In the mid-1990s, as the culture soared with the dot-com boom, I soared with it. One brutally hot Texas afternoon, a photographer snapped away as I jumped on a backyard trampoline. The result was a whimsical shot of me suspended in white space, leaping — or, as an airline magazine might have it, flying. I wore a suit and sneakers, sort of business maverick. Very Brad in Ocean’s 11.

Then came turbulent times and, with them, a series of different headshots. To distract us from our troubles, we — as a people and as a magazine — turned our attention to celebrity. One time, I was flown to a studio filled with unbelievably hip and beautiful people who ate little hip and beautiful sandwiches and who tried to make me hip and beautiful. Which, of course, was easy, because, regardless of the pose, I retained a certain something that can only be described as Brad.

In other words, if you sawed into the column, its artwork would be like tree rings, revealing the various epochs that the magazine has lived through.

It is probably best not to reveal the in-house particulars of those epochs, as I already will have plenty enough fences to mend after submitting this column. [Art Department: Love ya. Really.] Let me just say that anniversaries are times in which to reflect. And on this, the magazine’s 40th, my reflections have led me to a realization.

A picture is worth a thousand words — or, in my case, a word count of 800. But when it is a face on a column, whether photographed or illustrated, one thing a picture isn’t worth is getting worked up about. It means you’re still working.

That, at any rate, is what I told Brad.