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Marie Brown

A co-founder of Steam in the Garden magazine in the late 1980s, through the decades Marie Brown was listed on the masthead with titles such as “faithful assistant” or “awesome assistant.” Sometimes, though, her title included wisecracks from her husband — the magazine’s editor, Ron Brown — such as “go-go dancer,” or “five horses.”

In fact, she was the magazine’s circulation manager, a title she was officially given in 2011.

Brown’s devotion to the magazine is such that every subscriber who is new or a renewal gets a little note from her. She has been known to call subscribers on the phone in the waning hours before a magazine is scheduled to be shipped, to inform them their issue might not mail because of a lack of a check or a credit-card number.

For more than two decades, Brown puzzled out the intricacies of dealing with the U.S. Postal Service and six times a year, her home became littered with little piles of addressed magazines, which she put in the precise order as determined by the archane rules of the post office.

When not working on Steam in the Garden, Marie Brown spends time with her children and grandchildren. She lives in Newark Valley, N.Y.

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Photo courtesy of Rick Parker.