From The Editors: January 2024
New Years Rulin's
On Jan. 1, 1943, American folk legend Woody Guthrie wrote up a list of his (now infamous) "New Years Rulin's" (sic) in which he listed all of the ways (33 to be exact) he could hope to improve his life in the new year. And while this list was written 80 years ago, his thoughts are still incredibly relevant — simple, timeless, and universally human.
The very first entry on his list is: WORK MORE AND BETTER. What better goal is there than to do what we love as much as we can and do it the very best we can?
Here at the Reader, we're always reminded of doing our best work in January because of our (now 10th annual) Best of Erie awards. The yearly title of being the "best" comes 100 percent from the citizens of Erie who took the time to nominate and then vote for those businesses, people, places, and products that they feel represent the best of what Erie has to offer. We've reported the results of this year's contest within this issue, and while there are always some surprises and upsets, there are those few who have won their category every single year since we began recognizing the Best of Erie 10 years ago — and it is for those places we give our highest kudos. Thank you for consistently working more and better.
Woody also aims to READ LOTS OF GOOD BOOKS. We agree wholeheartedly with this goal, and as such, we've featured the co-owners of Werner Books and Coffee (Kyle and Lauren) on our cover, within Best of Erie (where they've taken home the win in both Best New Business and Best Bookstore categories this year), and in an interview with Jessica Hunter this month.
Other rulin's include KEEP HOPING MACHINE RUNNING and LOVE EVERYBODY, which are values that our writer Liz Allen highlights this month in her story about an art contest inspired by the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
BANK ALL EXTRA MONEY and SAVE DOUGH are two rulin's Jonathan Burdick can get behind, as he features a number of local, independent historical societies, all of whom are working with very few resources to keep the stories of Erie County's smaller municipalities alive.
The last rulin' on Woody's list is WAKE UP AND FIGHT. Our latest op-ed writer Susannah Faulkner is fully on board with this. She plans to continue to use her voice to encourage everyone to pay closer attention and work for change, as she dives into our latest local political debacle.
This year, whether you have 33 rulin's or just one, we hope that you can take inspiration from all the best that Erie has to offer and use that inspiration to work more and better in 2024.