FROM THE EDITOR

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We are ringing in the new year with the announcement that GEM circulation has now reached and topped the 20,000 figure-and we shall do everything within our power to keep our growing family of subscribers and advertisers happy.

Reaching 20,000 would undoubtedly please the late Rev. Elmer Ritzman, who founded GEM in 1966 after having pioneered with Iron-Men Album, his magazine for steam traction engine collectors.

With the entry of the new year we announce with mixed emotions the retirement of Helen Ament, who has been business manager of Stemgas Publishing Co since the present ownership started in 1973. Helen, after years of steadfast service, has decided to try a more relaxed way of life with her husband, Jim, who has also been with Stemgas since 1973. We'll miss the Aments deeply, yet we rejoice that they are young and healthy enough to enjoy many more years.

Helen's successor is Mary Ann Nielsen, and we hope to tell you more about Mary Ann in the next issue. Jim's work in shipping and receiving will be carried on by Don Beck; more on him later too.

Another announcement is one we regret to have to make. George Neal, our cheery representative for recent years at Pennsylvania and Maryland shows, has died. We express our sympathy to his widow and partner, Pauline, whose address is 230 N. Aurora Street, Easton, Maryland 21601.

Our show directory work is proceeding on schedule and copies should be available as usual at the end of February. If you have not placed an order, please do so now. This will be our 15th Show Directory.

The Collector's Network project is tootling right along and you'll hear more on that soon.