Executive Director’s Message

From the Executive Director features news and reflections on the work of PHMC by its chief administrator.

The history we carry with us­ – our personal history – is perhaps the most significant way we establish meaning and value in our lives. In recognition of the dawn of a new millennium, we are inviting readers to share their personal memories in a new feature, “Pennsylvania Memories For A New Millennium,” that will begin with our next edition of Pennsylvania Heritage and run through Fall 2001.

The twelve essays in this new series will showcase Pennsylvania memories of experiences, events, incidents, innovations, or, inventions that deeply affected us as individuals or had a direct impact upon our families. A personal memory might be about work (“my days in a CCC camp” or “the day the steel mill closed”); about people (“the evening I heard Marian Anderson sing”); or about events (“the day the Pennsylvania Turnpike opened” or “I survived Tropical Storm Agnes”).

Our editorial staff will select essays written by you, our readers. Each submission should be five hundred words or less and should be received by Monday, November 2 [1998]. These and other contributions may also be selected for publication on the Pennsylvania Heritage web site. Writers of essays chosen for publication will receive a complimentary one-year subscription, a gift subscription, or one­-year subscription extension to Pennsylvania Heritage.

My own personal memory of a moment in history goes back to August of 1964. I was a junior counselor at a summer camp near Honesdale in Wayne County. The camp was in a picture-postcard setting, with a beautiful lake and tall pine trees. We were about as remote from contemporary events as possible. No one wore watches and we rarely read newspapers. We knew even then that this was an idyllic experience.

One morning a counselor in his late twenties handed me a copy of the New York Times. He pointed to a headline about some congressional resolution condemning North Vietnam for some­thing related to the Gulf of Tonkin. I showed little interest and asked for the sports section. He looked gravely at me. “You better pay attention to this,” he said. “You and your friends are going to hear plenty about Vietnam before this is over.”

For the next decade I would, indeed, learn about the conflict in Vietnam and because of it I witnessed enormous changes in our country. I have often thought about how the world can come crashing in on us even in the most remote, isolated places and that even in our teenage innocence we are connected to history.

I hope you will think about such personal connections to the past and share those memories with us through the pages of Pennsylvania Heritage.

Brent D. Glass
Executive Director