Fall break

  • Visitors from University of Michigan, from left, Christine Doman, Liz Bunin and Sarah Mandlebaum.

    Cally Carswell

We publish 22 issues a year, and our next publishing break is in mid-September. Look for the next installment of HCN around Oct. 12.

... in Paonia. We're bringing back an old favorite: the High Country News community potluck at Paonia Town Park! This year, our fall board meeting takes place in HCN's western Colorado hometown during the same weekend as the Ninth Annual Mountain Harvest Festival (mountainharvestfestival.com). HCN will join the weekend's events with a bang of a cookout. Bring a side dish to share (burgers and beverages will be provided) and join us at the Paonia Town Park from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. To RSVP or for more information, contact Development Associate Alyssa Pinkerton: e-mail [email protected] or call 970-527-4898. Hope to see you there!

What's more fun than summer camp? Geology field camp, of course. University of Michigan students Christine Doman, Liz Bunin and Sarah Mandlebaum dropped by Paonia on their roundabout way back from Jackson Hole, Wyo., where Christine and Liz attended Camp Davis. They took geology mapping courses and studied under the stars before meeting up with Sarah and road-tripping through Utah and Colorado.

Mary Alice Evans brought her visiting grandson, Zach Tuthill, by our office. "I'm probably one of the oldest subscribers," said Mary Alice, who has been reading the magazine since 1975. She remembers when several of our staffers were hurt in a car accident, back when the paper was headquartered in Wyoming,  and the subsequent outpouring of reader support that became the HCN Research Fund. She has lived all over Colorado but now resides just down the road in Crawford with her daughter and son-in-law. Zach lives in Laramie, Wyo.

From nearby Salida, Colo., came Charlie and Becky Goff with their niece, Beth Moore, from Philadelphia. The longtime subscribers used fruit-picking as an excuse to stop by Paonia, they said. While here, they also loaded up on free books from our stash of extras, and tried to convince their niece, a history major, to apply for an internship. We hope she'll listen to her aunt and uncle.

Matthew Symonds, another longtime subscriber from way back in 1975 -- "I was ticked off when the paper moved from Wyoming to Colorado in 1983" -- and his wife, Joan, dropped in on their way to Laramie, Wyo., from their home in Farmington, N.M. We grilled Matthew about his checkered past as a roughneck on oil rigs, a curious choice of summer job during the 1960s, since he'd just graduated from a Quaker boarding school back East. But he clearly loved it, and worked on rigs off and on for almost 20 years while becoming a petroleum engineer. He said the most dangerous time on a rig occurred during the early days, when a man's ignorance could get him killed. Inexperienced workers like himself, he said, were called worms or weevils, a holdover from the '20s and '30s, when farmers left their busted cotton farms for the oil fields. "You were always judging your fellow workers," he recalled. "They held your life in their hands." Now a financial advisor for Raymond James, Matthew says he'd long gotten over HCN's move to Colorado, and even though the magazine has changed its shape and look several times, he reassured us, "I find I always like it."

In the Aug. 31 "Heard Around the West," the elk photo was mistakenly attributed to Greg Woodall. It was actually sent to us by reader Lin Lawson of Chandler, Ariz. Sorry about that, Lin.

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