Ten years ago this spring, me and a dedicated team of editors were getting rolling on the first issue of Snow Goer of that season. Like now, we had a fun crew back then – when you travel with and spend as much time with people as we do here, you get to know them fairly well.
As some of you may know, we lost a member of that team recently when our close friend Eric Skogman lost his courageous battle with a rare form of cancer. Eric hadn’t worked here for several years, but he remained a close friend to many of us, and a day doesn’t go by where I don’t have a flashback to a snowmobiling memory or entertaining conversation we shared.
It also got me to thinking of the crew we had back then. So here’s an update on the old Snow Goer traveling crew, sans the dearly departed Eric,10 years removed:
- I was your lead editor of Snow Goer, as I am today. I left the role of lead editor of the magazine for a few years to fill other roles at our company, turning Snow Goer over to Eric and later Tim Erickson, but I have been involved on one level or another every year. So, my update? I have less hair, and have added about 20 pounds. Oh, and I’m 10 years older!
- Lynn Keillor was our longest-tenured associate editor. Lynn started with me in 1997 and stuck around here for about a decade years, rising to the position of lead editor of Snowmobile Magazine for awhile, then SnowWeek until it was shut down, leading to the corporate downsizing and her layoff. She remains a friend, still contributes to Snow Goer, is making a fine living as a freelancer and still likes to travel the world, with or without a snowmobile.
- Nick Ferraro had a brief run on our Snow staff, and later on our Bowhunting World magazine staff before leaving us and returning to the daily newspaper world at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I spoke at length with Nick at Eric’s fundraiser – he’s become a proud father, remains a huge Minnesota Twins fan and enjoys the newspaper world. But, he admitted, he misses the days of covering snowmobile races and testing sleds.
- Jim Urquhart was our FNG (f’ing new guy) that year. He hung with us for a couple years and has since been doing many things, including starting the quality http://www.sledracer.com/web site – which if you’re a race fan, I would strongly suggest. Like Nick, he’s also become a proud father. Unlike Nick, he has moved to Western Wisconsin (that’s God’s Country, to ‘sconi natives like me) and is still a regular at snowmobile events and tests.
- Mark Larson was our sales manager back then – he moved on to a couple of different projects, but now is a big shot at Fox Racing Shox out in California. He still gets back to the Upper Midwest to hang at his lake place, and he still loves to ride!
- Mark Rosacker was a sales rep then, and he’s still with us, now as our sales manager and associate publisher for both Snow Goer and ATV Magazine. Still lives and breathes the snowmobile world and, like most of us, has added kids to the mix. And a boat.
- Lee Hetherington was our publisher at the time. A couple years later he moved over to become publisher of our company’s bowhunting magazines – and that allowed me to return as publisher of Snow Goer (yeah for me!). While the rest of us have gotten older, Lee seems to have gotten younger, as he’s become a triathlete. He is still with those bowhunting magazines, which this company sold to Grand View Media in the mid 2000s, now as a vice president.
- Not appearing in the masthead of that issue, but a part of our editorial team, was Blake Stranz – then our web content king. He was the smartest one of any of us – because he married money!! His wife got a very good job in another city, so they picked up and moved to the southeast, where he’s been fixing up his house and generally screwing off (I tease, only because I’m jealous!). I saw Blake last winter when he was in the Twin Cities and he was doing well — a little less hair, like me, but without adding the 20 pounds!
Actually, looking back at photos from that era, I guess the only one who really looks like he’s aged is me! Damn the luck…