Magazine honors Pasco woman

By Loretto J. Hulse, Tri-City HeraldDecember 30, 2012 

There are magazines named for home decor divas, talk show hosts and cookbook authors. But in January, Bonnie, named for Bonnie Anthis of Pasco, will join the ranks of the famous, along with Martha Stewart, Oprah and Paula Deen.

No, Anthis doesn't claim to be a super chef or superior decorator, and she doesn't interview the rich and famous on TV.

"I'm none of those things," she said.

Her son, Shawn Crary of Stockton, Calif., chose his mom's name for the magazine to honor her, his sister, Kristi Grigg of Kennewick, and his late maternal grandmother, Vivian Keister.

The magazine is Crary's brainchild. The Pasco High graduate is the owner of Big Monkey Group, a publishing and marketing firm. Crary already publishes five other magazines, as well as oversees a variety of website, design and marketing projects in Central California.

"Each of these women played an important role in shaping my character, sense of humor and integrity. What better way to pay homage than to create a magazine that exudes their spirit?" he said.

Crary said his mother has had to overcome unimaginable hurdles in her life. Three very important men in her life all died unexpectedly and tragically. Grigg's father, Kenley Olson, was killed in a car accident.

"I was 3 when he died. I don't even remember him. The first father I remember was Shawn's dad, George Crary," Grigg said.

Bonnie and George Crary married in 1967. He died of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 36.

"His heart just exploded in his chest. It was totally unexpected and a terrible day for all of us," said Shawn Crary.

Years later, his mother married Al Anthis, who was shot to death in 2005.

"Each time my mother has just had to pick up and move on with her family. She's a strong woman," Crary said.

Talking about her children, Bonnie Anthis said, "They're what kept me going probably. I'm thankful for them every day."

Crary said his sister, Kristi, has been "absolutely the best mother to her boys. She was a stay at home mother of six boys. You'd think with that many children at least one would have problems. But no, they're all wonderful young men which, for me, translates into them having an equally wonderful mother."

His grandmother, Crary said, was his best friend. While attending high school, he worked with her at the Moose Lodge in Pasco.

"She was a bartender for years. She was not your typical grandmom, staying at home, baking and sewing. I can remember her telling risqu jokes at the kitchen table," he said.

"I gained my sense of humor from her and I'm translating her humor into Bonnie as well," Crary said.

Bonnie is for a very specific niche market, Crary said.

"It's all about inspiring women in the Sacramento region, about women in leadership roles and those with political power. Yes, there will be information on pop culture and fashion too but my goal is to connect the community of Sacramento women with each other," he said.

Crary is a 1989 graduate of Pasco High School who attended fine arts classes at Columbia Basin College for a year.

"That's when I discovered what I wanted to do with my life," he said.

Shortly after his first year at CBC, he visited California.

"I fell in love with it and decided to make California my home," Crary said.

He attended college in California, worked as a staff photographer for a newspaper in Central California and went on to work for various magazines.

"With all this experience in magazines it occurred to me, why not launch my own specifically for the neighborhood I lived in? So I did," he said. The first publication was put together in his basement but as he added additional neighborhood magazines, Crary's business, Big Monkey Group, moved into offices in Sacramento.

His latest publication, Bonnie, comes out in print on Jan. 2. It won't be available on Tri-City newsstands but the entire magazine will be free online at www.readbonnie.com.

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