Thanksgiving weekend always seems to signal the start of real winter weather over the continental United States, and that means snow, ice, low ceilings – all the things that makes us think that a nice warm fire, good friends, and family sound better than getting aloft. Don’t even get me started on the trials and tribulations of flying someplace in Coach during the holidays – despite the heroic efforts my friends in the front offices of airliners, it is never fun. But suffice to say that if you have good weather to fly where you are – give thanks, and go enjoy yourself among the delirious burning blue!
But since I have your attention, I’d like to take just a moment to say thanks to a special and small group of guys – the staff here at Kitplanes that make this magazine work, and the wide number of contributors that give our readers good stories and information throughout the year. Most people don’t realize that the magazine has no staff writers – only a production crew that pulls together the submittals we get from builders and pilots of experimental aircraft.
That crew is special, and they make it work. Let’s be honest – I am a pilot who has had a fortunate life, and figured out how to cobble a few words together in decades of flying everything from Cubs to Spaceships. I told them up front I didn’t know how to produce a magazine. But they assured me that with help, we’d get it done – and they were right! Managing Editor Mark Schrimmer – wave to the crowd Mark – is the guy who takes the raw stories and turns them into clean copy, properly punctuated, and carefully checked for accuracy. He also chases down authors to get better photos and captions. Mark is a former builder of an RV-9, and is now working on an RV-12.
Mark passes his work on to Art Director Dan Maher – you can’t hide behind that monitor Dan! Dan takes the text and photos and lays out pages – then puts those pages together into the book you see each month. He designs the beautiful covers and pretty much holds the keys to all of the processes that make us a print magazine. Dan’s counterpart in the Cyber world is our Web Editor, Omar Filipovic, a GlaStar builder. I can bash out one of these little notes on my i-thingy, hit send, and Omar somehow finds a picture and cleans up my words to build the web site. Omar can hide behind a monitor, and seems to work 24/7 to keep the bits flowing and the databases glowing.
Finally, there is no doubt that advertising subsidizes the price we all pay for the magazine, and they are gathered by our Advertising Manager Chuck Preston. Chuck has been with the magazine almost since the beginning and knows everyone in the business – a valuable asset to all of us when it comes to the history of our little corner of the world.
Thanks so much guys – and to the staff at Belvoir headquarters that make all of the logistics work out. I feel blessed to be able to work with such a fine team – and to provide our readers with a quality magazine they can read while snuggled in front of that fire…