Aside from growing up on the farm in the ‘70s and being around machinery on a regular basis as a kid, the TV show “Movin’ On” was a can’t-miss event for me every week the show ran. (There was no DVR back then!)
To my mind, the star of that show was the Kenworth W900 highway tractor that was central to it. My early fasciation with trucks, farm equipment and most things mechanical helped mould me into a “gearhead”. So quoting the name of that show seemed like the best possible title for this blog, which is the last one I’ll write here at Grainews as machinery editor, because now I’m movin’ on. I’m retiring from publishing.
For those of you who are machinery nuts, you’ve been binging like me this past week on Twitter images coming from Agritechnica in Germany. This is the first edition of that show I wasn’t at in a decade. So I’m watching from the sidelines too, which is an unusual feeling for me.
Attending that show every two years was just one of my many regular travels while doing this job. A quick accounting of my many trips revealed I’d been to nine countries on three continents, many of them several times. I can’t even remember all the places I’ve been to in the U.S., where a healthy portion of my travel took me.
When editorial director John Morriss called me up 10 years ago and offered me the job, I certainly didn’t expect to spend so much time on airplanes heading to places I would otherwise have never gone to. Arriving in those locations, I had the opportunity to get the inside scoop on what many manufacturers were up to and often operated their equipment before the general public was allowed to see it. And there were many times I wandered through brand’s R&D facilities—albeit usually with a promise to keep some of the secrets I saw strictly to myself.
I saw a lot of unexpected sights beyond machinery-related stuff as well. Usually business trips were exactly that, strictly business—do the job and grab a cab back to the airport for the flight home, but not always.
On a trip to England, I was standing inside Chatsworth House, one of the great country house mansions, when I happened to glance out the window to see one of only two still-flying Lancaster bombers do a low-altitude flyover. For a guy impressed by machines and former private pilot, that was a spectacular sight—and sound!
Of course I’ve looked the other way from airplanes on my trips, too. As we took off from Sydney Australia, the pilot announced that if we all looked out the starboard-side windows (that’s the right side for you land lubbers) we’d see the Tasman Sea—nothing but water between us and Antarctica. At the other end of the planet I looked down on Lake Laberge in the Yukon, made famous by the Robert Service poem.
In London I managed to film part of a machinery video on the Abbey Road crosswalk where the famous album cover image of the Beatles was taken.
So, what do you say when you wrap up that kind of a career?
Publishing is a team sport and the content that appeared in print and online was the result of input from a lot of other very talented people at the company. So I have to acknowledge what you read and saw wouldn’t have been as good without their contributions.
And, of course, there’s no point creating content if no one is interested in reading or watching it. That’s where you come in. I want to thank you readers and subscribers for your attention to the articles I wrote and videos we filmed over the years. Without positive feedback from all of you, the publisher wouldn’t have invested the kind of resources they did in keeping me around.
So thank you, readers. As some of the content that’s already written waits its turn for publishing, you’ll see my name on the occasional by-line in magazines and online for the next while until that supply runs out.
I’ve been searching over the last few days for the perfect sentence to end off my writing that properly expressed my best wishes and appreciation. No matter what I came up with, nothing seemed more on point than Mr. Spock’s famous phrase.
Live long and prosper.
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