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LUEGO, AMIGO!
(Later, Friend....A Modest Short-Term Farewell to BMAC)
By FreedomWriter
Anchorage, Alaska
Feb. 14, 2001

This month's commentary will focus on the upcoming departure of a local publishing icon & arts patron -- Brian MacMillan. Why is Mr. MacMillan so important as to warrant an article from FreedomWriter? BMAC, as he is affectionately called by his peers, friends, & business associates, was an inspiration to me, believe it or not!

While I spent some time surfing the internet at a local internet cafe over 2 years ago, there was this long-haired (Afro-style) young man dressed in Northwest Casual Punk (I can't think of a better term for today's young people's attire but there probably is one) attire who also frequented the same soup & sandwich & cyber saloon in downtown Anchorage. He could be seen frantically inputting "whatever" into those Macintoshes at such a blistering "hunt-and-peck" pace that I figured his stubby fingers would end up in bandages no doubt applied by any of the occasional nice looking women who would assist him in doing such clerk-typist labor. "Man," I thought, "how could he afford those hourly rates at the keyboard?" Later I discovered he was the Editor & Publisher of AK VERVE, "Alaska's Freaky Fanzine", a quarterly publication highlighting the local arts scene that also gave space to any local writer or artist with something to tell or to show. Well, BMAC was doing his inputting around his deadline while I was researching the scandals & corruption of the Clinton-Gore Administration on the world wide web.

After perusing his quarterlies, I would also see him at many of the local clubs reviewing musicians, or other live stage performances, or concerts, or art exhibitions, or related arts projects. He would critique them in his articles that I read in the AK VERVE or the ANCHORAGE PRESS. Or he could be seen helping honcho an outdoor concert in Chickaloon, Alaska, of all places (but it's COOL MAN, COOL!). He was a man of action getting the word out about the arts when the only local daily newspaper monopoly (and owned Outside of Alaska) would just stick to its high priced advertisements & self-proclaimed music or arts critics that wrote like they never were even at the events much less only covering a fraction of what he did. He would manage the AK VERVE on a shoestring budget, soliciting ads for each issue, laying out the final draft of his hard-copy quarterly, getting it to the printer, & then organizing a distribution party in his apartment that would make make the riders of the Pony Express or the drivers of the Wells Fargo stagecoaches jealous when using his statewide network.

Brian's editorial & publishing style was OPEN. No article or artwork was too good or too bad or too controversial for the AK VERVE. That's the First Amendment in action! That's what inspired me.

So I transferred my researching skills, tired eyes, & even more tired stubby fingers (no bandages yet for me....I took typing in high school, ha ha) to a different level after BMAC started to do his AK VERVE on-line. His quarterly was now being published on the internet! Now I could have two outlets for my articles locally: His hard-copy quarterly & his on-line publication of the same name. So let's make it three for me while we are at it. I will start my own website, too! After going through the channels of getting my site's domain name registered & conceiving the design of my first website, I gave birth to FREEDOMWRITER.COM, with the motherly help of my first website technician/producer Suzzy who also performed similar technical midwifery roles for BMAC's AK VERVE prior to his website. Besides sharing Suzzy's computer wizardry, BMAC and I probably also shared the stretch marks of growth, but I confess to never have seen him anything but clothed.

Brian took about a year off to travel the world while I expanded FREEDOM WRITER. I would continue to submit my articles to Denise, the internet angel who provided nursing assistance to BMAC's on-line version whilst he was away & I would continue to write my commentaries until I outgrew my first website motherlode. Denise became my website baby's new nurse, as well. My site grew & grew & changed appearances. What was in the milk in your bottle, Denise? I recall Jackie Gleason's famous line in between his television scenes after supping from his cup & saucer: "How sweet it is!"

BMAC came back to revive the AK VERVE & take a full time job, or two. He was also scheduling community activity calendars for the ANCHORAGE PRESS & another recreational magazine in Anchorage. Then the word came forth: He will pass the reigns & torch of the AK VERVE to a new generation while he would go forth to teach English in South Korea for a year. I understand the necessity of having money in your pocket, for a change. One can do more with some money than one can do with no money (That's another reason why we need lower taxes, so we can keep more of our money to spend on those things we need or want to do, so that we can stay as independent & self- sufficient as possible).

BMAC & I shared some similar interests & political beliefs. BMAC & I also might have not shared some interests & political beliefs. But BMAC & I do wholeheartedly agree on the necessity of the FIRST AMENDMENT.

Brian, I have many parting wishes for you, before you return to Alaska's largest city to continue what I know is near & dear to your heart: EXPOSING THE ARTS. While in South Korea, I wish you success in teaching your students the proper methods of good English. Please don't forget to tell our allies in Asia that, whatever faults & problems America & its citizens may have, America & its citizens LOVE FREEDOM. While you teach them good grammar, please teach them that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE as many have died & still stand ready to protect our liberties. While you teach them good punctuation, please teach them that FREEDOM & INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY GO TOGETHER like the "yin & yang" they understand. While you teach them proper syntax, please teach them that our way of life is preserved through our understanding & use of our Declaration of Independence & Constitution & Bill of Rights & other Documents of Freedom & RESPECT FOR THE LAW. While you teach them correct spelling, please teach them that our morals, values, & RIGHTS COME NOT FROM GOVERNMENT but from a Higher Power, a Creator that encompasses all of us, a Great Spirit that breathes through all of us. Brian, you can teach those South Koreans a lot about our language & a lot about America, our people, & our history.

So I end my commentary with some Spanish words: "Luego, amigo" (Later, friend) & wish you the best until you return....."Vaya con Dios!" (Go with God!).

(Enhanced for Netscape)


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