Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just An Old Magazine

I rounded the corner of the hallway into the kitchen to find my Sweet Wife just about to dump some colorful items into the trash. I asked what she was about to throw away, she replied, "Just this old magazine and other junk."

I recognized the old market bag. It had keep me company for many years; packed full of heirlooms, vintage outdoor sporting magazines I'd purchased here and there over a lifetime. It was once a hobby. I enjoyed the memories they evoked, they gave back to me my lost youth. Sadly over the years I'd sold many as the price per copy, as determined by date of publication, proved to profitable to turn down when offered.

The practical side of me said keep a few, and I did so and even regretted those lost to the call of the dollar. I had a habit, on a rare winters day, of taking a few to sit before a nice fire with a cup of coffee and relive my youth.

Those long forgotten moments of my childhood would come flooding back over some simple advertisement like a soft fishing plug ad by Heddon Fishing Lures or perhaps Alladdin's Stanley thermos ads with its, 'Don't Worry, You Can't Break It,' slogan.

I took the copy destined for the trash and held it, smoothed its edges. It was published in May of 1966. When it first appeared in some far away mail box I was a teenager...forty five long years ago. A young man full of, as my grandfather said, piss and vinegar. A tall lanky six foot one inch wild kid with a bad reading and gun habit not opposed to walking a mile to fish a creek with an old cane pole rigged with a simple hook, sinker and cork. My can of worms carefully dampened and forgotten as I sat back in the shade and read Hemingway.  

I enjoyed holding this old magazine again with its beautiful cover. This was back when most of the magazines still used illustrators and insisted they hand paint original cover art suitable to the season of the year. Spring and Summer you'd find boats and boys and men with fishing gear, raging and dramatic scenes of fighting the big one. Fall and Winter it was wildlife; deer and bear and of course, the mighty Whitetail Deer with Nimrod Jones and his Winchester. I loved best the bird scenes though, flushed coveys of Bobwhites or Grouse with Shotgun Bob ready for his double.

I remember when Robert Ruark's serialized, The Old Man and The Boy,' ran monthly in (I think) Field & Stream. I still break out my first edition of the story in hardback, ever so often, and read and remember when life was simple. Robert's rest came in Spain.

Another writer of the day was Ted Trueblood. Ted's articles. in Sports Afield, spanned years. Each month he'd take me camping or fishing or packing the wild wilderness of the west on hunts for elk and moose.

There were many others, far too many for my now tepid mind to remember. But I still have a few of these old magazines, my memories in sweet scented aged paper, to remind me.

Think I'll keep my last few remaining copies. They are not just old magazines.



  1. "They are not just old magazines."

    Nope. They're full of memories, and still function as a window to a past that's gone but not forgotten. Not yet, anyway.

  2. Rev. Paul, you do indeed understand...thank you.

    MDR, I bet many of us have the same habit.

  3. One mans(women)trash, another man treasure.

  4. Yeah, I have those memories too. Way back when.

  5. What a great post!
    I have a few old magazines I keep, for the same reason you keep yours. Just picking one up, or seeing the cover of it, takes me back to when I bought that magazine new, in a much simpler world.
    Hang on to them....those feelings are priceless.

  6. Rob, very true, thanks.

    YeOldFurt, when we were all so young, yes Sir, Thanks.

    drjim, thanks. We are much alike...

  7. NEVER throw away old outdoor lifes!! i had a subscription for 10 year when i was a kid - it was my grandfather's xmas gift to me ever year.

    i had 2 crates of them in storage in my parents attic - a family of racoons crapped all over them - seriously!

    the articles about hunting and fishing and backwoods survival are timeless... it is a great magazine - keep every one of them!!

    the smell sure brings back memories, i have a few Popular Mechanics form the 50s and they smell fantastic!

    thanks for the fond memories my friend!!

  8. Jambaloney, oh, I never throw away any old outdoor magazines....sell them, yes, I have in the past but no longer. I once had hundreds and hundreds dating back to 1898 or so. I hope you have recovered and are free of pain. Sorry about what happened. Watch your six.

  9. Dear Stephen - i love old magazines and books. and i think that i already told you this but will tell you again...there was a magazine in the late 70's to late 80's about going "back to the land" here in Canada called Harrowsmith. jambaloney's parents kept all of them and we have them all. and refer to them regularly. and treat them better than gold.

    we also have a bunch of old farming encyclopedia's and whatnot. i love those things!

    old magazines and books are gold these days. and can teach us everything that we need to know!

    lovely post!
    your friend,

  10. kymber, I do remember you mentioned 'Harrowsmith,' I'd like to find a copy. Thank you...