My high school history classes bored me to tears. Sure, they were a lot better than physics or geometry, and I could spit out the dates of World War II as quickly as the next kid. But fun? No way.
Fast-forward some 20-odd years, and now I just love history. Having the time to curl up on the couch and immerse myself in a good biography is my idea of heaven. And compiling this month’s history piece, Then & Now, was so much fun, I feel guilty referring to it as work. Our staff scoured through hundreds of old photographs from every corner of the Valley; often it seemed that each one was more fascinating than the last. Some — like the one of the Windsor Hotel encased in ice after firefighters fought a winter blaze — were really cool (no pun intended). Others offered the opportunity to learn something new about the Valley. (Did you know, for instance, that Mark Twain summered in Tuxedo Park?) Writing an update to accompany each image also forced us to think about the impact each one of these people, places, or events has had on our region, both then and now.
The toughest part of this assignment was choosing which photos to leave out. Luckily, we have a beautiful new Web site where we’ve posted many more historical and contemporary photos. Check them out here. And I hope that you enjoy this trip back in time as much as we enjoyed creating it.
Now, let’s move away from the past and focus on the future — the near future. Haven’t done your holiday shopping yet? Relax, there’s still time — but we suggest you get moving, and take our expanded holiday gift guide with you. From a serious splurge that’s dripping with diamonds to some cute and cuddly stocking stuffers, we’ve featured something for everyone on your list.
Whatever you’re celebrating, enjoy the holidays.
Olivia J. Abel
Editor in Chief