Phoner Therapy

Craig OuthierJune 24, 2020
Share This
Spacing responsibly with Great 48er Kimber Lanning; Photo by Camerawerks
Spacing responsibly with Great 48er Kimber Lanning; Photo by Camerawerks

How do I love thee, magazine job? Let me count the ways.

(Does math in head.)

15. This month, I love you 15 ways, PHOENIX mag gig.

Baffled yet? Sorry. But I’m feeling good, re-energized even, after having the privilege of profiling 15 of the phenomenal Phoenicians highlighted in this year’s The Great 48 issue. In one whirlwind fortnight, I interviewed bluesman extraordinaire Carvin Jones, billionaire trucking magnate Jerry Moyes, celebrity attorney Glen Lerner (yes, the “In a wreck, need a check?” guy), groundbreaking county attorney Allister Adel and two octogenarian child advocacy legends who were building orphanages long before I was even born… and that’s just the tip of the overachievement iceberg. Wizardly chef Lori Hashimoto. Burning Man superstar Kirk Strawn. New Cardinals playmaker Eno Benjamin. What a group.

It was therapeutic, honestly, chatting with these folks, all of them focused   firmly on the present and the things they can do to lift their station and that of the community around them, even in these complicated times. I know my fellow Great 48 contributors – managing editor Leah LeMoine, associate editor Maddie Rutherford and jack-of-all-editorial-trades Judy Harper – felt the same way. Nominated by our editors and readers, these 48-and-change individuals (some of our selections were duos) represent fascinating case studies in the art of purpose. And we hope a little of their shine, reflected in this special double issue of PHOENIX, finds its way into your home.

“It was therapeutic, honestly, chatting with these folks, all of them focused on… [lifting] their station and that of the community around them, even in these complicated times.”

Three months have now passed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and society is still in deep flux – a fact you’ll see mimicked in these pages. Our dining coverage is different. Our events coverage is certainly different. There’s a history piece about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that I’m fairly certain would not have been there barring COVID-19. But led by our Great 48, you’ll find more that’s familiar than foreign. Just like the scene outside your window.

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.