About The Funny Times Staff

Sue   Sue Wolpert

I live in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. My front yard is a big garden. I moved the garden from the back yard when all of the sun back there was lost to the shade of growing trees. For several years I imagined moving the garden to the front, and then one fall I got it going. Most of what I do in the world arises from visions of the future that call me forward.

I enjoy working in the garden early in the morning or late in the day when the sun is at an angle. In the fall, I layer my garden bed with wood chips, shredded Funny Times order forms, leaves and then cover it all with straw. Even as I am putting it to bed for the fall I am preparing for next spring. My idea of fun is to gaze into the garden (and the world) and discover what wants to happen next.

Ray is my best friend. I met him in High School. He was playing guitar with his friends. I invited them all home after a coffeehouse and they came. Inviting people to come together seems to be a life time mission. I like to gather people together for expansive conversations. When people exchange ideas about what they care about most, the world opens up. When we get in the present with each other the way forward emerges. I am constantly inquiring into the nature of people and the world. I am like a buzzing bee carrying messages and ideas from here to there.

I’m told that I came out of the womb smiling, curious, and eager for life. All of that is still true. My life story is getting too long to tell and I would rather talk about the present and future than the past. I am an organizer and a connector who fountains with possibilities and has a passion for people and our attempts to do things together.

Life is a party and a lot of work. Work is a party and a lot of fun. I am a ruthless optimist when I am not depressed. What a mystery.

Sandee   Sandee Beyerle

The concept of fifty shades of gray originated in Cleveland, but here it isn’t so titillating. It’s more like this: There’s sky gray and snow bank gray and possum-in-the-road gray and shadow gray … plus forty-six more shades that one experiences over the course of years here.

I eventually came to discover that my favorite shade is good old smudge-on-your-fingertips gray, the kind that comes from the ink on a freshly printed newspaper, like an issue of Funny Times. Ever since then, I can’t look away. That color, that feeling – just like my first whiff of a Sanford King Size Permanent marker or the taste of Trolli Crawlers — it hooked me. Being part of Funny Times stimulates my gray matter.

I’ve spent most of my life in Cleveland. Nearly 20 years with Funny Times. A few less than that with my progeny, and a fraction of that with the devil’s castoff dog. I feel laughter, like one’s lawn and garden, should be organic. The dog – and the kid – agree.

Karyn   Karyn

Hi Folks, this is Karyn. I have been part of Funny Times for over 12 years and I must say, what a long strange trip it has been! Or was that life before FT?

I am a born and bred Clevelander and enjoy exploring off the beaten path, and discovering new eats in any hood is an added bonus! Working at The Funny Times has been an adventure as well. I enjoy talking with all of you to make sure your monthly laughs arrive safely, or to help figure out why not. No matter how crazy it gets out there, I know that here it really is Funny Times!

Sasha   Sasha

Well hello there! Folks call me Sasha and I am the youngest member of the Funny Times family. Having grown up in a conservative bubble, living away from home and working at an embracing environment such as Funny Times has allowed me to broaden my horizons and question the realities that were constructed for me. I’m now (finally) out and proud as a trans woman!

I attended Case Western Reserve University here in Cleveland, OH, where I discovered that social progress is achieved only through hard work, persistence, and commitment. Oh, and I also got a degree and stuff.
Funny Times is not only my job – the amazing individuals here are also my family. We are truly funny folks who care for each other and the world around us. Perhaps you have already spoken (or will speak) with me personally on the phone or via email as I take your orders, correct your subscription problems, change your address, or generally attempt to brighten your day.

   Orin

Enjoys walks in the woods without the spider web interference, mud or stray rabid dogs. Listens occasionally to Tuvan throat-singing angels. Tries to overstand the Supreme Mathematics. Past accomplishments include ollieing out picnic tables, sock folding and birdhouse manufacture. Hopes to one day learn how to tie ties and sharpen knives properly. Relaxes by studying urban exploration, drinking limeade or a diet Dr. Thunder.

Blayne   Blayne

Hi! I’m Blayne, and I deliver everything the Funny Times needs delivered, from papers, to babies, to outstanding customer service. As Funny Times first employee circa 1985, I delivered big stacks of papers to local businesses from the back of my beat up 1978 Toyota Celica. I then became a midwife and assisted Sue and Ray with the births of two of their children. I recently retired after 20 years as a midwife, and I am working in Funny Times subscription department, opening mail, answering phones, and cheerfully doing whatever else needs to be done.

I love working for Funny Times. My coworkers are all tons of fun and a wee bit nutty, and the office is always supplied with good strong coffee and plenty of chocolate to keep us motivated, if a little jittery. We laugh a lot and only swear a little. Okay, I lied. We swear a lot. But it’s all in good fun, especially when we have “swear bear” fights, or do naked jello wrestling in the back room. Okay, I lied. We don’t really do naked jello wrestling. At least not in the back room. But we do have fun, and we have the world’s greatest customers. So join us aboard the Good Ship Funny Times, where rocking the boat is half the fun.

Lou   Lou

I was born exactly nine months after Pearl Harbor – September 7, 1942. It was Labor Day, which my mother found amusing. My dad liked to joke that the Pearl Harbor attack prompted my conception because he wanted to leave an heir in case he had to go to war and didn’t come back. (He was deferred from military service because of very bad varicose veins in his legs.)

I was born in Painesville, OH, graduated from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and was a reporter for daily newspapers and a trade journal in northeast Ohio before being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966. I spent a year in Vietnam as a reporter and then editor for the First Infantry Division newspaper. In recent years I have been active in Veterans for Peace, wearing my very tight 45-year-old army dress uniform in parades while carrying a peace flag. I also enjoy playing competitive volleyball and writing annoying letters to the editor. A widower, I have three terrific children: son Lou is a doorman at the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia; Bridget earned a Masters degree in French literature at the University of California, Davis and DeeDee (Dorothy) is manager of the Whole Foods store in Medford, MA. Son, Lou and his wife, Melissa, blessed me with three energetic, entertaining grandchildren: Owen, 9, Bridget, 7, and a new baby, Finnegan.

Amy   Amy

I came. I saw. I stayed.

Lois2   Lois

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio into a working class family of Euro-mutts, I am the product of good people who taught me about loving life and being generous to others. I love irreverent humor and people who have deep and varied and profane vocabularies. I dislike pretentiousness and abhor private clubs. I am a terrific cook. I am a lifelong Cleveland sports fan so obviously I am long-suffering. My husband is a saint who puts up with my horrible ways and adores me for reasons that are mysterious. He is my biggest fan and a true blessing to my soul.

And, I am the kick-ass bookkeeper for The Funny Times. I balance the checking accounts with flair and pizzazz. I prepare the files for the accountants with mad skillz and elan. If you have a question about anything in the bookkeeping arena at The Funny Times, I am your go-to gal. Customer Service is my strong suit in my sweet spot. I may be a funny person, but my books are anything but funny. Bookkeeping is a serious business and I am a person that derives deep pleasure from accurately reconciled books. Go figure.

Betty   Betty

I was born on October 23rd, 1959 in an army hospital in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This may seem like a really conventional way to start a biography, but actually it explains everything about me, and how I ended up doing the job I do (which no one will ever, and I mean ever understand), meeting the person I’m married to, which led to working for Funny Times and all kinds of unconventional adventures.

Suffice it to say that being born into a military family is basically the same as being a modern day Bedouin and whether you embrace or resist it, the inner nomad is always there. I chose to embrace the peripatetic life, so after college and working as a paralegal for three years, I looked at my bedside table piled high with law and business school applications and did the only sensible thing: I bought a one-way ticket to Europe and after six months traveling around “settled” in Madrid to teach English and learn Spanish. As luck would have it, I met (on Oct 23rd no less) my future husband, a cartoonist and originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He persuaded me to move to NYC, where I embarked on my publishing career (starting off as a Fulfillment Assistant, the only funny title I’ve ever had until my recent promotion to Circulation Czarina), and we took a 9 month sabbatical trip to Africa and Southeast Asia.

When Ray and Sue were hiring in 1993, it turned out they knew my husband from high school and for Sue, as far back as third grade and my life took yet another turn, as I opened the New York satellite “office’ of Funny Times. Through them, I’ve been able to indulge my other passion, politics, giving out Dope Seed packages at conventions and anti-war protests. Most recently, the inner nomad took my husband, 9 year old daughter and me to live in Oaxaca, Mexico for two years, where I opened yet another far flung branch office and experienced political unrest, military invasion and the vagaries of the Mexican post office.