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Life by Candlelight

George Schmok, Publisher

Welcome to the 21st Century! Ok . . . Welcome to the 30th Year of LASN! Ok . . . It doesn't start until January, but 2014 will be the 30th year of publication for Landscape Architect and Specifier News, or as you may know it . . . LASN.

Wow, that's a long time, but I gotta tell you, the time has blown by like the wind. I can remember like it was yesterday, buying the original Mac Classic with a 400K disk drive and 128K of RAM. All the applications were on disks, sometimes three disks to an application and you kept having to interchange the disks as the word processing programs were being worked on. Still, it was way better than the old typewriter.

Want some irony? When I took home this issue to proof read, with the deadline looming, our electricity went out. I found myself reading almost the entire magazine by candlelight. At the start I wasn't thinking about the 30 years of LASN, but it was kinda cool not to use flashlights. My kids were doing their homework, and we all chose to work inside by the light of the fireplace, then outside by a portable fire pit. The inside gas fireplace created a consistent flame, but the outside fire pit was burning wood . . .

It would have been tough to be a cowboy and try to read by an outdoor fire. First of all, the fire has to be big enough to illuminate the text, but such a fire is too hot to sit close enough to read from. Not only that, the flames grow and fade as the wood burns. There's just no consistent light to read by.

The simplest solution, and an old one, was to light a single candle and set it on my lap. The small, steady flame was more than enough light to read everything but the smallest type.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Schmok

At home we normally light the entire room, so it was extremely refreshing to sit outside on an October night and read by candlelight about so many people and projects in the New England area. There's something about that region. From the triumphant George Washington riding his horse to victory in Boston's Public Garden, to the Tea Party, Bunker Hill, the Boston Massacre, the founding of Harvard in 1636 and Boylston Station, the first subway system in America, the region is so rich in history that reading about it by candlelight makes it even more interesting. Throw in the 2013 Class of Fellows and history strikes again, further developing the overall ambiance of the read. And then contemplating how far we've come in the past 30 years, let alone 300 years, the experience was as unique to me in 2013 as it may have been ordinary in 1776.

Anyways . . . Considering how far we've come, and I've seen tremendous advances in the development of land around the world . . . it is still good to look back in time and find the things that still work or that have evolved, holding onto the root of change and keeping the vine alive.

So . . . Have a great month! The holiday season is approching, next month is the Year Book Issue and then on to year 30!

God Bless . . .

George Schmok, Publisher

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December 10, 2019, 7:02 pm PDT

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