Every Thursday, in conjunction with USGlass magazine’s 50th anniversary celebration, USGNN.com™ is taking a look back at past issues and highlights advertisements, stories and images that ran throughout the publication’s half-century life. This week, it’s the finale.

USGlass has always tried to reflect the holiday season in its December issue. In fact, once Deb Levy became publisher, the magazine had a tradition of featuring glass angels from different artists on the cover. Levy calls it the “Joy to the Glass Industry” cover.

One cover in particular has a pretty memorable origin. Prior to the first of four December issues, Levy saw the sandblasted glass work of John Garofalo at the Glass Expo Northeast ’96 show and asked if he could do an angel for the cover.

He agreed. “Right before December, he sent us photos of his ‘angel’—a beautifully sandblasted Venus de Milo, the ancient Greek statue,” says Levy. She told him the Venus wasn’t quite the type of angel she had in mind and it would not work for the magazine cover.

“I was sorry we couldn’t use it, but didn’t think much more about it until the following year,” she says. Then, in early November, an enormous heavy box arrived covered in $76 worth of stamps. Hundreds of stamps. Inside was a large glass art piece with the U.S. Glass logo at the top, and “Wishes You Seasons Greetings” at the bottom.

In the middle? An angel.

Levy says the package came with a one-line note: “Now can I be on the cover?”

And so he was, in the 1997 issue:

3212_DEC1997USGlass would like to thank all the people and businesses for the memories over the past 50 years. Take a look back at the anniversary year’s series of Throwback Thursdays HERE.