Spring visitors

Visitors, speeches and long-time subscribers.

  • Karen Olson visiting HCN with her parents, Byron and Dorothy Olson.

    Kate Schimel

It’s been an unusually warm and windy spring here in western Colorado, home of HCN. Fortunately, a few visitors have blown our way.

Karen Olson and her parents, Dorothy and Byron Olson, stopped by our Paonia office on their way to visit family in nearby Delta. Karen, a writer and editor, got her first assignment with HCN in 1998, when she was a creative writing student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. She says her first draft, on a controversial condominium development in remote Stehekin, Washington, had to be completely rewritten. But she credits HCN with helping start a career that’s wound its way through Utne Reader, where she was editor-in-chief, to Public Art Review, in Minneapolis, where she’s now executive editor. We’d love to see your byline here again, Karen!

Cece and Laurance Headley visited with their dog, Peddee, in late March, driving their camper from Eugene, Oregon, to visit friends and family. Though they frequently visit Colorado (Cece grew up on the Front Range), this was their first pilgrimage to HCN headquarters. Cece appeared in Jane Braxton Little’s story “A new world in the woods,” (HCN, 4/1/02) for her job as a forest restoration worker.

From Custer County, Colorado, Paul Mosher stopped in on his way to Arizona. He’s been an on-and-off subscriber for 20 years.  Paul, who’s a contractor, is fascinated by water issues and thinks finding better ways to conserve it is crucial. We agree!

Spring in the West is such a treat. Make it more special for Mom with a gift subscription to High Country News, and we’ll send her a free copy of Mary Sojourner’s latest novel, 29! It’s a blistering story set in Twentynine Palms, California — a place where forgotten tribes and desert lovers unite to save ancient lands from corporate greed and huge solar and wind power farms. See the ad on page 25 for details about this Mother’s Day special.

HCN Contributing Editor Michelle Nijhuis and board member Laura Helmuth, Slate’s science and health editor, both traveled to New York in March to give talks at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Laura talked about nurturing new writers and shaping influential stories, while Michelle spoke about journalism and global change. Describing how she built a successful freelance writing career while living in tiny rural Paonia, Michelle said, “There were many challenges. … It was easy for editors to forget about me since they never saw me.” But living in an off-grid straw-bale home, with almost no overhead, allowed her to work only on projects she valued, instead of having to take assignments just for the money. “My choice of place made me really lucky in that way,” she said.

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