Our distribution guy, Steve Landes, is built like a bulldog. Consequently, he plays rugby. Consequently, something happened while he was playing rugby (perhaps a “scrum” of some sort? I know nothing about rugby…) and some other bulldog-man cooperated with gravity and the rest of nature to tear Steve’s shoulder apart in a variety of creative ways.
And that’s how I got a strange little peek at you, Columbus.
I have had a role here at the magazine for over five years, although that role has changed several times. I was the first editor – I put this sucker together from scratch. Then I left. I helped with some other start-up magazines, one in Austin, one in Baton Rouge, and while I gained a lot of experience, I always seemed to have one toe still in the Olentangy. So I came back. All that to say this: until Steve mangled his shoulder, I had worked for [you] for over five years without ever really meeting [you]. But his blown-out shoulder gave me a chance to acquaint myself when he needed a little help. After all, he delivers more than 30,000 magazines alone every month. In fact, if he’d been left to his own devices, the crazy bastard would probably have delivered the magazine to you one-handed…he’s like that (if you want to know what he looks like, we’ve been printing his round, round face on the spine of the magazine for months…).
Yep, that’s the guy between you and me. I sit here and we make this magazine and then it’s printed and Steve brings it to you while we start working on the next one. It’s a fine-enough system, but I didn’t realize how little I actually knew about you until I went with him to help give this thing to you. It’s a tough job, and it would be easy enough to suck at it or to not care, but Steve does care. When we were loading the van, he tore the cover of the top issue in a bundle, and I saw his forehead crease as he hissed “Dammit” under his breath…because he wants you to read it and he knows that, with the cover torn, no one will pick that one up. He understands that if alive! or The Free Press or any of the other local pubs get placed on top of our stack, the mags we all worked so hard to create won’t get seen.
And he sees you in ways that I don’t. He interacts with you more often than I do. I sit in our dirty little citadel and try to guess at who you are and what you want to read. Steve already knows, because he’s already met you. Steve’s a great guy, and you should all wish him a speedy recovery. For my part, I plan to make this a year that I spend a little more time with you. I’ve gotten a taste of the Columbus that’s out there, that’s already reading (614), but I want more; I want to know you better. And, if you want to take me up on that, email me. I’email@example.com, and I want to hear from you. Let me know what’s going on. And, in the meantime, I’ll keep my eye out for you.