Spotlight

 

He's still in the transportation business. Former airline pilot Jim Caughey, who used to get passengers to their destination, now does the same for the SRCA Newsletter. He's been on the Newsletter trail for many years. First, he assisted his wife, Lynn, a distributor in the Birch Bluff area, and now he is the distribution manager, heading up a staff of more than 300 volunteers. It's truly an amazing and rare network of volunteers who make sure you get your SRCA Newsletter at your home each month. And their leader is pretty remarkable as well.

Jim assisted legendary distribution manager Chuck Adkison for a couple of years. One day, he said to him, "Chuck, if you ever want to stop doing this, I'll do it." Chuck was ready after 30 years! Upon his "retirement" from the Newsletter in 2004, a meeting was called to see who would take over for him. Jim said he was serious about succeeding Chuck.

As Scripps Ranch grew, the number of Newsletters did as well. Chuck remembers the early days, delivering 500 copies. Today, Jim oversees the distribution of 11,470!

Jim arranges his life around Newsletter deliveries. On the Wednesday before the first weekend of the month, he does three hours of "paperwork." He prints out the labels and gets the manila envelopes ready for mailing the Newsletters to school libraries, principals, and public officials. On Thursday he picks up two boxes--each 38 pounds, packed with 100 copies--of Newsletters from Jack, Nick, and Paul at Western Press, the Newsletter printer. Jim then inserts them into the envelope and delivers them for mailing. Some he delivers to the Scripps Ranch Swim and Racquet Club, the three levels of Scripps Mesa Plaza, and to the hotels, restaurants, and businesses on the other side of Mira Mesa Boulevard. "I like to make sure the advertisers get to see the Newsletter!" he says.

Friday is the big day when 120 boxes are ready for those in charge of the neighborhood distributors. Jim picks up 35 boxes--3,550 Newsletters--and delivers 1,188 to Linda Harries in the Normanton area and 1,200 to Jan Kane on Village Ridge Rd. Then Jim takes care of the 1,151 in his area. Russell Mars picks up 2,388 at Western Press, keeps 1,264 for his Claridge Court area and delivers 1,124 to Matt Rasmusen, who distributes them to his volunteers in the Kingspine area.

The printer delivers 1,275 to Mike Osborne on Grayfox Drive, and when Mike must attend to his "real job" for three months, his batches are delivered to Shellie Kalinsky of Montabaun Way. Western Press also sees that Bob Dingeman gets copies, as well as the Newsletter editor.

Other area distributors pick up their amounts: Jim Rickling of Wide Valley Lane picks up 912; Stacy and Chuck Denherder on Frank Daniels Way pick up 850 copies; John Sinclair of Canyon Lake Drive picks up 2,233; and, Russell Mars on Claridge Court picks up 2,400. All extra copies of the Newsletter go to the Scripps Ranch Library.

A happy volunteer, Jim says he has had few problems with the job. He tells distributors to let him know if they can't take care of deliveries due to illness, vacations, and so forth, and he then handles those areas. This has never happened, however. He doesn't know what they do, but somehow they get the Newsletters out to their neighborhoods. He plans his own vacations around the Newsletter schedule.

A large part of his job is administrative, says Jim of his new "career." He's available for "troubleshooting," and converses with the editor and advertising manager, Kathy Allman, a few times a month. Now in his third year as Newsletter distribution head honcho, he says he enjoys it very much.

Before Scripps Ranch, Jim lived in Point Loma, moving to Birch Bluff in 1986. To avoid a remodeling job, the family moved to Crystal Oaks Way in 2000. That was also the year he retired from U.S. Airways, giving him more time to appreciate the sense of community Scripps Ranch offers. He's happy to be able to give something back. In 2001 he started distributing the Newsletters north of Miramar Lake.

One of the perks for Newsletter distributors is attending a performance of a Scripps Ranch Theatre production. It's the SRCA's way of saying thanks for a job well done. The biggest perk, of course, is the knowledge that they are serving the community.

Jim says there is no problem getting volunteers. When he needs them, he just asks, and they come forward. "That's Scripps Ranch for you!" he says.

Elinor Reiss

[Editor's note: Thank you, Jim, for your incredible dedication to the community. Also, thank you to the hundreds of distributors who deliver the Newsletters each month!]