An editor's office is a bit like an attic. Things get put into it, but seldom does anything come out. In this job, it is not necessary to be a collector in order to collect. The daily influx of books, magazines, cards, PR novelties, nice letters, hate mail, and story inquiries is unceasing.
Though I'm not by nature the acquisitive type, it seems a shame to throw them away, and so they stay, finding their place in the nooks, drawers, file cabinets, and boxes of my office.
There are also stacks of notebooks from past stories and enough old issues of the Flyer lying on the floor to build a small summer cottage. As I look around, I also see packages of souvenir golf balls, at least six logo coffee cups, a Hard Rock Cafe glass, an old boom-box (remember those?), and a large, wooden, hand-painted sign "borrowed" from a parking lot at Memphis In May that reads, "Donotrasspasing."
The new year is almost upon us. It's a time of reflection — and projection. What has the past year brought? What does the new year hold in store? This stopping, looking, and noticing the passage of our lives is a good thing, I think. We accumulate habits the same way we accumulate the detritus that floods my office. After a while, they become part of the scenery, unnoticed and unevaluated.
The new year gives us all a respite, a chance to separate what's important from the accumulated odds and ends of our lives. It's corny, but it's true. So hug your family, celebrate your friends, give thanks for the good things that have come to you. And don't forget to clean out the attic now and then.
P.S. Join the Flyer staff in wishing good health and a speedy recovery to our founding sales director, Jerry Swift, who's spending part of the holidays in the hospital undergoing a medical procedure we hope will get him back on his feet — and on the golf course — soon. Without Jerry's efforts in the early days of the Flyer, this paper wouldn't exist.
On another note: Next week is the Flyer's Annual Manual issue. The regular Flyer will return January 10th. Oh, and Happy New Year!
I'm writing this from the restroom facility at Big Hill Pond State Park in southern McNairy County. On Monday, I commandeered the building, which contains the men's and women's restrooms, some racks of pamphlets, and two vending machines. There's no one here right now, but I plan to stay as long as necessary to protest the fact that the state of Tennessee is run by oppressive know-nothings who wouldn't know small government — or freedom, for that matter — if it bit them on their considerable backsides ...
Time moves in one direction, memory in another. — William Gibson
This week, an old friend sent me a photo of myself, circa 1978. In the picture, I was thin, long-haired, and standing barefoot on the porch of an old farmhouse where we lived, just outside of Columbia, Missouri. It was a shock to see it. I don't remember my friends and I taking many photographs, and I didn't remember this moment ...