One of the logistical challenges of putting out this magazine every week is keeping tabs on our 34 writers, whose homes are spread out from South Carolina to Hawaii. And when you consider that SI writers average about 25 weeks a year on the road bouncing from airplanes to hotels, but still must be available to go over last-minute revisions, it is clear why the writers' secretary has to be part girl Friday and part Joe Friday.
That task is in the capable hands of Polly Freeman. Her 10 years of modern dancing for two New York City companies have helped her take in graceful stride the requests that flood in for—and the messages that go out to—our writers on her 44 telephone lines. She tracks the current whereabouts of our roving scribes on a three-by five-foot bulletin board, and when one is a little late checking in, she plays bloodhound. "I've learned a few tricks to track writers down," says Polly, who joined SI in 1985 after seven years at TIME.
Polly's younger sister Amy also works at SI. She's a computer typesetter in our copy-processing department, where the page layouts designed by the art department are coded into a computer system and later transmitted to our printing plants. Amy, who has been at the magazine for seven years, still marvels that she ended up in a job associated with sports. Her athletic career consisted of one year as the starting center on the Nordonia High junior varsity basketball team in the Freemans' hometown of Northfield, Ohio. "No one ever really went over the rules with me," says Amy, who got the position by virtue of her five-foot-eleven-inch height. "I remember making one shot, though, a crazy 35-footer that somehow went in with two seconds left in the half. The next year I went back to the drama department, and the following year I got the lead in Hello, Dolly!"
The attraction of the stage is what brought both Freemans to New York City after they attended Ohio University. Amy takes voice classes and belts out an occasional number at New York's Trocadero Club, but Polly now spends her spare time studying for a master's degree in nutrition at New York University. Still, it's good to know that when we need the Freeman sisters at deadline time, they won't just give us the old song and dance.