JC, TRA and the future of rocketry

[ cross-posted from ROL ]
John Cato's' responses inline (posted with permission). As you will see
from his closing remark, he will not be engaging this interactively so
debate efforts to debate are wasted.
John speaks with authority with respect to historical events, about
which almost everyone is ignorant. That handful of people who know the
truth will have to transcend their own agendas (what JC refers to as
'rationalization') to grasp his motives
I will acknowledge in advance, that some will feel that this is an
inopportune time to resurrect the past. Especially a past that may put
the "experimental" branch of the hobby in a negative light.
The fact is that the deficiencies in national leadership has put, and
will continue to put the hobby at risk. Deficiencies which precipitated
BATFE involvement.
If we are to proceed into a future where amateur rocketry in all its
manifestations is recognized as safe and legal, we must take
responsibility for creating that reality and consensus.
This is what JC is saying. This is what John Wickman is leading us in.
That is the "relationship" which eluded Ray.
JC admits that his concerns re: noncommercial motor manufacture are
personal. But those concerns, and others, must be addressed in the minds
of congress, so that that future can be realized.
- iz
Ray Dunak > Anyone who screws with someone else's launch has serious problems, to
say the least.
Like who? Those TRA members up north of me who jeopardized the financial
future of the landowner (theirs and mine - one in the same) and the
future of my site here by holding a clandestine and illegal 'EX' launch
- not telling a single soul outside the 13 who attended (including the
other two clubs whose future there was put in just as much jeopardy as
my own site)?
Is that 'who'?
Yeah - I agree -- they've got serious problems.
I find it curious that you should mention Mr. Cato this way, since by
his reckoning all EX rocketry is illegal (and he apparently feels the
same about HPR). Kind of puts him at odds with you and John Wickman, as
well as just about everyone else in the hobby.
I've always said (and started to again after your post below - almost
predicting Ray's response - which, as you see above, he fulfilled my
prophesy)...
... at any rate, I've always said that this hobby can do whatever it
wants provided two (and ONLY two) conditions are met:
1) it must be safe (or, alternately, conducted in such a manner that
anomalous events are rendered inert in their ability to cause harm to those
a) not participating and/or
b) not aware of the risk they may be under, even if participating - or
any property they may own or control)... and...
2) it must be legal (to the absolute BEST of the organizer's ability to
determine (this additional condition is what 'nails' far too much of the
'efforts' here)).
As regards Item #1, I must confess I am not completely sure mixing
propellant in a KitchenAid is the best thing - nor 'slicing' the grains
on a Craftsman 'chop saw'. This stuff is like a grenade - it's safe
until it's NOT safe and then it REALLY is not safe. It very well may
involve a grasp of chemistry equivalent to at least a year of college
level training and education. The problem I see is that far too much
'rationalization' is utilized to justify doing what one wants. It could
still be 'safe' in that context -- but the one thing that kills it dead
in the water is the fact that a lot of who practice this ABSOLUTELY WILL
*NOT* admit that rationalization is going on here...
... and, in that, I rest my case. If they can't ADMIT the weakness (and
potential harm) from that kind of mental process, then they have
categorically proven that they are unqualified to be undertaking this
activity. It can change - they can be 'safe' - but until they can simply
"be honest", they can't claim they are qualified.
As regards Item #2, 'breaking the law' simply voids the insurance (such
that it is -- and I frankly believe TRA is lying about ANY kind of
insurance for this stuff). I mean, TRA's own documents and webpages say
it very clearly - violating the bylaws (that require compliance with
"all federal, state and local laws, ordinances, rules, regulations..."
etc.etc.etc.) as a condition for insurance coverage - and then VIOLATING
those self-same 'laws, ordinances, rules, regulations...' makes them the
biggest hypocrites since God knows when. I might could even learn to
keep my mouth shut and tolerate such incredibly unprofessional behavior
- EXCEPT the fact that something in excess of 99.99% of the launch sites
in this country are NOT owned by the hobbyists using it. In other words,
somebody ELSE is laying it on the line for them to 'play' with their
'toys' - and assuming the potential life-destroying liability...
... and yet these hobbyists will represent to these landowners that what
they are doing is a 'fine, upstanding' endeavor -- CREATING the
impression in this landowner's mind that - additionally (and, at a
minimum) what they are doing is LEGAL and their (this landowner's)
future is being protected by *some* kind of insurance.
That is lying. Plain and simple.
That is not (necessarily) 'illegal'.
It is not necessarily 'unethical' (altho I consider it such).
It is *immoral*.
If one cannot conduct themselves in this hobby at a higher plane of
behavior than to engage in what any decent and sane and rational human
would consider 'immoral' behavior, then the option is simple - you don't
do it.
Want to do 'EX' (in a state or locale that disallows it)? Get some
insurance that will cover you EVEN IF you still 'break the law'. Then
tell that landowner the truth.
If anyone wonders why I feel a need to keep distant from all this
insanity - it is because I frankly absolutely canNOT tolerate such low
standards of professionalism and integrity - and to think that some
low-life actually gets in the position of *leadership* in this hobby and
then ENCOURAGES this very behavior...
... well.... not this 'dude'.
No.
If that "puts me at odds" with the whole damn World... so be it.
-- john.
Reply to
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed
Loading thread data ...
Let's at least come to unanimous agreement on this point so the path forward is clear and easy.
Pissing match snipped.
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
Then why the hell are you posting it? Just to help him get in "the last word"? And why are you cross-posting it here, when the original post was on ROL?
He can "speak with authority" all he wants, it doesn't change the fact that he's wrong.
And just how knowledgeable are you, Iz? You've only been in this hobby what, a year? Yet you're putting all your trust in the crackpots on the fringes of the hobby.
Bull.
Yes, and he stick them and the rest of his "concerns" back up the orifice he pulled them from.
John Cato put crayon to paper and scribbled:
Better work a little harder at "keeping distant".
Reply to
RayDunakin
No one cares about JC, he is irrelevant to rocketry. As you say, "he will not be engaging this interactively" that's a good thing!! Why would you want to cross post information from such a mal contented individual??????.
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed wrote:
Reply to
W. E. Fred Wallace
He is probably "right" but he is not "politicically popular" and he ignores "non-enforcement zones" and "substantial compopliance".
He is probably right that everything he stated was technically ilegal. Everything is.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
responses inline
- iz
RayDunak> Then why the hell are you posting it? Just to help him get in "the last word"?
the thread on ROL was specifically about RMR, and its culture. John Cato is a part of its history. I post it here for the record.
you may disagree with his actions, but your assessment is not pertinent to the historical fact
you, like John DeMar, have no idea who I am or what my level of discernment engages
your remark belies what John refered to as "that kind of mental process". There is an objective reality, Ray, and it constrains our freedom to act without ill consequence.
disrespect for or denial of the "concerns" of others is what precipitated this crisis. Listen, understand, and address the concerns; or educate to alleviate them.
the issues are in our path, Ray. Dead in our path. There is no 'distance' you can keep from them and still get past them.
deal with them
- iz
Reply to
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed
I'm pretty sure that is illegal on rmr.
Head in sand is why there is a mess to fix.
Or ignore while it festers.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
(sorry for leaving in so much context)
So, if I launch on my own property, who's launches am I threatening?
So, if I don't use "mechanical devices" to do this work, no KitchenAid, no chopsaws, have a much higher grasp of chemistry than one year, follow swtict safety practices, I pass your fiorst screen.
Since I am the land owner, I am safe here.
John, get a f-ing life and stay out of my knickers.
Bob
Reply to
baDBob
If you believe Rick O'Neil of ROC/TRA/NAR, he is liable/responsible for any rocket flown within 3 miles of HIS site and therefore HE has the authority to stop it and call the policeif you fail to stop.
Of course he can cite no law or rule in making this claim, but his willingness to harass people knows no end.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
Iz, who made you the JC spokesmen, or the Wickman spokesmen for that matter? If this Cato has something to say, then he should say it himself. If some type of flame war started on ROL, then it should have stayed there. Re-posting it is just bad taste.
BTW: Forgive the ignorance but who the hell is John Cato? -- Joe Michel NAR 82797 L1
Reply to
J.A. Michel
Someone posting for someone else is not inherently bad as is anonymous posters.
It is when people fail or refuse to take responsibility for their words or acts that problems arise.
Like promising magazines that never arrive, year after year, after year after year, after year after year, after year after year, after year after year.
Here's a pile of crap:
Word for word of course!
THICK OR THIN? From Bruce Kelly
This will be a long editorial, but I hope you will take the time to read it.
It is about this magazine and will answer questions you may have about production, distribution, and content.
It has been several years since I have talked about this magazine, about how readers can contribute articles, and what makes HPR what it is. I received some comments after the last two issues, best represented by three letters (or e-mail messages) directed to me. I will use those letters?unedited?to help explain what this magazine was, what it is, and what it may become. Since the authors of these letters did not give me permission to use their names, I will preserve their anonymity.
First Letter
Bruce,
I received the March issue of HPR magazine and please allow me to offer my approval [for] a job well done. I renewed my subscription this year after a one-year hiatus and I have not regretted it one bit. While any rocketeer would like a four hundred page issue every month, I realize being in the graphic arts industry myself, that it is, after all, a business. More importantly, that content that I now see in your publication is more poignant particularly when juxtaposed with the other HPR related magazine. Perhaps it always was. Maybe after all the distractions of the past year or two that I've distilled what I want out of rocketry into its essence and found what it's really all about. We all like the flash, sound and fury of hot projects flying, but there's so much more to it than that. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, "The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win." What disturbs me is perhaps my perception of the hobby becoming "more show and less go." We see lots of video and pictures of huge projects going up only to lose arguments to the laws of physics. Sure it's great to be on TV, but I somehow get the sense that there are some who feel that that is the goal rather than the product of a job well done. What makes for good video doesn't necessarily make for good rocketry. Without being too melodramatic, I found this issue [March] to be particularly well done. It lays it all out there?successes and failures exposed for all the world to see. So everyone thinks, "Geez these guys are certifiably dangerous!" Then you add your articles and snap everything back into perspective. Those among us who unfortunately came late into Tripoli are well advised to read the "Balls 101" article and take it to heart. Those among us who actually want to learn something would be well advised to pick apart the report from the "Balls 2002" article (and the rest of it for that matter) and respectfully learn from those who dared to push it beyond the edge. Those who would wish to see more regulation placed on this hobby we cherish?and the very livelihood of several others who cherish it even more?are very well advised to read your follow-up article about the proper time and place for these types of events. Lastly, those who gave you so much grief in the past should recognize the work you did on behalf of us all. As Tripoli grew and became more and more diverse, satisfying all the members must have been quite onerous. So the issues
with the ATFE and insurance are thrown in on top of that and, well, I feel privileged that people such as yourself were running the show. So thanks. It's very good to see that you still have the passion. Personally, I still have the dream to participate in Balls. I may have come a long way, but there's still much to learn before I become a Les Derkovitz. Maybe I never will be. You see, I have this strong desire to get my stuff back, so it may be some time! Right now, I am working on perfecting the structures and recovery systems of those 40,000-foot projects that everyone wants to fly so that when you report my flight, it had better be good news! Hey I made it halfway so far... So from a grateful rocketeer, thanks and keep it coming! (Subscriber from Illinois)
Second Letter
Bruce,
I just received the most recent HPR issue. Frankly, I am very shocked and displeased with the last two HPR issues I have received. They are but a skeleton of what the subscriber/members are due and should expect. Through the years of getting too few monthly issues, I was somewhat understanding due to all of your duties competing for your time. Being TRA president, HPR publisher, LDS member, BATF dealings and a family man left precious little time for anything. How you even managed to get the issues out you did, I'll never know. I listened (in one ear/out the other) as people ragged on about getting shorted on HPR magazines. It is very admirable how you weathered all the "garbage" that has been thrown at you the last couple of years. I would have thrown my hands up years ago. So, I tried [to] "cut you some slack" because of all I knew was demanded of you. However, I feel that Club members did come out on the short end of the stick. It was my hope that after you relinquished some of your duties the HPR magazine would get back on an even track. I am usually one not to ever complain, even when it is blatantly clear it is warranted. I have to speak out to you because of how strongly I feel about how anemic these issues are. They are barely a shadow of what they should be. Is this how future issues are going to be? If so, I will not renew my subscription. If that means not renewing my TRA membership, so be it. That is a very extreme statement for me to make. I do feel that if you continue to only produce what is, in my opinion, a substandard magazine, it might be advisable to let someone else tackle the job. Bruce, I hope you take this letter with the intent it is written. I have the utmost respect for you and what you have done for the TRA and the HPR hobby. (Former (?) subscriber from Texas)
Third Letter
Dear Mr. Kelly,
I'm editor of education magazines: Teach! ? for professionals and Learn! ? for parents. I found (and bought) the February edition of High Power Rocketry in Borders in Singapore. I really enjoyed reading it. Sadly I don't think anyone here could take up rocketry. Singapore is a crowded city-state, about the same size as Rhode Island, that contains Southeast Asia's busiest hub airport plus a few military air bases. But I still think our readers would be interested in reading an article on the subject. Would it be possible to buy an article and photographs from your magazine on the Rockets for Schools meet in May? Also, do you know of any scholarships that might allow students from Asia to visit the United States and take part in such events? Hope to hear from you soon. (From an educator in Singapore)
Valid Points
Each of these letters are different, however, they represent most of the comments we have received these past few weeks. The first letter (from Illinois) was very encouraging while the second letter (from Texas) was personally disappointing. The third letter (from Singapore) illustrates how far reaching around the globe we are and what impact the magazine has through this kind of distribution. And, as we reach new readers, it also illustrates the need for
very basic articles from time to time. Each letter has validity, but I want to mainly focus on the first two letters. Our friend from Illinois understands what I tried to accomplish in the March issue. It's as if he read my mind. Conversely, our friend from Texas, obviously a long-time supporter of HPR magazine, understands why things were
rough these past few years but he does not like the way things are right now. As you continue to read, you will see how he has the power to make HPR magazine
what he wants it to be?and so do you!
HPR Magazine ? What It Was
In the beginning when founded, first as the Tripolitan and later as High Power Rocketry, this has been a magazine about rocketry. It started as a newsletter covering model and experimental activities of a small Pittsburgh club. Then, as the hobby evolved, it grew from a four-page newsletter into a magazine with "high power" as its main focus. However, it was still about rocketry?all kinds of rocketry. For they are all related, one growing out of the other.
Over the years the content evolved in other ways, to include several "regular" columns, including Manufacturer's News, Product Reviews, and Section Soundings. Other "specialized" features followed, such as "Rocket Art" which we ran for as long as the author could produce the articles for it. (He is now working on more!) The first magazines also included many pages of ads, both paid and donated space for launch ads. Articles ran the gamut: low and hi-tech, construction, how-to, special projects, aerospace, NASA, and high power launch coverage?a favorite.
HPR Magazine ? What It Is
In principal, HPR is still the same. I say in principal because some of the things we have been used to in the magazine have been missing for a while. Let's review some of those things and I'll explain why they have been absent
and my plan to bring most of them back.
Commercial Advertising?When I brought the magazine back onto a regular publishing schedule last July, I purposely kept advertising at a bare minimum. After being out of production for a while, it was important for me to get some "articles" out quickly. Since then, I have let advertisers know they are welcome to advertise. However, as the number of paid ads continues to increase, we will be limiting advertising to only eight pages per issue (not including covers). One complaint we had over the last two years is that there were too many ads, so this is why we've placed limits. The ad content right now has not reached this limit. Advertising is a matter of choice. If you want to see more of them in HPR, you can encourage the people you do business with to run them. But if they don't, it just leaves more space for articles. Either way, you win.
Launch Ads?After 9/11 and the AeroTech fire the following month, the economy
was as bad for us as it was for most of you. The launch ads in past issues were "complimentary." They were run for free, at my expense. I had to cut back to keep the magazine in the black. This was a business decision. Last fall I e-mailed Prefects telling them I would restore the service of running free launch ads if someone would volunteer to collect and prepare them for each issue. I
did not have any takers until recently. Dale Windsor has stepped forward and
offered to do this job, so you can send your launch ads to him. In other words, this service is about to return, at my expense, and thanks to Dale's volunteer efforts. Prefecture Listing?It's back! Beginning with this issue, we have a listing of all Prefects and their contact information (see page 7). It has been reformatted to fit the new magazine size, but it's still free!
Manufacturer's News?This column has been put aside because the editor of this column has not sent us anything. We will eventually return MN, but I cannot tell you right now when that will be. When it does return, we will have one major policy change. Only those who advertise in HPR (even if occasionally) will be allowed to have their products mentioned in this column.
Product Reviews?This column has also returned (see page 14). I had one old one in my files that we did not run. It has been updated and re-edited for this issue. Bruce Kilby, the column editor, will have new items to review in the near future.
Section Soundings?This column as presented before will never return. We are in the process of redesigning SS to focus on Prefecture activities. Look for it in the near future.
Articles?Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. Even in the so-called "glory days," some people complained about the articles. They would say, "not enough" tech articles, or "not enough" launch articles, or "not enough" of this or of that. Not everyone will be pleased with every article we produce. That is just the way it is. We are a multi-faceted hobby, where each member is attracted by a particular aspect of Rocketry. That is what makes us so exciting and so unique, and that is why every article cannot appeal to everyone. There are some who complain about the NASA reprints we occasionally produce. But hold on! We get as much praise for running them. Critics of those reprints say, "I already know about that stuff," or, "Those [articles] are available on the Internet." Good grief, if we use that logic, we would only publish one article ever about rocket construction and tell everyone who wants a construction article
to refer to the one we ran five years ago! And what about our readers who are not on the Internet? Should they be excluded from learning what some of you already know just because of their unfortunate circumstances of not having Internet access or who might be new to the hobby? This magazine is about education. Don't we have an obligation to educate another generation of rocketeers? Sure, the "old timers" know it, but the age group of our readers is also changing. And if we are allowing them to make their own motors, we darn well better educate them about what they are getting in to! Heck, why don't you contribute some of your knowledge? Make a difference
and help others! These articles may be on the Internet, but they are not all accurate. I'll let you in on a little ecret. Most of those older NASA documents have technical errors which have been corrected in the versions we publish, along with some additional technical updates. For example, I cannot remember the exact article, but before press time Chuck Rogers called to make one of those technical corrections. He said, "Yes, what you have is what was originally published but it is wrong. If people use that equation, they'll have a major cato when
their motor ignites." The NASA reprints will continue to run, from time to time. We have people who like them, because they are one of those many facets of rocketry. We will probably run another one in the next issue. It is a rare document about liquid engines. We have had requests for liquid propellant and liquid engine
articles. Now most of you are probably saying, "OK, I can live with that?as long as the content in the other issues is good and interests me."
Issue Content
OK, how can it be good and interest you? Since the beginning, the content has been controlled by our readers, and mostly by members of Tripoli. No kidding! Editors usually do that control thing, but not this one. I have only out-right rejected one article. I print the articles people send me. Therefore, if you don't like the content of HPR, don't blame me, I'm just an editor. I write something occasionally, but my job is to lay out the magazine, get it to press, and get it sent to our subscribers. Right now, we have a shortage of articles. I have a few that were sent to me that were not published due to my involvement with regulatory issues, but
I'll eventually publish them even though they may be old. Right now, however, my priority is to get the new stuff published, as it comes in, within a reasonable amount of time. Printing the newest stuff first is a major part of the recovery process of this magazine as well as the hobby. If we produced a couple of thick magazines right now, I would not have enough material to run others until late in the fall. We are going to have a few thin ones until more articles start rolling in.
Contributors
Without contributors, we would have nothing. Some contribute more than others and go well beyond the "second mile." Take, for example, Ed Miller. Ed has contributed articles in 13 out of the last 24 issues. He is the sole author of 16 articles and co-author of one more. Les Derkovitz has also become a regular contributor. In this issue he gives us insight into why we have had deployment problems at high altitudes and provides a solution. Can you imagine what this magazine would be like, what this hobby would be like, if everyone contributed even one time to this cause? These two people have complained about things, but they have always backed it up with a willingness to be a part of the solution rather than to further "fester" the problem. Talk is cheap. Ed and Les are movers and shakers?men of action? in the HPR hobby today. We are looking for more people like them, but thankfully there are others? too many more to mention. I salute all of you.
Why Not Pay For Articles?
Some think that if we paid for articles we might get more of them. Maybe so, but we are not going to go down that road. There are two reasons we will
not pay for articles. First, we are not big enough to make a significant payment for articles. We already donate (or contribute) generously to the hobby and to Tripoli. For example, just this past month we gave away over 3,000 copies of HPR to help prefectures grow the hobby in their area. We have donated many, many issues over the years. At LDRS last year we donated over 2,500 copies of various issues.
(If you are keeping track, that is over 5,500 issues contributed in less than a year.) I have already mentioned, above, our complimentary launch ad program. We have donated this space for many years, along with Prefecture Listings and TRA Membership Applications. The full color LDRS ad in this issue? That is donated space worth $345.00 every time we run it. It is my understanding that our competition charges for those ads. We never have and (as long as we can afford it) never will charge for an LDRS ad. In the past ten years, we have run over 116 full-page ads, 91 half-page ads, and over 584 quarter-page ads for free. If you add up the complimentary advertising HPR has donated to Tripoli, it totals over $78,500.00. In addition, the complimentary issues sent to prefectures, trade shows, and to those requesting copies from the TRA web site, far, far exceeds this number in total value. Again, this has been donated from the beginning of independent ownership. It was not a demand of Tripoli for me to
run free launch ads. It was my own choice. I did not say any of this to boast, but for your education. I doubt if more than five people are even aware of the level of donated materials and donated time we have given to Tripoli and to this hobby. Want to see all of this go away? It will if we open Pandora's box and start paying for articles. I cannot afford to do both. My decisions have been to do what is best for the hobby and I think our contributors feel the same way. Only one person has ever asked to be paid for a submission and we did not publish it. Secondly, I believe donated articles are better, higher quality articles. They come from the heart and are not produced or motivated from the wallet. Let me explain it with this story, paraphrased from the teachings of Zig Z iglar. There were two men?friends?who went looking for work together in the 1800's. They were hired by a railroad company. Many years later, while one of them was working in the hot sun, a company train approached. One of the rail cars was the Presidential car owned by the railroad. Inside, the Vice-president looked out the window and recognized someone familiar, so he left the comfort of his rail car to visit his old friend. They had not seen each other in many years, so it was a pleasant visit for both of them. As the car pulled away, another worker asked,
"So you know the Vice-president?"
"Yes, I do. We were hired together on the same day."
"How is it, then, he is Vice-president of the railroad and you are just a rail man?"
"The reason he is Vice-president and I am not is simple. The day we were hired, I went to work for a dollar-twenty-five a day. My friend went to work for the railroad."
So I put this question to you. As readers of this magazine what do you want, articles written for twenty bucks, or articles written for you and for the sake of the hobby? I think our company position on this issue is clear. We will not be paying money, any amount, for articles. There may come a time when we will offer annual awards for the "best of" in a category, but not until we are standing on more solid ground.
"OK, if I send you something, what's in it for me?"
One important lesson from the story above is that a worthy contribution to a good cause has its own reward. Take the first and third letters for instance. They were addressed to me, the editor, but they are really a compliment to the authors of the articles in those issues! The greatest reward for any contribution is the respect of your peers. Just think how grateful you are for the articles you enjoy reading. Now, imagine a few thousand people like you feeling the same way about something you contributed! The heartfelt gratitude you will feel from your friends outweighs and outlasts the temporary value of twenty bucks! Just imagine how you will feel
when they call you all excited and say, "Hey, just got my HPR in the mail, and you're in it!"
"I'm convinced! Tell me what to do!"
Submitting something to HPR is simple. The first thing you need to do is to decide what you can contribute. (Everyone can contribute something.) Are you good at rocketry construction or design? If so, the next time you build a project, take photos during the construction process and then write a story to fit the photos you took. Are you technically inclined? If so, what are you doing with your rocketry projects to include your technical talents? When you figure that out, write something about it. Have you ever bought a kit that you found a way to improve upon while building it? Take pictures during construction and tell us about it. And have you attended a launch lately? Did you take any pictures or do you know someone who did? All you need now is to borrow the flight cards, obtain some photos, and you are ready to tell the rest of us about the launch. There is almost no end to what can be put in print about this hobby. All we need are those willing to share their experiences with everyone else. Are you concerned that you are not a good writer? Don't sweat that. Write what you can and leave the rest up to us. That's what editors are for. You don't have to worry about the article layout. Just send raw text, digital or
paper photos, drawings, etc. and we'll take care of everything else. If you need help, give me a call or drop me an e-mail. I'm here almost every day.
Some Projects Put On Hold
Before I move on to my closing thoughts, I would like to mention some things we were working on before 9/11. We had two special issues planned. The first was a "Buyer's Guide." Almost every industry has produced an annual Buyer's Guide except for our industry. I had several commitments to produce the issue. Then, a week or so after 9/11, the key participants dropped out. Perhaps as the rocketry economy improves we can attempt to do this again. The second project put on hold was an "international" issue. We will get this project rolling again soon. Anyone wanting to contribute to this issue,
please let me know. We want to know what rocketry activities you are involved with in your country. The third thing to go after 9/11 was hobby store distribution. We had that going pretty good, but the economy has made it difficult. (Many stores went out of business.) It became too difficult to manage and to produce magazines
at the same time, so hobby stores are still off line for now. One piece of good news was the reacquisition of a distributor who sends magazines all over the world. The third letter from our Singapore friend illustrates this.
HPR Magazine ? What It May Become
I may be the editor, but remember the content is up to you. Don't like what you see? Then do something about it. When one issue goes to press, I fire up the computer, open a new Quark document, and behold! a new canvas is presented to me. It is clean and bright waiting for someone to lay something on it. That someone is you! If you send nothing, then nothing of yours will get published. And, since this is Tripoli's Journal and we are preparing a detailed compilation of the
journal activities of Tripoli, you may come and go and no one will even know
you were here. You will be surprised how soon you'll be forgotten. Relying on someone else to write an article and mention your name? Don't count on it. How many articles have you seen lately?in any magazine?covering East coast launches? Hey, East coast people! I'm calling you out! Is rocketry dead back there?
Does Size Matter?
I believe most people feel it was the content that made HPR magazine great and not the physical size. The physical size of HPR was changed, like the Tripoli Report, to meet the demands of the economy. However, the magazine can still be what you want it to be if you will allow it. It's ironic. I have a set of books that are considered the "greatest classics in literature." HPR magazine is about a quarter-inch taller and a full inch wider than The Red Badge of Courage. It is a little larger than Melville's Moby Dick and Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. And, more ironic still?HPR is larger than Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. The irony is that for rocketry it really is "the best of times" or "the worst of times." It depends on your point of view. Recent discussions about magazine size reminds me of the little boy in the park who watched a man selling balloons. To attract attention, the man with the balloons would let one go occasionally. First there was a red one, then later a yellow one. Finally he released a white balloon which, like the others, reached high into the sunny, blue sky. The little boy was concerned because he did not see a balloon his own color. So he tugged on the man's shirtsleeve. "Hey, mister," the boy asked pointing to the sky. "If you let go of a brown balloon would it go as high as those?" The man looked at the boy and wisely said, "Of course it would. It's what's on the inside of the balloons that makes them rise." When people "praised" the great issues of the past, they were not referring to the physical size of the magazine. No one ever said, "Hey, great issue! And I especially love the size." Perhaps this is what our friend from Illinois had in mind when he said, "More importantly, that content that I now see in your publication is more poignant particularly when juxtaposed with the other HPR related magazine. Perhaps it always was. Maybe after all the distractions of the past year or two that
I've distilled what I want out of rocketry into its essence and found what it's really all about."
Conclusion
Our friend from Texas asked an important question, referring to his point of view about the content of the last two issues, "Is this how future issues
are going to be?" My response to him was, "The answer is up to you and other
readers. If you don't like something, you have the power to make changes. All you have to do is to contribute something you feel is worthwhile for our readers." So this issue is off the press and in your hands. Having an opportunity to make an impact on the future is exciting. It is a challenge and an awesome responsibility. My computer is on, and I have a blank page in front of me. Are you ready to become the artist for the next issue? The canvas is waiting.
? B Kelly
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
What a bunch of king of all turkeys laxative induced turkey shit.
Pax
Reply to
Paxton
I agree. And for the record, there was no flame war. Apparently this is just Iz's way of dodging a question he didn't like. He's gotten very good at that lately.
A former TMT chairman who one day decided that all HPR and EX is illegal, and went on a one-man crusade to have the hobby shut down. He got himself thrown out of TRA and later managed to shut down a launch site in Georgia, based on his personal belief that EX is illegal despite specific statements to the contrary from state officials. He sets his own standards for what is "legal" and what isn't, as well as who should or should not be involved in EX, and insists that the rest of the world conform his standards.
If anyone should doubt that Cato is a crackpot, just check out the long-winded contradictory crap he spewed here via Iz's post -- he rants about how it's "lying" to claim that high power rocketry is legal, then in the very next sentence states that it's "not (necessarily) illegal".
If he really believes all this nonsense, the simple solution is for him to get out of the hobby and stay out of it. But like all megalomaniacs, that's not good enough for him. He still has to pop up now and then to tell everyone how wrong they are -- only now he's got someone else doing it for him.
Reply to
RayDunakin
Not literally true.
He is opposed to ILLEGAL EX rocketry and in particular that proffered by TRA whose insurance requires the activity "be legal", if the insurance exists at all.
As you are probably aware it is very diffuicult to fully comply. Errortech for example spent some $250k to rebuild an entirely new facility that can have a mere 2000 pounds (4 drums) of AP on site at any time.
I know at least a dozen EX guys who have that much in their garage or barn.
Cato who has an excessively vociferous posting style and an excessively detailed opinion of what constitutes compliance, does offer advise on how to actually comply to his own standards, which are bout 3 light years above Tripoli's.
Rather than employ ANY of them, his critics attack ALL of them. Nobody who is citing the law chapter and verse can possibly be that wrong.
Not even the law 27 CFR 555.141-a-8
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
That is simply grossly false.
Jerry
Reply to
Jerry Irvine
If I recall what I read correctly, didn't he accuse TRA of certifying motors which were never tested, and claimed he had proof?
Reply to
Ed
I'm not at liberty to say ;o)
- iz
J.A. Michel wrote:
Reply to
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed
Thanks, Ray. That makes more sense now
-- Joe Michel NAR 82797 L1
Reply to
J.A. Michel
John Cato's actions in getting us kicked off the Perry field were, and will always be, indefensible.
It wasn't about EX. Most of the people, including me, who lost the field have never flown EX or even been to an EX launch.
Reply to
Rocket Flyer
just reposting Jerry's inclusion of Bruce Kelly's letter regarding HPR, reformatted for readability
- iz
Jerry Irv> >
THICK OR THIN?
From Bruce Kelly
This will be a long editorial, but I hope you will take the time to read it.
It is about this magazine and will answer questions you may have about production, distribution, and content.
It has been several years since I have talked about this magazine, about how readers can contribute articles, and what makes HPR what it is. I received some comments after the last two issues, best represented by three letters (or e-mail messages) directed to me. I will use those letters?unedited?to help explain what this magazine was, what it is, and what it may become. Since the authors of these letters did not give me permission to use their names, I will preserve their anonymity.
First Letter
Bruce,
I received the March issue of HPR magazine and please allow me to offer my approval [for] a job well done. I renewed my subscription this year after a one-year hiatus and I have not regretted it one bit. While any rocketeer would like a four hundred page issue every month, I realize being in the graphic arts industry myself, that it is, after all, a business.
More importantly, that content that I now see in your publication is more poignant particularly when juxtaposed with the other HPR related magazine.
Perhaps it always was. Maybe after all the distractions of the past year or two that I've distilled what I want out of rocketry into its essence and found what it's really all about. We all like the flash, sound and fury of hot projects flying, but there's so much more to it than that. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, "The will to win is not nearly so important as the will to prepare to win."
What disturbs me is perhaps my perception of the hobby becoming "more show and less go." We see lots of video and pictures of huge projects going up only to lose arguments to the laws of physics. Sure it's great to be on TV, but I somehow get the sense that there are some who feel that that is the goal rather than the product of a job well done. What makes for good video doesn't necessarily make for good rocketry.
Without being too melodramatic, I found this issue [March] to be particularly well done. It lays it all out there?successes and failures exposed for all the world to see. So everyone thinks, "Geez these guys are certifiably dangerous!" Then you add your articles and snap everything back into perspective.
Those among us who unfortunately came late into Tripoli are well advised to read the "Balls 101" article and take it to heart. Those among us who actually want to learn something would be well advised to pick apart the report from the "Balls 2002" article (and the rest of it for that matter) and respectfully learn from those who dared to push it beyond the edge. Those who would wish to see more regulation placed on this hobby we cherish?and the very livelihood of several others who cherish it even more?are very well advised to read your follow-up article about the proper time and place for these types of events.
Lastly, those who gave you so much grief in the past should recognize the work you did on behalf of us all. As Tripoli grew and became more and more diverse, satisfying all the members must have been quite onerous. So the issues with the ATFE and insurance are thrown in on top of that and, well, I feel privileged that people such as yourself were running the show. So thanks.
It's very good to see that you still have the passion.
Personally, I still have the dream to participate in Balls. I may have come a long way, but there's still much to learn before I become a Les Derkovitz. Maybe I never will be. You see, I have this strong desire to get my stuff back, so it may be some time! Right now, I am working on perfecting the structures and recovery systems of those 40,000-foot projects that everyone wants to fly so that when you report my flight, it had better be good news! Hey I made it halfway so far...
So from a grateful rocketeer, thanks and keep it coming! (Subscriber from Illinois)
Second Letter
Bruce,
I just received the most recent HPR issue. Frankly, I am very shocked and displeased with the last two HPR issues I have received. They are but a skeleton of what the subscriber/members are due and should expect.
Through the years of getting too few monthly issues, I was somewhat understanding due to all of your duties competing for your time. Being TRA president, HPR publisher, LDS member, BATF dealings and a family man left precious little time for anything. How you even managed to get the issues out you did, I'll never know.
I listened (in one ear/out the other) as people ragged on about getting shorted on HPR magazines. It is very admirable how you weathered all the "garbage" that has been thrown at you the last couple of years. I would have thrown my hands up years ago.
So, I tried [to] "cut you some slack" because of all I knew was demanded of you. However, I feel that Club members did come out on the short end of the stick. It was my hope that after you relinquished some of your duties the HPR magazine would get back on an even track.
I am usually one not to ever complain, even when it is blatantly clear it is warranted. I have to speak out to you because of how strongly I feel about how anemic these issues are. They are barely a shadow of what they should be.
Is this how future issues are going to be? If so, I will not renew my subscription. If that means not renewing my TRA membership, so be it.
That is a very extreme statement for me to make.
I do feel that if you continue to only produce what is, in my opinion, a substandard magazine, it might be advisable to let someone else tackle the job. Bruce, I hope you take this letter with the intent it is written. I have the utmost respect for you and what you have done for the TRA and the HPR hobby. (Former (?) subscriber from Texas)
Third Letter
Dear Mr. Kelly,
I'm editor of education magazines: Teach! ? for professionals and Learn! ? for parents. I found (and bought) the February edition of High Power Rocketry in Borders in Singapore. I really enjoyed reading it. Sadly I don't think anyone here could take up rocketry. Singapore is a crowded city-state, about the same size as Rhode Island, that contains Southeast Asia's busiest hub airport plus a few military air bases.
But I still think our readers would be interested in reading an article on the subject. Would it be possible to buy an article and photographs from your magazine on the Rockets for Schools meet in May?
Also, do you know of any scholarships that might allow students from Asia to visit the United States and take part in such events?
Hope to hear from you soon. (From an educator in Singapore)
Valid Points
Each of these letters are different, however, they represent most of the comments we have received these past few weeks. The first letter (from Illinois) was very encouraging while the second letter (from Texas) was personally disappointing. The third letter (from Singapore) illustrates how far reaching around the globe we are and what impact the magazine has through this kind of distribution. And, as we reach new readers, it also illustrates the need for very basic articles from time to time.
Each letter has validity, but I want to mainly focus on the first two letters. Our friend from Illinois understands what I tried to accomplish in the March issue. It's as if he read my mind. Conversely, our friend from Texas, obviously a long-time supporter of HPR magazine, understands why things were rough these past few years but he does not like the way things are right now. As you continue to read, you will see how he has the power to make HPR magazine what he wants it to be?and so do you!
HPR Magazine ? What It Was
In the beginning when founded, first as the Tripolitan and later as High Power Rocketry, this has been a magazine about rocketry. It started as a newsletter covering model and experimental activities of a small Pittsburgh club.
Then, as the hobby evolved, it grew from a four-page newsletter into a magazine with "high power" as its main focus. However, it was still about rocketry?all kinds of rocketry. For they are all related, one growing out of the other.
Over the years the content evolved in other ways, to include several "regular" columns, including Manufacturer's News, Product Reviews, and Section Soundings. Other "specialized" features followed, such as "Rocket Art" which we ran for as long as the author could produce the articles for it. (He is now working on more!)
The first magazines also included many pages of ads, both paid and donated space for launch ads. Articles ran the gamut: low and hi-tech, construction, how-to, special projects, aerospace, NASA, and high power launch coverage?a favorite.
HPR Magazine ? What It Is
In principal, HPR is still the same. I say in principal because some of the things we have been used to in the magazine have been missing for a while.
Let's review some of those things and I'll explain why they have been absent and my plan to bring most of them back.
Commercial Advertising
When I brought the magazine back onto a regular publishing schedule last July, I purposely kept advertising at a bare minimum. After being out of production for a while, it was important for me to get some "articles" out quickly. Since then, I have let advertisers know they are welcome to advertise.
However, as the number of paid ads continues to increase, we will be limiting advertising to only eight pages per issue (not including covers).
One complaint we had over the last two years is that there were too many ads, so this is why we've placed limits. The ad content right now has not reached this limit.
Advertising is a matter of choice. If you want to see more of them in HPR, you can encourage the people you do business with to run them. But if they don't, it just leaves more space for articles. Either way, you win.
Launch Ads
After 9/11 and the AeroTech fire the following month, the economy was as bad for us as it was for most of you. The launch ads in past issues were "complimentary." They were run for free, at my expense. I had to cut back to keep the magazine in the black. This was a business decision. Last fall I e-mailed Prefects telling them I would restore the service of running free launch ads if someone would volunteer to collect and prepare them for each issue. I did not have any takers until recently. Dale Windsor has stepped forward and offered to do this job, so you can send your launch ads to him. In other words, this service is about to return, at my expense, and thanks to Dale's volunteer efforts.
Prefecture Listing
It's back! Beginning with this issue, we have a listing of all Prefects and their contact information (see page 7). It has been reformatted to fit the new magazine size, but it's still free!
Manufacturer's News
This column has been put aside because the editor of this column has not sent us anything. We will eventually return MN, but I cannot tell you right now when that will be. When it does return, we will have one major policy change. Only those who advertise in HPR (even if occasionally) will be allowed to have their products mentioned in this column.
Product Reviews
This column has also returned (see page 14). I had one old one in my files that we did not run. It has been updated and re-edited for this issue. Bruce Kilby, the column editor, will have new items to review in the near future.
Section Soundings
This column as presented before will never return. We are in the process of redesigning SS to focus on Prefecture activities. Look for it in the near future.
Articles
Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. Even in the so-called "glory days," some people complained about the articles. They would say, "not enough" tech articles, or "not enough" launch articles, or "not enough" of this or of that.
Not everyone will be pleased with every article we produce. That is just the way it is. We are a multi-faceted hobby, where each member is attracted by a particular aspect of Rocketry. That is what makes us so exciting and so unique, and that is why every article cannot appeal to everyone.
There are some who complain about the NASA reprints we occasionally produce. But hold on! We get as much praise for running them. Critics of those reprints say, "I already know about that stuff," or, "Those [articles] are available on the Internet."
Good grief, if we use that logic, we would only publish one article ever about rocket construction and tell everyone who wants a construction article to refer to the one we ran five years ago! And what about our readers who are not on the Internet? Should they be excluded from learning what some of you already know just because of their unfortunate circumstances of not having Internet access or who might be new to the hobby?
This magazine is about education. Don't we have an obligation to educate another generation of rocketeers? Sure, the "old timers" know it, but the age group of our readers is also changing. And if we are allowing them to make their own motors, we darn well better educat them about what they are getting in to! Heck, why don't you contribute some of your knowledge? Make a difference and help others!
These articles may be on the Internet, but they are not all accurate.
I'll let you in on a little secret. Most of those older NASA documents have technical errors which have been corrected in the versions we publish, along with some additional technical updates. For example, I cannot remember the exact article, but before press time Chuck Rogers called to make one of those technical corrections. He said, "Yes, what you have is what was originally published but it is wrong. If people use that equation, they'll have a major cato when their motor ignites."
The NASA reprints will continue to run, from time to time. We have people who like them, because they are one of those many facets of rocketry. We will probably run another one in the next issue. It is a rare document about liquid engines. We have had requests for liquid propellant and liquid engine articles.
Now most of you are probably saying, "OK, I can live with that?as long as the content in the other issues is good and interests me."
Issue Content
OK, how can it be good and interest you? Since the beginning, the content has been controlled by our readers, and mostly by members of Tripoli. No kidding! Editors usually do that control thing, but not this one. I have only out-right rejected one article. I print the articles people send me.
Therefore, if you don't like the content of HPR, don't blame me, I'm just an editor. I write something occasionally, but my job is to lay out the magazine, get it to press, and get it sent to our subscribers.
Right now, we have a shortage of articles. I have a few that were sent to me that were not published due to my involvement with regulatory issues, but I'll eventually publish them even though they may be old. Right now, however, my priority is to get the new stuff published, as it comes in, within a reasonable amount of time. Printing the newest stuff first is a major part of the recovery process of this magazine as well as the hobby.
If we produced a couple of thick magazines right now, I would not have enough material to run others until late in the fall. We are going to have a few thin ones until more articles start rolling in.
Contributors
Without contributors, we would have nothing. Some contribute more than others and go well beyond the "second mile." Take, for example, Ed Miller.
Ed has contributed articles in 13 out of the last 24 issues. He is the sole author of 16 articles and co-author of one more.
Les Derkovitz has also become a regular contributor. In this issue he gives us insight into why we have had deployment problems at high altitudes and provides a solution. Can you imagine what this magazine would be like, what this hobby would be like, if everyone contributed even one time to this cause?
These two people have complained about things, but they have always backed it up with a willingness to be a part of the solution rather than to further "fester" the problem. Talk is cheap. Ed and Les are movers and shakers ?men of action< in the HPR hobby today.
We are looking for more people like them, but thankfully there are others - too many more to mention. I salute all of you.
Why Not Pay For Articles?
Some think that if we paid for articles we might get more of them. Maybe so, but we are not going to go down that road. There are two reasons we will not pay for articles.
First, we are not big enough to make a significant payment for articles. We already donate (or contribute) generously to the hobby and to Tripoli. For example, just this past month we gave away over 3,000 copies of HPR to help prefectures grow the hobby in their area. We have donated many, many issues over the years. At LDRS last year we donated over 2,500 copies of various issues. (If you are keeping track, that is over 5,500 issues contributed in less than a year.)
I have already mentioned, above, our complimentary launch ad program. We have donated this space for many years, along with Prefecture Listings and TRA Membership Applications. The full color LDRS ad in this issue? That is donated space worth $345.00 every time we run it. It is my understanding that our competition charges for those ads. We never have and (as long as we can afford it) never will charge for an LDRS ad.
In the past ten years, we have run over 116 full-page ads, 91 half-page ads, and over 584 quarter-page ads for free.
If you add up the complimentary advertising HPR has donated to Tripoli, it totals over $78,500.00. In addition, the complimentary issues sent to prefectures, trade shows, and to those requesting copies from the TRA web site, far, far exceeds this number in total value. Again, this has been donated from the beginning of independent ownership. It was not a demand of Tripoli for me to run free launch ads. It was my own choice.
I did not say any of this to boast, but for your education. I doubt if more than five people are even aware of the level of donated materials and donated time we have given to Tripoli and to this hobby.
Want to see all of this go away? It will if we open Pandora's box and start paying for articles. I cannot afford to do both. My decisions have been to do what is best for the hobby and I think our contributors feel the same way.
Only one person has ever asked to be paid for a submission and we did not publish it.
Secondly, I believe donated articles are better, higher quality articles. They come from the heart and are not produced or motivated from the wallet.
Let me explain it with this story, paraphrased from the teachings of Zig Ziglar. There were two men?friends?who went looking for work together in the 1800's. They were hired by a railroad company. Many years later, while one of them was working in the hot sun, a company train approached. One of the rail cars was the Presidential car owned by the railroad. Inside, the Vice-president looked out the window and recognized someone familiar, so he left the comfort of his rail car to visit his old friend. They had not seen each other in many years, so it was a pleasant visit for both of them. As the car pulled away, another worker asked,
"So you know the Vice-president?"
"Yes, I do. We were hired together on the same day."
"How is it, then, he is Vice-president of the railroad and you are just a rail man?"
"The reason he is Vice-president and I am not is simple. The day we were hired, I went to work for a dollar-twenty-five a day. My friend went to work for the railroad."
So I put this question to you. As readers of this magazine what do you want, articles written for twenty bucks, or articles written for you and for the sake of the hobby? I think our company position on this issue is clear.
We will not be paying money, any amount, for articles. There may come a time when we will offer annual awards for the "best of" in a category, but not until we are standing on more solid ground.
"OK, if I send you something, what's in it for me?"
One important lesson from the story above is that a worthy contribution to a good cause has its own reward. Take the first and third letters for instance. They were addressed to me, the editor, but they are really a compliment to the authors of the articles in those issues!
The greatest reward for any contribution is the respect of your peers.
Just think how grateful you are for the articles you enjoy reading. Now, imagine a few thousand people like you feeling the same way about something you contributed! The heartfelt gratitude you will feel from your friends outweighs and outlasts the temporary value of twenty bucks! Just imagine how you will feel when they call you all excited and say, "Hey, just got my HPR in the mail, and you're in it!"
"I'm convinced! Tell me what to do!"
Submitting something to HPR is simple. The first thing you need to do is to decide what you can contribute. (Everyone can contribute something.)
Are you good at rocketry construction or design? If so, the next time you build a project, take photos during the construction process and then write a story to fit the photos you took. Are you technically inclined? If so, what are you doing with your rocketry projects to include your technical talents? When you figure that out, write something about it. Have you ever bought a kit that you found a way to improve upon while building it? Take pictures during construction and tell us about it. And have you attended a launch lately? Did you take any pictures or do you know someone who did? All you need now is to borrow the flight cards, obtain some photos, and you are ready to tell the rest of us about the launch.
There is almost no end to what can be put in print about this hobby. All we need are those willing to share their experiences with everyone else.
Are you concerned that you are not a good writer? Don't sweat that. Write what you can and leave the rest up to us. That's what editors are for.
You don't have to worry about the article layout. Just send raw text, digital or paper photos, drawings, etc. and we'll take care of everything else.
If you need help, give me a call or drop me an e-mail. I'm here almost every day.
Some Projects Put On Hold
Before I move on to my closing thoughts, I would like to mention some things we were working on before 9/11. We had two special issues planned.
The first was a "Buyer's Guide." Almost every industry has produced an annual Buyer's Guide except for our industry. I had several commitments to produce the issue. Then, a week or so after 9/11, the key participants dropped out.
Perhaps as the rocketry economy improves we can attempt to do this again.
The second project put on hold was an "international" issue. We will get this project rolling again soon. Anyone wanting to contribute to this issue, please let me know. We want to know what rocketry activities you are involved with in your country.
The third thing to go after 9/11 was hobby store distribution. We had that going pretty good, but the economy has made it difficult. (Many stores went out of business.) It became too difficult to manage and to produce magazines at the same time, so hobby stores are still off line for now.
One piece of good news was the reacquisition of a distributor who sends magazines all over the world. The third letter from our Singapore friend illustrates this.
HPR Magazine ? What It May Become
I may be the editor, but remember the content is up to you. Don't like what you see? Then do something about it. When one issue goes to press, I fire up the computer, open a new Quark document, and behold! a new canvas is presented to me. It is clean and bright waiting for someone to lay something on it.
That someone is you!
If you send nothing, then nothing of yours will get published. And, since this is Tripoli's Journal and we are preparing a detailed compilation of the journal activities of Tripoli, you may come and go and no one will even know you were here. You will be surprised how soon you'll be forgotten.
Relying on someone else to write an article and mention your name? Don't count on it.
How many articles have you seen lately?in any magazine?covering East coast launches? Hey, East coast people! I'm calling you out! Is rocketry dead back there?
Does Size Matter?
I believe most people feel it was the content that made HPR magazine great and not the physical size. The physical size of HPR was changed, like the Tripoli Report, to meet the demands of the economy. However, the magazine can still be what you want it to be if you will allow it.
It's ironic. I have a set of books that are considered the "greatest classics in literature." HPR magazine is about a quarter-inch taller and a full inch wider than The Red Badge of Courage. It is a little larger than Melville's Moby Dick and Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. And, more ironic still ?HPR is larger than Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. The irony is that for rocketry it really is "the best of times" or "the worst of times." It depends on your point of view.
Recent discussions about magazine size reminds me of the little boy in the park who watched a man selling balloons. To attract attention, the man with the balloons would let one go occasionally. First there was a red one, then later a yellow one. Finally he released a white balloon which, like the others, reached high into the sunny, blue sky. The little boy was concerned because he did not see a balloon his own color. So he tugged on the man's shirtsleeve.
"Hey, mister," the boy asked pointing to the sky. "If you let go of a brown balloon would it go as high as those?" The man looked at the boy and wisely said, "Of course it would. It's what's on the inside of the balloons that makes them rise."
When people "praised" the great issues of the past, they were not referring to the physical size of the magazine. No one ever said, "Hey, great issue! And I especially love the size."
Perhaps this is what our friend from Illinois had in mind when he said, "More importantly, that content that I now see in your publication is more poignant particularly when juxtaposed with the other HPR related magazine.
Perhaps it always was. Maybe after all the distractions of the past year or two that I've distilled what I want out of rocketry into its essence and found what it's really all about."
Conclusion
Our friend from Texas asked an important question, referring to his point of view about the content of the last two issues, "Is this how future issues are going to be?" My response to him was, "The answer is up to you and other readers. If you don't like something, you have the power to make changes.
All you have to do is to contribute something you feel is worthwhile for our readers."
So this issue is off the press and in your hands. Having an opportunity to make an impact on the future is exciting. It is a challenge and an awesome responsibility. My computer is on, and I have a blank page in front of me.
Are you ready to become the artist for the next issue? The canvas is waiting.
? B Kelly
Reply to
Ismaeel Abdur-Rasheed

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