1. December 15 is your 13th Hammock Day. How does that make you feel? Amazed. It truly doesn’t seem like that long, although my newspaper and PR days that preceded Hammock. seem far, far in the past. And its being the 13th anniversary doesnﾕt bother me ﾐ for all you wordies, the fear of 13 is called Triskaidekaphobia.
2. Since we are on the subject, do you like horror movies? I havenﾕt seen any of the Friday 13th movies or others in that genre, except for part of the battle between Freddy and Jason, which was on TV last summer. I really liked the old horror standards, like The Wolfman and Dracula, which scared me silly as a child. Young Frankenstein is practically sacred to me. Oddly, I find some Disney cartoon classics more upsetting than gory stuff like ﾒAlien.ﾓ I have a strong negative reaction to the theme of children losing one or more parent and/or being separated from parents. I could barely sit through “Finding Nemo.”
3. Scariest moment of your life? In college, while on a trip to Yosemite, a friend who had been working there convinced me to jump off a 20-or-so-foot cliff into a mountain stream. He went first and was fine. I jumped, looked down, and could see clear to the bottom. It looked like there was 6 inches of water, and that I had failed to jump far enough to clear an outcropping of rock. Turned out the stream was at least 15 feet deep, but so clear that it was like glass, and I did jump far enough. I will never do that kind of thing again unless I must to survive.
4. What has been the biggest change for you since last Hammockday? Workwise, it’s been adding “Semper Fi, the Magazine of the Marine Corps League” to our production cycle on top of “Ride PWC Magazine.” I didn’t think it could be done. During the last two weeks of the cycle, I still don’t believe it. Getting to go to the Marine events such as the Evening Parade in DC and the Expo trade shows has been an amazing experience for me, a non-veteran. Personally, itﾕs the weight I’ve gained during this same period.
5. What are some things people don’t know about you? I used to belong to a union, and walked a picket line. For a time in college and afterward, I worked in college libraries and thought about becoming a librarian. I hate Brussels Sprouts, but have eaten a wide variety of odd foods, including eel, bear and haggis. I’ve seen a UFO, and once lived in a dorm that had a poltergeist. When I was a child, my grandfather who worked on a railroad in Virginia let me “drive” a diesel train—i.e., hold the throttle. I had a twin brother named Bob. I have never played Nintendo, XBox, PSP, or any other TV video game.
6. If you didnﾕt work at Hammock Publishing, what would you be doing? Freelance writing, probably. Maybe back to a newspaper, or get a degree in library science and do that. Or run a bar. I have a name stolen from an old New Yorker cartoon: “The Strength to Go On Bar and Grill.”
7. What jobs would you really hate having? I would loathe having to work in a big bureaucracy in any industry. I’ve worked in a college bureaucracy, and that was bad. If you think academia is somehow purer than other fields, it ain’t. Working at a big newspaper was also something of a bureaucracy, although I was at the low end of the pipleline. I would also not do well at all in sales.
8. What is your dream vacation destination? I am not much of a beach personﾑitﾕs never as good as Jimmy Buffett makes it sound. The West Coast is a place I never get tired of visiting, although I got tired of living there years ago. Like J-Rob, I’d like to see the Greek Islands again, especially Mykonos. My wife and I hope to go to Russia again next year. I am starting to brush up on my Russian already.
9. What is the one thing you wonﾕt leave home without? My wallet. I can do without most anything else, but even when just walking in the neighborhood, I carry it.
10. If you could do something over at Hammock, what would it be? There are a number of hindsight errors I would avoid, but if I hadn’t messed up in the first place, I wouldnﾕt know how to handle them, I guess. The one omission I’d correct is that I never took off a few weeks to learn how to drive a big rig when we published a trucking magazine.