The 2021 Bedford Guide ~ Behind the Scenes

November 27, 2020

The Citizen’s first Bedford Guide (The Bedford Guide 2020) was relatively simple.  It was thought that there was so much information about our town scattered throughout the community that a central clearinghouse publication might be helpful. 

We thought if we tried to put our feet in the shoes of a new resident to our town, and asked the question, What would you need/like to know?   Say you just moved to Bedford and had a toddler?  How about a teen? A dog?  If you were retired? Etc. 

There is so much here in Bedford that we thought a Guide would be useful to newcomers as well as to residents who have been here a while.  The original plan was to update it every few years, make some additions and subtractions as necessary, but things don’t change often enough to justify an annual guide.

Then 2020 happened.  It was pretty clear early on that this was not going to be a typical year.    The original idea was to juxtapose what was going on in the world with what was going on here in Bedford, at the local level. 

What was happening here when a pandemic was unfolding across the globe?  

As we worked on the original timeline, searching through The Bedford Citizen web page for stories relating to the pandemic, we kept coming across these stories on how so many different people were trying to make things better. 

One story, in particular, caught our eye: the story included the phrase “Bedford being Bedford” and told about the drive-up food pantry.  It was a eureka moment. We kept coming across these great stories of how all these individuals were finding a way to make our community better.  Feeding the Soul, The Drummer Boy, The Unicorn, the Mask Ministry, the Testing on the Common, etc. 

Variations on these efforts are, I’m sure, repeated in other communities as well as Bedford, but there were some truly extraordinary efforts being put forth in our community. 

We tried to convey all those stories with the pride we felt and many in our town felt as well. We hope you enjoy the Bedford Guide 2021 edition.

People often comment on how professional The Bedford Guide looks, and wonder how it happens. 

Enter Adam Scharff.  Adam was a long-time Bedford resident who happens to run a company that makes Guides.  Not local guides, but big professional guides, The Super Bowl, The US Open Tennis Championship, The Masters Golf Tournament, things like that. 

Adam suggested a long time ago that an annual physical book to share the work of The Bedford Citizen might be a good idea, and possibly even be a source of revenue.  We discussed the possibility of what it would involve over a beer at Red Heat one night.  What would be involved, how many pages, how to approach advertisers, how to get it laid out, etc. 

As the night went on, and another round was had, Adam hinted that if our timing was right, his company might be able to help out with some of the design and production of the project.  His business by its very nature has some very busy times and then others when they’re a bit slower.   We followed up the next day to make sure he was serious.   He assured us he was, and we were off.  His team is amazing; Christina the designer, Andre the editor, their printers, all real pros that make the Guide look the way it does.

A moment of self-congratulations is in order here as well.  The idea of “searching” for these stories involved nothing more than searching the archives of our own home-grown local media source The Bedford Citizen.  Having an independent, nonprofit, local news source is critical to our community.  All these stories would likely have happened without The Bedford Citizen, but how would you have known?  

As it happens, we are in the midst of our year-end fundraiser.  We have a matching campaign going on until the end of the year.  Thanks to NewsMatch, Suzanne & Company, and Instrumentation Laboratory, every donation you make will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000 each. 

Please help us keep stories like these coming: Donate to The Bedford Citizen.

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