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Just received the December issue of the Schoharie Valley Rambler and read Ron Springstead's farewell article. Ron is retiring as editor after 10 years and turning the job over to Debbie Soucia. Congratulations Ron on a job well done and welcome Debbie! Also this issue contains an article by Herman & Cande Zapp who completed their trip from Argentina to Prudhoe Bay Alaska. Everyone who knows about this couple and their great adventure will enjoy reading it.

jnp

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I do read Ron's farewell address. I'll be asking Ron for permission to reprint his adventures at publishing a newsletter. I had the same feelings as he in getting "the" award at Philly. My newsletter has probably brought the real me out more than anything I've ever done. So, I can relate to Ron's experiences. Congradulations, Ron. You've done a good job and the hobby has benefited from it. Good luck in the future. Wayne Burgess, Editor-Northern Neck Region

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As an AACA region editor, I have exchanged newsletters with Ron for 3 years and enjoyed doing so. Also, knowing the amount of time one must dedicate to a region newsletter, I hope that Ron now has some time for activities he has been wanting to do but unable because of his commitment. Congratulations on a job well done Ron over the years.

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Thanks for the kind words and I'd like to comment on YOU guys. grin.gif

John Packard... A real glutton for punishment! I can't imagine holding the job of Region President and editing a Master Editor publication at the same time. John, you truly must be one of a kind guy! smile.gif

Wayne Burgess: The changes you've made to your newsletter truly made you deserving of the Master Editor award you earned last year! I enjoy reading every issue you send me. By the way, you don't have to ask permission to reprint my articles. On the front page of <span style="font-style: italic">The Rambler</span> I give permission to reprint any article as long as the author & publication are identified. cool.gif

Bruce Wheeler: I was happy to meet you and Di at Philly. The job you've done with the "Horn" will put you on stage picking up your M.E. Award, if not this year, real soon. Keep up the good work! wink.gif

I don't plan on being "retired" forever. I am too opinionated to be silenced. During my retirement I plan on learning more about how this *%@#% computer works. I've bought many updates to my desktop publishing software and probably haven't learned half of the new features. I also want to look into getting an SVR webpage hosted on the AACA site. I've toyed with the idea of writing an article for <span style="font-style: italic">The Rummage Box</span> relating my experiences as Editor. I think my experiences are unique in that our Region was only three years old when I became Editor. I think I can relate a story about, not only a struggling Editor but also, a fledgling Region.

I hope to spend more time here on the DF and share my thoughts with all who care to read them. I have met some of you in person and consider you close friends. Many of you I have not yet met but somehow you too seem to be close friends as well! This is a great organization that fosters friendships across the country. Let's keep it going! smile.gif

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Hey Ron-I gotta echo all the other comments here - you've had a great ride! I can remember when I was VP of Pubs we spoke often about newsletters and you always had great input. Go ahead and write that rummage box article - it would be great, and I know Dave Berg is always looking for material (his preference is to keep Enzo the cat chasing mice from the garage instead of dancing on his keyboard). If there is one thing about your tour of duty at the helm of your newsletter thats an important message for any editor, it's vital that the editor be really involved in the region, its organization and all the activities. You've done a great job and I'm glad to have had a chance to work with you. Please don't stop writing!

Terry

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Ron puts out a great newsletter. We always read it cover to cover when it arrives in our mailbox. I'm going to miss hearing his two cent "ramblings" each month. That said, we always read ALL the AACA newsletters sent to us. Every one of them has something to offer in its unique way. And we are encouraged to see the progress many of them are making as they strive to improve each issue.

Terry makes a good point (which our region has learned the hard way). The editor MUST be an active member, one who knows the local members, are clear on what those members expect from the newsletter, and most importantly, how hard to push those buttons to get support when needed.

Like Ron, Vern and I are stepping down as editors with this issue. We just finished up the December Beam, and are looking forward to being "just members" for a while. We've served three stints as editors, and while we'll probably be back for a fourth at some point, it's past time for us to take a step back.

Jan K.

Wis Region

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Hey Terry,

I remember well when you helped me through a really tough time as Editor. After receiving my first Award Of Excellence I thought I had improved my publication the following year yet only earned an Award Of Distinction. You very diplomatically had me look towards "content". For those of you not familiar with the details, suffice it to say that our Region suffered a dispute over a car show that almost tore our Region apart. I was one of the people singled out by the disputing member and that may have clouded my judgement.

Anyway, I felt it my duty to report all the details since the SVR, like many Regions, only have less than half of their members attend monthly meetings. To inform the majority of SVR members of what was going on, I named names, included statements and revealed details for all to read. I thought I was doing a service for the absentee members by including all the details. I soon learned, with your help, that AACA takes a dim view of the airing of ANY dirty laundry in any publication.

Thanks, Terry, for being there when I needed help and I'm glad to have met you at Philly when I finally received my ME! laugh.gif

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Ron, I heard about your story, and the results, but I'm not sure I agree with them. I guess this is where I get into Howard Scotland territory. As an editor, I feel that you have to report all pertinant details to the membership so that the members that can't attend meetings for reasons of health, night eyesight problems, or other issues that keep them from meetings, can keep up with the news. Naming names might be a little on the harsh side. I think you should report details of a conflict just as you would if you were talking to the offending individual to his face. You can be a little strong without being rude. Our club has just gone through the same issues you are talking about. We had one officer that keep trying to sway the vote his way, or it seemed that way to a lot of us. I try very hard to be impartial in my bylines, but I had to say my piece as diplomatically as I could without defaming anyone, a hard job to do. At any rate, I will say, if an editor or any of the clubs members give out complimentry newsletter issues to the public, you surely don't want a newsletter that is controversial to be seen by the general public. I would like to know how others feel about the content of the "editor's page" in monthly newsletters. All of this is just my opinion, of course! Wayne

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Wayne,

I read your column about your Region's car show mess and thought you treated it correctly. Your members who were not at that meeting could "read between the lines" and have a pretty good idea of what took place. When I, as an outsider, read the article I understood there was some controversy concerning the show but had no idea who the trouble makers were or are.

The mistake I made and you avoided was my report was too detailed. Mine said that this guy said this, the other guy said that and several got upset. I learned (and hope others do also) that outsiders should only be able to read the basic facts about any controversy in any newsletter. Members can find other ways of learning the details if they so desire.

Some of us had to learn the hard way while others can publish a fine newsletter by following the guidelines that AACA now provides its Editors. grin.gif

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Ron,

I got caught in this same trap a few years ago. One of our outspoken members and frequent contributor wrote a piece critical of the club and its leadership. Unfortunately I published it and incurred the ire of the members who were mentioned in the article. They in turn wrote strong replies that I felt obligated to publish since I had printed the original piece. Our newsletter rating dropped that year. Since, I have studiously avoided printing anything that controversial. If members want to hear the criticisms, let them attend the meetings.

jnp

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I find at sometimes it better to just write nothing if something can't be written unobjectively. I've even edited the President's message now and then. I try not to take any sides as far as the newsletter is concerned. Similar to what was mentioned earlier, our newsletter is often read by nonmembers and potential members.... and I won't darken the region's image for a dispute. Also, our region is too small to create enemies. grin.gif

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Personally, I don't think it's right to edit out content from an article submitted by a member, or for that matter, articles from <span style="font-style: italic">The Rummage Box</span> without an Editor's comment that the article has indeed been edited for either space or content reasons. I have always included a disclaimer on the front page of <span style="font-style: italic">The Rambler</span> that "opinions expressed herein are not necessarily the views of the AACA or its Schoharie Valley Region".

Maybe I'm old fashioned but I still believe that, if you have nothing to hide, let the truth be told. In this age of "Politically Correctness", there are getting fewer & fewer places where the truth can be reported!

Oh well, my stint as Editor is over and I don't have to worry about it anymore. My comments here on the DF are not in any competition for any type of award so I can speak my mind and let the chips fall where they may.

Maybe I can become a slightly younger version of my hero, Howard Scotland! shocked.gif

Happy Holidays!!!

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Talk about someone who states his mind in no uncertain terms, that's Howard. I remember when I joined Chesapeake Region in the mid sixties Howard would report back to the club about national AACA events that he attended. He never minced any words; but reported exactly how he felt on the subject. To his credit he became a national officer and served two terms as President. He not only stated his mind; but also worked hard to improve the organization.

jnp

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Ron has made a wonderful contribution to his region for many years. I believe that a Region or Chapter Newsletter is the best communication tool a Region has, encouraging participation in activities and attendance at meetings. I'm pleased to read that Ron still intends to be active in other communication areas.

I'll look forward to continuing to get and read "The Schoharie Valley Rambler."

As a member of the Publications Committee, let me thank Ron for all he has done.

Jeanne wink.gif

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Ron,

Maybe I should clarify my post in regards to editing comments. I'm not a raving maniac censor that willy nilly chops up articles. I don't edit out content just to be PC. Anyone that knows me knows I am often extreme far from being senseless PC. I just take note of any knee jerk, off the cuff comments that can hurt someone else, even if it is not intentional. If I feel that something is not appropriate for the newsletter I let the contributor know and either suggest an amendment or tell then how I can resolve it.

If a member takes the time and hard work to chair an event, only to read someone's opinion in the newsletter such as "the awful entertainment and food really stunk", they will often not volunteer again. The fact may be true and the truth can be told, but I feel there are more tactful ways of expressing opinion.

Its been a pleasure exchanging newsletters and ideas with you over the past few years.

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Hey-it's great to see Jeanne on the DF. Welcome! Without making any promises on your behalf, I know that your years of involvement with regional publications brings a valuable resource to this DF. Not to change the subject, but isn't it wonderful that I can sit here suffering from the worst dang cold I've had in centuries and still enjoy the hobby! Earlier I was looking at Ebay and it almost felt like I was at a flea market someplace. And, this great big box just got delivered today and my wife said it's my Christmas present. Sent by someone named "Dell" so I got a feeling she really wants me to stay off her PC so she can get some work done!

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Terry,

I have to echo your words of welcome to Jeanne here on the DF! laugh.gif I think it's great when any AACA Officer, Director or anyone with ties to Hershey finds time to check in here. If only more would do so....

Now, if I can back up one post to the one made by "BruceW", I'd like to clarify something. Bruce, my comments about editing content was in no way meant as a criticism towards you. I think you know that I think you're doing a great job with <span style="font-style: italic">The Harford Horn</span>. I think that your approach of asking the author to tone down some comments that might be offensive is a good one. My main thought was that it's too bad that our society has gotten so thin skinned that we all have to [@!#!$] foot around so that the truth doesn't offend anyone. frown.gif

As I stated before, if you have nothing to hide, let the truth be told! smirk.gif

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Hey Terry,

I've been suffering with a bad cold since before Thanksgiving. Got the flu shot too; so I guess it is not the flu. Did a lot of yard work prior to the back-to-back snowstorms and experienced a touch of sore throat. It took me all day on both Friday and Saturday to clean up the snow (one foot each day) and it has been downhill every since. Also explains my time spent here and watching the political campaign shenanigans on CSPAN!

Bruce,

I will selectively edit a word or two here and there to tone down statements made in articles that I receive. However, one contributor even objects to that so if I have a problem with his current contribution I just don't print it. The trick I guess is to edit without changing the "character" of the person's writing. I bought a piece of software once that would evaluate writing based upon a wide variety of standards. It got so that I could write most anything to satisfy that piece of software.

jnp

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As an editor of two newsletters for 10.5 years (5 AACA and 5.5 indy pre WWII, of which 3 years I did both at the same time) I can tell you that when a newsletter editor moves on it is hard to replace that person. Both my replacements are retired and do a great job, the clubs were lucky. I know the new person will have big shoes to step into. I spent time with both and gave them newsletters from ones collected at Philly and my AACA replacement went to the seminar his first year and he quickly was up to speed.

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