Crash Landing

- PETER SALTSMAN Editor-in-chief

AS IT HAPPENS, my first job in publishing was at this very magazine, many years ago, as a freshfaced and expectant summer intern. I had always wanted to work at a men’s magazine, and I was eager to make an impression. One of the better tasks back then was to assist the editors in picking up and dropping off press cars for review. This was an excellent perk. Who else, I asked my 22-year-old self, gets to drive around in expensive and powerful cars and call it work? And who else got to spend half a day out of the office? What a privilege.

Sometimes I would combine duties, taking a loaner car out for an afternoon mail run or to an interview. One rainy afternoon, after too much coffee and the onslaught of a splitting headache, I jumped into a press car and headed off towards the post office. It was difficult to park near there, and as I approached I realized I was in the wrong lane. So I signalled, glanced at my mirrors, and changed lanes — right into the Volkswagen Golf coming up beside me. I heard the crunch of metal almost before it happened. I was mortified. I pulled over and made what still ranks among the most awkward phone calls of my life, telling my boss what I’d done. It was my first (and to this day only, I might add) car accident. I surveyed the damage and mentally tried to tally the repair bill, wondering if the car company’s insurance even covered trembling undergradu­ates. I can still recall the shape and depth of the dent on the car’s wheel well — not the impression I had meant to leave at all. Surely my budding magazine career was over.

Many years — and much hard work and grovelling — later, it seems that crash was just the beginning. Proof, maybe, that a little luck and goodwill can go an awful long way. That summer ended and, with the coming of fall, I began a new and exciting chapter. This fall I start another one, here again with you.

In this issue, we build on these themes of time, success, and new beginnings. You’ll find insights from men like Bruce Mau, who is using his vision and his profile to change the world — and from writers like Ben Kaplan, who finds the best way to mark the passage of time is by escaping to Las Vegas with his dad. Both men are plowing forward in their different ways — we all are, so best to make the most of it. It should be a good ride — hopefully with no major accidents.

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