SPECTRUM:
A Cooperative Newspaper for the Tallahassee Community

LCFC Newsletter (scanned pdf documents)

Spectrum  (scanned pdf documents)

A VERY CURSORY HISTORY:


Organized in the Spring of 1974, the Leon County Food Co-op (LCFC) hit the ground running so fast and hard that it didn't get around to putting out a newsletter till almost a year had passed, and that first newsletter effort lasted so far as is recalled or known presently, for only one issue.  Edited by Candis Paparone and published in March of 1975, the first LCFC newsletter was essentially part of a lead-up to the first annual meeting of members and the closing the books on the Co-op's first year's business.  In March of 1976 a second newsletter manifestation appeared under the editorship of Debi Powers, initially, and later of Tana McLane.  This second newsletter effort lasted through 18 more or less monthly issues, and through the Summer of 1978 at which time it did NOT wither or die or anything even remotely resembling that, but rather in the following Fall it blossomed out into a fully independently edited and independently financed alternative community newspaper, published roughly semi-monthly (with increasing irregularity towards the end) through the Summer of 1986.  Irrespective of any and all political interests of various members, LCFC had a firm, well understood, and well agreed upon, policy of political neutrality on anything and everything EXCEPT food.  There was NO disagreement upon that policy within the food co-op, yet the newsletter also had the spirit of a caged bird longing for freedom, and in the Fall of 1978 Tana called a meeting of just about anyone and everyone she could think of to see if the interest and support was there for an independent and broadly ranging political publication.  It was, and Spectrum was the result.  Over the course of its production run, the ever-revolving Spectrum collective, the many writers and cartoonists or other artists published in Spectrum, and many of the people appearing in photos or mentioned in various Spectrum articles, comprised nearly a veritable who's who of alternative Tallahassee.

Tallahassee is in the southern part of the Old South, and it's a college town.  In 1978 it had barely gotten past everything except the always-open Krispy Kreme doughnut shop closing at dark during the week and 11 p.m on weekends.  The town still had a traditional annual ebb and flow as well as an annual (previously semi-annual) overflow when the legislature passed through.  Summer was a time of annual Diaspora.  Townfolks who could, spent as much of the Summers as possible in some breezy beach house "down at the coast"; and students scattered to the four quarters of the earth.  Very little steady effort has ever made headway uninterrupted through a Tallahassee Summer, going back all the way to well-before the days when the White folks decided to chase all of the natives away.  Publications put together by volunteers were just part of that ages-old pattern at first, relatively consistent in their hiatuses; but eventually, as the early 1980s continued on, co-ops and volunteerism and everything related to them started crashing into walls, large and small... dwindled away, failed, or chameleon-like underwent an intentional change of form.  This wasn't just a local phenomenon.  It occurred all over the United States and the promising "Third Wave" of cooperatives largely crashed hard ashore and dissipated. Tallahassee was a strong center for co-ops and in some respects co-ops here actually weathered this collapse better than many, many, many co-ops and other alternative endeavors across the nation.  LCFC is no longer here in name, but in actual fact it is the New Leaf Market which continues to serve the community and thrive.  Much of the thriving social aspect that made LCFC a Third Wave co-op was largely severed and fell by the wayside, but the economic and food aspects persevere.

That said, this site is intended among other things, as a web-based html/pdf repository of the full production run of both the LCFC Newsletter and Spectrum: A Cooperative Newspaper for the Tallahassee Community.  The links at the top of this page will take readers to their applicable indexes.


LCFC Newsletter (scanned pdf documents)

Spectrum  (scanned pdf documents)


This page was created on 29 May 2012
and was modified on 1 July 2012.