Even the most casual reader of About Time has to have noticed that we haven’t published for a while. Firstly, we apologize for this and we are exceedingly pleased to have our first issue in several months in distribution.
The main reason for this hiatus is a deeply saddening one. Gary talks about this in his note as well. About Time lost one of our own this past year -- Stu Hubbard.
I knew Stu for about 15 years, and while I wasn’t nearly as close to him as Gary, I considered him a good friend and enjoyed his company immensely. If you knew Stu, you liked him. He was just an all-around good guy. If he could help you, he would. He was generous with this time, his droll wit and sympathetic ear. He let me prattle on more than once about things I’m sure he was past tired of hearing about. Stu was also a true watch guy. It was more than just a job for him, just like it is for so many of us. I miss Stu and About Time isn’t the same without him.
Stu handled a lot of the heavy lifting here at About Time. Basically, whatever Gary or I didn’t do, was on Stu. Under normal circumstances, and at most businesses, the company probably would have found a replacement and moved on quickly.
But these weren’t normal circumstances. Stu fell to an aggressive form of throat cancer and his long-time relationship with Gary made a move to another person, well, complicated.
I also have to be honest about Stu. He was a decades-long smoker and I can’t imagine that didn’t contribute to the cancer that took his life. If I could have gotten him to quit, I would have. But he was long past that mark before I ever met him. I quit myself about 16 years ago. Doctor’s tell me now that my risk factors are the same as if I had never smoked.
Losing friends sucks. Losing friends from avoidable illnesses sucks even more. I have a lot of friends who are readers of this magazine. If you smoke, quit. It’s not easy. I know. But it could mean one fewer friend I have to lose prematurely in the watch community.
I’ll write about watches next time. My heart just isn’t in it this go around.