Today our new associate editor asked me a simple question about our 73-year-old publisher: “What does Bernie do?”
My response? “After nearly five years working here, I’m still trying to figure out that answer.”
I’m half-way kidding (which means I’m half-way serious). What our new editor wasn’t aware of is that Bernie has carved his own role in this magazine that he bought nearly 40 years ago. To write down Bernie’s job description would both humorous and very UN-time consuming. That’s because while it looks like Bernie doesn’t do much other than research how to bring a proper commuter train to downtown Fort Lauderdale, there’s more to Bernie than it seems.
Beyond his role as a traditional publisher, Bernie has unofficially taken the role of Yoda to my Luke. He’s taught me both life and professional lessons without once opening up a textbook or lesson plan. His lessons come rather situationly. Like, I don’t need to start working on an article until it’s due within 18 hours. That’s lesson #1 in the Bernie McCormick School of Journalism.
Lesson #2? That writing articles about Tri-Rail is OK. Even more OK is writing articles about Tri-Rail 30 separate times in one year. And printing all 30 of them in our magazine.
But that’s why we love the man. There’s not too many people I know who don’t feel the same way. As a younger editor, he makes me feel my ideas are just as strong a veteran’s. He actually listens when I or any other young staff member talks. And for that, I cannot thank him enough.
Funny story to bring Bernie’s personality full circle: After hearing of Bernie’s fame in the local community, the other day a friend asked me what it was like working for Bernie McCormick.
“Bernie never makes me feel like I’m working for him; he makes me feel like I’m working with him.”