I Hate Deadlines
The young man walked into the offices of the Pacific Tribune in Ilwaco, Washington, seeking employment to hold him over until the opening of the Salmon troll season. Winters were a tough time to find reliable income in the small coastal town, but the Tribune was looking for an "Ad Layout Artist," and he had dabbled in newspaper work. Fresh out of high school, he also had unbridled confidence that told him he could do anything he set his mind to; everything else came naturally.
The publisher/editor was a newcomer to the peninsula, much like himself, but had already earned a reputation for being different from the local population of hardy coastal residents. The newspaper staff greeted the hopeful applicant gathered in "the pit," an almost circular arrangement of layout boards propped up on an angle, each reflecting a page in the next edition. Being a small-town paper, the staff consisted of two typists, one reporter, and a receptionist who doubled as a "local gossip columnist." Everyone wore several hats, pulling duty as advertising sales, photojournalists, reporters, and, of course, ad layout artists. That assignment was the least favorable of the tasks required for a weekly publication, so the publisher, Herb Sweat, circulated the posting for an employment opportunity.
As the lad waited to speak with Mr. Sweat, he was aware of strange and somewhat frightening noises emanating from behind the frosted glass office door. A glance over at the staff in the pit caught them watching for his reaction before they quickly turned back to their work. When the door flew open, the man that stood before him was calm, but beads of sweat rolled down his forehead, and his face looked like a Dungeness crab recently pulled from a steaming pot. Surprisingly, no jungle inhabitants to match the noises heard could be seen coming from the office.
The interview was short, the position was secured, and the job started on the spot; after all, there was a deadline to meet. And so, I was thrust instantly into the community newspaper business, laying out ads, photographing high school sports, writing obituaries, clamming reports, and making just enough money to eat. Still, it wasn't all fun and games. There were long hours of applying hot wax to copy (type was printed, then cut and pasted using melted wax,) road trips with the girl's basketball team, and the never-ending reality of weekly deadlines. Man, I hated deadlines.
Yet, some 40 years later, I saddled myself with weekly deadlines in an effort to educate, entertain, and inspire my growing community of anglers here at Royal Treatment Fly Fishing. To say it has been a labor of love is an understatement; I genuinely love what the newsletter has become to so many of you, a connection to the outdoors when the indoors and life demands your time. Living vicariously through myself and my staff brings you closer to what we call the Royal Treatment family. We are proud to provide that fly fishing escape and, hopefully, some inspiration for your own adventures.
On any given day, I look around the shop and see conversations between friends who have met in the shop and built relationships they might never have, if not for this community of anglers brought together by a weekly newsletter. A newsletter that, in the future, will appear less frequently. I will still endeavor to entertain, educate, and inspire, but I plan to do more inspirational adventures personally, giving me more material to share with all of you. While this weekly intrusion into your inbox has never been a solo undertaking, the heavy lifting has always fallen to me, and now I wish to spend some of that time on the water. I know you can all understand that.
Please ensure you have signed up for Text Notifications, as I hope to utilize that media to keep our community connected between newsletters. In the meantime, Jennifer and I are off to the Metolius next week. We'll share the adventure when we return. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.