Publisher’s Corner

I don’t know about you, but I am heartily sick sheltering in place and waiting for this crisi to be over.

But before it even started, we were all so done with winter and anxious for spring.

Karen Prather and I got a head start, going out to take pictures of calves and growing things for our themed articles on farm, ranch, and pre-gardening. Next issue we dig deeper into gardening (like that pun?) with features and flowers.

For March, we had fun hunting for new calves, visiting horses, poking around in stables and pastures, and, of course, falling in love with the baby chicks.

A visit to Cedaredge to interview Connie Williams, our Wonder Woman this month (who was once a rodeo queen), led to the discovery of our feature artist, Susan Humphrey, from one of the region’s old ranching families. Erin Stadelman, Ouray County Fairgrounds Manager and head of the Cattlemen’s Association, wrote our lead ranching story. Joe Westcott, horse trainer, cattleman, and former cow boss at the RRL and Sleeping Indian, provided our cover picture. (Yep, that’s him with the rope.) Camelot Gardens let us watch them start their spring planting and photograph it. Thank you, all!

We did a booth at the Home, Garden, and Business Expo this year to help promote area event venues and some of the non-profits. Members of those groups helped man the booth and told visitors about all the great events and activities our region has to offer. We saw a lot of surprised faces. “We just moved here from Denver,” one couple told us, “and we had no idea there were so many wonderful things to do here!” They took out a subscription to the Silver Stage so they wouldn’t miss any of them.

There’s a lot going on here, and it’s our mission to let people know about it. To do that well and meet the expectations of our readers and advertisers, we need help. So we asked community members to join our advisory council to help us plan what we should cover, what the publication should look like, and to suggest ideas and topics for future issues. Attendees came (or phoned in) from Durango to Paonia—we cover a broad region. A lot of great feedback came out of that meeting. Thanks to all of you who attended, contributed, and shared your ideas and suggestions. Your input is invaluable! Let’s keep that momentum going.

You, our readers, are welcome to offer your suggestions, too. Send us an email. We love new ideas.

The Silver Stage fills a special niche—there’s nothing like it in Western Colorado. At the advisory  meeting, attended by local and regional business people and members of various organizations, we affirmed that the key to attracting and maintaining our readership is a visually outstanding print and online publication with well-written (and carefully edited) regional content that includes a combination of timely events (what’s happening now), past history (what happened then), and how it all ties together.

Our comprehensive calendar, in print and online, is unique and, admittedly, a real bear to put out every month. Please, those of you who contribute events for the calendar, try to get it in well ahead of time. We need lots of lead time!

We were having a great time planning and putting out this publication. Wait till you read the next one. Spring is springing. I’ve already got my seed pots planted. Which is good, since I can’t go out, can’t congregate, can’t go garden shopping. What I CAN do is go wine shopping, then sit on my patio with newly potted plants and drink wine. Anything for the cause, right?

Kathryn R. Burke, Publisher