Sep 26, 201211:19 AMAfter Hours
with Jody Glynn Patrick
Building community: Thoughts on a recent Isthmus story
I was heartened (as in “heart happy”) to see a familiar face featured on the cover of the Aug. 17 issue of Isthmus, and while I’m not certain anyone can completely or accurately chronicle the Life and Times of Patrick Farabaugh in one feature article, or even in a full-length novel, reporter Phil Busse did an admirable job of capturing his character. He well described the young publisher’s candid and vulnerable sides, and his persistence and risk tolerance in bringing a gay hockey league and a gay lifestyles magazine to the Madison region.
Busse also described some of Patrick’s highest and lowest points in Madison, but not all of them. I had been mightily impressed after meeting this young man, still new to Madison, who called me wanting to talk “publisher to publisher” about his own fledgling venture, Our Lives magazine, targeted toward the LGBT culture. He was younger (much younger, actually) than I expected and carried his entire magazine production around with him on a Mac laptop. He wrote, produced, and distributed it by himself, and even sold the ads.
I remember when Patrick, to support his startup magazine at the expense of his personal life, made the choice to give up an apartment to live out of a car until he got his ad revenue stabilized. I also recall when he, in fact, had to sell that car to scrape together enough money to publish the next issue, crashing temporarily on a friend’s couch. I also knew him when he secured a more stable situation for a while, and bought a new car and rented another apartment.
Part of his better times was due to the stability of increasing ad revenues and, at the same time the magazine was gaining acceptance in this marketplace, I offered him a six-month position at IB.
I created a new art job to accommodate his talent, naming him as the new creative director (we’d only hired art directors before). His experience working with magazines (his background includes working for Conde Nast Publications in New York City) was as impressive as his initiative. I didn’t hire him for his rising phoenix stories or his personal charm (he has plenty of both), but for his creative expertise.
Hands down, Patrick contributed the most to our magazine’s graphic presentation in his short tenure than any artist before him, and his work at IB made me rethink our entire art department hiring structure. After later reflection, in fact, I eventually moved permanently away from employing art directors to instead hiring another creative director – Alan Sanderfoot, another well-experienced wunderkind (with Folio magazine experience) who is working his own magic with our publication now.
Patrick Farabaugh delved even deeper into his own magazine and hockey league projects after his time at IB, and he went back to college for a while. We “friended” each other on FB, and as Busse noted, by all accounts, Patrick always rebounds. However, Busse was also right in his appraisal that there “is a wide gulf between his public image and private struggles.”
Regardless of his private-made-public ups and downs, I have continued, from the sidelines, to be one of Patrick Farabaugh’s biggest fans, and if you haven’t already met him, do. The Isthmus story quotes him in the title of the piece, “Now I have a community.”
I would add: Yes, he does. And he has well earned his place in it.