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Editor's Note: The Wonderful Omissions 

  • Deborah DeGraffenreid

This issue is the final session of navel gazing we'll be engaging in to celebrate the 20th anniversary of publishing Chronogram. It takes the form of our 20th Anniversary Supplement, 15 pages of retrospection tracing our evolution and noting some of the milestones along the way. This being our 237th issue, there's a lot to cover, and we just couldn't fit it all. It's like the comedian Steven Wright's bit about his having the world's largest sea shell collection scattered on the beaches of the world—that's the joke right there in case you missed it. To tell the full story of Chronogram, we'd need to reprint every page of every issue. Anything else is as necessarily reductive and omission prone as the act of storytelling itself. For a story can only ever be partially told; a the storyteller just hopes the chosen details substitute effectively for the whole. As Lorna Tychostup was at pains to remind our readers in her coverage of postwar Iraq, there was no single story to explain it all, no dominant truth, just many separate strains of narrative and perception.

This is the long way round of saying we've had to leave a lot of stuff out. If we had to do it all again (see me in 20 years), undoubtedly we'd make slightly different choices. (That's the other thing about storytelling—we have the tendency to spin tales slightly differently each time. Or at least I do.) What was left out is what I'd like to address here. The following is a list of some other things that need to be said about 20 years of Chronogram.

No matter how smart we think we are, we've been very, very lucky.

Twenty years goes by in a blink, until you go back and look at all you've done.

We built the magazine we wanted to read, not the business venture we thought would bring the most return on investment.

Thousands of people—literally thousands, see page 128—have contributed to the success of this endeavor, from writers and photographers to deliverymen (and women!) to office support staff.

None of us did it for the money.

All we've ever done is reflect the Hudson Valley back to itself—and occasionally suggest some improvements.

People read Chronogram for the ads as much as the editorial.

For quite a number of years we had no idea what we were doing but we did it anyway.

Production directors are a special breed. They translate the chaos of creativity into orderly outcomes while being pressed down upon by a 90-ton vise. Thank you Yuliya Zarubina, Rebecca Zilinksi, Kiersten Miench, Teal Hutton, Robin Dana, Jacky Davis, Lesley Stone, Kristen Miller, Jaclyn Murray, and Jan Melchior.

We are still discovering new answers to the essential question: What makes Choronogram Chronogram?

Jim Andrews was the best damn line editor this magazine ever had.

Our salespeople are the unsung heroes of our organization. They are the great proselytizers of our brand, broadcasting our message with missionary zeal.

If the saying "what you do is who you are" is true, then I think we've turned out alright.

Art directors are people who remind us of the inherent beauty of the universe. Thank you Amara Projansky, Molly Rubin, Carla Rozman, and David Perry.

Everyone that I have worked with—from our sagacious founders to our whip smart interns—has mentored me.

Publishing attracts incredibly engaged, creative people who believe in the power of what they do and in highfalutin concepts like beauty, truth, and community.

There is so much to be grateful for, words don't capture it.

Publishing is a difficult business to make a buck in, and it's not getting any easier. Chronogram will exist as long as the community sees a vital need for it to exist. We will continue to do our part to tell the stories that express the vitality of this wonderful Hudson Valley region we've spent the last 20 years falling in love with.

Speaking of...

  • Brian K. Mahoney reflects on 20 years of Chronogram.


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