My First Publication

21 September 2011 at 3:26 am 3 comments

| Peter Klein |

A colleague recently sent me a copy of his first publication, a letter to the editor in Sports Illustrated magazine. This inspired me to search for my own first publication, which was exactly the same thing. It turns out SI has made its entire archive available online, so here it is:

If it’s nostalgia Fimrite wants, I suggest he pop a few new tubes in his radio, load it into his Model T, ride to Tiger Stadium and listen to a game in the parking lot. Then he can go home, write the game up on his manual typewriter and wire his article in over the telegraph.

Funny how it often turns out that those Luddite whiners who despise large, multipurpose modern stadiums also happen to be the people with the money or the connections to get good seats in the small, cramped “traditional” parks. The rest of us will gladly give up a little tradition just to get tickets.

Chapel Hill, N.C.
May 2, 1988

I was writing in reaction to this piece by SI’s Ron Fimrite. I’m still looking for an opportunity to work the term “Luddite whiners” into an academic article.

I was particularly sensitive to this issue because, during my undergraduate days at North Carolina, the school replaced the old Carmichael Auditorium with the new Dean E. Smith Center (better known as the “Dean Dome”). I appreciated the hot, poorly lit, intimate, and idiosyncratic Carmichael as much as anybody, but was tired of the two-day campouts to get student tickets, and welcomed the Dean Dome’s larger student section. Even in those days, I was sensitive to the idea of trade-offs at the margin.

The sad thing is that this letter probably had more readers than all my subsequent publications combined.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

Of Categories and Killers What We’re Really Doing

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marc F. Bellemare  |  21 September 2011 at 7:14 am

    Peter, if you want an opportunity to write “Luddite whiners” in a research article, may I invite you to join those of us who work on food policy? Perhaps writing an article about locavores would bring you very close to fulfilling your dream? ;)

  • 2. William Sjostrom  |  21 September 2011 at 7:43 am

    My first publication was a letter to the Seattle Times in the very early ’80s, referring to an op-ed as “economic analysis for the mentally deficient”. I’m not sure a phrase like that could get in the newspaper anymore.

  • 3. Michael E. Marotta  |  23 September 2011 at 8:20 pm

    As above, the city newspaper, in my case The Cleveland Plain Dealer and I was 12. The editor did not believe that I was a child. Much later, life extension guru Durk Pearson recommended Industrial Research and I placed three letters there about 1980 and one in Omni about the same time. But by then, I had three rock ‘n’ roll music reviews in a short-lived libertarian magazine called Outlook back in 1973. Only now, however, in 2010, did I place anything in a peer-reviewed periodical, a book review of The Invention of Enterprise in The Libertarian Papers.

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