller’s satire on battle and bureaucracy. Its title has become a synonym for a contradictory choice.

According to The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, an absurd arrangement that puts a person in a double bind is a “Catch-22.” For instance, business owners who don’t advertise or promote their enterprises may know their business, but nobody else does.

Or consider business owners that go out of business because they don’t advertise. Then when they want to sell their businesses, they advertise. Think about it.

You might say that finding a job in a community we love is why we created Positively Naperville. There’s no catch there.

Our experiences in the mid-1990s with three students in District 204 schools as well as working at Naper Settlement, the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and with many small independent businesses led us to recognize a need to showcase upcoming activities and events. The community was growing and many residents were unaware of all the choices of things to do until after they were covered in the media.

With so many happenings, our aim became to “preview upcoming events rather than review.”

More than a few readers have suggested the style of this publication will never win a Pulitzer Prize. OK by us.

Rather than trying to win prizes, however, PN’s aim always has been to connect the community with positive ways to participate in the challenges that unite us.

Sometimes during the ups and downs after Sept. 11, 2001, that found PN publishers digging in our heels to stay in business, our resilience experienced a tinge of melancholy. While we tried to stay on the bright side of life, our heads were not in the sand. Our losses hurt. But that’s a whole other commentary.

More rambling thoughts…

For 22 years, we’ve tried to avoid hearsay. We pay attention to governing bodies and public meetings. We advocate for public safety.

Readers tell us when they’re fond of certain contributing columnists. We appreciate readers who support local enterprise.

Readers recognize our silly jokes, puns and satire in our ever wonders. Maybe you’ve caught our digital editor’s wit.

More than likely, you also aim to keep this place we call home safe. It’s up to all us.

Let us ramble on to note you likely catch the profundity of the absurdity. One reader said he laughed hard with teary eyes when he read about Einahpets, Stephanie spelled backward. So just what is in a name?

Many times when I hear our digital editor humming away with the Looney Tunes theme song, I flash way back to Saturday morning cartoons with Bugs Bunny. That familiar Looney Tune tells me we’re about to wrap up another month of production and our Positively Naperville files are ready for the presses. Prepared to begin next month, I muse, “That’s all folks!”

Catch the spirit. Thanks for reading!

– Stephanie Penick
PN Publisher

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.