What Is The Trailing Edge?

The Trailing Edge is a blog style web site to host my writings and anything else I find interesting.

Starting in November of 1996, I became the interim editor of THE LEADING EDGE, the newsletter of EAA Chapter 1000. I had started putting together a web site for EAA Chapter 1000, and the current newsletter editor asked me if I could cover for him for a few months while he went into the hospital for treatment for skin cancer. He promised me he would take the job of newsletter editor back as soon as he got better. Sadly, a few months later he passed away. By 2021, as EAA Chapter 1000 was in the process of shutting down because most of the principals had moved away, it became apparent to me that the previous newsletter editor was not going to take the job back as he had promised. In November 2021, 25 years after taking over as newsletter editor and 30 years since the founding of the chapter, publication of the final edition of THE LEADING EDGE marked the official closing of the chapter.

Prior to and during that 25 years I had become quite used to writing lengthy articles about subjects that interested me as a reason to learn about those subjects, understand them better, and to fill up white space in the newsletter. While I wasn't getting paid to do that (although a few articles would get published in magazines like Contact! or Kitplanes), I certainly enjoyed writing them for my own benefit. The few people who took the time to respond really seemed to enjoy my writings.

I knew that the urge to write about things would not go away when THE LEADING EDGE ceased production, even though I enjoyed the end of the monthly deadlines. I needed a way to distribute my writings on a totally random non-schedule to those who might enjoy reading them. In December 2021 I e-mailed a PDF of "A Bearhawk Time Machine" to the same e-mail list that had received THE LEADING EDGE. Needing a name for this new journalistic enterprise, I named it THE TRAILING EDGE as a reference to being what follows THE LEADING EDGE.

THE TRAILING EDGE was rapidly and enthusiastically received by the former members of The Project Police, with many enthusiastic and glowing comments being received. Other people who had not been members of EAA Chapter 1000 heard about what I was doing and asked to be added to the distribution list. Though I made it clear that I would remove anyone from the distribution list who requested that, to date no one has been sufficiently bothered to make the effort to ask to be removed.

One of the founding principles of THE TRAILING EDGE was that I didn't want to have to spend as much time formatting and making everything look pretty as I had for THE LEADING EDGE. That newsletter was always formatted for printing with two columns, a precise page count, and every space filled, even long after it was solely distributed by PDF and mostly read on computer screens. Thus, the formatting standard for THE TRAILING EDGE was intentionally much looser and intended for publication on PDF and viewing on a computer screen.

As I would talk to new people about an article I had written for THE TRAILING EDGE and they would ask to be added to the distribution list, I realized it was a lot of work to send them "back issues". Thus, in early 2023, I finally relearned how to create and manage web sites and created this web site as a repository of my writings and other stuff. The web site conforms to the formatting standards of the articles, which is to say very minimal formatting. I don't claim to be an artist, so I'm not going to spend my time pretending to be one while creating a web site.

If you would like to receive postings for THE TRAILING EDGE directly into your e-mail inbox (rather than have to keep checking back here for new postings), simply send an e-mail to our editor Evil Editor Zurg at eez@pobox.com requesting to be added to the distribution list. The monthly cost for subscription is quite reasonable at "Free" (the pilot's favorite four-letter "F" word - Jimmy Doolittle III).

- Russ Erb