There's no denying it any longer: "Boomers" are getting old, not just "older," and we're starting to show it. Our bodies keep reminding us that the 1960s are long gone, man.

Ed Bas is no old-timer, but at 48 years, I guess he isn't a kid either. Still, he has always tried to stay fit. Ed's a runner, an avid golfer who would rather pull a cart than ride in one, and a man who didn't indulge in debilitating vices, like smoking or excessive eating. You can't really tell from his picture on this page but he isn't carrying excess pounds.

Ed should have had another 20 years at least before old-guy problems caught up to him. Instead, he is now recovering from a serious stroke that he suffered in late June. His condition is much improved, and not life-threatening, but he has a ways to go before he has recovered completely.

After some early partial paralysis, Ed has regained all of his muscle movement and control. (He showed me his golf swing the other day and it's as bad as it ever was, but no worse.) Yet, as often happens after a stroke, his speech has been affected. Many words come out effortlessly, but some do not and he must sometimes resort to writing down what he is trying to say.

Thanks to therapy, there has been improvement in his speech. Ed says he has a ways to go but he is determined to regain his ability to express himself clearly. In the meantime, he will be at home recovering and will not be coming into work. I'm sure that you join all of us at Snips and Business News Publishing Co. in wishing him a full and speedy recovery.

Business News has asked several of us to step in and accomplish the various duties of publishing Snips. Sales representative Sally Fraser will be the interim publisher, and I, Wayne Johnson, will be the interim editor. We will both be supported by the fine work of the existing managing editor, Michael McConnell.

Over the years, I've had many duties at Business News, including a long stint as the editor of The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News. I even hired Ed as an associate editor on The News before he moved over to Snips five years ago. At one point, I was the publishing director of all the company's hvac-related books, including The News, Engineered Systems, and Snips.

For almost 25 years, I've studied and written about heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration. I have relatives in the wholesaling end of the business and many friends in the contracting community. Hvac has been an important part of my life since I was 23 years old.

That doesn't make me exceptional in this industry. Many of you have been in the game for at least that long, and your fathers, mothers, and grandparents for decades longer. So I'm not trying to impress you with my longevity, just give you a sense that I'm no newcomer to the life that we've all come to love and respect.

At the same time, I realize that I have much left to learn about hvac and now sheet metal. I could use your help. Snips readers are a knowledgeable group and I'm hoping you'll give me the benefit of your experience so that I can help give you the publication that you deserve.

Thanks in advance and let me know how Sally, Mike and I can serve you better. (I can be reached at (586) 293-3217, and by email at johnsonw@bnp.com.)

New wheels

Please note that Ed Bas and Michael McConnell had most of this issue prepared before I got involved. You'll want to pay special attention to Ed's annual truck feature, where he gives you the behind-the-wheel perspective on the latest Fords, GMCs, Chevys, and Dodges. He also examines the role of diesel engines in today's vehicles, and why this technology continues to get updated and refined.

Letters

Snips looks better and better and I agree with you on keeping the tin snips on the cover. Happy fifth! -- Ed Dooley.

The new look for the magazine looks great. I can remember way, way back when it was what we would affectionately call a "rag." What a long way you've come. Also, I'm glad you didn't go to that tiny typeface many magazines went to a few years ago. For us 50-somethings (I just reached that milestone last week), it is too darn hard to get through. - Elva Clements