Reader Reminiscences

Little Recall: a corkscrew in the bar hag's purse


Those were the days, my friend … and though I can remember only three or four of them from that wine-soaked era, I nonetheless look fondly on the years I spent writing little doodads for the Reader. I fancied myself to be Dorothy Parker — except for, you know, the writing talent — and I’m almost certain we all had a wonderful time back then. But beyond my own self-indulgent observations on the drinking life, I learned the value of an alternative publication in the community; one that fearlessly speaks the truth and tells the stories of culture, art, and the human experience often overlooked by mainstream media. … I also learned the value of keeping a corkscrew in my purse, a sippy cup to use at parties as a goodwill gesture of carpet protection, and an extra pair of panties in the glove compartment. (That last one I made up, but it sounded kind of sexy.) After weathering a few different publishers at the Reader, some of us went on to create a short- lived culture weekly called Pulp. We wrote about what we loved … art, music, writing, vodka … and we loved that little paper. The first artist profile I wrote was about Wanda Ewing; my hero, my friend, and so dearly missed since her untimely passing in 2013. We continued to cobble together a paper for a year, and on Monday afternoons to this day I swear I can hear our designer, Justin Hud to those who know and love him — uploading the last page of the issue to the printer and yelling from his office, “Shut it down, motherfuckers,” which was my cue to check my lipstick, hike up my fishnets, and head to the bar to celebrate putting the week’s paper to bed. Eventually it was a permanent sleep for the beloved rag. In 2006 — following a few lost years for which I cannot account — I became managing editor for a large online retailer. Today, instead of bar reviews, I oversee bar stool reviews and advertising, along with everything else homerelated. I’ve traded Jägermeister for yoga, martinis for meditation and pinot for painting. And although I write different kinds of doodads today, my hope is that they still wink at you now and again, with just a bit of bite, babies.

— Leslie Prisbell


Category: Specials

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