Home' The Backwoodsman Magazine : Sept-Oct 2019 Contents 6
Notes From Charlie SR.
I was reading something about one of my favorite racers, namely Charlie Davis Jr., of
Arizona sprint car racing fame. Charlie’s early life wasn’t one where he was given a key to
success, he had to earn it. If he wanted to race, he had to make the parts and prove himself.
The same can be said in regards to starting a business. When you invest your own sweat
and effort, and you experience the ups and downs, success means so much more to you. If
you earn it you never feel entitlement.
My dad worked most of his adult life for a large oil company. In other words, he did
what most of the world does and that is work for the other man. No shame involved in that
he accomplished every goal he wanted or needed. But I never chose that same path, by
nature I guess I can’t work for other people. I was a fishing guide for 20 years and during
that time I was also a free-lance outdoor writer for several major outdoor publications.
The woods and waters were my home and also my place of refuge during times when the
mental stress of life became too great. Over time I formulated an idea about starting a
unique publication, one that would harken back to the old days before 1900 when there
were at least two magazines published with the format I wanted to emulate. When I talked
to other editors about my idea, all I got was negative feed-back and how much money it
would take to even get my idea off the ground. They said I was ill-prepared for the life of a
publisher-editor and that all I had ever been was someone who spent too much time fishing
and wandering the backwoods. Discouraging words... I heard plenty of it. But when you
have something burning inside you, something that you have to try, because if you don’t,
it will haunt you the rest of your life... you find a way. Needless to say, with my family’s
encouragement and sacrifices, Backwoodsman was slowly and surely brought to life. The
rest is history I guess, because it is 40 years later and Backwoodsman is an institution, not
merely a magazine.
But there is a bottom line to all this. We earned it, and I have never felt entitled. Not for
one day am I going to sit back and take everything for granted. We have made a success
because the readers of this publication have seen fit to adopt a special publication, and
they are very true to our philosophy and the things we do in each issue. If there was a way
to change BWM and still have what we have now I would, but there isn’t because as I said
Backwoodsman is an institution not just a magazine. We owe every bit of it to you guys.
I’ll wind down this editorial by saying something that I feel in my heart and soul and
this is the lesson in my editorial. Never feel like you are entitled to something. Earn the
right, over and over... the only way anything can succeed is by hard work and effort. Be
the best you can be on a daily basis.
Now, on to other things. Magazines are sounding boards, they put a subject out there
and hope that someone will read it and have something to say about it. Backwoodsman
is no different in many respects. There are times when we intentionally put something a
little controversial in these pages. The appearance of the article in Backwoodsman doesn’t
always mean we endorse the subject, it just means that we are publishing it, and if we get
a reaction out of it, we have achieved our goal. This isn’t saying that we aren’t passionate
about our material, but every once in awhile we like to let you read about something that
you may not legally be able to do. It is our right to publish the material, and your right
to read it... it’s America, not Nazi Germany. You may not legally have the right to build
what you read about but you do have the right to read about it. Case in point... the rifle to
pistol article. You do have the right to read the story, just don’t build the pistol. How do I
personally feel about this subject? I think it harkens back to a day when Americans were
strongly governed by the Federal Government and there were a bunch of unreasonable
laws in the books.
One more thing and I will end this editorial. When Lynne and I started Backwoodsman
all those years ago, we more or less made a pack that we would never get too impor-
tant for our own good. We wanted our readers to feel like they could reach out to us. We
wanted them to share their feelings and thoughts with us. We wanted them to know that
Backwoodsman was theirs, and what they put into it they would get out of it. I really don’t
see an end to what we are doing, because the concept is as alive today as it was all those
years ago. Our fraternity of Backwoodsman is still growing.
“I’M BETTER WHEN I LET MY REBEL RUN”
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