When Delaware Today celebrated its 50th birthday a few years ago, managing editor Drew Ostroski and I pored through every old issue, back to Vol. 1, No. 1, to find material for an exhibit at the Delaware History Center. For me, it was an exercise in understanding the past, but it was also a walk down memory lane. I recalled seeing some of those old stories when I was an adolescent.
Not that a 12-year-old who was far more interested in the funny pages of the Morning News was reading DT cover to cover, but I was certainly aware of the magazine, and I can’t recall a time when DT wasn’t part of our home. Back then, the publisher was one of Dad’s good Sallies buddies, and I think he must have persuaded their whole class to subscribe. I am damned near certain that some alumni from 1958 still do.
So as long as I’ve worked here, I have been aware of the special place this magazine has in your lives, and I have tried to respect that, even as the magazine has evolved. The DT you hold now barely resembles an issue you would have read 50 years ago—or 30 or 10. Yet in the most important ways, it is the same magazine it has always been.
And that’s not because of anything we editors have done. Delaware Today is Delaware Today because of you. We here have merely held the mirror that reflects your values and attitudes—the values and attitudes that make this state unique and special. We may have polished the glass a bit so that the image it showed was focused and clear, but don’t we want to see ourselves in the best light?
I say goodbye as editor of this magazine hoping I’ve been a good steward, hoping that I’ve been faithful to your interests, hoping that this DT has helped to continue define who we are as Delawareans and that we have in some way strengthened the community at large.
For the opportunity to serve you, I am forever in debt to a few wonderful people. When former editor Lise Monty gave me a freelance assignment in fall of 1991, I thought I’d finally cracked the big time. For the suggestion that she reach out to me, I owe my dear friend Ted Spiker. Then a masters student and intern, Ted would soon become editor and hire me full time. I can’t overstate the significance of his decision. His hiring me allowed me an opportunity to write up to my potential, to earn a steady paycheck and to do all the things that steady paychecks allow, like marry my beautiful wife and start a beautiful family.
More thanks to former art director Ingrid Lynch, who suggested to Sally Holub, then associate publisher of sister magazine Main Line Today, that I might make a good editor there. I am grateful to Sally for taking the chance, and to former DT editor Masha Mah for giving me wings.
To designers and editors past, to Drew, Danielle and Jen, to other friends in this office, to all the amazing writers and photographers: Every one of you has shaped the magazine in some way. It is what it is today because of you. Thank you. It has been my pleasure and privilege to work with you.
Of course, none of this would have happened without the blessing of my boss, publisher Rob Martinelli. As Delaware Today has been a significant part of my personal life and my career, Rob has been there for some of the biggest moments in my personal story. I am grateful to him for that, but most grateful for giving me the opportunity to do this, to enter a conversation with you.
And to you, readers, my greatest thanks of all. I hope our conversation has been mutually enjoyable, of mutual benefit. It has been for me. I will miss you.
You can take the man out of Delaware Today, but you can’t take the man out of Delaware. I may be leaving the magazine, but I could never leave home. I’ll see you around.