I recently saw a magazine celebrating its 10th anniversary in the real estate business, and I thought to myself how short a time span 10 years actually is in this industry.

Do you remember what you were doing 10 years ago? Chances are, like everyone else, you were looking out over the precipice that was an overbuilt and overleveraged real estate landscape. Ah, but just look at us now, and those bleak memories seem to fade pretty quickly away, don't they?

But how long is 10 years, really? Isn't that just a single real estate cycle? And is that really something to be trumpeted? Let me ask you this: If you had to take advice or reference any authoritative figure, would you turn to one that was 10 years old and had seen only one real estate cycle, or would you gravitate to someone who'd been in the business for nearly 40 years and had seen at least six or seven major cycles?

When National Real Estate Investor published its October 1987 issue the publication was 29 years old, and much was different in our world. A story we ran on the REIT market exemplifies the period, with a quote from our writer, Ronald Derven, "Some stock market investors, who have had major gains in the recent bull market, seem to be looking at REITs as a place to invest should the stock market decide to go south for the winter." Funny thing is, it did.

What I also noticed in perusing that issue was one Melanie Fox who was listed on the masthead as Editorial Assistant (whatever that really means). That was this young, bright-eyed editor's first job out of journalism school, and that issue was her first.

Now if you jump forward in time to the issue you're holding in your hands, it's October 1997, and that same Melanie Fox is now Melanie Gibbs. She has 10 years of hard-earned real estate experience on the magazine, a husband and a rather small wee-one daughter named Madeline.

It then struck me that my own four-year-old daughter, Alexandria, was growing up too fast for her own good. What would be the legacy we leave behind to them? And are they the future editors of NREI? Stay tuned.