Out of the Box (DOG EAR)

Out of the Box (DOG EAR)

was starting to gear up to assemble the winter issue of The Journal Box. This is a model train newsletter for the local region of the National Model Railroad Association. Years back, a friend of mine needed an editor (the entire publication had fallen off the face of the earth). So I agreed to step in and do it, even though I didn’t know anything about Microsoft Publisher. Slowly learned it and started assembling these quarterly, adding a bit of a whimsical touch and some jokes here and there as I filled the pages with layouts, news, and coverage of regional events. Not counting next week’s issue, I’ll put sixteen of these to bed.

As I said, I was considering my articles. One guy out there can use MicroSoft Word but can’t (for the life of him) figure out how to attach (or even cut and paste) it into his emails. I guess all those jokes about codgers and tech are true. So he posted me physical photos of each page, for me to retype and print. It’s going to be a long issue.

Recently I got a call from one of the NMRA high priests. It was one of those sale-call deals, all upbeat and happy and pointing out the advantages – namely in letting someone else take over the newsletter and move it online (rather than the paper newsletter all the codgers seem to like).

Okay, truthfully, I was getting a little rundown with it all. It’s always a scramble to get everything to fit in the fourteen pages available. Also, everyone has last-minute hold-the-presses changes to make. And my wife has to edit the thing (resulting in a couple hours of editing on my part). Yeah, so it was a bit of a drag. The new editor would take over following this issue. And me, I’m out.

But even though I was thinking of asking for a replacement in a couple of issues, this caught me by surprise.

There has been some churn in the organization as of late, all sorts of Soviet-style politicking. Frankly, some of this has bothered me, since my friend who asked me to take this on is now persona non grata (literally) with the organization. I’ve been told not to run anything about him or his wife. That sort of thing sticks in my craw. Yes, I’d not let a mud-slinger piece in – I have that much sense. But if he submits an honest piece of interest for our hobbyists, sure, I’d want to run it.

But all this HOA stuff is now going on. I don’t like it. It’s dishonest and makes me wonder if the organization has heard rumors that I was tiring of the position, or if they are kicking me out because of my associations with my friends.

Whatever. Next week I do it for the last time. And that old article I wrote, loved, yet never found a place for? The one about my own layout, which I bumped over and over again for others? It’s in now.

I’ve got to go. I’ve got to watch that door as it swings when I exit, lest it injure me.