Welcome to the 50th Anniversary Issue of Pool & Spa News! I’m writing this at night, lying on my couch, physically and mentally exhausted from the sheer volume of work that went into producing this edition.

To be honest, if I’d known it would be this difficult, I would have called in sick and boarded a plane to New Guinea to avoid the grueling hours this effort would take.

OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.

To tell the truth, the exhaustion I feel is a good, old-fashioned thing. It’s a kind of tired that only comes after you’ve poured your experience and expertise into one extremely challenging job. And now the work is complete, and will stand or fall on its own merit. 

Because as it turns out, 50 years is a long time, and it’s no small feat to try to pack everything meaningful that happened into one issue of the very magazine whose history you’re chronicling. How should it be structured? Is it better to tell our story or the industry’s? All of the old photos are black and white, so how do we create a colorful design?

After discussing many different approaches, we settled on dividing the issue into five decades and examining the notable stories, photos, headlines and advertisements that Pool & Spa News showcased during those years. It’s sort of the print version of a greatest hits album.

Personally, my favorite parts of this edition are the old ads. Whether hilarious, nostalgic, creative, outrageous or profound, the ads reprinted here are guaranteed to make you look twice.

A number of brand-new ads appear in this issue as well, and when I saw them, I was nearly moved to tears. There are tributes to Pool & Spa News that are so unexpected, so gracious and kind that I will keep their generous sentiments in my heart forever.

I am deeply proud to be part of creating a publication that is lasting and worthwhile. I am humbled to have had the chance to learn from such a great industry, and I am excited about experiencing whatever wonderful opportunities await Pool & Spa News on the road ahead.

Here’s to the next 50 years!