How do you start a letter to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time? Is “friend,” too intimate? “To whom it may concern,” too impersonal? My theory is you start a letter off as a wish. A letter is a hope to convey a message to someone. There’s no guarantee you’ll reach your audience, even if you have the right address. So I hope at the end of this letter, you and I can be what I hope us to be: friends.
My name is Madison Hogan. I’m the new Cobb Life Editor.
I’d say it’s great to meet you, but we certainly aren’t strangers. In 1999, I moved to Cobb County with my family and it’s been my true home ever since. I spent a few years in the Midwest, obtaining my degree in journalism at Indiana University-Bloomington, and about a year in Beaufort, South Carolina before Georgia was on my mind again.
I began writing for the Marietta Daily Journal’s sister paper, the Cherokee Tribune, in 2017 as a crime, government and business reporter, in addition to being a weekly columnist. I spent more than two and a half years writing for Atlanta Inno, a sister publication to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, covering tech, startups and innovation. I like to say that I’ve written just about every beat in the newsroom, and this isn’t my first stint as a magazine editor either.
In the fourth grade, I published my first work as the editor of “Due West Elementary Magazine.” With the help of friends, we created a handdrawn cover, a nice little gossip column, a brownie recipe one of our mother’s gave us, a crossword puzzle and for some reason that I cannot fathom why, the first 10 numbers in French. We only made it to press twice, but I was hooked.
In some ways, putting together my first edition of Cobb Life felt a lot like those early days on the playground, plotting out layouts and design on the monkey bars and holding writers meetings at the old tree stump.
Our theme for this month’s issue of Cobb Life Magazine is the return of fall, as we close the final weeks of summer and enter into a new season. Our cover, shot by local photographer Brittany Willingham, owner of Evie Mae Photography, is an ode to the all-American fall festival we know and love. Our cover story revisits the North Georgia State Fair, having been postponed due to the pandemic, and its plans for an epic comeback in September. Be sure to check out our “Now & Then” photo segment at the end of the magazine for a glimpse back to fairs past.
For the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I spoke to Cobb County residents who were directly affected. Their stories are riveting. I hope you’ll enjoy learning about the places around town to discover fall fun in our favorite fall spots feature and even try a few of the coffee shops featured in our story on cool cafes in Cobb. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, make sure to check out our story on spooky haunts and where to visit paranormal hotspots. And if you’re dying to get your book clubs and dinner parties going again like me, take a crack at the tips and recipes that will help you play host, post-pandemic style.
I hope you enjoy this edition as much as I enjoyed putting it together with the help of our photographers, writers and designer. May you start the season off right. Until then, happy reading, friend.
Cobb Life Editor