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for people who care about the West

Summer visits from dear friends

Including some former staffers, Bryce Gray and Lyndsey Gilpin.


Fresh, succulent Delta County peaches and weekly concerts at the town park have made August a sweet month in High Country News’ hometown. The nights are beginning to cool down, but warm summer days have brought an exciting array of adventurous visitors to Paonia.

Steve Cross, a subscriber and monthly giver from Omaha, Nebraska, stopped by while in town for a class on solar power. Not a bad way to spend a few weeks!

Christine Peterson, managing editor of the Casper Star-Tribune, came by while on vacation in Colorado. Christine ended up in Paonia because she needed internet to file a story after a night of camping at Redstone. She was a reporter at the Star-Tribune for about 10 years before taking on an editor’s role. A staunch supporter of print media, Christine was heartened by HCN’s rising circulation numbers, and her encouraging words to the editorial fellow who gave her a tour — “Keep writing!” — were much appreciated.

Subscribers Ed Brennan, a soil scientist, and Grisel Ponciano, a plant biologist, of Castro Valley, California, stopped by the office while on a trip to Colorado. Ed originally hails from these parts; he has family roots in nearby Marble. Grisel loves the statistics and graphs that appear in our pages — we’ll keep ’em coming!

Longtime subscriber (at least 20 years) Warren Schafer was on a road trip through the Southwest with his family when he decided they should see where the magazine is put together. Warren, who is 97, grew up in nearby Hotchkiss and remembers watching silent films in Paonia. He gives HCN subscriptions as Christmas presents, though he knows the recipients don’t always agree with what they read. Still, he says, “Let me tell you about agreeing and disagreeing: Every pancake has two sides.” Thanks for your ongoing support and the wise words, Warren.

We’ve also had a few enjoyable visits from past HCNers. Bryce Gray, who wrapped up an internship here last summer, spent a few days here while road-tripping to a wedding. Bryce now covers energy and the environment for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lyndsey Gilpin, who finished her fellowship in December, visited from Louisville, Kentucky. She now edits Southerly, a newsletter about environmental and cultural issues in the South. Having these two in town made for a lot of happy reunions, both in the office and over backyard beers, and our newer recruits were pleased to be able to put some faces to names.

Finally, a correction: Bees are the major pollinators of golden paintbrush, not hummingbirds, as we stated in “Flirting with extinction” (HCN, 8/7/17). Perhaps that explains our flower friend’s lack of dating luck. We regret the error.