The Bollard was born on a beery night in the winter of 2004/05, on the back deck of Free Street Taverna (r.i.p.). Since getting canned from Casco Bay Weekly in the Great Purge of 2002, I’d wanted to resurrect the spirit of homegrown, independent journalism here in Portland. That goal could not be realized until a) ace graphic designers/comedy bingo hosts Mich Ouellette and Sean Wilkinson joined the enterprise that night, and b) I married the former Meghan Conley six months later.
Mich and Sean are co-founders of The Bollard, and have contributed to its success in countless ways since our online launch on Sept. 1, 2005, but never have their contributions been more evident or necessary than now, with the debut of our quarterly magazine. They crafted every page of this publication (and yes, they are available for freelance graphic design work!). Had either one of them lost faith or interest in this endeavor while it was still an online-only enterprise, the whole ship would have sunk. Their dedication and friendship have meant the world to me, and have made The Bollard what it is today—the best-designed print publication in Maine (in this publisher’s not-so-humble opinion).
Meg’s contributions have been less evident to our readers, but without her faith and support over the past two-and-a-half years, none of this would be possible. The Bollard is her publication as much as it’s mine or anyone’s. I’m the luckiest guy in town.
Special thanks go to several other wonderful people whose work, support and inspiration have been key to our success: our energetic and enthusiastic advertising director, John Dennison (and his patient and understanding wife, former CBW writer Colleen Sumner); my parents, Jim and Emilie Busby, sister Brooke Fisher and brother Gary Busby; Ross Furman of Skillful Home Recreation, a Charter Member of The Bollard; Andy Verzosa, of Aucocisco Gallery, for key start-up support; my good friend and mentor in Maine journalism, Al Diamon; and the demon at my side, Chris Barry. Cheers also to our friends and allies in the industry: Ed King of The West End News, Richard “Citizen Dick” Lawlor of The Companion, Brendan Moran and Current Publishing, Jane P. Lord, Jack Bradigan Spula and City Newspaper, and wmpg-fm.
Finally, sincere thanks to all our contributors and advertisers, past and present, and to you, dear reader, for your kind attention and appreciation. We hope you’ll continue to enjoy our online news and arts coverage, and will look forward to the next edition of this quarterly magazine in September.
Chris Busby, editor and publisher