On Turning 100
Here it is, finally—American Bungalow number 100, in your hands. The sighs of relief from the long-awaited release are music to us all. Sighs of relief are welcome these days. And it’s spring.
We celebrate things that are 100, turning the number into a milestone. Bungalow was a bad word when issue 1 was published. Now, at issue 100, the world has learned to love its bungalows and Craftsman homes, making them the most popular style. We watched and we shared as readers turned run-down land into neighborhoods of safe and cozy homes.
An early March celebrant of the magic of 100 was my friend, the WWII pilot of issue 87-88, who was honored for his 100th birthday. At his 99th birthday, people flew in from every continent to sit together at one elegant, communal table. At 100, the birthday boy sat in a place of honor before a vast screen, a checkerboard of live images of those same relatives and friends in their respective homes, chatting and laughing, openly enjoying their part in his adventure. In the loss of this communal gathering, his Zoom party offered many pleasant surprises. It was a joyous, warm, family-produced event—a virtual hug of sorts. So much of our lives has moved online.
Many of us live in houses over 100 years old—houses that sheltered and comforted past owners and families through difficult times. It is those houses and their owners that are the real heroes of the bungalow and Arts and Crafts revival. As American Bungalow reaches a milestone, the celebration should honor our readers who, despite conditions, have endured. It is your patience and your support that enabled the 100th issue to reach your hands.
A few days after his 100th birthday, my friend called. It was a warm day, hinting at the arrival of spring, but feeling more like the warm glow of summer. It was time to get out of the house. “Why not drive into the local mountains,” he asked, “top down in my old Targa?” So we did. Going topless isn’t much fun on a crowded freeway, but once we climbed to cooler air and sweeter roads, the day turned into a celebration of fresh, open freedom. Briefly freed from our isolation, we rediscovered familiar places under a broad sky that stretched from horizon to horizon. It was suddenly spring, and a new beginning.
It is time for a new beginning. The sensible bungalow life and the authenticity of Arts and Crafts are more appreciated now than they were 100 years—or 100 issues—ago.
Looking forward to hearing from you,