Okay, settle down, people. Please take your seats. I now call to order the four-hundred-forty-seventh monthly meeting of the Society for the Preservation and Advancement of Magazines Devoted to Boating and Boaters on the Chesapeake, Inc. (SPAMDBBC, or, as we like to say, Spam d' Baboc).
Item one on the agenda, as per tradition, is a report from the Current Issue Review Committee. As always, the committee recommends a cover-to-cover reading of the issue, but in particular they direct your attention to "Cruises Mainly in the Past" [page 30], which is the first of a two-part series featuring excerpts from the 100-year-old book Cruises Mainly in the Bay of the Chesapeake by brothers Robert and George Barrie. These two Chesapeake-loving Philadelphians, scions of a family publishing business, were among the Bay's very first recreational cruisers—and among the first to publish a book on that subject. The committee also recommends "The News from Newport News" [page 24], Paul Clancy's excellent report from the bulkheads of that city. Notwithstanding its industrial countenance, Paul says, this historic shipbuilding town has its charm—and plenty to offer the visiting boater.
Item two: As you may have seen in the announcement that is sprinkled throughout this issue, beginning this winter we will go to an 11-issue-per-year publishing schedule by combining the December and January issues. This means, in effect, that there will be no January issue. Next month's issue will come to you on schedule, shortly before Thanksgiving, but it will be called December/January. And the February 2010 issue will arrive on schedule in late January.
Item two, continued: Please be assured that this is not reflective of any dire economic circumstance at good ol' CBM; indeed, being a very seasonal magazine, over the years we have often seriously considered combining one or more of the winter issues—which tend to be less attractive to advertisers and therefore considerably leaner than the seasonal issues. Until now the business arithmetic has always favored, however marginally, sticking with 12 issues per year. The operative phrase there is "until now." Perhaps you've heard the rumors about our economy, that it's not so great lately. Well, it turns out the rumors are true. And now the 11-issue-per-year thing is looking like a heck of a good idea—indeed, a no-brainer. The downside, of course, is that you get one fewer issue of CBM per year. But we hope you'll see it as we do—as a small sacrifice of quantity in the interest of quality. Put another way, it's our way of staying fabulous. And of course we will honor the terms of all current subscriptions. That is, you'll get what you paid for. If you bought a one-year subscription, you'll get 12 issues, notwithstanding the new publishing schedule. Same with two- and three-year subscriptions, which will be honored for 24 and 36 issues, respectively.
Item three: Believe it or not, it's time to think about those plump summer issues—June 2010, to be exact. That's when we publish the winners of our Best of the Bay Reader Photo Contest. We need entries by December 15, so go find your camera bag and see if you've got any showstoppers on that 2-gig memory card. See page 11 for the contest rules and nitty-gritty.
This meeting is adjourned. . . . Hey, who took my gavel?