2007 Letter from the Editors

Delta Winds cover 2007Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Letter from the Editors

Dedicated to Patrick Stapelberg
September 15, 1961-September 11, 2006

Looking over the shoulder of Patrick Stapelberg laying out copy on a Page-maker program was like watching a master pinball player maneuver a ball through a maze of bumpers and spinning lights. The ease with which he worked stood out. Patrick dazzled the bystander with it. After squaring his shoulders to the monitor, he would nonchalantly carry on five conversations while burning zip drives, downloading jokes from the Internet, flipping photos on end, and navigating columns of print over borders and the fixed dimensions of mysterious page breaks. He altered graphics and curved lines of letters up to the images he had chosen until each page was complete.

Such tasks, though, were for him rather simple. Instead, he preferred a good challenge. His interest was aroused with the out of the ordinary, such as modifying PDF files, designing magazine covers, and combining two photos of a flying ice skater into one. His talents with image modification caused some concern, however. When word got out that he could touch up photos to hide blemishes, his phone rang off the hook with requests from across campus.

Inside the Print Shop, he seemed to be the pinball itself, bouncing from one wall to the next, spinning in circles, disappearing into side rooms and shooting out into view again, carrying copies and photos and enlargements with him. He was everywhere at once. "Ask Patrick" became a common expression with many projects for the College. When pressed for time, Patrick excelled. He could lay out an entire magazine within a few hours if he had to, and by the end of the week the publication would magically appear. His childlike fascination with technology made the project a game, and the tools he used merely toys. Through it all, any compliments for his work and praise for his talents were dismissed with a shrug. For the most part, over the years, he kept his brilliant mind and serious thoughts on his own far side.

For his valuable contribution to publishing the writing of Delta College students, this volume of Delta Winds is dedicated to Patrick Stapelberg.