A lot happened in 1984.
Apple released the Mac. Ma Bell broke up. The NCAA announced a new 64-team basketball tournament. Bruce Springsteen recorded “Born in the USA.” And that year, Nancy Born walked in the door of Good Fruit Grower as its new production manager.
Nancy stayed with the magazine 30 years, a stint that ends this summer with a much-deserved retirement. During those years, she led a series of magazine improvements: better design, graphics and photography, and, most famously, she introduced the stunning cover images that are the hallmark of our magazine in 50 states and 50 countries.
If you love the distinctive size of our magazine, you can thank Nancy. She resisted any thought of shrinking the real estate of those glorious pages.
Nancy’s title hardly describes the breadth of her services. She’s served as the copy editor who pounced on errors of grammar, spelling, or clarity. She enforced Chicago Style, calling the more common AP style “ugly.” She assembled ads and mapped out the displays of each page, and managed the contract with our printer.
In addition to magazine layouts, she designed books, marketing collateral, brochures, and other publications. For our famous covers, she hunted for photographs or paintings that capture the beauty of fruit, from soil to store. During our twice-monthly winter schedule, when our sales, circulation, production, and editorial staff suffer what we call “double issue dementia,” she stayed calm and met deadlines.
Her passion for the magazine’s service to growers comes from her roots in the industry. Nancy grew up on an apple and cherry orchard in the Yakima Valley near Prosser. She helped with budding and grafting nursery trees, pruning, spraying, thinning, and picking fruit. She drove a tractor during harvest. After attending the University of Washington, Central Washington University, and the University of Oregon, she entered the publishing industry via typography and graphic design stints at printing firms in Prosser, Yakima, and Phoenix, Arizona. Her contributions to Good Fruit Grower were recognized in 1999, when she received the Washington State Horticultural Association Women’s Leadership Through Service Award.
Later this summer, a new production manager will be hired, but no one can replace Nancy, only succeed her. No one can match her unique combination of skills, good design instincts, and unparalleled experience. It’s been my great honor to work with Nancy. The magazine staff can tell you of countless ways she’s made Good Fruit Grower a success. She’s so good, she raises everybody’s game.
On behalf of the staff and readers of Good Fruit Grower, I offer my thanks to Nancy. It’s been an incredible run. •