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!
Exactly seven years ago this week, I wrote a column decrying a proposal by city engineers to turn the Overton Park Greensward into an 18-foot-deep "detention basin" designed to stop flooding in Midtown. The engineers claimed we'd hardly notice the football-field-sized bowl. "Except," I wrote then, "when it rains hard, at which time, users of Overton Park would probably notice a large, 18-foot-deep lake in the Greensward. Or afterward, a large, muddy, trash-filled depression."
(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes) — e. e. cummings