Local Commentary

Editorial: Our 22nd Annual Holiday Party

Tonight is the 22nd annual Falls Church News-Press Holiday Party.

Our friends and supporters are always dying to know why it is the 22nd annual, since we are into our 21st year of consecutive weekly publication. That’s because the first, very much of a Charlie Brown variety, was held prior to the publication of our first edition, when we were just getting the ball rolling.
That was in a very tiny, interior office at 100 N. Virginia Avenue. We (by that we mean the owner-editor and one young sidekick) moved to a larger space in the same building for the production of the first and subsequent editions. That was home until the end of 1991, when the office was moved to 929 W. Broad. Then in 2006 it moved to 450 W. Broad, and last April to its current location at 200 Little Falls. This is data for all you history buffs to know.

This week’s is the 1,072nd consecutive weekly edition of the News-Press, which means this is the 1,072nd consecutive weekly editorial that has been written for this space, all by our owner-editor. It is hard to imagine that there’s been enough to have an opinion on about tiny Falls Church every week for so many years, much less enough to fill an entire paper every week.

It’s hard to imagine that no one who moved here or was born here after 1990 (if in that year, being 21 by now) ever knew Falls Church without its mighty News-Press!

There have been many issues and many controversies, many fabulous tempests in tea pots, over more than two decades, but what we remember most are the people.

We have, after all, outlasted, in terms of careers in Falls Church, almost everyone by now, especially with the retirement later this month of our dear friend Barbara Gordon. She’s leaving as the Director of the Office of Communications in Falls Church, a post she first filled in 1981. She’d moved around somewhat in the meantime, but she’s one of the few in a public policy position in the City with a staying power exceeding us.

We’ve published through the terms of a long list of mayors, City Council members and city managers. They’ve held the spotlight in their time, but they’ve come and gone, and we remain. Vice Mayor David Snyder comes the closest to matching our tenure, first elected to the City Council in 1994.

We hold in the highest esteem our ally in the early days, U. S. Navy Cdr. (Ret.) Robert S. “Hap” Day, now 91, the formidable executive director of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce. His personal friendship and counsel in our dicey early days made us feel more secure than we really were.

For many years, the late Leonard Michalowski entertained our annual holiday parties as Santa Claus. We honor his memory at our party tonight and those of all who’ve graced our holiday parties over the two decades.