Bruce Adams, the county’s director of volunteer activities and general doer of all things good,
told me recently that he thought my wife, Susan,
and I were “crazy” when we launched Bethesda
Magazine in 2004. “I figured there’s no way this
magazine will make it,” he said.
Adams wasn’t alone. A number of people
expressed skepticism, and a few tried to talk me out
of it. Their concerns ranged from “print is dying” to
“there won’t be enough to write about.”
I had done a fair amount of market research and
was convinced that the affluent and highly educated
residents in Bethesda and the surrounding towns
would support a magazine. But more than anything,
my gut told me that Bethesda Magazine would work
because residents here are deeply engaged with the
community. After all, people will only read a maga-
zine if they care about the topics it covers.
This issue marks 10 years that we’ve been publishing the magazine. Our first issue was produced by
a staff of four and was 64 pages. Today we publish
Bethesda Magazine, Arlington Magazine, Applause
(the magazine for the Music Center at Strathmore),
Bethesda Beat (a new daily online news service)
and several websites. We have a staff of 25, and most
issues of Bethesda Magazine are more than 300 pages.
Our success is directly attributable to the people
in this community who have supported us. I want to
thank our readers, advertisers, vendors and contributors, as well as our amazing staff, in particular Susan;
and our design director, Maire McArdle, and account
executives Penny Skarupa and LuAnne Spurell, who
have been with us since the early days.
As I looked back on the last 10 years, I was
struck by how much has changed in the Bethesda
area in such a relatively short period. Ten years
ago Bethesda Lane, Strathmore, Rockville Town
Square, the Intercounty Connector and the new
downtown Silver Spring didn’t exist. White Flint
Mall was a popular shopping destination and
In this issue, we celebrate our first 10 years by
featuring the many people, places and things that
have changed. I think our facts, figures and lists
on everything from restaurants that have closed,
to real estate prices, to private school tuitions will
surprise you. Our coverage begins on page 78.
One of the things I enjoy most about publishing Bethesda Magazine is all the people I get
to know, whether advertisers, readers or others in
the community. One of the people I got to know
best—and liked most—was real estate agent Bonnie Lewin, who started advertising with us in our
first issue and didn’t stop.
On April 30, Bonnie stepped off a Vamoose bus
in New York City and was struck by a car as she
crossed Seventh Avenue in a driving rainstorm.
She died several days later.
Over time, my relationship with Bonnie evolved
from mostly business to mostly friendship. Bonnie and I would meet a few times a year, quickly
get business out of the way, and then talk about our
lives (actually, mostly our kids’ lives). She was warm,
direct, smart, successful, generous, funny—and
always deflected attention from herself.
She will be dearly missed by the many, many
people in our community who were fortunate
enough to know her.
If you haven’t already done so, please check
out Bethesda Beat, our daily local online news
briefing. Every weekday, new stories are posted
on BethesdaMagazine.com at 11: 30 a.m.—and an
email is sent out with that day’s headlines.
Editor-in-chief and publisher