I’ve got to be perfectly honest here. Most of the time when we do Free Magazine Reviews here at Lost in Montgomery, it’s to make fun of the over-earnest attempts at
journalism civic promotion money making by the publishers of these fascinating periodicals.
Yet, each time we crack the pages of one of these esteemed publications, we go into them with open minds, hopeful that we will be somehow informed and inspired by the contents within. And proof of this fact comes in the following review of Prime‘s November 2010 edition.
What’s it called? Montgomery Prime
What is it? The subhead says, “Celebrating Midlife and Beyond.” Unclear at what point you are at “midlife,” but evidently this is going to be a magazine about old people. That makes sense since the dude on the front (who has attended 62 Iron Bowls) looks pretty darn old.
Where’d we find it? We think it was at Cafe Louisa’s over in Cloverdale across from The Capri.
What’s the deal? This thing appears to be a monthly product of something called The Polizos/Corley Group, LLC. We assume it’s local since they have an address on Vaughn Road and the editor’s last name is Polizos, so it must be her company. The staff box says that the publication not only contains the seal denoting membership in Montgomery’s Chamber of Commerce, but there’s also some sort of seal from the North American Mature Publishers Association, a group that probably sounds a lot dirtier than it really is.
What sections do they have? Pretty standard stuff. There are three stories under “Features,” two under “Entertainment,” four under “Lifestyles,” and then sections titled “Financial,” “Medical,” and “Health/Nutrition.”
Who advertises? The back cover’s a full page ad for hearing aids. The inside front cover is a full page ad for hearing aids. There are half page ads for the performance of the Nutcracker at the Davis Theater, one for a travel agent (they still exist!), and a full page ad for a photographer. The Shakespeare Festival bought a page. Page 23? A full page ad for hearing aids. Inside back cover? Full page ad for hearing aids. Note to self: Invest in hearing aid manufacturing companies. Other note to self: Speak up around old folks.
What’s interesting in this issue? One of the best things about Prime Montgomery, compared to, say, some of the other free area publications, is that the ad content isn’t overwhelming. Not only are there not yuppie-chasing ads for cardio-yoga and infant prep schools, but the actual content of this magazine is relatively straightforward and interesting.
Prime Montgomery has actual articles. There are no phony info-blurbs about face creams you can buy, laced through with advertorial parentheticals. The cover story on the Iron Bowl is an actual piece of journalism, telling an interesting story about a man who has attended 62 consecutive Alabama-Auburn football games. It’s text heavy and interesting, well-written and organized and includes actual quotes and photographs.
The article on “soldiers’ stories” is based on a series of interviews with historically significant soldiers. Well, in the sense that their time of service was part of history. But it does capture the “Everyday Joe” aspect of military service in the 1940s, which offers insights to the readers on the labors of American veterans. And, most importantly, it’s not trying to sell you anything.
The columns are useful and well done. One is from someone who works at the State Archives (a wildly under-appreciated institution) and the other is from a gardener offering landscaping tips. Decent stuff!
Prime Montgomery is the best of the free periodicals we have encountered thus far. The information provided is useful to the readers and it manages to carry itself with a sense of integrity that is wholly missing from the other publications we’ve considered. And even though the target audience may skew slightly gray, we managed to find it (reasonably) interesting even though we’re in our 30s.