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Mountain Home Magazine

Back to the Future at Mountain Home

Jul 26, 2019 02:30PM
by Michael Capuzzo


Here at Mountain Home offices at 39 Water St., Wellsboro, from the porch over the creek, my wife Teresa Banik Capuzzo and I are very happy to announce that we’re going back to the future—back to our roots. Staring August 1st, Mountain Home will once again be published out of 39 Water St., instead of 87-1⁄2 Main Street, where we operated the magazine out of a small art gallery for a couple years, but found running a separate business was distracting us from our core purpose.

The main objective of the gallery was to promote the wonderful local and regional artists and photographers who help make Mountain Home and life in our towns on the borders of two states so appealing, like Bernadette Chiaramonte, who we featured in our gallery last month (going out with a bang), and many times on our pages and website. We’ll still be doing both like we have since 2005, telling great stories and promoting our photographers and artists like Bernadette.

A little history might make it clearer why we’re so excited to be returning to first principles. Every family has a history, and I think all of us in the Mountain Home family, readers, advertisers, staff, and contributors, can be proud of our shared story. What to call it? Strange? Unlikely? A minor miracle?

We published the first issue of Mountain Home magazine fourteen years ago this December, right from Water Street, as newcomers to this nineteenth century house with a mysterious past including an alleged Civil War ghost. We hung a shingle out on the porch and as Philadelphians moved to the country, Teresa’s hometown, we adjusted to the cacophony of the neighborhood.

The burbling of Kelsey Creek became a spring roar, then the winter silence of ice. O Come, All Ye Faithful sounded from the tower of the First Presbyterian Church that first Christmas, and church bells rang throughout the town. Our neighbors walked by with a friendly wave enroute to the art club, or the library. My brother-in-law, the tall lawyer, strolled mornings to the courthouse. Main Street a block away, and the hazy green view of the Wynken, Blynken, and Nod statue on the town Green, seemed another world.

It seemed such wholesome Americana, but it was a radical thing we were doing, we now realize. As former journalists at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where I was a feature writer, and Philadelphia Magazine, where Teresa was food editor and restaurant critic, we had our share of city biases: newspapers were dying, print was dead, people don’t have time to read. But then the brilliant Wellsboro artist Tucker Worthington, another Philly transplant with his art in museums, started designing our magazine, and lawyers and pastors, waitresses, fishermen, hunters and factory workers, widows and teenagers and centenarians, college professors and liberals and conservatives and libertarians and anarchists, atheists and god- fearing Baptists came in the door and wrote and photographed and talked and painted and told their story, our stories, the great human story, something of a song of the Twin Tiers, and showed they were lies, those city truths.

But you know the tale if you’re a regular reader. You know that Mountain Home grew almost overnight to 100,000 readers and hundreds of loyal advertisers from the Finger Lakes to central PA. With Teresa at the helm, Mountain Home has been recognized as one of the best magazines in the country by the International Regional Magazine Association and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, who together have bestowed 120 awards on Mountain Home for excellence in journalism, a passel of them most every year since we hung our shingle.

The challenge of life is to do it a little better every day, and we’re pleased to say we’ll be doing what we’ve done since 2005 with more focus than ever—if we can block out the distractions of church bells, neighbors waving howdy, and the burbling creek.