During the 2019 Harvest from Hell, between loads of seed and shelled corn, I've been considering what to do with Andover's remaining magazine, Remember the Rock. It took a rainy day in December for me to decide whether to continue with its publication. With no machinery in need of immediate attention to distract me, I spent the morning in the office and pondered the situation.
We have enough material in-house to fill 40 pages of another issue—comprehensive articles that have been long term projects from two authors. So, I was looking at 45 days of work to produce another issue. That's the upside.
Now for the downside. As the average age of RTR's subscribers has increased, so the number of subscription renewals has declined. Worse yet, quite a few hobby shops closed up since 2008, and the number of hobby shops willing to carry a special interest magazine like RTR has been in free fall. Thus, our dealer sales have been on a parallel decline. The business situation for RTR is not sustainable.
This morning, I received the news I'd been dreading, that due to her medical issues, we will no longer enjoy the services of AJP Art Director Tanya Anderson. This finalized my decision to cease publication of Remember The Rock.
Tanya's contribution to Andover's magazine and book line resulted in sharp and ‘contrasty’ photographs, no matter how poor the original. She has her own recipes for scanning that have made every project look great. She is legendary at the two printers we used over the years, as her work in print looks just like it does on her screens. Tanya is also a phenomenal bookkeeper; she would drive me crazy with her attention to detail. Her Excel work is so good our accountant has used her templates.
I've been in the railroad publishing biz since 1985. Remember the Rock was the name of our first paperback book. Phil Hastings and his wife showed up at the farm with a Kodak paper box full of black-and-white 8x10s. No computers in those days, so Johnny Krause, Ed Crist and I made a 48-page book out of it on the dining room table the old fashioned way, with x-acto'd columns of typeset and halftones waxed to large sheets of card stock. The title served as inspiration for the magazine that debuted in 2004.
The final issue of Remember The Rock is Vol. 13 Nos. 1 & 2, published earlier this year. It's been a great run, but I guess all good things have to end sooner or later. Thank you all for making the last fifteen years so rewarding.