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John Moody, publications editor
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Letter from the Editor, May/June 2011
By John Moody

Dear readers,

We Midwesterners love May. It means vibrant colors and moderate temperatures and even blue skies. Robert Frost paid tribute to this time of year when he wrote of the "pleasure in the flowers today" adding hope with his line to "keep us here all simply in the springing of the year." Welcome to the best time of year and to this spring edition of SO Magazine.

This also marks our fifth anniversary here at Springfield's Own Magazine. We're grateful for your support over these years and invite you to stay tuned as we aim for our best year yet. Thank you. Thank you.          

In this issue, Richard Haglund has a great job. He is the conductor of the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony - that's just one of his titles - and his mission is to guide young people along the proper musical path. He has made a life for himself in music, not a bad way to spend your workday. Originally from Minneapolis, Haglund has traveled around the world through music. For the past eight years, he has made Springfield his home. He brings an up-north steadiness to his work that is much appreciated here on the prairie. Have a look at freelance writer Darrin Burnett's cover story.    

Following their own creative impulses led this couple first to one another and ultimately to Springfield. Eric and Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson are both professors of theater at the University of Illinois Springfield. Their love for the arts is at the center of their professional and private life. They share family life together with their daughter, Emma, and they share time together on the job, too. But it's not quite the way you might think. Even though they are the only theater profs at UIS, each has their own complementary path. When the summer break comes, guess what they like to do? More theater, of course.

Travels with travel writer Nancy Pistorius in this issue require packing smartly as she takes us to five getaway destinations. Suburban Chicago, Albuquerque, Branson, Orlando and Cleveland make up the itinerary. And, just when the car's unloaded and resting, Nancy is off to England for a bit of the royals and more.  McCormicks Smokehouse Restaurant is the place to be for mouthwatering barbecue, among other treats like chicken salad, burgers, soups and desserts. Smoked meat is the star here, though. It's a laid-back and tasty experience where your hosts are a husband-and-wife team whose name is on the sign out front.

On the subject of the dining-room table, you'll need wine that pairs up with most any food. For that, we turn to columnist Geoff Bland whose recent travels were to South Africa, where the versatility of the grape runs the gamut. 

Freelance photographer Tim Murphy takes us along to the zoo. This great spot is just down the road - the St. Louis Zoo. Murphy introduces us to some of the real characters that make this place home.

And, we line up the usual suspects with a Chris Young architecture piece - this one brings a bit of a twist; contributor Carol Sponagle shows off another hot car; if you're shopping for a fancy watch, we've got some ideas for you in a timepiece by writer Jason Nevel; and Todd Spann gives us a freelance story on how technology makes cool cars even cooler. 

Don't forget to check out our SO On the Town pages in the back of the book and visit us online at www.springfieldsown.com. 

Thank you, as always, for reading SO Magazine. 




Story published Friday, May 6, 2011 ( Volume 6, Number 3 )

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