Story by Rich Donnell,
Okay, it’s obvious when you look at the accompanying photo of our current editorial team that some of these editors aren’t old enough to have made much of a dent in very many of the 400 issues of Timber Processing—the issue in your hand being number 400! The young woman in the middle, associate editor Jessica Johnson, has been on board for two years. The kid in the dark jacket second from the left, associate editor Jay Donnell, has been in the mix for all of six months, since graduating from college. The fellow with the beard second from the right, senior associate editor David Abbott, is looking at nine years. Now we’re getting somewhere. The man kneeling with the bad neck third from the left, managing editor Dan Shell, has put in 25 years. The guy on the far left wearing those awesome steel-toed low-top boots, editor-in-chief Rich Donnell, has just surpassed 30 years, which takes him back to late 1983. But the gentleman on the far right, DK Knight, beats everybody in age (or rather experience). Having joined the editorial staff at Hatton-Brown Publishers in 1968, DK was editorial director when Timber Processing Industry first appeared as a new section of the Southern Loggin’ Times tabloid in May 1975, and when Timber Processing Industry became its own regional tabloid magazine in January 1976, and when it became a standard size national magazine in January 1978. In 1981, he became the co-owner and co-publisher of the company, so the rest of us cut him a lot of slack.
You may remember, or even still have, our November 1998 issue of Timber Processing. We celebrated our 250th issue with that one and devoted the entire issue to the celebration, including a listing of every sawmill we had ever visited. That difficult exercise made such an impression on the three older guys in the photo, that as issue number 400 approached us, our intent was to let it sail gracefully away in the night.
But then we decided we had to do a little something in recognition of issue 400. After all, when a baseball player hits his 400th home run, people start talking about the Hall of Fame. For our 400th issue, in addition to bragging about it in this column, we’ve presented quick reviews of some of the main industry news stories and mill technology developments that received a considerable amount of attention on the pages of Timber Processing. Also, we invited advertisers in this issue to submit short articles and photos on their companies and products. Some of them took the opportunity to delve into their own company histories.
Meanwhile, as you’ve probably already noticed, this issue also includes an article on our 26th annual Man of the Year, Kevin Hancock of Hancock Lumber in Casco, Maine. What’s really awesome is that his father, the late David Hancock, was our second Man of the Year back in 1990.