Easterlings are Still at It!
by USA Racquetball
Last month, Jim Easterling touched base to give a status update on the Racquetball publications that reside on the USA Racquetball website right now:
Note: the rest - 1972 to 1982 - will be coming shortly
Racquetball In Review - 1982 to 1987 (complete set)
National Racquetball Magazine - 1973 to 1989 (complete set)
Jim writes, “Also included in this section of the website is an article I researched and wrote called History of Racquetball Publication. It gives the history of national publications of the “National Racquetball Association.” This article also includes a few pictures of different publications in our history. I think it helps explains things over the years.”
For this precious gift, Jim, all of USA Racquetball -- the members, volunteers, manufacturers, sponsors, staff, board, Hall of Famers, partners, players, and fans -- thank you and Dianne for the countless hours you have dedicated to Racquetball history!
Now, readers, enjoy this article from just over two years ago that describes just how impressive this labor of love really is!
*** REPRINTED FROM RACQUETBALL MAGAZINE SPRING 2019 ***
Easterlings Work Behind the Scenes for Racquetball
by Cheryl Kirk
Jim and Dianne Easterling have been quietly contributing to Racquetball's legacy for years now. One of Jim's better-known roles was Chair of USA Racquetball's Hall of Fame Committee for nearly 15 years, from 2002 through 2015. But that's just the tip of the iceberg.
For those of us old enough to remember, "back in the day" there were no electronics, no Internet. An IBM Selectric showed up sometime along the way (that's a typewriter, FYI, with built-in correction tape). It was hot stuff. Hard copy was the way business was done, and that was no exception for the USA Racquetball Board of Directors.
A number of years back, Jim took the initiative to scan the minutes of the Board -- from 1969-2008. It took a very long time, and it was an invaluable service to USA Racquetball. Before this was done, the entire history of the sport's governing body was on paper in binders. These now safely reside in USAR's database.
Since December 2017 when he "retired," Jim spends each weekday morning from 7:30 am - 12:00 pm painstakingly dismantling donated Racquetball, Racquetball in Review, and National Racquetball magazines so that he can scan them, one page at a time, into his computer. The magazine pages then go onto flash drives, and Dianne has applied a word recognition tracking function.
When pressed, Jim estimates that he has put 215 hours of work to date into this current project and Dianne has contributed 120 hours. So far, they have scanned about 18 years' worth of issues (roughly 2000-2018 plus bits and pieces of others). Dianne has created a tracking graph to keep tabs on the project.
A recently purchased scanner will greatly expedite that process, and Jim anticipates that 2000-2018 will be available for posting on the USAR website in the first quarter of this year. The next set of years (1990-1999) should be ready for prime time by the end of March. For this labor of love, the Racquetball World owes Jim and Dianne a debt of gratitude!
If anyone has additional magazine copies dated prior to 1993 that they would like to donate to the cause, please contact Jim at rbjim887@comcast.
P.S. Jim's own extensive Racquetball magazine collection remains pristine and untouched, as it should be! What happens to the cut-up issues? Think "box, paper clips," etc. And no doubt a warm cozy corner of the Easterling home forever and ever.