A Few Words by Tim Robertson

In June, My Mac lost one of our own. Susan Howerter, columnist and author or the “Stocking Stuffer Steve book” passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer.

What does one say after losing someone like this? While Susan and I had never met in person, she had become a very dear friend, one I could confide in. Susan meant a lot to me, and indeed the entire staff, that news of her passing was like a bucket of ice-cold water in our faces.

Susan first came to my attention in August 1997. At the time, we had a column titled “The Reader Voice” in which we let our readership send in their own samples for publication. This was one of the best ideas I had ever had, as it netted us not a few regular columnists, reviewers, and indeed friends for years to come. Susan send it an article titled “DUEX ex Machina” in August, hoping I would print it in the magazine. She had sent it to another Mac publication as well, but they passed. I was blown away! It was a brilliant piece of writing, so I not only published the piece in our September 1997 (#29) issue, I also asked her to join our staff as a regular writer. Happily, she agreed.

In October 1997, Susan began writing her ever-popular column “Out of the AppleCart.” Susan had so much ambition, in fact, that in November 1997, she also wrote a second column at My Mac, “Churning the AppleCart”

Churning continued on for a year, ending in October 1998, while Out of the AppleCart continued until May of this year.

Susan did not limit herself to just My Mac Magazine, however. She also wrote for the popular “MacTimes” website for a half year. Her column there, From The Desktop Dilettante, was very popular, and gained Susan even more fame in the Macintosh arena. Sadly, MacTimes feel on hardship, and Susan was forced to quit, focusing solely on My Mac and her new project, the book “The Stocking Stuffer Steve Book” (which you can still buy at http://www.macbookshop.com/stevebook2.html. All proceeds for the book will be sent to her Memorial Fund at Gage Park, and the book is only $2 plus $3 s&h (total $5.) Great price for such a great book)

Susan’s death hit hard. That in one of the reasons this issue is so late in coming out. When something like this happens, you sort of lose ambition to do creative things, especially when that creative thing reminds you of the reason for your grief.

I wanted to write a very eloquent prose here, to make everyone realize just how much of a talent the Macintosh world lost. Unfortunately, the words just don’t seem to come. So below, I will reprint what Russ Walkowich, our ex-Editor, wrote for our website.

We’ve all lost a friend today. Not just the staff of My Mac Magazine and the entire Macintosh community, but even beyond that. It is with the deepest regrets that we advise that Susan Howerter, an outstanding talented writer, educator and friend passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Susan took great delight in writing. She called it spreading her wings. Spread her wings she did… by her prolific writings, by making us look at things differently, by using new words (which she often made up to fit her stories and which the editors learned to look forward to each month) and by her determination and courage. She did not let her readers know of what was happening, continued her writing and kept her positive attitude towards everything up until her passing.

She will always be a part of My Mac. We won’t forget you Susan.

Those wishing to make contributions may be make them to the Howerter family for a purchase of a memorial at Gage Park and sent to (care of):

Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel.
1321 SW 10th

Thanks, Russ.

This issue marks the first time I have ever reprinted something originally written by one of our writers for another Mac website. I am reprinting Susan’s MacTimes columns. I did try to get permission from MacTimes, but they were impossible to contact. So if anyone at MacTimes is reading, my apologies for reprinting Susan’s work here, though under the circumstances, I am sure you understand.

One final note:

Susan, I know that you have been watching us since you left us. I know you realize how much we cared for you, loved you, and respected you. I also know you wanted to see My Mac continue long after your passing, and I will try. The last few emails you sent me are still in my in-box, and I will take your council to heart.

Thank you for all your friendship. I am a better person for knowing you. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. You told me that writing was something you had always wanted to do, a lifelong dream come true. You thanked me in your last message for making it happen, for giving you the outlet you always wanted. The truth is, it was me who should have thanked you.

I miss you.


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