A Visit from St. Timothy by Larry Hodges As readers here know, Tim Boggan moved in with me recently so I could do the page layouts and photo work on his latest History of U.S. Table Tennis book - this is Volume 15! He's been writing and publishing these books for about 15 years, moving in with me about once a year for 10-14 days. We expect to finish the current one by the end of next week. (We've done the covers and have finished seven of the 25 chapters.) You can learn more about these books (and buy them!) at Tim Boggan Table Tennis, which I created and maintain for him. Tim Boggan, 84, is a Larry: “I didn’t know member of the U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Fame. His two you were a devout sons, Eric and Scott Boggan, Muslim.” both were USA Men's Singles Tim: “I’m not!” Champions and are members of the USATT Hall of Fame. Larry: “Then why are I’m a HOF member also. Eric you writing about a was top 20 in the world. The first thing to know ‘South Koran’?” about Tim is that he keeps (He had me change it to strange hours. He goes to bed around 7:30 PM each night, “South Korean.”) and gets up around 3:00 AM. This means he's impatiently waiting for me to get started each morning. While he's here I do the bulk of my blog entries the night before, but in the mornings before we start I still have to get any new table tennis items, and put it up. Typically we start work by 6:30AM. Except for a 30-minute lunch break, we work until 2:30 PM. That's when I have to leave Mon-Fri to pick up kids for our afterschool program, which lasts until 4:30 PM. I usually then have group or private coaching for several more hours, so I don't get home until sometime between 7:30 Larry: “Is that and 9:00 PM - and Tim's already a ‘yes’ yes, or an in bed. So I do my blog, catch up on other work, read a bit, and go to ‘I’m not paying bed. (Tim sleeps on the sofa in my attention’ yes?” office.) Then I get up by 5:30 AM and we start over. (On weekends it'll be even busier.) This is how we actually do the work. I work on my desktop computer with Tim sitting next to me, looking over my shoulder. He comes prepared, with printouts of each chapter, and notes on where each picture goes. We move through the chapters one photo at a time. Since the books typically are about 500 pages with 900 photos, it's a huge job. We're greatly helped by still another U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Famer, Mal Anderson, photographer extraordinaire. Over half of the photos used are by him. Tim: “Die Lily!” He also helps by scanning the large majority of photos we'll (Okay, he wasn’t use in advance. When it's threatening U.S. time to put in a photo (~900 National Coach Lily times per volume), as Tim Yip; he was referring watches over my shoulder I open the photo, clean it up in to photos of Dai Photoshop, and then place it where Tim needs it. Then he Lili, former Chinese gives me the caption and the champion.) "photo by" credit, and I put 66
Larry: “Photo by?” Tim: “Nobody.” Larry: “Three . . . two . . . one . . .” Tim: “Sorry, photo by Mal Anderson.”
them in. Then we continue. As we move through each chapter I do the page layouts, make sure everything lines up, etc. Since many of the scans are from newsprint or from old, beaten-up or vintage photos, I spend a lot of time cleaning up the photos in Photoshop. I'm sort of an expert at that, from my 12 Larry: “Does years as editor of USA Table Tennis that picture add Magazine. But Tim is pretty picky about one thing - he's constantly to the book?” scanning the backgrounds of pictures, Tim: “No. Put it and always wants them cleaned up. in anyway.” If there's someone standing in the background that detracts from the person featured Larry: “Given the in the photo . . . well, I try choice between doing not to get too emotionally attached to that person. it right or doing it He often mysteriously your way, what do you disappears. I also spend a lot of time removing blemishes want to do?”
from backgrounds. If there's a pixel Larry: “While that shouldn't be there, Tim will find I’m changing it and indignantly demand that the these historically guilty pixel be removed. When the volume is done, I do a accurate pictures lot of pre-press work, getting it into proper PDF format for the printer. by changing I also create the files so we can put them for you, it up for sale on Amazon. Then I should I fix up put together the ads for the newest their technique as volume. Then I sleep for a week. Some of the side effects off all this well?” work? Let's just say I usually do not have Mountain Dew at 7AM. (I normally restrict my soft drinks to one 7.5 oz can per day, Tim: “Something but I'm a bit lax on that during Tim's stays.) But wrong here.” (Said on the days that I get back approximately every five early from coaching (only twice a week it looks like) minutes.) he treats me to extravagant Larry: “Are we meals at nice restaurants. done yet?” (Said It wouldn't be right to approximately every five not mention Tim's ongoing wars with my gate, front minutes.) door, and microwave. Let's just say he and they Tim: “We’re doing fine. don't see eye to eye. But We’re doing fine. (Said eventually he always wins, approximately every five but only after a lot of, well, scrimmaging and loud minutes.) cussing.