June 24, 2003
We got our first subscription from Iraq! A soldier from Arizona got one of the True West issues that our printer Banta had donated to a Kansas City radio promotion, where they sent goodies to the troops during the war. This kid, from Elfrida, Arizona got one of the Who Killed Custer issues and sent us a very nice letter (actually to Marshall Trimble) along with Iraqi money (a funny looking green bill with running horses on it). We are going to send him a care package full of TW goodies and a comp subscription. He said it is hotter than Arizona in Iraq and sometimes it gets up to 130 degrees. It really made our day (not the temperature but the letter).
The office copies of the Digging Up Billy issue arrived yesterday at about 10. I’m still very nervous about the cover (it is so stark and jarring, it is either going to be a newsstand juggernaut or an ash heap rocketship of doo doo). But inside everything is professional, restrained, tight and sassy. I called in several staffers to go over the issue and praise them on the balance, layout and overall effect. I am especially proud of Meghan, Abby, Gus, Robert and Dan because for the first time there are entire departments that I had nothing to do with and they are exemplary. Usually I’m fretting and baby sitting numerous departments like letters, Last Stand, Ask The Marshall, $2 Cowboy and Westerns, but on this issue these guys stepped up and made the right decisions without any help from me. The end result is, this is an issue I would have to buy (as a reader), and that is the ultimate compliment.
“Praise works with only three types of people: men, women and children.”
—Old Vaquero Saying
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