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Grays Best

Letter From The Publisher

'This Little Gem'

THIRTY YEARS AGO, ON their kitchen table, Ed and Rebecca Gray began to build the premiere issue of the magazine you hold today. They wanted to publish a hunting and fishing magazine for a "thinking" audience. Or, as Ed put it, the sporting magazine he would want to read.

In 1975, however, publishing a new magazine of any kind was a daunting project, especially for a young couple with the idea that, instead of following the trends of the magazine business toward bigger, bolder, splashier publications aimed at ever larger yet ever less sophisticated audiences, they would step backward toward a calmer state of mind, toward a more studied readership.

Rather than eschew tradition, fine literature and classic presentations, Ed and Becky chose to honor them. They dared to create an intelligent, thoughtful national magazine that strove to achieve not just a higher standard, but a much higher standard. A magazine that might never achieve great numbers of readers but would attract a more discerning reader—men and women who cherish our sporting traditions and the grand contemporary recreation those traditions have created.

But the life of a business is not unlike the life of a person, with birthing pains and adolescent crises. Sometimes as you look back over the life of your business from a point of success, you wonder how the business was ever successful at all.

This is especially true for Gray's. It is unlike any other sporting magazine in America, and perhaps the world. It's not an inexpensive magazine and appeals to a relatively small—though very high—quality-audience. Its stories are about the sporting life and the interaction of people participating in the sporting life. As a rule, it still doesn't cover the latest equipment or follow the current industry trends. It doesn't sell its covers to advertisers. All the stories begin on the right-hand page, where, in most magazines, one finds advertising. It doesn't choose to publish the hunting and fishing trips of celebrities. Many celebrities have found their photographs on the pages of Gray's, but few, if any, have been identified. The philosophy behind Gray's is simple: Continue to produce the finest journal we can for our readers and advertisers while supporting and enhancing our traditions afield.

And this is why Gray's has not only survived for a quartercentury but also has flourished. Gray's is, we believe, an honest value for an honest dollar. Still unique and hopefully will always be unique. Still what The Washington Post once called "this little gem."

We at Morris Communications have owned Gray's since 1989 and continue to be delighted to bring it to you, whether you are a reader or an advertiser. The celebration of this 25th year of publication is as much yours as it is ours.

So on behalf of all the people who bring you this magazine, I thank you for supporting Gray's Sporting Journal. You have been a tough boss. We go to work every day intending not just to meet your expectations, but to exceed them.

William S. Morris III


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