BeHappyNews founders and creators Melissa and Wes “Rockwell” Anderson developed the idea of this site in February 2019 after Wes received news that his father was terminally ill. It wasn’t unusual for both of them to ask themselves or each other, “What makes me happy?”, but there’s nothing like tragedy to sharpen ones focus on what really matters in life.
It was in those final days before Wes’ fathered passed on March 11, 2019 and the days leading up to his “Celebration of Life” that the family began to reflect on what the legacy of the families patriarch was and will continue to be. William (Bill) Michael Anderson, Sr., aka dad, was never a man of wealth or power. To his family he was the best dad and husband to his wife of 60 years, Wilma. To the world, he was a man who made everyone smile, whose daily goal was to make someone smile – to be happy. That is his legacy for all.
We’re all selfish in that everyone wants to be happy. Melissa and Wes are no different. But, inspired by Wes’ fathers legacy to make others smile and be happy everyday, BeHappyNews.com became not just a mission to bring happiness into Wes & Melissa’s lives, but to honor the legacy of Wes’ fathers life and bring happiness and smiles to the world.
Simply put, our Mission is to bring happiness and smiles to our lives and yours.
One topic that can be very divisive is faith/religion. We will not avoid positive, uplifting stories that are centered in Christian faith or the “good news”. Melissa & Wes are both Saved and baptized Baptist’s Christians and have a ever growing faith in God. This site will not denegrate or shy away from stories referencing the bible or a persons faith in it that can put a smile on anyone’s face.
“If it bleeds, it won’t lead”. Our emphasis with be on any stories that are uplifting and positive, from warm and fuzzy puppy rescue stories to triumph over tragedy stories such as someone over-coming a life threatening illness.
Another important part of our mission, which will be added in the future, is a page that we will call “Makes Me Happy“. This page is for you to share what makes you happy in your life that will bring happiness to all. It’s not a personal promotion page and all content will be reviewed. Wes & Melissa don’t believe they are the arbitrators of all things happy and believe it’s essential that you have an active part in making this site, and most importantly, the world a happier place.
About Melissa & Wes “Rockwell” Anderson
Personally, Melissa & Wes have been married since 2007 and have a single human child, Skylar, and multiple “fur babies”. Both grew up in Southwest Wisconsin and attended the same small High School, although they did not meet until 10 years after Melissa graduated.
Since being married in 2007, they have gone through numerous ups and downs like all couples and families do, with some exceptions in regards to the severity of some of the down times. In much of 2010 & 2011 they were homeless while trying to launch their photo and media business in California, even when they had a home in Wisconsin that they owned that they could have moved back to at any time. In August of 2011 they finally moved back into a real home with things like running water, plumbing, and electricity in the mountains of Southern California (near Palm Springs), but that was destroyed by a arsonist sparked wildfire, the “Silver Fire”, on August 7, 2013. Throw in a car accident and a simple surgery that almost killed Melissa, Wes and his cancer diagnosis in 2020, etc., there’s plenty of reasons in their lives not to be happy. But through everything, they have each other, their family, and a ever growing faith in God. Most importantly, because of Cavalry, they look forward to happily sharing an eternity together as brothers & sisters in Christ. These things are at the core of why, at the end of the day, they have plenty of reasons to be happy.
Together professionally, Melissa and Wes started Rockwell Anderson Studio in 2007 in part to continue the film and photography tradition started by her grandfather Albert Rockwell in the early 1900’s. For years prior to 2007, Melissa had worked in the photography business working for others, but this studio, along with her husband Wes Anderson, was the first studio for both of them. After moving to Lake Elsinore, CA in July 2008, they briefly operated a photo studio in downtown San Diego, CA. Upon closing that studio, Melissa began freelance writing for local news print publications and her and Wes began covering the Southern California music scene (photo’s and writing) for Examiner.com and other online publications, changing from Rockwell Anderson Studio to Rockwell Anderson Media.
After getting a major scoop about a new band project created by a band member that was on “hiatus” from his original band, Melissa shopped the story to the biggest music print publication at that time that covered the music this band would have an audience for. After talking to Editor’s in San Francisco and other cities, she finally talked with the Editor in Chief in New York who told her that they would take our content but would not compensate us for it. After Mel told him where to go and what to do, freelancing was no longer a option and a new magazine (first online and then print), ROCKwell Un(derground)Scene was born.
ROCKwell UnScene Magazine (ROCKwell Mag) had been in print since 2013, with its last American print issue published in 2019 before being sold to a U.K. team of photographers and writers. The other music media projects they have pursued included EdgeRockRadio.com from October 2017 – December 2019 and they continue to contribute to Tattoo.com, since February 2016. Annually, Melissa and Wes travelled 4-6 months per year from 2014-2019, personally covering 12-15 different festivals, conducting on camera interviews with 80-100 different bands, and saw an average of 400+ bands while photographing around 300 of those bands – annually. In total, from 2013-2019, Melissa & Wes photographed over 1,300 different bands and interviewed over 400 different bands/artists.
“As a kid I wanted to change the world to make it a happier place for me because clearly the world revolved around me in my youth. Now I realize to change the world, the best way isn’t to change peoples minds because of the truth as I see it or to do something in politics, but it’s to make my own life and other peoples lives happier. I don’t need to change the entire world to make it better for me anymore, I need only to do as Jesus commanded (KJV Matthew 22:37-39) “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. ” – Wes “Rockwell” Anderson
Dedicated to William (Bill) Michael Anderson, Sr.