May 9, 2005
Well, it isn't all glitz and "Dig Me!" glory in the magazine business. Here's an Email I got this morning:
Disgusted with True West magazine
After several years of hoping True West would get back to its roots of a high-quality, informative, western publication. I see its main purpose is an advertising vehicle. Bob Boze Bell should be ashamed of himself for purchasing this magazine from its former owner, and converting it into a slick medium designed primarily to attract advertisers, and sparingly "squeeze in" some history about the old west. I used to look forward to buying my copies when it was published out of Oklahoma, but no longer. You've certainly lost me as a reader. Perhaps you should consider renaming the magazine to TRUE WEST ADVERTISING! It certainly would be more appropriate.
—Bill Sievers, Natick, Mass.
Here’s my Email back to Bill:
Well, it pains me to read your thoughtful Email. I'm sorry we haven't achieved the balance between history and advertising that would keep you as a regular reader.
For me personally it has been a tough balancing act to say the least. From day one, my goal has been to have at least 60 pages of editorial in every issue, because that was the basic formula in the old magazine. As we have come to depend more and more on advertising, sometimes that mix has gotten watered down. I think the last issue had 56 pages of editorial. Still, we have tried to get the best writers, photos, maps and artwork we can get, and I'm disappointed you don't feel that quality has kept pace with your interests. I do appreciate your honesty, and that you took the time to write.
Robert Ray finished up most of the newest issue this afternoon. It's chocked full of great cow-boy images from Bob McCubbin. Too bad Bill is going to miss those. They are humdingers, every one.
Our good friend Bob Reece sent me this:
As you may know I've been covering Thom Ross's crazy art project from the beginning via the Friends of the Little Big Horn website—Thom recently sent me a few of his new posters for the project and they're fantastic. We're selling them for him (he's donating a percentage of each poster sold to the Friends projects for 2005). Of course, the Friends are non-profit like you are non-profit and almost like NPR is non-profit, but they make more non-profit than all of us combined!
So, if you're feeling generous, I would appreciate it if you would note the poster being available for sale in your journal. (No, Thom did not put me up to this) The link to the poster sale is at: http://www.friendslittlebighorn.com/thomrossposter.htm
Had a very nice Mother’s Day celebration over at Mother Radina's yesterday. Kathy sent flowers to my mother in Cody, and of course, I get the credit. Sweet!
"The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness."
—Honoré de Balzac
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