The loss of a special soul ..

Good afternoon,

I set out today to give you a sneak peek of our upcoming Fall issue, but as I was preparing, my mind kept thinking about the loss of an incredible woman in our antique family, Marge Staufer.  As you recall, Marge and her Ohio home were featured in ASL in our Spring issue.  A lot of people always asked why I never had Marge’s home in the magazine in the past nine years and I would always say, “It’s so incredible, it’s been featured a lot. I could not do it any better than it’s already been done…”  And then one day it hit me. I’m crazy. I need to do Marge’s home because of MARGE. Because Marge was such an iconic, pure, passionate person in our business who had such grace and was always willing to share her knowledge, inspire everyone she met and was so ahead of her time in everything she did. What a disservice I was doing her and our readers by NOT featuring her and her home. I will never forget the day we spent together. I truly came away from that experience so much wiser, much more caring, much more alive.  Our industry and the world lost a great one this week, but the angels are rejoicing and I know she has an early New England home filled with the very best in heaven and she is overjoyed to be reunited with her Al once again.  We love you Marge – until we meet again.


While it’s hard to do daily tasks when we’ve lost a loved one, I also know what Marge would say. “You show your readers those Fall photos and get that issue in their mailboxes!”

So …. I’m super excited that our Fall issue of the magazine has gone to print and will begin shipping in 10 days to two weeks. As you know, Fall is my favorite time of year and always my favorite issue. I enjoyed every minute putting it together, laying it out and reminiscing over last years photo shoots.

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We have four great homes to feature, starting with the Illinois country home of Robert and Sandy Thuer.

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Janet and Jon Wright have a wonderful Pilgrim era home in the Buckeye state!

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Here’s the awesome Connecticut home of Wayne and Sandy Peck!




And you won’t want to miss the Massachusetts home of Art and Vicki Martin! You’ll recall that their gardens were featured in our Summer issue.



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Last Fall, Jimmie Cramer, Eddie Shoop and I went to Michigan to work with Cheryl Jones on a “Harvest Gathering” article. It is one of my favorite articles ever produced by A Simple Life. It was a photographer’s dream!

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In Pennsylvania, at the cabin of Patsy Martin, our team got together and made scarecrows! What an inspiration! You will love this story!

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When I was a teenager, I fell in love with the photographic images of Dorothea Lange. She has been such an inspiration to me. A couple of years ago I was able to see some of her original work in a museum and I was literally balling the whole time. I’ve always wanted to do a feature on her for the magazine but never felt I could do her incredible photos justice with mere words. When Heidi Dangremond started writing for us, I knew she was the one who could bring Dorothea to life for everyone who has ever seen her work and for those who might not know about her. I am so proud of this addition to the Fall issue.




I hope you love the Fall issue as much as I do!



14 thoughts on “The loss of a special soul ..

  1. Jill, I am sorry to hear of the passing of Marge Staufer. What a blessing it was that you could arrange a visit to be with her and share with people here at ASL about her life’s passions and work. We all need to know the stories of people whose lives have enriched others in so many ways.

    This new Fall issue looks awesome and I cannot wait to read it cover to cover!! Fall is my favorite season and it is full of so many American traditions all wrapped up in plump pumpkins that make delicious pies, cornstalks, apples by the bushel , cozy fires, and Nature’s colorful splendor. It is a season to rejoice in the bounty from Summer’s long sunny days.

    This Floridian will be so happy when our new issue arrives!!


  2. Such an inspiration!! I am soo looking forward to the fall issue!! Hard to believe that Fall is coming and it won’t be long!! I can’t wait!! My favourite!! Take care of yourself! Safe travels. My best.


  3. I am so saddened by the loss of a great friend, Marge Staufer. I will forever cherish all the times spent with her and her wonderful home.
    Looking forward to another fabulous Fall issue, my favorite time of year.


  4. Fall is my favorite time of the year (along with lots of others it seems :)) I look forward to your magazine and especially for Fall. Sorry for your loss. Be safe in your travels.


  5. I’m sorry to learn Miss Staufer has passed. She and I, both living right here in Ohio but I never got the chance to meet her in person but through lovely articles like the one you did about her and her home in ASL I felt as though we were kindred spirits.
    I’ve always been drawn to photography. I can sit mesmerized looking at a photo and all it’s nuances! I would say Dorothea was at her pinnacle when she photographed remarkable images during the depression era. I’m also reminded how much, even as a small child, I love the movie “The Grapes of Wrath”.


    1. You and Marge were indeed kindred, Donna – Just as you and I are. I love when you tell me things that ring so close to my own heart, such as getting lost in a photograph and loving “The Grapes of Wrath.” That may have been the first real “novel” I ever read and that may have been the moment I truly fell in love with “real” books. And yes, so many of her images are closely tied to it. I love you Donna Stepp !!!!! You and your Ralph need to come see me at the Days of the Pioneer this year !


  6. Jill a beautiful tribute to a beautiful lady Marge Stauffer. She will be missed in so many ways & with the incredible antiques she always offered at shows. Thank you. I cannot wait for the fall issue looks fantastic & I’m with you fall is my favorite season just not long enough. Sharon


    1. Marge’s daughter, Joan has taken up the reins and is following in Marge’s footsteps setting up at shows so that is a wonderful thing and I know Marge was proud of her. Looking forward to seeing you at Days of the Pioneer in September Sharon! I’ve missed you!


  7. So sorry for the loss of your friend. She sounds like a wonderful lady. Looks like the fall issue will be great as always. Love the black and white photos. I remember going to the NC mountains when I was very small and seeing places that looked like those. Even now if you get on the back roads (which I love to do) you can see remnants of these places. I always try to imagine who lived there and what their lives were like. I also remember when we traveled to the beach we would see similar looking places along the way. They’re like time capsules. Enjoy your day!………Teresa


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