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An ode to the Marstons

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Dear HCN,
Your readers are probably drowning you in Marston tributes, as they should. Here's mine:

Ed and Betsy:
Thanks for coming West,
And caring so much,
and working so hard, on behalf
of the paper and the region.
You cared about the people here,
and about all our prickly Western dilemmas.
And you loved the land and its plants and animals,
but not separate from their human compatriots.
And the writing and editing was remarkably fresh
and reasoned and provocative and free of
cant and bile, whether the topic was
Buffalo Commons or Sagebrush Rebellion.
We lacked independent colleges and so
you turned HCN into a graduate seminar,
seeing things we couldn't, challenging stereotypes,
debunking myths, painting fresh promise.
And you tutored and mentored
so many aspiring writers and activists,
using the masthead and a biweekly
to forge a far-flung neighborhood.
In these last how many years,
you have given the West a tremendous gift
of your time and energy and love and affection.
And we are the richer for it.

Randy Udall, Carbondale, Colorado

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