This post was also published on my Idyllwild blog on November 4, 2014
I found a surprise in my mail today – a big envelope containing two copies of Piper Flyer magazine featuring a story I wrote right there on the magazine’s cover and in the center spread. I had seen a PDF of the story already and found the story online but there’s something extra special about seeing a story you wrote in actual print. It was so much fun to see the story title on the cover then open the magazine to the center and find my story there. Wowza! Now that’s exciting!
The story Airshow Entertainer: Lowell White’s Vagabond – A Piper Vagabond Finds Its Way Home is about an airplane that is based near my home here in Minnesota. I first saw the airplane when it landed here at SkyHarbor one day last summer – it’s absolutely beautiful! I heard the plane had a cool history and was winning awards and I knew I just had to talk to the owner, Vaughn, and write something about his little airplane. I interviewed Vaughn with plans to do a quick QandA feature on the plane on a website. Yet I knew the plane’s story deserved to reach a larger audience and be told more fully than a QandA so I contacted Piper Flyer magazine to see if they would be interested in a story. They were! And they said to go ahead and write it as a feature story to boot!
I sent the story to the editor in August. By the end of September, I discovered the story would run yet this year so I got busy gathering photos to accompany the story. A few days later I discovered the story would be in the November issue. I was pretty excited things were moving quickly and even more excited when a few weeks ago Heather, the magazine’s editor, sent me a PDF of the story so I could get a sneak peek before my print copies arrived.
When I looked at the PDF, I was amazed to see my story and the accompanying pictures covered eight pages of the magazine. Wow! Then a fellow Short Wing Piper owner, Curt, contacted me to congratulate me on the story (he had just received his magazine in the mail). He sent me a picture of the magazine’s cover – that’s when I realized my story was on the magazine’s cover. I knew I was writing a feature story but did not realize my story would be THE feature story. That really made my day!
I feel so lucky I had the opportunity to write about the Lowell White Vagabond and wish to give special thanks to Vaughn Lovley for letting me write about his plane and for patiently answering dozens of questions about the Vagabond’s history and restoration. Thanks, too, to photographer David Schober who let Piper Flyer use two of his gorgeous pictures of the Vagaond in flight to accompany the story. I also want to mention that I had a super experience working with Piper Flyer for the first time and found it a pleasure to work with Jen, the publisher and Heather, the magazine’s editor.