Thank you for blessing us with Common Ground

To the editor:

One of our region’s greatest assests has taken its exit, and in doing so, left scores of us disappointed and saddened — as if we lost an extended member of the family.

For 31 years, Common Ground magazine graced the mind and fed the soul of its patrons in the Juniata River Valley and for that matter, its legions of fans throughout each of the 50 states and abroad.

Pam Brumbaugh and Ruth Dunmire, publishers and editors of Common Ground, provided a detailed profile of life and times in the Juniata River Valley. Their unique publication, more than any other, chronicled our history during the late 20th and early 21st centuries while acheiving, with breath-giving words and photographs, our lives.

Their dedicated service leaves a treasure-trove of information for future generations to reference and use. In short, Common Ground became the ultimate “gold standard” and sociological profile of our era.

With a friendly focus on how we work, play, travel, plant and harvest the fields, study in school or engage the arts, the magazine documented distinctive cultural nuances and geographical beauty only appreciable in central Pennsylvania.

Dunmire and Brumbaugh creatively included readers in the ongoing development of every issue by inviting them to submit photographs, articles and letters to the magazine. One of the most enterprising ways patrons could participate was via the popular “Where in the World is Common Ground?” a travelers expose where folks photographed themselves holding an older copy of Common Ground on site somewhere — anywhere really, in the states or in the world.

Their decision to engage readers in the creation of each issue was pure genius! What better way to ensure diversity in content and to cultivate, well, common ground!

Hundreds of contributors including myself, were fortunate enough to have articles published in Common Ground. We easily shared a communal and cutural pride woven through each issue. Whether writer or reader, we often viewed ourselves as one big family from one large neighborhood.

Some individuals, though, were longstanding contributors who helped map the magazine’s landscape. They clearly deserve to be acknowledged and thanked. Among them are Gib and Joyce Yoder, Claudia Myers, Bill Roddey, Dan McClenahen, Dwayne Rhodes, Alberta Haught Goshorn, Linda Cutshall, Deb Brackbill, Tara Richtscheit and Forest Fisher to name a few.

But it is sad that “all good things must come to an end” and that “to everything there is a season.” Frankly, some endings are not easy to accept. That is, until gratitude forges through. We have been blessed indubitably by Pam Brumbaugh and Ruth Dunmire. The fulfillment of their dream left immeasurable contributions on our lives, among our families and friends and in our communities. On behalf of everybody whose lives have been touched by Common Ground, we thank you.

Steve Dunkle



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