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October 12, 2016 | Vol. 66, No. 20

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Dear PEI Member:

After three decades of writing the TulsaLetter, youíd think I could breeze through them. But some newsletters are more difficult to write than others, depending on what Iím trying to say. I donít know if this is writerís block, but I do know that my predicament is absurd. After 761 newsletters, I canít come up with words. This one is a bear. Because this is the one where I say thank you and goodbye.

After I have made my final edits and turned this file over to Rex Brown to send to our 8,000 readers, I will have written my last TulsaLetter. Although I will stay on as PEIís executive vice president through May, I am handing my newsletter duties to Rick Long, an exemplary writer and extraordinary communicator. You will enjoy his writing style and insights about our industry.

Iíll never adequately be able to thank you, the TulsaLetter readers. Over the past six months since it was announced that I will be leaving PEI, many of you have roiled my emotions with your amazingly kind and generous emails and phone calls. Youíve brought me to tears.

I donít believe newsletter writers are important in the grand scheme of things. We save no lives, we protect no one from harm, we arenít teaching children, we donít take care of the sick or aged, and we donít do research to find miracle cures for insidious diseases. On a list of critical jobs in a trade association, we are nowhere near the top. But when I open an email and see a message telling me that I wrote something you didnít know or I gave you some food for thought, my goodness, Iím just blown away.

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And really, thatís my payoff. I never gave a flip about winning newsletter awards or impressing other association executives. I was proud to write for you. I wanted to serve you and if I gained your approval, thatís all I cared about. Through it all, you gave me your support and encouragement, you tolerated my inaccuracies and typos, and you offered criticism that pushed me to do better.

What matters most to me as I wind down my association with the TulsaLetter is that you understand that I have been a member of a true All-Star team here at PEI since 1979. Back in the ďgood olí days,Ē Margaret Montgomery would type and retype the newsletter to fit the four-page Kiplinger Letter style that we tried to emulate. Then the five of us on staff at the time would go back to the workroom and toil for hours to stuff and post the newsletter. Although electronically distributing the TulsaLetter has made our jobs easier, the entire staff still offers articles and proofreads each issue. Lists are dangerous, because someone invariably is left out. So I wonít risk that. Just appreciate that I have been in a killer lineup all these years.

So why now? Itís time, thatís all. Turning the TulsaLetter over to Rick Long after our Atlanta convention is part of our hand-off plan. Over 750 newsletters. Thatís enough. Iím fulfilled.

But there is something else. I occasionally come across some things I wrote years ago, and I say to myself, ďI did that?Ē And I know in my heart that it will become more difficult to match that effort down the road. Thatís all a writer needs to know. Now itís time to turn the page.


 

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© 2016
Petroleum Equipment Institute
P. O. Box 2380
Tulsa, OK 74101-2380

The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Robert N. Renkes, Executive Vice President, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.