upon launch in 2002
I thank those who contributed their experiences to help launch the site: Martin Marty, Ken Howard, Kathleen Schellenberg, Dan Carlson, Tom Simons, and Jim Rosenthal. I also thank Val Berryman who provided Santa images. Special appreciation goes to artist Barbara Kissinger who took vague ideas and, with her own gifted creativity, created professional patterns and instructions to provide the craft projects.
I am also grateful to the Dominican Fathers of the Basilica Pontificia San Nicola in Bari, Italy, especially Fr. Gerardo CCioffari, and the members of the Sint-Nicolaasgenootschap Vlaanderen in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium, both of whom welcomed me and extended most gracious hospitality. These experiences greatly deepened my experience and appreciation of Saint Nicholas.
I am grateful to all those who read the material: Paul deBondt for help with the Netherlands in countless additional ways; Lieven Dehandschutter and Luc Vermeulen for Belgium; Jim Rosenthal, Marlin and Judy Vander Wilt who read everything. All their suggestions and comments have strengthened the site. The remaining errors and weaknesses belong to the editor.
I am especially grateful for the generosity of all of the people, organizations, and publishers who gave permission for material to be reproduced. This has made it possible to offer rich resources. They are credited throughout the site.
My thanks to Paul Hart, Rich Evenhouse, and Derik Lolli who transformed pages of text and many scanned images into web media. And, I thank Andrew Myers, my son, who really "gets it," for encouraging the project, and working to make it a reality. He and his colleagues at Knoware, especially Troy Spruit, are helping bring it to a new level.
I am particularly grateful to Jim Rosenthal whose passion for the cause of St. Nicholas and generous sharing of himself and his considerable expertise and resources have been an immeasurable contribution. Without him the site would not exist.
Long-time "St. Nicholas friends," Marlin and Judy Vander Wilt, Pauly Housenga, and Betty Voskuil, have made this adventure fun. More recently, Barbara Mask and Roger Zellner, out of their own their love and fascination for the saint, also have made unique contributions.
And, last, I thank my long-time companion in life, David, who despite mystification about my fascination with St. Nicholas, has given unwavering support and encouragement.