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This is your captain speaking. We are currently hovering over the mid-Hudson Valley at a reasonable, seasonable altitude. Some light turbulence, but mostly clear skies, high visibility.

Though it bears no relation to our beautiful Hongnian Zhang cover—in tribute to the 10th anniversary of the attack on 9-11—I can’t help but use the “homemade airplane” analogy here. Because when we started this magazine four and one-third years ago, the best way I could think of to describe the launch of Roll was that it was like jumping off a cliff, assembling a flying machine in mid-air, and getting the thing flying before hitting the ground. Somehow that’s exactly what we did, always avoiding impact at the last second, always finding some way to stay aloft.

We got off to a pretty great start in 2007, discovering the artistic wealth of the Hudson Valley, meeting the dreamers and doers, movers and shakers. Advertisers seemed to like our style, and the listings provided a useful resource that no other publication was attempting, at least not with the attention to detail we paid. The response was pretty immediate, magazines were moving, and we fine-tuned our distribution points. Then….2008. All media took the big hit as advertising budgets crumbled. And truthfully, we have all yet to recover in any meaningful way since.

We managed to stay in the air. And we kept trying to improve, adding community and ecological content, talking about clean energy, sustainable building, organic farming. We met and talked to some amazing people: Pete Seeger, Melissa Leo, Levon Helm, Jimmy Cobb, Gillian Jagger, Rep. Maurice Hinchey, and many more. World-class art exhibitions, festivals, and theatrical events pretty much fell into our lap. Our appreciation of the Hudson Valley rose with each issue.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, we’ve decided to “land the plane,” while the pleasant weather permits a decent landing. This will be the last print issue of Roll Magazine, barring any (extremely) unforeseen circumstances. So I’d best get to the gratitude.

First, it must be said to our advertisers: thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Every month when I’ve looked through the magazine, I’ve said to myself: I really like each and every business here. These are the kinds of locally-based companies worth respecting: great food, services, products, performances, exhibitions. Thank you all so much for keeping gas in the engine, wind under the wings.

Though the four of us—me, Jamaine Bell, Donna Calcavecchio, and Tom Grasso—do the lion’s share of the work here, we’ve had some invaluable assistance from good friends: special thanks go to Ali Gruber, Adele Jones, Dan Kajeckas, and Tristan Shelton. We’ve been fortunate to have some terrific writers: Jay Blotcher, Peter Aaron, Tad Wise, Crispin Kott, Gary Allen, M. R. Smith, Beth Jones, Kay Cordtz, Abby Luby, Donatella de Rosa, Luanne Panarotti, Julie Goldstein, Pierre-Luc Moeys, Clare Fountain, Susan Krawitz and Luciano Valdivia. We’ve had some marvelous photographers contribute, including Barry Feinstein, Matt Petricone, Catherine Sebastian, Thomas Jack Hilton and Fionn Reilly. And a special thanks to our good friend illustrator Elwood H. Smith who generously gave us four one-of-a-kind covers. Talent-wise, our cup runneth over. Thanks again for all of your help, you all brought real quality to Roll.

A special mention must go to Gordon Bushway and our printer, Digital Page, in Albany. Since switching to them in the first year, we have gotten consistently high quality service and timely delivery. You’ve been making us look good, with the best and most sustainable ink and recycled paper products available and we deeply appreciate it.

And last but not at all least, thank you, Dear Readers. You’ve been awesome passengers on this merry monthly spin around the Valley. Some have even checked in with nice comments about the ride. It’s been a pleasure showing you around, and we hope you continue to seek out the possibilities inherent in this aesthetically and creatively rich place we live in. Oh, and be sure to keep an eye on Some of us will be keeping the virtual flight navigating through cyberspace….

On behalf of the flight crew, we’d like to welcome you to your destination, and say thank you for traveling with Roll Magazine. Hope you enjoyed the flight.

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