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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)

TITLE: "Our Family's Firm
By Mildred Sheldon


I was sitting at my grandfathers oak desk leaning back in my big comfortable chair daydreaming. The wall opposite my chair was laden with plaques and awards my family had received over the years from being the top publishing firm in New York.

I am third generation, and at 70 I decided it was time to write the story of how Timothy Andrews Publishing Firm came into being. My grandfather, Timothy Andrews, was born in 1894, and grew up in New York. My grandfather Tim had been working for Wallace & Wallace publishing firm as a run about when he met Esther James. It was love at first sight, and at age 18 Tim married Esther. She was a determined, strong willed woman who had been writing since she was a young girl, and had her first book of poems published by Wallace & Wallace. Estherís dad was Editor of Wallace & Wallace and she was familiar with how the publishing business worked.

Two years after they married Tim and Esther struck out on their own, and opened their own publishing firm. Tim was very outgoing with the sheer determination of a bull dog, and a personality that drew people to him like a magnet. They worked tirelessly in getting their publishing firm up and running, and because of their honesty and integrity they had more clients than they could handle. They expanded the size of the firm before their son Tim Jr. arrived.

They were not afraid of hard work, and through a donít quit attitude they became one of the most distinguished publishing firms to be found. Tim read, edited and worked with the writers while Esther handled the secretarial business. Many nights Tim and Esther fell asleep at the office.

Their success had afforded them many blessings. Tim found a beautiful ornately carved oak desk which he placed in the center of his office. He was the first Editor in chief, and Esther did all she could to free Tim up so he could take care of all their clients. They worked together establishing their firm, and were recognized as number one before my dad was born in 1915.

Dad started out as run about, and through hard work, and due diligence dad took over from Grandpa as Editor in Chief at age 40. I was 15 when dad became Editor in chief. I guess my family had been bitten with the same bug, because each generation had the same tenacious fortitude to keep building, and adding to all of the many awards on my big office wall.

I remember the first time dad, and I butted heads on how I was handling my job as run about. I had my friend Jack Summers run pneumatic tubes to the different departments in our firm freeing me up so I could help wherever I was needed most. Dad wanted to know how much this little venture was going to cost the firm when I said it was all ready paid for while grinning from ear to ear. Dad asked where I got the money, and how did I get this done so quickly without even causing any disruption in everyday business? I told dad I learned frugality from him. I explained Jack and I worked evenings, and weekends so everything ran as it had during working hours. Dad didnít show emotions, so when I gave him the bottom line he slapped me on the back, and said with a grin well done kid.

Iím set to retire the end of June and Timmy will take over in my place. Timmy was blessed with the hardheaded gene the rest of my family has. I donít know what lay ahead for my son, but if he is anything like his great grandfather I know this firm will be led by one of the finest Editors to be found. My son is the spitting image of his great grandfather, and it is almost impossible to distinguish between the two if you are looking at a photograph.

On my last day at work I placed the manuscript on Timmyís desk so he could proof it and find out how Timothy Andrews publishing firm came into being. Timmy has been after me for quite a while to tell him the story. Once he proofs this he will know about his legacy, and I can spend time with Betsy my wife, and my parents who are hale and healthy at 94 and 95 respectively.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Troy Manning06/04/10
A nice story about the value of perseverence! There are a few grammar & punctuation corrections you may want to make (e.g. a missing quotation mark in your title; capitolizing the "e" in "editor-in-chief"). Blessings to you.
Troy Manning06/05/10
"capitalize," that is--perhaps I should focus on my own issues first :)
Verna Mull 06/23/10
I am honored with your comment on my poem, especially when I read this article "Our Family's Firm" What a legacy, and I feel that it was very well written and very interesting.