|From Network Newsletter archives|
It's funny how dreams can seem so real, but it really makes me wonder what brought on this one. Was it the deadline of the Sunday post for Eye on the Edge? I contemplated what I would write about this morning, and it weighed on me. Yesterday I found a picture from my two-month-long excursion to Peru in 1981 and was considering a post about that exciting trip, but the dream has changed all that; now I am thinking I have finally found out why I create these deadlines for myself. It's a reminder of those twenty years that I compiled and wrote that newsletter. It was published four times a year and began when my old boss Mickey came back from a conference in 1984, and decided we needed to create a way to get information out to interested people. Even people in developing countries could learn about the latest scientific theories, what had been created, you name it. Of course, all that is obsolete today, when anyone who has a computer can google whatever interests he or she may have.
It was Google that led me to the online archives of the Newsletter. I remembered that we had begun to put them on line, and it takes an act of strong intention to get things off the internet. I figured nobody had gone to the trouble, and once I realized that our old Annual Scientific Reports would continue to be archived at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), it was easy to find them.
When I was a lowly secretary at NCAR, I worked for a wonderful woman, Maria, who was the administrator to Mickey Glantz. She was the person who put the newsletter together for years, and I followed her lead. She gathered the information and wrote short articles about the things she felt would interest her readers. Mickey was the editor, she was the one who compiled it, and I was the one who got it into a structure and mailed it out to our thousands of readers. This was in the days before everything was on line; the newsletter started in 1985 and continued until 2005. When Maria retired, I took over the writing and editing part of her job and in 1999 was promoted from administrative assistant to writer/editor.
As the years wore on, I realized that I had become an integral part of Mickey's life, and he of mine. We traveled together, he relied on me and my skills more and more, and he would call me day and night. Mickey is a very creative person who generates ideas in great profusion. During our heyday together, he would get some hare-brained scheme and insist that I put it into action. At least it would seem hare-brained to me, but many times the collaboration between us, the idea generator and the person responsible for getting the idea into a realistic framework, created unique contributions to the world. If you go to the link I provide to Mickey's old home page, you'll see links to many of them. His home page and much of the online contributions stopped being updated when I left. Before long, everything stopped, as the entire section I had worked for was discontinued less than a year later. Mickey moved from NCAR to the University of Colorado, and what happened to most of my colleagues I just don't know.
It was partly because of our deep connection that I felt compelled to move away from Boulder. In many ways, I knew that Mickey would never be able to replace me, and if I stayed I would not be able to fully retire. It makes me smile to realize that I have created deadlines in my day-to-day life so that I can continue to have that structure without Mickey to drive it.
It was a huge part of my life and now it's completely gone, not just from my own world, but from the world of all those we worked with. It reminds me that the sphere of existence we move in is in flux, constantly changing from one storyline to the next. Now I sit with my laptop and write in another part of the country, for other reasons. We all have ways to cope with our situations, and my drive to create something out of nothing continues to have me driven by deadlines. Nobody is going to lose any sleep if I fail to write this, but something would be lost inside me.
Sometimes I miss Mickey and that life, but not often. My life today is full of activity as well as thoughtful reflection. Smart Guy and I share our day-to-day tasks and have created a pretty darn good life here in Bellingham. We chose this place wisely, although the rain would not be everyone's cup of tea, the cool climate and lush greenery make the drizzly days worthwhile.
I found this picture of Mickey at his desk, taken by me, back in the days when we were working together. When I look at the picture, I know what is on that bookshelf because I needed to know. Many of the reports we wrote together. Now I write for you, dear reader, and for myself alone.