As a general rule, I think anniversaries are important.

On the cheerful side, it gives me great pleasure to honor a relationship or birthday (which is actually an anniversary when you think of it) because those celebrations always refocus my attention on how much I care for the people who are close to me.

And, on a more somber note, the anniversary of my father’s death is every bit as meaningful because it provides an opportunity to recall the gifts of an amazing man who is no longer here.

So it is with a real sense of anticipation, pride and even reverence that I am announcing Pool & Spa News’ upcoming 50th Anniversary Issue. For a magazine to survive 50 years is no small feat, but in this case, it’s not only the publication that we feel is deserving of a tribute. Pool & Spa News would not exist today without the entrepreneurial, innovative, tenacious, tight-knit, fun-loving and quintessentially American pool and spa industry that we serve. 

Our editorial department decided the golden anniversary issue would carry the concept of “Then and Now” as its theme. We are looking back at the industry through the years and fondly recalling the people, products, companies, trends and events that have come to define us. In preparation for this massive undertaking, each staff writer was assigned a decade of back issues to examine, and I got the ’60s. Reading over what was published back then has been a lot of fun, and I thought I’d share with you a couple of examples of the kind of things we’re going to include in the big issue.

Early in 1962, columnist Anne Mosley made an observation about the 5th Annual NSPI Convention. “Outstanding feature was the number of beards in attendance. Is this a new trend?” she wonders. Mosley then goes on to list, by name and company affiliation, the 10 bearded men she observed, ending with, “Either they were all over or I didn’t count ’em, for it seemed like more than that.”

On another note, industry pioneer and brilliant businessman Bill Baker of Swimquip made a prediction about where the industry was heading. “There will be fewer manufacturers and builders in the future. After reaching a point of saturation [there will be] a shakeout, leaving only manufacturers and builders who offer quality and good service. This may all come about next year, and the trend will continue in that direction.”

Baker voiced that opinion in December 1962.

In any case, this is all my long-winded way of saying that if you have any stories, photos or even simple memories you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to send them to me. The publication date is May 13, so now is the time to open that scrapbook and join us as we take a stroll down memory lane.