On Thursday, Sept. 16, 1982, a new publication hit the streets of Eugene and Springfield. What’s Happening — as Eugene Weekly was called then — put out an eight-page edition with a front-page note to readers: “Welcome to the premiere edition of What’s Happening, Eugene and Springfield’s new weekly guide to events and entertainment….”
In those days, EW was basically calendar listings, including on that day a WOW Hall concert by jazz guitarist Herb Ellis as well as concerts by “feminist singer” Jo Anna Cazden and “feminist folksinger” Judy Fzjele. Ads ran for such businesses as Second Nature Used Bikes, Opus 5, Sahalie Natural Foods and Keystone Cafe. A note on page 2 listed the staff: founders Elisabeth Lyman and Lucia McKelvey, with Bill Snyder, Sonja Ungemach and Lois Wadsworth — the last of whom wrote two very short stories about local events. A photo on the back page showed actress Jane Van Boskirk and musician Linda Danielson about to perform at the brand-new Eugene Performing Arts Center, better known these days as the Hult Center.
We’ll look back from time to time this year at some of the high points — and perhaps low ones, too — of EW’s long strange trip as Lane County’s sole successful alt weekly.