Hagerty’s magazine just keeps getting wider, thicker, and longer. The current format isn’t perfect for those of us who like neat lines of mixed titles on a single bookshelf but it approaches the heft of the English big boys. The staff has put a lot of effort into getting the thing consistently printed well on nice paper despite a rash of unpleasant changes in the actual production business. There are fewer and fewer printers out there in the United States who can make something like this.
Your humble author has a Tahoe drive in this issue — it’s a considerably truncated variant on my web test we put up a while back. It’s nice to be in a magazine that looks this nice. That being said, I enjoy writing for the web more than I enjoy writing for print. It’s the difference between playing music live, where you can stretch or shorten according to the audience mood, and recording a 2:45 Top 40 single in the vinyl era. Being published in a magazine means having a lot of your prose semi-broken for the purpose of fitting a line or a paragraph. It means making room for photographs. It means every typo is forever.
And yet. When I’m dead, the magazine will persist. In a basement, in a box, in a long-forgotten then suddenly unearthed stack. Twenty-five years ago, I would drive out to an old half-closed gun store in rural Ohio and dig through the owner’s stash of all the old shooting-sports titles, paging with idle delight through an old article about “the new .44 Magnum cartridge!” and whatnot. Many of the writers who amused and informed me were long dead at that point. Elmer Keith. People like that. Someday I will be nothing but a voice in faded pages, a few words arranged in such a way as to stir an emotion or spark a thought in a mind not yet born when I draw my last breath. Difficult, yet seductive, to think I will one day be as dead as Thos Bryant, Brock Yates, or Blake Z. Rong.