In 1963 Joe Frank suggested a Section newsletter. Others liked the idea and Joe became the first editor. Mary Forrester became the publisher, and soon Agnes Richardson became the editor. This first newsletter was a one page mimeographed sheet, printed on green paper. It was called simply “Bulletin”. Mary investigated mailing, and we got a permit for four mailings a year at four cents a piece. We still publish our newsletter four times a year.
About 1970 Sally Spear became the newsletter editor and immediately set out to improve it. It acquired a name, Ridge Lines, and a masthead. The first masthead was drawn by Anne Clark, who used photographs of Roy Buchanan’s to develop it. It was a composite of Sucker Brook shelter and Mt. Mansfield. In 1977 a new masthead, also by Anne Clark, began to be used. This was found after Anne’s death in 1973. It showed Glen Ellen Lodge among a group of evergreen trees. In 1990 Sally suggested that we have a new masthead. For a while we used two different ones alternately: a line drawing by Ginny Yandow and one of Butler Lodge by Gardner Lane. Finally the Butler Lodge one became our regular masthead and is still used. We may change it soon, either by modifying this one to make it lighter, or by replacing it with a new drawing,
Most important, Sally has greatly improved the content of our newsletter. There is excellent coverage of both Section and Main Club affairs. Articles have been included on various topics of interest to hikers: equipment, backpacking food, snowshoeing, environmental issues, etc. News of past outings is included, and recently Sally added a section describing coming hikes. This is particularly useful since our schedule card has room for only date, place and type of outing, leader with phone number, and some indication of difficulty. When space permits, articles by members about their outdoor adventures (not section related) are also included. Sally searches out interesting material as well as skillfully editing articles submitted and writing herself.
Corky Magoon has spent countless hours over twenty-dive years typing and printing Ridge Lines. Corky and Sally improved its look in many ways. Corky added pictures. Madeline Miles also contributed art work. Corky wrote a column “Peggy Porcupine Squills” which kept us up with doings of members. This is just one of the ways Corky has contributed to the Section over many years. She has been acommittee chairman and officer, including president, has led hikes, and joined on work parties. In addition, she has done much behind-the-scenes work on annual meetings, provided a meeting place for Executive Committee meetings, and helped in many other ways.
In 1999 Corky was no longer able to print Ridge Lines for us and we went to a commercial printer. At that time we changed the format from a legal length page to an 8-172 x 11 page, with eight pages.
Many other members help with mailings and by contributing items for the newsletter.
A section newsletter is the main vehicle for getting information to members, and Sally has developed an excellent newsletter. One indication of this is a comment in 1977 by Ralph Bryant, then Treasurer of the Main Club: “The latest issue of Ridge Lines is the greatest.” It has become even greater since then.