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Do You Remeber Your First Issue?

comments (3) January 17th, 2011 in Blogs
FPR Fernando Pages Ruiz, contributor

I’d be curious to know how many readers found their first encounter a milestone moment that either changed or affirmed their life’s direction.Click To Enlarge

I’d be curious to know how many readers found their first encounter a milestone moment that either changed or affirmed their life’s direction.

Photo: FHB

During the International Builders Show, I had the chance to sit a spell at the Fine Homebuilding Magazine booth giving away free samples, an easy job. The time flew by as it does only when you’re having fun. So many loyal, longtime readers stopped in their tracks, broad smiles, as if they had just run into an old friend, even if they had never actually met anyone from the magazine staff before. Young guys would drop by, too, those that had never read an issue of Fine Homebuilding.

One young guy asked me, “In a single sentence, what are you all about?” Well, I said, as I handed him his first issue, “You will remember this day for the rest of your life.” He looked puzzled, so I cheated and added an extra sentence: “We are the magazine you read, keep, and then remember exactly where you were and who you were when you perused your first issue.”

Just then, an old-timer who was eavesdropping on our conversation chimed in with the story of how, as a young man of twenty, he found two magazine’s in his uncle’s den: Playboy and Fine Homebuilding. Perhaps out of prudishness, he chose to pick up our magazine and now attributes his career as a homebuilder and trim carpenter to that fateful moment. All this made me wonder if my sales pitch were actually true. I certainly remember my first issue, 1984, Zenia, California, I was a shop teacher at the Six Rivers Ranch and School, I saw the magazine in the school library, spent a Saturday afternoon reading it cover-to-cover, and have continued to subscribe since.

Do you remember your first issue? I’d be curious to know how many readers found their first encounter a milestone moment that either changed or affirmed their life’s direction. Would you let us know?

posted in: Blogs

Comments (3)

TheTimberTailor TheTimberTailor writes: Like Cheating on a Test

The fact that I don't remember when or where I first encountered FHB is more a statement of the condition of my memory than a shortcoming of the magazine.

The thing I do remember is also the reason why I'm still a subscriber after 25+ years. Many times over those years, similar to Woodwolf's comments, when a particular challenge came up at work, the answer would be there in FHB in an article or the Tips and Techniques section. With insight gained from reading the magazine I'd show up with the answer to the problem using somebody else's knowledge. Sort of like cheating on a test, but in the School of Hard Knocks, its a great way to learn and the essence of this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Our knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of innumerable minds"

Thanks FHB for providing the "classroom" for advancing the knowledge and skill level of worthy students of the trades.

Posted: 2:39 pm on January 18th

WoodWolf WoodWolf writes: Issue number one, February/March 1981 was my first issue and I haven't missed one since. Reading every issue from cover to cover has been a ritual for me from when I worked as a carpenters helper during highschool summers through when I went into business in 1986 to now (25 years later). Reading this magazine always put me "ahead of the game" in the early days, making it so I didn't necessarily have to learn things "the hard way" all of the time. I was often the guy that even older colleagues would consult with when a jobsite challenge arose. I always gave FHB the credit in hopes that others would read it also. I also found it interesting that when a job would surface with one challenge or another over the years that FHB's next issue often had some corresponding insight, almost as if the magazine paralleled my own career progress and development on some level.
After all these years FHB is still my first reference choice for information.
Your contribution to my success is and has been greatly appreciated.
Posted: 9:30 pm on January 17th

Dreamcatcher Dreamcatcher writes: I can't say what exact issue was my first, just that I got a free read for a few years (between 1995 and 1999) while I rode to and from the job site with my first boss; whom always kept the latest issue in the passenger seat of his truck.

I have found that there are two types of carpenters out there: Those that read FHB and those that don't and I can always tell when someone doesn't because he's usually the guy using outdated construction techniques and antiquated tools. When I see those guys, I often lend some tools or advice on how to perform the job better and easier, to which I am asked "Where did you learn to do it like that?", and I proudly exclaim back, "Fine Homebuilding Magazine!" then later present them with whatever back issue might be kicking around in my truck. By now, I've probably given away at least a dozen issues.

What is most amazing about the magazine is the re-readability of the back issues. I try to re-read my entire collection at least once a year (not kidding) and doing so I find so many helpful tidbits that I missed prior; probably just because at the time they didn't pertain to either my job experience or skill set. But as I mature, take on a wider variety of projects, and become more keen at how to do what I do I am able to understand those back issues in a whole new light.

Thanks FHB!

Posted: 2:07 pm on January 17th

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