A big change is scheduled next week in my world
There is a big change that is scheduled for next week in Don Q’s world, and if you’re careless and not paying any attention, it just might catch you by surprise.
About now, you are probably wondering to yourself, “What change and why in the heck, should a change in Don Q’s world affect me?”
Well, hopefully it does.
For you see, beginning next week, the Outdoors page, which has been a fixture every Wednesday for a number of years, is moving to a new day of the week. It’s moving to Thursday.
Yep! So, on Oct. 2, don’t look for the Outdoors page in the Sports Section because it won’t be there.
However, I sincerely hope that on Thursday morning, Oct. 3, you will be one of the many faithful readers who will be reading that page at its new weekly location.
Why the change?
Well, to answer that particular question, I need to give you a little bit of necessary background.
Here is that background:
The Outdoors page began way back in March 1988. It was first published as a very modest, one-column piece about the outdoors, every Friday.
At that time, I had done some free-lance, outdoor writing for several outdoor publications.
I had also been actively involved with some back-and-forth practical jokes with a then-member of the Nevada Division of Wildlife in Reno.
I had successfully pulled off my latest practical joke on that individual and was nervously waiting for his retaliation.
At about that same time, he was approached by Don Ham, the then Managing Editor, and Lou Thomas, the then Sports Editor, of the Nevada Appeal for his recommendation for someone from the Carson City area who could provide outdoor information on a weekly basis for the newspaper.
He recommended me.
I was contacted by Ham and when he told me I had been recommended by that individual, I immediately thought, “Yeah sure! This is a set-up and here is the retaliation for my practical joke.”
I gave poor Ham a terrible time on the phone, thinking that this was his part of the latest practical joke.
He persisted and it slowly began to dawn on me that Ham was for real.
He was actually offering me a chance to write about the Great Outdoors for the Nevada Appeal!
We discussed his offer at length and I finally agreed to do so on three conditions:
1. That I liked doing it.
2. That he liked what I was doing.
3. And most importantly, that the readers liked what I was writing.
Well, all these many years later, I’m still here, so it must be OK!
Through those early years, that little column gave me an excellent opportunity to write about the Great Outdoors and, as a bonus, to also pick on my poor hunting, fishing and camping partners.
If anything was happening in the outdoors or something dumb had happened to one of those hunting, fishing or camping partners, the entire community immediately knew about it.
I was having a ball.
Then one day, I was asked if I were interested in moving to a new day of the week and expanding from a single column to a full page!
My first thought was, “Yes!”
My second thought was: “Wow! How in the heck can you fill an entire page with things about the Great Outdoors on a weekly basis?”
Wednesday was selected as the day of the week to run that page.
This was done for two very important reasons: It would enable me to write about what had occurred the preceding weekend and to also alert the readers about anything coming up that following weekend.
That new full page was to include such things as a weekly column, calendar, “Q-Tip,” fishing and/or hunting reports, information about meetings or other outdoor activities and any photographs (if available).
I worried and fretted about whether or not you could actually fill a full page on a weekly basis.
To my total delight, I immediately discovered, quite to the contrary, there was always more than enough to fill a page.
There never has been any problem in filling that page and in fact, there has always been more than enough for one page.
Through the years,there has been the opportunity to write about a multitude of outdoor activities such as:
Bird hunting, big game hunting, fresh water fishing, salt water fishing, fishing derbies, camping, backpacking, hiking, packhorse trips, white-water rafting, hot air balloon rides, photographing scenery, flowers and wildlife, numerous local, state, and national organizations, various fund raisers, annual sportsmen’s shows in Nevada and California, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, visiting places like California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, British Columbia, Alaska and Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Bali in Southeast Asia and much more.
It’s been a ball!
Which leads us to the present time.
Several weeks ago, Barry Smith, Managing Editor of the Nevada Appeal, asked if I were interested in moving to a new date (Thursday), which would involve creating TWO pages on a weekly basis, being able to pass on some of the great outdoor stories that come in over the national wire (for which there never has been space) and the opportunity to be able to run color photos instead of my standard black/white photographs.
Well, I might be ugly but I’m not dumb. I said, “You bet, Boss!”
And here we are!
So, next week, the Outdoors page is moving to Thursday.
It will expand to two pages, complete with everything from before, plus such things as wire stories, color photos and even advertising.
Not too shabby for someone who began with a tiny, single column story, back in 1988.
Fridays and Wednesdays have been a ton of fun, but I suspect that Thursdays will be even more fun.
Hope you join me. See ya on Thursday, Oct. 3 in the Sports Section.
— Bet Your Favorite Pigeon
Bet your favorite pigeon that he can’t tell you which column was the most difficult to write in my many years of association with the Nevada Appeal
He will tell you that it was the column that I wrote about the untimely death of my longtime friend, fishing partner, traveling companion and TV Co-Host Jim McGee. “Jimbo” will always be deeply missed.