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Just Outside My Door

August 29, 2013
Elaine Cole , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

I sit at my computer on another sunny morning wondering just what I should write about. I usually ponder that thought a day or two before it's time to begin. However, I've been "under the weather" so to speak and didn't think much about anything except feeling better. But today after reading my newest Bird Watchers Digest and the letter in it from Bill Thompson, 111, current Editor and Co-Publisher of the magazine, I knew what to tell you all about today.

In his letter Thompson said, "it all started with a family meeting. Around the table were dad (Bill Thompson Jr.), mom (Elsa Thompson), brother Andy, sister Laura and me. We were voting on whether to launch into a new business. As Thompson family lore goes, we were considering three options for this new business: 1) starting a restaurant, 2) starting some sort of farming operation, or starting a magazine. We chose option 3."

At the time of the Thompson's meeting their children were all in school in grades 10, 9, and 4. I believe the manner in which their parents conducted their new adventure, especially including their children in it, was a very good method and speaks well of them and their siblings. Also the fact that the whole family pooled their money, even the youngsters' college fund.

It was 1978 when the first issue of Birds Watcher Digest rolled off the press and it's still rolling on. The September- October magazine includes a copy of the first two paragraphs of the article written by the late Bill Thomson Jr. (1832-1911) and his wife Elsa Thompson. They are as follows:

"This first issue is dedicated to bird watchers everywhere who have thoughtfully and lovingly spread the good news about not only the joy but also the import of their activity."

"We can't believe there is a more appropriate way to begin a new magazine devoted to bird watching than with an excellent article singing the pleasures of bird watching and the praises of the growing number who enjoy it. Through Bird Watcher's Digest and with your help and suggestions, we hope to do our part to encourage interest in the study and the preservation of birds."

Bill Thompson 111 relates more information on this topic in the recent publication, which is celebrating its 35th year. You may call, email or write and get a subscription of the magazine. You can get the addresses on the internet. Possibly you might find it in your local library.



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