By Ray McAllister | February 15th, 2015

It’s a curious thing, this magazine. All we hear is that people love us.

Don’t get me wrong. That’s great, but c’mon … NOBODY’s loved that much.

Not even Taylor Swift.

So help me out. And let may say up front: This could be looking a gift horse in the mouth. I know that. Trying to fix something that ain’t broke. This magazine staff works hard, does a great job and deserves praise. This magazine moves like crazy from the stands, too.

But we all know improvement is always possible. So now I ask you … what’s your assessment of BOOMER and what would you like to see? (Short of a new editor, I mean.)

It’s only fair that I offer my assessment:

First, I think we do a reasonably good job of entertaining. Or so people say. We write on movies, with Daniel Neman, and books, with Jann Malone. Our columnists – Randy Fitzgerald, David L. Robbins and now Kate W. Hall – can be both provocative and entertaining. We serve up some nostalgia, too – Audrey Hingley and Nick Thomas catch up with famed entertainers (this issue, Jerry Mathers, Rich Little and Tippi Hedren) and Bill Oglesby looks back at a day in recent history. We have travel features. Oh, and both a trivia quiz and a cartoon contest.

I think we have serious topics worth your time. This time, we have A.J. Hostetler’s assessment of the current medical knowledge about our health. Read her article, follow up on the advice and you WILL be healthier. We have historian Elizabeth R. Varon’s fascinating look at how the principals actually disagreed about what the surrender at Appomattox 150 years ago was about – and they had signed it. It’s no wonder others disagreed.

We also feature a piece on home flipping – and how it can make your home better – written by a home flipper, Lisa Melara. We always have advice from an actual therapist, Fran Marmor. And of course we also have financial advice from Kiplinger.

Those are some of our strengths.

What don’t we have? Three things we don’t want: We don’t have partisan politics (we do publish an annual assessment by political scientist Larry Sabato), we don’t have recipes and we don’t have celebrity nonsense (Too subtle?) You can get all that on the Internet.

But what else? Maybe there are things we should have that we don’t. More home stories – or fewer. More sports or fashion stories – or none. More photo essays. More biographical stories. More local stories. More national stories. More sex stories ( Aha! THAT got your attention), maybe. Heck, I don’t know. A crossword puzzle.

Point is, we can always do better.

So, now, your thoughts.

We’ll even make it worth your while. I‘ve mentioned that we run a trivia contest each issue – and a great cartoon by Gary Brookins in search of a caption. That cartoon contest gets lots of response – and we give gift cards to three people whose entries the staff especially likes.

That got us to thinking.

I suggested to the sales director that we do that for the best letter written every issue, as well. He said sure – and suggested we do it for every reader photograph we publish of a BOOMER cover in an intriguing place, as well.


Write a great letter – or photograph BOOMER (NO Photoshopping! We can tell.) in a funny or unlikely location – and win a gift card.

Meanwhile, we’re also adding another new feature: Milestones. Have a great story about a milestone in your life? (Are you, say, an ex-president who went sky-diving on your 90th birthday?)

We begin Milestones this issue with a tattoo-free writer who took the plunge – for her 60th birthday. So what’s your story? If we like it, we’ll pay you a writer’s fee – and help you write it.

And what other ideas might YOU have? Let us know. We honestly want to hear from you, even if it’s (gulp!) criticism.

Let’s not go crazy on that part, though.

More from Boomer

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When the Kids Move Back Home

By Ella Vincent, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance | May 20, 2024