A magazine dies, its High Point readers move on

“My wife, Hadley, started receiving [the Wilson Quarterly] when she was 15 or so, a gift from her grandmother Ruth, who had read the magazine, I believe, since it was founded, in 1976. In the early ’80s, she and several other women were part of a book club, in High Point, North Carolina. As Virginia Fick, another member, told me, they’d attended a symposium at High Point College called ‘Shakespeare and Women,’ and wanted, Fick said, ‘to read, think about, and discuss new ideas.’ Ruth suggested using the Wilson Quarterly as a basis for their discussions, and so the Wilson Quarterly Study Group was born….

“In 2012, the Wilson Quarterly released its last print issue. It was to become a digital-only publication, they said….  A writer at the Nieman Journalism Lab wondered, ‘If WQ’s readers are print purists — and the cerebral, dense content in the magazine suggests they’re more likely to carry AARP cards than fake IDs — then how likely are they to follow the quarterly into a digital realm?’

“The North Carolina group stopped reading the magazine. ‘They lost us,’ Patricia Plaxico told me. ‘We are from the school that makes notes and highlights.’ The group does still meet, however; members just select articles from other publications.”

— From “On the Wilson Quarterly: 1976-2014” by Paul Maliszewski at n + 1 (Feb. 10, 2014) 


Watch ‘Terminator 2’ — or tour a textile mill?

“I was surprised to find that cinema had not deceived me. An old denim factory really is a funhouse of red exit signs and retractable doors that yank open with the pull of the cord. Terminator 2 really nailed the vats and chains, the smoke, chemicals, and decay. They got the catwalks and metal grates, and most of all the lengthening shadows.”

— From “White Oak Denim, Greensboro” a memoir-cum-social history from Aaron Lake Smith, who spent seven months as a security guard at the country’s oldest continuously-working denim mill (N + 1 magazine, May 27, 2011)

Thanks to the inexplicable vagaries of fashion and a new push to “Buy American,” the Cone plant has made at least a temporary comeback since Smith’s tenure.


‘White residents know little about 1898 coup’

“My impression after living in Wilmington for 16 months is that a significant proportion of white residents know little about the 1898 coup, let alone its deep connection to the current character of the city.

“At [an Occupy Wilmington meeting] the week before the encampment was supposed to start, someone raised the possibility of using the city’s one memorial to the massacre — a practically invisible monument in Brooklyn — as the starting point for the march on City Hall…. The proposal was met with more than one blank stare. What monument? What’s 1898?”

— From “Occupy Wilmington” by Peter C. Baker in N + 1 magazine (December 29, 2011)