Thanks A Lot

Editor's Letter

By the time this magazine hits your mailbox and the newsstands, Thanksgiving will have come and gone, but there's still plenty I'm thankful for, and there's no time like the present to share.

I've been editing this magazine for the last two-plus years, and I'm thankful for this job. I love my work, and I love how a diverse group of individuals on the staff comes together each month to create this publication.

Without these full-time staffers it would never happen, and for them, I'm always thankful.

When he's not writing page-turning features and the ever-popular Ask Vance column, senior editor Michael Finger pores over every line of the issue with an eagle eye, catching typos or other goofy mistakes that somehow slipped past the rest of us. Without his patience for such tedious work, and the humor he brings to the office each day, I'm not sure I'd enjoy this job as much as I do. I love that I can ask him pretty much anything about the city and its history and without so much as a pause, he can rattle off the answer, complete with a funny aside. His creativity spills over into everything he does, and Memphis is better for it. Is it any wonder he received the University of Memphis' Outstanding Journalism Alumni Award this year? He earned it.

Staff writer Preston Lauterbach lives in his own world, and that's a good thing. I'm always amazed at his ability to just hop in his car, drive around for a bit, and come back loaded with story ideas from those daytrips. His love of the city's rich cultural and musical heritage adds an important voice to this publication every month. Though he's still considered "the new guy" after a year on staff, he's an integral part of the magazine family.

Frank Murtaugh has a tough, mostly thankless job, but he does it better than anyone. As managing editor, it's Frank's responsibility to make sure the trains are running on time — that is, corralling a bunch of free-spirited journalists and making sure they hit those pesky deadlines. Throw in his love of sports and his passion for righting the wrongs of the city through his writing, and you've got a staffer we couldn't live without.

Senior editor Marilyn Sadler is a writer I never worry about. When she tackles a subject, I know it's going to be a fair, informative, and entertaining piece of writing. She's one of the hardest-working people I know, willing to not only write features on everything from the courtroom shenanigans of attorney Leslie Ballin to the problems caused by adult ADD to the murder of one of the city's most prominent women, but to handle the details that must be tended to in each issue. She's also got a sassy attitude that keeps us in line. I like that.

Our contributors also deserve a shout- out. Greg Akers, Taylor Eason, Leonard Gill, Chris Herrington, Bianca Phillips, and Nicky Robertshaw bring their expertise to the magazine each month, filling readers in on which restaurants to hit (and which to miss), the local music and book scene, events to mark on our calendar, the best bubbly, and of course, the tastiest recipes from area chefs.

Of course, all of our work would be for nothing if art director Hudd Byard didn't make it look great. And he does, month after month, never running out of creative ways to present our material. He also loves to talk about high school football as much as I do, which makes Monday mornings fun, even if he roots for the wrong teams.

Creative director Murry Keith is always there to lend us a hand, too. After 30 years on staff, there's nothing Murry hasn't done, and his advice often keeps us from making mistakes.

And we wouldn't have any pages to write and design if it weren't for the sales staff. I could no more sell an ad than I could fly, so I appreciate them for all they do, even if I give you guys a hard time. The same goes for our circulation, marketing, and web staff.

I'm awfully lucky. And so is Memphis.

P.S. If you're still stumped on what to give your friends and family this year (even after our gift guide), don't forget that you can give Memphis for a steal. Hit us up at

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