August 1, 1999 was my first day working for the Patriots. The issue of Patriots Football Weekly that you see above was the first one I worked on that had my name printed in it. Was I proud to see my name inside the front cover of a magazine under the title “Art Director”? Let’s just say I wanted to wallpaper my damn house with that issue so when people came over I could point and go “See? That’s my name. IN PRINT. RIGHT THERE!”
It was my first legit, properly titled job. Sure I had worked as a typesetter and ran the art department of a small printing company for years, but it was the first time I had things like a Title and Business Cards and a Phone With My Own Extension. I was finally in the print world version of Broadway – my name may not have been in lights, but it was there.
Back then we were rocking Quark XPress 3.32 and Photoshop 4.0. Digital photography was unheard of – we sent photos to our printer so they could scan them on their drum scanner. When I think back, I marvel at how we did all that grunt work and still managed to get the paper out on time.
Over the years I’ve seen co-workers come and go, players come and go, and I’ve personally witnessed the biggest wins and the most monumental losses. Perhaps it’s cliché (especially since it’s Jerry Garcia’s birthday), but the only thing that best sums up the past 13 years in my mind are the lyrics: Sometimes the lights all shinin’ on me; Other times I can barely see. Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been…
…and I wouldn’t trade away one second of it.