Smoke Rings: A Young Magazine

A leading contributor discusses the complications of managing growth at a young magazine like GEM.

| January/February 1968

  • Smoke Rings
    GEM was a young magazine in 1968 but growing fast.
  • Fordson track-tractor
    A Fordson track-tractor belonging to Mr. Cooke. Courtesy of Bill Fogwell.
  • growing-magazine-aultman-taylor-tractor.jpg
    An Aultman Taylor tractor. It belongs to Oscar O. Cooke ofBillings, Montana. Courtesy of Bill Fogwell of Shellsburg, Iowa

  • Smoke Rings
  • Fordson track-tractor
  • growing-magazine-aultman-taylor-tractor.jpg

Well, by the time you are reading this GEM I suppose Christmas will have come and gone and the New Year will be upon us. And by the way with this issue, I guess we can say GEM is no longer an infant. It is growing up—it's now a toddler, so to speak—and I think it has grown in quality. We look forward to the third year as a challenge to make it even better than before as we are getting more material and more interested folks all the time. Thanks to you each and every one! So we are progressing, but we have our ups and downs and our errors. Try and remember we are still a young magazine. We're a growing magazine in more than one sense of that word and we shall keep growing and trying to make each issue better.

We have a good deal of material about gas engines, vintage tractors, and the like coming in right now, so if your picture or story doesn't get in right away, please try and be patient. And this is FINE that we are getting the material like this. It makes us feel real good and if you think it really is too long that we've had your material and haven't gotten it in, drop me a line and let me know and I'll try and make a special effort to get it in—you see we're not trying to favor anyone.  We try and get stories and pictures in from all the states, but it's pretty hard to keep track of. Don't get discouraged if your items aren't in right away. We do have a few that send us articles pretty regularly and they are in more frequently than others because they are sending data in steadily and also, we feel they have information you are seeking.

Family news: daughter Dana recently moved to Williamsburg, Virginia where her husband Bob is stationed. They have a lovely little apartment in which to start out their married life together, but she wasn't there more than two weeks when he was shipped out for two months so they will not be spending their first Christmas together. He'll be back in January and they will have a belated Christmas. It's too bad they will be separated for the Holidays, but one thing for sure they are not alone in this as there are so many couples experiencing the same thing. If only we could have "Peace on earth, good will toward men" forever and end these terrible wars; but I'm afraid it will always be and as long as man makes the world the way it is we'll all suffer the consequences in one way or another.

Our little grand daughter is now a grown-up toddler in her second year as she celebrated her first birthday December 2nd. We couldn't be with them, but I'm sure it was a big event. We'll celebrate one of these days when we get the clan together.

I really haven't any news from letters this time so there is no use in me rambling on and taking up space that can be used for more important subjects. However, I would like to use this paragraph I came across in my book Leaves of Gold.  It's called PROGRESS and we could take from it for the New Year and work on ourselves:

"Our business in life is not to get ahead of other people, but to get ahead of ourselves. To break our own record, to outstrip our yesterdays by todays, to bear our trials more beautifully than we ever dreamed we could, to whip the tempter inside and out as we never whipped him before to give as we never have given, to do our work with more force and a finer finish than ever.


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