Happy Father’s Day, Gerald and Eric!

Janet Steigler

Men don’t gestate their offspring, at least not yet, but they can give birth to ideas, inventions, and movements.  And sometimes those ideas, innovations, and movements blossom beyond your wildest imagination.

A year ago, two retirees, Gerald Decker and Eric Mens, got the crazy notion to create a small paper, Cape Fear Voices, as “an outlet for creativity in the Cape Fear Region.”  Their idea was to showcase the works of local writers, poets, and craftspeople as well as that of local nonprofits serving our area.  The two may not have anticipated the enthusiastic following they would have, for in just a few months, the paper doubled in size from its original eight pages to a full sixteen.  One year later, it has a readership of over 5,200 and almost 3,000 on email distribution. 

You would think that would be enough for these two men, but they took the additional step of incorporating The Teen Scene, a monthly literary publication written by and for teenagers, while also giving youth the skills to publish and manage the paper.   And then—the icing on the cake—they throw us a party to recognize our contributions, even though they are the masterminds behind it all.  

So, in marking the first anniversary of Cape Fear Voices, I would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to the two men who gave it birth and continue to nurture its growth.   Thank you, Gerald and Eric, for 

  • Providing a safe place to test our creative juices and the encouragement to keep writing.
  • Overlooking the fact that we sometimes violate your 700-word limit or squeeze a piece in a day past the deadline.
  • Helping promote the work and service of nonprofit organizations important to us.
  • Celebrating the work of novice writers with banquets, awards, and other recognition.
  • Making writing a priority among today’s youth and giving teens the tools and guidance to pursue a career in the literary arts.

Thanks for turning your wild idea into a reality and for taking us along for the ride!