Home' The Backwoodsman Magazine : November-December 2016 Contents EDITOR/PUBLISHER
SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS EDITOR/
REVIEW EDITOR/DIGITAL EDITOR
Charlie Richie Jr.
Charlene Richie Mohrle
Robin Richie Stewart
Stephen J. Norling
H Self-RelianceHHistoryHPrimitive Living Skills
The Magazine for the Twenty-First Century Frontiersman
NOTES FROM CHARLIE JR.
There’s no denying it, technology has severely changed all of our lives. Even
most Backwoodsman type readers have been affected by it in some way, both
positively & negatively. The magazine world is one industry that has and will
continue to be impacted by technology for as far as the eye can see. There’s no
stopping it if we wanted to, and casualties will obviously occur. It’s been very
apparent to most everyone that people are changing the way they receive their
news, and read their magazines. This fact was one of the motivating factors that
drove us to finally offer digital subscriptions. But even with all these changes tak-
ing place, people in our industry still did not know when the first big domino
would fall. All it takes is one to go down to start a chain reaction.
Around six months ago, our long-time distributor without any real notice
suddenly went out of business. It caused us to go on a mad scramble to find
another distributer that would continue the shipping of our magazines to the
thousands of stores & newsstands that carry us throughout the world.
Fortunately, we were able to find another distributer and trouble for the most
part was avoided. Other publications were not so lucky. For example, two of our
main competitors unexpectedly closed their doors due to the rapid ascendance of
digital media, consumer content preferences, and magazine wholesaler struggles.
It was a shock to us, and no matter how competitive we are, we never want to see
that happen to anyone. It’s the type of situation that makes you really think that if
it could happen to them, it could happen to us.
These are the type of worries that can keep you up at night, but we find comfort
in the fact that in the end it goes back to some of the strong reasons why my
parents started this magazine over 36 years ago in the first place, the Readers.
They of course started it with the goal of preserving the “Old Way of Life”, and
to connect people that were interested in all of the fascinating subjects that are
involved in this preservation process. Now, it’s obviously our livelihood and all
that, but we do still truly receive tremendous satisfaction from seeing readers
share their experiences, learn from other readers, and for some, transform the
way they live and see the world. Whether it’s from a subscription or from a pur-
chase at your local bookstore or even reading us online, we fully appreciate your
business & loyalty that many of you have expressed to us over the many years.
We’re grateful every day to wake up and be able to work for this magazine, but
obviously without you there would be no magazine at all. In our opinion, you are
the best readers in the world! This is why we have plans to stick around, and will
bravely withstand any changes that are thrown our way. Experiencing a little
turbulence every now and then is not necessarily a bad thing as long as it doesn’t
end up causing you to crash. It has a way of re-focusing you and bringing it all
back to the beginning of why you went down this road in the first place.
Finally, although this editorial will not be read until the middle of August
when schools are starting and the end of the summer is upon us, I’m writing this
at the beginning of July just after a trip with the family down to the Hill Country
in West Texas. It was a hellish 10-hour drive both ways down in 100-degree
heat, and because of recent car troubles, we were forced to rent a vehicle for our
excursion, which happened to be a brand new red Ford Expedition. It was exactly
the type of vehicle that West Texas police profile while looking for Mexican Cartel
affiliated people. I know this because we were stopped two different times
heading down for strange reasons, then let go without any tickets issued after
passing inspection. Once we finally got to our intended destination, which was the
banks of the cold Nueces River, it was all well worth it.
If you’re lucky enough to do so, getting away from it all is practically necessary
in order to deal with the growing amount of problems that our society faces each
and every day. I think everyone needs a place that allows for a certain sense of
clarity to take over your mind. It doesn’t have to be a place that is ten hours
away either. It could just be your local park or a place on your land that no one
else goes to. It always helps me to bring it all back to how beautiful our planet
really is. Most importantly, it reminds me how great it is to be alive!
A. Brent Smith
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