Barb Checket-Hanks

Some years seem to have many milestones - significant birthdays, anniversaries, and other major events. We celebrate them with friends and family, even though we may look at the advancing numbers with some trepidation. As a woman climbing swiftly to the 50-year mark, I’ll admit to looking forward to the parties. (In my family, birthday celebrations can go on for days.)

The NEWSis taking more of a year-long approach as we continue celebrating the 85th anniversary of our commitment to publishing excellence this year. (We also are celebrating industry milestones as described by some of the readers and advertisers who participated in our first anniversary insert in June.) We have been celebrating so far by looking at how our history syncs with that of the HVACR industry. Now we would like to learn how it syncs with your history.


In particular, we are looking for our oldest long-term subscriber. We have had people enter the contest, and their ages definitely put them in the ballpark - but, magic mirror on the wall, who is the oldest one of all?

We do not think we have found him yet. (And yes, we think it most likely will be a man. The likelihood of a woman subscribing toThe Electric Refrigeration NEWSin the 1920s or 30s is slim to none. We like political correctness as much as the next person, but we would also like to be historically appropriate.)

The problem with finding our oldest subscriber is compounded by the rate of technological change, and the unlikelihood of that subscriber reading about it online vs. reading about it in print, in this column. This is why we need you, our subscribers who might be a generation or two away from eligibility, to help out.

If you know an older subscriber - maybe your Dad, uncle, granddad, or recent retiree - who is in their late 70s or older, and they have been in the HVACR industry most of that time, and they are subscribers toThe NEWS, enter them in this contest! Prizes for this person will include an iPad, special feature about them in the next anniversary supplement, video interview, and a possible celebration withNEWSeditors as we celebrate our 85th anniversary later this year.

We realize that trying to do all of these things might not be possible for our oldest subscriber. We promise to tailor the celebration to their physical needs. We really just want to talk with them a bit about how they got started in this fine industry, where it has taken them, and howThe NEWSmay have played a role in their professional development.

Today we learned that longevity is increasing at such a rate, that the first person who will live to 150 years old has probably already been born. While they will not be entering our oldest subscriber contest this year, perhaps he or she will enter a similar contest for our 150th anniversary.

But do not put off submitting the names of candidates for the 85th anniversary, so we can honor your favorite senior citizen with a feature article and festivities! Send entrant info - age, approximate number of years in the industry, subscriber number, and contact information - directly to me:

Publication date:07/11/2011