A brief and personal history of the development of dendrochronology in the Hudson Valley of New York in the 1970s and the quantitative reconstruction of climate from tree rings there is provided. Two people stand out in allowing that to happen. Marvin Stokes at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research sparked within me a deep and enduring interest in dendrochronology, and Daniel Smiley of Mohonk supported my interest in pursuing tree-ring research in the Shawangunk Mountains through his deep and curious love of its natural environment. The discovery of ancient trees growing in the Shawangunk Mountains, and their use in successfully reconstructing past drought there, truly launched my career as a dendroclimatologist and proved beyond doubt that dendroclimatology and the reconstruction of past climate could be successfully conducted in the northeastern United States.
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