Years ago, I used to do a little free-lancing for magazines to make a little extra money.

In August, 1993, USAir Magazine published my story "Saddle up for Saratoga."

Essentially, it was a travel piece that conveyed the unique experience that is Saratoga, from the track, to the downtown, to the racing, to the social life.

There was even one brief mention of Marylou Whitney:

"Socialite Marylou Whitney, the unofficial queen of Saratoga's summer social scene, presides over a variety of charity fund-raising events that are a flashback to Saratoga's golden era. But these days, Saratoga begins and ends with horse racing."

Not long after the magazine started appearing in the compartments of its airplanes, I got a letter from USAir. Inside was a smaller envelope addressed to me at the USAir offices. The return address was "Cady Hill House, 40 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs, NY. 12866" which meant nothing to me.

Inside was a note in what appeared to be Marylou Whitney's handwriting thanking me for sending her the magazine (it must have been the folks at USAir because it was not me) and inviting me to stop by her box at the track if I ever make it up here.

"I'd love to meet you," she wrote. "And talk to you about my favorite `Summer Place to Be.'"

It was signed, "Warm regards, Marylou Whitney."

Marylou obviously did not know of my local connection, nor did I ever feel comfortable enough to invade her orbit by stopping by her box in the clubhouse.

Still, the fact that she took the time to send a handwritten note reminds us that she was of another time.

Perhaps, a better one.

Marylou Whitney passed away last week. She was 93.

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Ken Tingley is the editor of The Post-Star and may be reached via email at tingley@poststar.com.  His blog  “The Front Page” discusses issues about newspapers and journalism. You can also follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kentingley.



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