critical reading for the rude

remembrance: omni mag

What a magazine.

When I was maybe like 11 years old, my dad bought the complete run (which was maybe the first 10 years worth) all crisp and chronologically arranged in white boxes.  He’d found them at some yard sale in Baton Rouge.  Those magazines were about the best thing that Baton Rouge ever offered up to us, too.

I’d read the weird vampire stories and the speculative science articles on my bed in my section of a sheet-partitioned two-room apartment.  Outside there was real voodoo, and as much action as a kid wanted to find; I retreated into the stories.   There was this one essay about relativity, and how we might build an arc of such mass that walking under it would suspend us between its gravitational tug and that of the Earth.  That was apt, sho nuff.

The magazines followed us back to Mississippi.  They were in our house near Mize and Magee, and we shared them with our few friends who were interested (and they were mightily and desperately interested).  My best friend’s dad must have read the entire set of back issues (he had the biggest sci-fi library I had ever seen, with some 80 or a hundred volumes of old Dell paperbacks and mail-in bookclub hardbacks) — then he used his leverage as the manager of the local grocery store to make sure the magazine rack there always had OMNI, right up till it ended in the 90s.

Our collection found a home with my half-uncle in Sanatorium, some fifteen miles away.  Perfect, too.  He loved them and kept them well.  He’d read them and we’d talk and play chess or ATARI.  Slowly growing circle of us, right there in the middle of Mississippi, between the swamp and the state highway.

The collection’s gone now.  Tossed in the dumpster (along with everything in the house) by a greedy and ignorant aunt.  But all things are forgiven eventually, right?  And OMNI did its job for us, when in the country and when in the city.

Gave us some hope and wonder for a while.

June 27, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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