Observations on a look back at our pages in 2021


Last updated 1/19/2022 at 3:25pm | View PDF

I've spent a lot of time thinking about 2021 lately.

It's not because I'm stuck in the past. Like many of you, I was ready for a new year (and the hope that it would be our last with COVID as a pandemic!).

I've been immersed in 2021 for two reasons.

1. We are preparing our "Year in Review" special section, which will be inserted in next week's paper. So we've been looking for quotes and photos to include on the pages of this annual retrospective.

2. We are selecting our entries for the Illinois Press Association's "Best of the Press" contest. The pressure is on for this one, as we've won the sweepstakes trophy the last two years in a row.

After looking through all 53 issues that were published in 2021, I've come to several conclusions, which I thought I'd share with you.

• In an age of globalization, Hinsdale remains a true small town.

From graduations to the Fourth of July parade to the Family Fall Fest to the Christmas Walk, the village is filled with opportunities for families to gather and appreciate their connection to one another.

• "Returns" was a theme in 2021.

Students returned to in-person school, athletes returned to the field, performers returned to the stage. We all felt relief when they did.

• Hinsdale's high schoolers are amazing.

They win state titles in sports, make the honor roll, conduct food drives, star in plays, earn honors for their musicianship. I've said this before and I'll say it again. When people worry about our collective future for whatever reason, I do not. I've had the honor of talking to the teens whose generation will lead us one day, and I am completely confident in their abilities.

• Hinsdale has a lot of real estate agents who like to advertise in our paper. Hinsdale has some really nice houses, too. (And so does Naples!)

• Football in March is just weird.

• I love our contributing columnists.

They share so many wonderful stories and insights each week. I feel lucky to be reading along with you.

• There were weeks in 2021 when we had no new cases of COVID in Hinsdale. Sigh.

• Lots of cats available for adoption from the Hinsdale Humane Society look like Gatsby.

Gatsby, an orange tabby, was my first cat, also adopted from the humane society. A bit random but true.

• I am really getting old.

We started the paper 5,475 days before I wrote my 15th anniversary column Sept. 23. Add 119 days that have passed since then. That's a long time, especially when you consider I worked in Hinsdale for 18 years before we started the paper. Yikes.

• I love what I do.

My first job here, in the summer of 1988, was at the Hinsdale pool. I had no intention of working here past Labor Day.

Then I interviewed for a proofreading job at The Doings, which I was offered. That led to a series of jobs that kept me at that paper for 18 years before we launched this one in 2006. As the years I worked here turned into decades, it became more and more apparent that I would spend most, if not all, of my career here.

Journalism is a good fit for me, even though I stumbled upon it rather unwittingly.

This town has been a great fit, too. I'm constantly amazed at the people I get to interview, who are smart, talented, generous and brave. And I am in awe of the trust they place in me to tell their stories.

Here's to another year of more of the same.

Minus COVID.

- Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean. Readers can email her at [email protected].

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean


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