Celebrating the season and ‘neighboring’ one another

Still no snow, but good times and a bittersweet farewell.

  • Gretchen King, our director of engagement, and Rebecca Worby, our editorial fellow who is moving back to New York this month, hand out raffle tickets at our annual holiday party.

    Brooke Warren/High Country News

The calendar date suggests that winter is upon us at High Country News’ headquarters in Paonia, Colorado. Unfortunately, the lack of snow says otherwise, with the bare dirt on our local ski trails and snowshoe routes indicating that we’ll have to wait a bit longer to enjoy a real Colorado winter. Luckily, we’ve had some holiday cheer to tide us over.

In early December, we welcomed more than 100 guests to our office for our annual winter holiday shindig. Staff, readers and community members caught up with friends old and new as they enjoyed smoked turkey sausages, crab toast, three kinds of cake and other tasty snacks — and a lucky few walked away with snazzy door prizes, including HCN socks and hats.

In his remarks that night, Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert reminded us that HCN is more than just a magazine; it’s also a community of readers with a shared love for the place we call the West. “In the West, we have a verb that maybe other people don’t have — neighboring,” he said. By keeping folks informed about what’s going on in our region, and how it fits into a wider context, we hope to help everyone do a better job of neighboring.

The day before the party, Rose Chilcoat and Mark Franklin of Durango, Colorado, came by. Rose was associate director of Great Old Broads for Wilderness for 15 years, and is a founding board member of Torrey House Press and Friends of Cedar Mesa. Mark owns a graphics company that designs exhibits, brochures and interpretive plans. The couple is facing a lawsuit from Utah’s San Juan County for allegedly trespassing and endangering livestock, so they were drawing strength from visiting other public-lands proponents on a trip through western Colorado.

We were saddened to learn that longtime reader and subscriber Samuel P. Hays, the great-uncle of HCN’s associate photo editor, Brooke Warren, recently passed away at the age of 96 in Boulder, Colorado. Brooke tells us that he was an avid reader of HCN, and even as he gave up other reading, maintained his subscription till the end. You’ll be missed, Sam.

We have a small correction to make: In Craig Childs’ tribute to his friend, a renowned environmentalist and singer (“Remembering Katie Lee” HCN, 11/27/17), we underestimated how old he was when he and Lee first met. “I think I was 38 when my wife and I dipped in her and Joey’s famous wooden tub for the first time,” he says, not 18.

Finally, we’ll be taking our quarterly publication break after this issue, our final for 2017. Thank you for a great year, and look for the next issue of the magazine to hit your mailbox around Jan. 22. In the meantime, please enjoy celebrating the season with one another. Happy holidays!

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