Here’s a sports trivia question for you … who took over for Cal Ripken after the Orioles’ shortstop/third baseman finally ended his Ironman consecutive baseball games played streak at 2,130 games? The answer is Ryan Minor, a former University of Oklahoma basketball player who also played basketball for the Sooners and had a very short Major League Baseball career. But, despite his brief stay in the big leagues, he’ll always be known as the man who took over for the legendary Ripken.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am the Ryan Minor of the dental industry. I’m the guy who stepped into the post vacated by Mary Elizabeth Good, the legendary editor of Proofs, when she officially retired in 2000. Mary Elizabeth was a lady who redefined this magazine and left a legacy of friendships throughout the dental industry, an amazing testament to her hard work as the editor.
Mary Elizabeth Good passed away just before Christmas, leaving behind a lifetime of journalistic pursuits. When I called people to inform them of her passing and gather some quotes about her for this issue, many, many people poured forth praise for her. That didn’t come as a shock to me. Even as recently as the Greater New York Dental Meeting, someone was always asking me for the latest on Mary Elizabeth and her health. She was a lady who touched many people and truly made a difference in her profession.
When I first came to PennWell in 1999, I didn’t actually meet Mary Elizabeth until I had been hired to continue her vision for Proofs. We spoke briefly, and spoke again at her retirement luncheon a few days later (her health was preventing her from coming into the office on a regular basis). Those were the only times that I had a conversation with Mary Elizabeth, and that’s something that I regret. I know she had so much knowledge of the industry that a rookie like me could’ve used.
Like Minor, I quickly learned it wasn’t easy to step into a legend’s shoes … and I learned you never replace that legend. I’ve tried to blaze my own trail with Proofs while continuing many of the things that Mary Elizabeth established for the magazine. Her fingerprints are still on every issue that is produced.
While I was doing research for this issue, I discovered something that kind of stunned me … Mary Elizabeth never wrote an Editor’s Note for Proofs. I couldn’t believe it when I discovered it. This column that I take for granted every issue was never part of Proofs under her watch. Someone once told me that Mary Elizabeth liked to stay behind her camera (she was an avid photographer) rather than on the front pages. Still, for this issue, I would’ve loved to have reprinted a portion of one of her Editor’s Notes. I’m sure she would have included many of the issues that she covered in Proofs and things needing to be tackled by the industry.
Like many of you, I’m thankful for her legacy with Proofs and the dental industry. I’m thankful this rookie had the chance to see her footsteps on the beach and follow them. I know she will be missed by many, including her peers at PennWell.
Several in the industry have shared their thoughts on Mary Elizabeth for this issue, and you can find their words within the article beginning on page 8. If you have a story or comment you’d like to share about Mary Elizabeth, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected].
- Going to Boston is always a great time, but I enjoyed the trip to Beantown this year even more thanks to the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. I think the attendees and exhibitors of the Yankee Dental Congress greatly benefitted from the new facility. I heard numerous comments about the amount of natural light that could be seen in the exhibition hall and the difference it made for everyone involved. With hotels and restaurants continuing to develop in the area, looks like the Yankee Dental Congress hit a home run with the move.
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