Friday, November 11, 2022

A Photographic Memory, Or Two

 November 11, 2022

   Memory is a funny thing. Photographic memory, not so funny.

   I pride myself on having a good memory, but sometimes a long forgotten piece of data can throw a wrench into that conceit. When Carole Glenn retired last month she sent me a couple boxes full of momentos, like old postcards we had created for the magazine and various other promotional and archival images she had saved and collected over the years, like this crazy one:

Our reaction to "Brokeback Mountain"
(a promotional postcard and a cover!)

 In one of the boxes was an email (printed out) from one of my original partners. After buying the magazine together (along with a third partner, Rick Baish) back in 1999, we fought over many things. He didn't think we should go from pulp to glossy paper. He didn't think we should sell advertising until we had stabilized our subscription base. He didn't think the magazine needed a redesign. ("If it ain't broke, don't fix it.") I could go on but needless to say, I remembered him as being very hostile to our efforts and fighting me at almost every turn. He sold out to my current partner Ken Amorosano and more or less wished us luck. All of this is true, but here is what he said to me in that email Carole saved, back in 2012:

   "I think the magazine is better than it has ever been. That includes, as a charter subscriber in 1953, going all the way back to the first issue. Have you talked to Jim Earle lately? He has been bragging on the magaine for years. You have done miracles with the advertising. And most ads add to the enjoyment of the magazine. True West has completely out-distanced Wild West. I doubt if they could continue to exist without the connection to Weider and his other mags. It is still mostly history. True West is what I would call more like 'Popular History' and 'history for vacationers." I usually turn first to the Truth Be Known page of quotes and jokes. Fun and some wise sayings. I read and enjoy your editorial page and Ask The Marshall. Always, of course, I look at the photos."

—Robert G. McCubbin (1937-2020)

   Sometimes our memories are clouded by petty conflicts that get in the way of remembering the bigger picture and how it actually played out. I will treasure this email and keep it to remind me of my feeble memory bank. Thanks Carole!

"No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar."

—Abraham Lincoln

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