THOSE OF US WHO ARE PARENTS can attest to the fact that raising a child from birth to age 15 can be a daunting experience. Starting with the initial finger and toe count, one anxiety after another assails a parent, bringing a new gray hair with each fever or mysteriously missing marble. The daily trauma doesn’t suddenly stop when a child reaches 15, of course, but increasing independence and a driver’s license wrest control from our desperate hands and we gradually realize that our influence is waning. Still, there is satisfaction in witnessing the miraculous transformation of a helpless bundle of softness into a strong, adult-size, independent individual.
It’s not that way with magazine publishing. Oh sure, the numbers grow and there might even be a measure of maturity to be observed, but the day-to-day operations progress unnoticeably and the product itself shows little evidence of change resulting from the passage of time. You just wake up one day to realize, with a slap of the palm to the graying head, that you have been publishing a magazine for 15 years.
In a human life, the first 15 years bring only adolescence, but in this fast-paced information age, a 15-year-old magazine is lucky to be alive. When you are parenting a magazine, growth and maturity are measured not so much by the product itself, but in the public’s interest in your product, and at American Bungalow we have had the good fortune to watch our little object of love be transformed from a neglected stepchild of the old house movement into an international star — admired, praised and loved.
Proud as we are as parents, we share that pride with you, our readers. In a way, our magazine is just a mirror that also lets you peek into other people’s houses. If what you see in it has improved, you have yourselves to thank. And while parenting a magazine may not be as difficult (or important) as raising a child, we have still welcomed all the help we’ve received. In our infancy, especially, help came to us from many unlikely sources.*
American Bungalow’s Issue No.1 was only 32 pages long but it had a look of its own, with a hand-drawn color cover featuring a photo by a young and talented photographer, Alexander Vertikoff. It was friendly but authoritative and was well printed on quality paper. After all, our magazine needed to show just how special bungalows are and let people know how elegant their humble home might look once all that old paint was removed, so we did our best to deliver a worthy, inspiring product.
In the years to come, that isn’t going to change. American Bungalow may have grown up, but a father never gets over the meltdown he felt when he first saw his child and discovered the emotions of unqualified love and lifelong dedication.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
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