The Giant Pencil

Readers of Holy Cross Magazine have seen a version of this portrait at the top of my Editor’s Page for five years now:


Simple, with a pop of color, right? My hair is combed. I remembered lipstick that day. All that, combined with photographer John Buckingham’s judicious photo shop work made for a suitable editor’s page photo. What you never knew, dear readers, until now, is that I brought a prop with me that day to John’s studio in Stein Hall. The G.P.: Giant Pencil. Here’s the shot, uncropped:



That’s right, folks, it’s a working 16″ pencil that I keep in my office for three reasons: 1. It serves as a conversation piece, 2. it reminds me that no matter what is going on, a good magazine story starts with the writing, and 3. it entertains colleagues’ children who occasionally visit our offices. When people ask “Why do you have that?!” as they often do, I like to say “It’s for writing the big stories.” And of course, the accompanying M.E. (Mammoth Eraser, see below) is for when I make the big mistakes.



Why am I sharing this with you now, after five years? To poke fun at myself, I suppose. Admittedly, I look fairly ridiculous awkwardly holding an oversize pencil near my face while I grin the grin of a person just starting a new and exciting job.  But after five years, I can still smile and say that we haven’t had much cause for using that mammoth eraser. We hope to keep it that way. Thanks for reading!


3 Responses to “The Giant Pencil”

  1. Love your blog, Suzanne!!!

  2. David says:

    “Big stories.” Ha!

  3. Susan Appleget Hurst says:

    Oh, Suzanne! What I recall of your sense of humor left me expecting a more menacing or defensive (but absolutely worthwhile) reason for the pencil–something along the lines of whacking over-reaching art directors on the head, or poking the eyes of administrative bean-counters.

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