« Return to this article

for people who care about the West

Seasons change and a reader remembered

Visits from family, new visitors and saying farewell to old friends.


These last few weeks have brought a flurry of falling leaves, staff birthday celebrations, and family visits to High Country News’ home in Paonia, Colorado. Both Assistant Editor Anna V. Smith and Editorial Fellow Emily Benson welcomed their parents to the Western Slope, where they got acquainted with the North Fork Valley and explored our local public lands. The change in seasons provided a perfect time to catch both the last warm days in the desert and the first frosty days in the mountains. Both sets of parents also, of course, visited our office, as did several friends and readers.

Jeff Deiss and Vila Schwindt from Oakland, California, came by, part of a ploy by Vila, who grew up on the Western Slope, to convince Jeff that Colorado would be a good place to retire. Jeff, who used to work in rural development for the USDA, now works for the Small Business Administration in export financing; Vila is a freelance editor, currently working for Silicon Valley-based Content Magazine. While here, Jeff and Vila picked up an HCN subscription.

Patricia Priebe-Swanson, Brian Swanson and Liz Howell outside the offices of High Country News.
Brooke Warren/High Country News

Patricia Priebe-Swanson and Brian Swanson from Teasdale, Utah, stopped in on their way home from Colorado’s Great Sand Dunes National Park. Subscribers for 25 years, Patricia and Brian had just met HCN’s Fort Collins-based Major Gift Adviser Alyssa Pinkerton, who was also vacationing at the sand dunes, and she encouraged them to come to Paonia. Thanks for sending them our way, Alyssa!

On her way to Mesa Verde, Liz Howell from Sheridan, Wyoming, came in to say hi to Development Director Laurie Milford. Now retired, Liz was executive director of the Wyoming Wilderness Association; she and Laurie worked together through the 2000s to safeguard Wyoming’s environment and public lands. 

Mike Crabtree from New Athens, Illinois, met three HCN staffers on a hike while he was hunting in the West Elk Wilderness. He and Terry Weil, from Lebanon, Illinois, came by our office to see what HCN was all about before returning to their search for elk. Thanks for the visit, and we hope you had good luck out there.

Finally, we were saddened to hear of the passing of longtime reader and supporter, Peggy Rosenberry. Peggy visited our office in Paonia several years ago and kept up a lively correspondence with Executive Director Paul Larmer. She also had a great sense of humor: Her son, Charley, also a reader and donor, tells us that for years, he and his mother were engaged in a playful competition, gloating whenever one of their names appeared on our Research Fund page. “When I last visited Mom just a week ago, she asked if she’d been mentioned in the column, some joking and some serious,” Charley writes. “I kid you not.” She got the final gloat, appearing three names from the top in the next issue. Rest in peace, Peggy.