Dear friends

  • Baby Lily Jean with her father and mother, Bob and Denise, and the family dogs



The latest addition to the HCN family, Lily Jean Massart Isaacson, arrived on Thursday, Dec. 20, to proud parents Denise (our office manager) and her husband, Bob. The 6-pound, 7-ounce girl is doing well; no word on how much sleep mom and dad are getting.


Former HCN editor Greg Hanscom, devotee of cross-country ski races, potlucks, and all things Western, rural and mountainous, is now senior editor at, of all places, Baltimore's Urbanite magazine. "Do I not just exude 'urban chic'?" writes Greg. The monthly says it "addresses the issues affecting the relationship between the city and those who live there" - a mission akin to HCN's view of the West. One of the best parts of the job, Greg notes, is that he can still bike to the office. But we'll bet the commute is a tad more exciting than it was in Paonia.


Eric Peterson, a freelance writer living in Denver, Colo., left his business card in our door earlier this fall: "Just wanted to stop by and say 'rock 'n' roll forever' and thanks for the words." Eric writes travel guides for Frommer's and Fodor's. En route to Salt Lake City, Darlene Wright of Twin Falls, Idaho, swung by after visiting her daughter in Denver. She picked up a new subscription on her way out the door.

Colorado Springs native Jim Lanosga took a break from his 2008 presidential campaign to thank us for our "great work and being a voice for the West." Jim, who calls himself Reverend Cannabis, says his "marijuana platform" presidential bid was defeated in 2004, but this time around, he and his staffers "really have a buzz going."

Grammy-nominated folksinger Rosalie Sorrels, who lives near Boise, Idaho, and longtime friend Larry Davidson of nearby Delta, Colo., came in to say hello. The friends met in the early '70s, when Larry ran a coffee shop in Fort Collins, Colo., and invited Rosalie to play. Rosalie was on the Western Slope to play benefit concerts in Paonia and nearby Ridgway for the nonprofit Partners of Delta County.

Longtime subscribers Charlie Quimby and Susan Cushman from Minneapolis, Minn., passed through in early November. The two are avid cyclists who frequently visit the Western Slope, and after getting advice about good road rides near Paonia, they headed off to explore Lamborn Mesa.

Rick Graetz, professor of geography at University of Montana, stopped by. Rick, a longtime subscriber, founded Montana Magazine in the 1970s and knew HCN's founder, Tom Bell. He had been visiting nearby Crested Butte and was on his way to "Ed Abbey country" - Arches National Park in southeast Utah.

Dan Price, "hobo artist" and creator of the hand-drawn zine Moonlight Chronicles, dropped us a note to describe his "Carbon Zero Project." The project began in September 2007 and will continue for a full year, during which Price plans to emit as little carbon as possible. "Don't expect him to be trying to track down the carbon imprint of every can of tuna he opens and consumes," Price writes of himself, "but each issue of the Chronicles will document the extent of his pollution output." For more information, see

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