Have you read Issue 2 of Chester Magazine – Summer 2016? How about Issue 1 – Fall 2014?

My guess is that many of you are wondering what is Chester Magazine?

According to Chester Magazine, Chester Magazine was created by eight Widener University students in the fall of 2014 and some new students joined in to create the latest edition as part of their Magazine Journalism class. Their goal is to shed light on Chester’s untold stories.

The publication reminds me of the old Chester Spotlight paper by delivering good news and sticking with the Chester stories and people that we should become familiar with. So, who better to provide a review of the new Chester Magazine than the publisher of the old Chester Spotlight?

The Articles

Pages 2-5 feature activity on Ave of the States starting with an overview of what’s going on down there. There’s a full page article on Michael Miller, owner of Open Mike’s Internet Café followed by a 2-page spread on John ‘Abu’ Weathers, better known as Abu the Juice Man.

Pages 6-11 feature Chester artists starting with a 2-pager on Van Buren Payne’s watercolors; a page+ on the Andrew Turner Museum; a column on Valencia Tabron’s abstract art (my H.S. classmate); another column on sculptor Courtlandt Craig; and a column on Devon Walls, the guy at the head of the new art movement.

Pages 12-13 feature our Gates Millennium Scholars.

Pages 14-17 feature the Chester High School basketball team with a couple short stories on the Chester Clipperz barber shop and the Chester Diamondback 15-19 year old travel baseball team. I forgot I contributed photos for the Chester basketball story, so I was surprised to see them on the page – although Kev ‘YesGod’ Thomas deserves credit for one of the photos.

Pages 18-21 feature Chester City’s Park System.

I’ll confess this was my favorite story. We have great parks that are grossly underserved and under appreciated. I wasn’t aware of the planned Chester Creek Trail. That will be a great addition.

Pages 22-23 presents a couple Chester resources for a healthy, happy lifestyle bridging the young and old with a story on Community Hospital’s Healthy Start program supporting expecting mothers, and a story on the Senior Community Services Center located right across the street.

Pages 24-27 feature 8 short articles of city resources and nonprofits working to improve lives.

Page 28 brings us Chester native Al Alberts, the TV personality with the great show featuring talented children entertainers from the area that aired between 1962 to 1994.

Let me tell you my favorite Al Alberts moment from an episode I watched…

A tiny 3 year old little girl came up to tell her riddle. “What do you call a cow with no legs? Ground beef.” Al Alberts completely lost it on live TV. It took everything he had to get it together after that.

Back Cover – The inside back cover promotes the Boundaries and Bridges collaboration between Devon Walls’ Artist Warehoue and Widener University. The back cover displays the three great resources in Chester for Chester businesses – Chester Business Association, Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County, and Entrepreneur Works Delaware County. I wish they could have squeezed in the Widener Small Business Development Center.

Color & Paper

Nothing is more dramatic than a full color publication. The obvious benefit of color is presenting photos in their most life like representation. Chester Magazine takes full advantage by placing at least one photo on each page because a picture is worth a thousand words. They additionally incorporate color artistically to separate content on a page and to give each story its own flavor. Every page you turn brings a vivid new look which makes the magazine as exciting to read as it is to just flip through and scan.

The paper is a rich feeling semi glossy stock that’s durable and attractive and presents the colors perfectly.

Layout

Everything is exactly where you’d expect to see it and easy to find. As soon as you turn the first page, the table of contents accompanied with photos await you making it easy to see what’s in the magazine and where to find it. On the opposite page are all the contributors and contact information which often becomes a scavenger hunt in a lot of publications.

All the stories have a unique color theme and style, bold titles, photos, artsy background, readable and consistent fonts and font size, and generous white space (even though most of it isn’t white). They didn’t cramp a lot of content on the pages that translates into a relaxed reading experience.

Reputation Management

As a student project, these publications aren’t guaranteed a predictable release schedule. And, without advertising support or deep pockets, there won’t be a large circulation of issues on the street. But, they do have a web site.

When anyone talks bad about Chester, all you have to do is show them Chester Magazine. It will help correct the bad reputation of Chester into a good on. Hopefully, one day we’ll be able to print this type of publication on a regular basis for everyone to enjoy.