In 2017, we here at DGO brought a number a stories to Durango that I’m really proud of. In addition to countless musicians, artists, performers, professors, budtenders, bartenders, and brewers, we talked to strippers, mediums, Republicans, museum curators, and panhandlers. And we always tried to do it in a smart, reverent, engagingly fun way. Here are the stories that stood out for me:
‘Spirits, telepathy, and talking to the dead: An interview with a local medium’It was one of those stories on dynamic people with fascinating jobs. Durango medium Trena Kirkland took us inside her world to give insight into – literally – another side of human life. Regardless of your beliefs, this one scratches that curiosity itch like no other.
‘Adventures in IUDs, part one: The insertion’Patty Templeton got an IUD, and given the assault women’s health care is under in our country, wrote about it – a courageous piece of writing, written the only way Patty could – shocking, funny, and real. As Patty says, “Here’s to talking publicly about our bodies to normalize the conversation.”
<URL destination="http://www.dgomag.com/articles/1582-what-i-learned-from-a-dying-deer-and-a-guntoting-trump-supporter%0D">‘What I learned from a dying deer and a gun-toting Trump supporter’</CHARACTER>
</URL><CHARACTER style="DGO_bold lead-in_2_green">Katie Clancy bonds with a stranger who she might have dismissed had she not shared an experience with him. Her piece was a call to bridge differences with those whom we disagree during a time of divisional politics.
<URL destination="http://www.dgomag.com/articles/2095-confused-and-falling-in-love-while-playing-grand-theft-auto%0D">‘Confused and falling in love while playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’’Brett Massé’s gaming column “Extra Life” is surprising and indubitably engaging every installment, even for non-gamers like myself. Brett ruminates, philosophizes, and tells intimate stories not necessarily about the games themselves, but why they matter to those who play them. My favorite was a love story that took shape during “Grand Theft Auto.”
‘What you don’t know about house party strippers’The interview could have gawked, mocked, and patronized. But Patty’s interview smartly straddled the line of asking questions you always wanted to know and showing that even strippers are thoughtful, brave, intelligent human beings.
‘Durango’s ghost train: A car with a history of blood, love, and murder’ Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum curator and local history buff Jeff Ellingson “unveiled a tale of a young prostitute, a gory train fight, and a bloody mishap that led to a brutal suicide.” The ghostly story may have been the most intriguing and engaging ever told to DGO.
‘‘It was an absolutely helpless, awful feeling.’’ Ryan Brungard lost his dog in Canyonlands National Park.’Cyle Talley’s “First Person” unearthed some great stories and nuggets of wisdom from the ether of Durango. No better was his two-parter with Ryan Brungard and the heart-wrenching, nail-biter of losing his dog in the unrelenting wilds of Canyonlands National Park.
‘Vintage Durango: 1980s technology’Patty took a unique and fascinating look at history in Durango with her running, bite-sized feature. Called “Vintage Durango,” she examined old newspaper stories and adverts to see how far we’ve come (or not) culturally over the decades. A look at a 1989 Radio Shack ad was my favorite.
‘Two stories that may challenge what you think about panhandlers’ Often what the world lacks is simply taking the time to hear the complexities of someone’s story and squelching our prejudice and preconceptions to empathize. In doing this, Patty told two humanizing stories of panhandlers in Durango.
‘Maybe these adventures will mend my broken heart?’In her awesome yet short-lived column “Heartbreak Combatant,” Cassidy Cummings offered a glimpse into the life of a youngish single woman trying to find confidence, empowerment, and balance. Her wit, unique point of view, and uneasy vulnerability made each installment worth a read.
‘Weekend Durango haunts’Sometimes photo contributor Lucy Schaefer will document a single event, like the Ska Anniversary Party or Four Corners Folk Festival. But often, she comes back with photos of her weekend haunts: House parties, people on the street, coffee drinkers, shop clerks, etc. It’s always a look at Durango life we don’t always get to see.
‘Treating pets with cannabis’Say what you will about weed, its medical worth is scientifically undeniable. That goes for pets as well. Our primer on how best to treat pets with cannabis is a great place to start with grounded, level-headed advice and tips from experts in the field.‘In this political climate, we can’t talk about medical MJ enough’Chris Gallagher devoted a number of his “Seeing through the smoke” columns to the political climate surrounding marijuana legalization in this Year of Trump and the regressive policies of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. If you think legalization and cannabis research (not to mention use) are safe, think again.