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Greg Gutfeld: When the hot spot burns out -- remembering my friend and mentor Mark Bricklin

1 58 17
09.09.2021

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Mark Bricklin passed away over the weekend.

If you don't know his name, maybe you'll know it when I’m done.

Mark was the first guy to take an actual chance on me in the full-time working space.

He hired me for my first writing and editing gig, despite my inexperience -- perhaps because he found one joke he liked in my sample tests, and that I also looked like I worked out 19 hours a day. My pecs had abs. And my abs had pecs. And my biceps had calves. (I could do this forever).

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in the winter of 1988 just weeks after the Loma Prieta earthquake broke the mirror in my mom's living room and sent me on a bicycle to the liquor store -- I flew from SFO to a cold, mysterious place called Allentown, Pa., previously known to me through a morose musical effort by Billy Joel, who made a bundle from singing about despair. That's impressive. He would later squander that genius on "Uptown Girl."

The job I had applied for was assistant editor for Prevention magazine, the world's largest health magazine at the time. It was, like me, digest size -- but also absurdly popular among millions of older, stretch-band brandishing ladies. These were the ladies you saw race walking at the indoor mall, usually in groups like ducks in sweatpants.

FILE -- June 25, 1985: Mark Bricklin, editor in chief of Prevention Magazine (Photo by Paul Matthews/Fairfax Media via Getty Images). (Photo by Paul Matthews/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

I had perhaps applied to hundreds of places, and the fact that I had accepted moving to Allentown from what used to be the best place on earth (northern California), said everything. I was desperate. It was time to stop waiting for the perfect opportunity and seize the next opportunity and make that the perfect one.

When I showed up at the bucolic, rural campus of Rodale Press in a place called Emmaus, I was struck by one thing. In order to get to the offices, I had to wait for a local train to cross the entrance. There was a train that went thru Emmaus separated the rest of the city to the parking lot where you pulled in.

The place could have been in the Ozarks... It was beautiful, mountainous and surreal for a right wing bodybuilder who spent the last year sleeping on couches in San Francisco and driving my mom nuts in San Mateo.

The Rodale buildings were actually old school houses and a printing factory. They were campus-like -- and I felt I had returned to college without the bad habits and the debt. Everyone there worked out regularly. Except for a few who worked at the warehouse, and ate sausage like their lives depended on it.

Rodale Press later became Rodale -- they actually hired consultants to make that call. I could have told them that for a six pack of Yuengling.

During the interview, they had me take some editorial tests, including a copy-edit quiz which I know I failed miserably. If you want to keep real talent from your staff, stick to a copy-edit test. You’ll only get grammar Nazis.

Every single job I didn't get was because of the........

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