Over the years, the editorial staff of Modern Machine Shop has been remarkably stable, giving this publication rare continuity and consistency. Yet a look at this month's editorial masthead reveals some changes. As Tom Beard announced last month, his new corporate duties take him away from editorial activities, so his name is missing (and we'll miss his contributions to the magazine, too). Likewise a new name appears, that of Leo Rakowski.
Leo joins the staff as our first Field Editor and will be stationed in his hometown of Chicago. Leo brings to this position many years of experience as a magazine editor and journalist. After a long stint with Machine & Tool Bluebook, Leo pursued a successful career as freelance writer and publicist serving mostly clients in the metalworking field. During this time, several of Leo's pieces appeared in these pages. So it's both "Welcome aboard," and "Welcome back," to our newest editor.
Of course, our commitment to providing timely information about metalworking technology and how it is best applied has not changed. That is a tradition going back more than 70 years.
This brings to mind another editor's name from the past. Mainland China's status as a trading partner has been in the news, and this news would have greatly interested Ken Gettelman. Ken served this magazine for more than 40 years, and was its top editor for the last ten of those years. Ken retired in 1991, only to lose a fight with cancer less than a year later. Throughout his career, Ken was keenly interested in world affairs. He insisted that international trade was one of the strongest forces for advancing social freedom, the rule of law and peace among nations. In the current debate about China, Ken would surely have taken a clear stand in favor of making normal trade relations permanent.
Yet Ken would have been critical of those who shared this position naively or out of self-interest. Likewise, he would have sympathized with concerns about human rights and protection of U.S. jobs, though he would have suspected false motives in that camp as well.
Ken believed that positive forces could create great positive change, especially when those forces had conscientious advocates to speak for them. Ken believed in progress. He was an optimist.
And he believed that editorial values should reflect that spirit of advocacy, leadership and optimism. That was Ken's legacy, and it still abides.