After two years at this, it seems I have a pretty cool job. When people ask what I do and I say, “magazine editor,” questions tend to follow. I have my spiel down to 30 seconds, one minute, five minutes, or 2.5 hours based on their perceived interest level (PIL). One hundred and four issues later, I’m not quite sure how we do it every week. One thing is sure, I’ve been proud of every single issue of this magazine. Here’s what I love most about my job:
Sitting next to a stranger in public who is reading DGO.It happens every once in a while, the last time during lunch at Olde Tymers. I like to see where they stop and hold for a while, and what they inevitably gloss over. Without being weird and noticeable, I like to inch closer, to gauge their eye tracking to see how the headlines land and how long they study the images versus the text. And then I inch even closer, maybe pick a fry off their plate, close enough to hear their breathing patterns and to study the creases in the forehead. This is how I understand which stories work and which don’t.
Reading the work of, sitting next to, and brainstorming with Patty TempletonI always tell people that having Patty in Durango writing on a weekly basis is a treasure. Patty has a buoyant, outsized, charming, empathetic, vivacious, curious, irreverent personality. She also has the gift of transferring that personality verbatim onto the page no matter what she’s writing. But Patty isn’t just a writer for a Durango alt-weekly. She’s a published novelist. She just had a play performed at the Durango Art Center’s 10-Minute Play Festival. She writes TV scripts and short stories. When people tell me how much they love her writing, I beam like a proud fatherunclebrotherfriend and then rub it in their face that I get to sit next to her five days a week. Though it’s only happened 28.5 times, my goal every day is for both of us to be so wildly inappropriate that we’re hauled into HR only to be released unscathed because we were legitimately brainstorming for upcoming issues.
Seeing the DGO sponsor banner at events The Durango Pride Festival and the iAM Music Festival come to mind. Sponsoring these two groups in particular made me especially proud to be a part of Ballantine Communications and DGO and have the ability to contribute. Being a sponsor not only gives financial or promotional support to these organizations, it also gives them a little poke to say, “Your community supports you, we’re with you, we want you to thrive.”
Showcasing Durango’s most talented, thought-provoking, outspoken, brave; the weirdos, the people doing something different.I don’t know if it’s because of my job that I have found myself in the company of these people, but some of Durango’s most talented and interesting people I now call my friends. Actors, painters, illustrators, photographers, organizers, playwrights, DJs, singers, teachers, circus performers, jewelers, facilitators, songwriters, activists, party people: Durango is oozing with amazing. This magazine thrust me straight into a novel full of make-believe characters.
Being curious about Durango and the world at large and seeing that come to life in these pages.It’s fun to sit around with friends and lovers discussing the things that interest us, things we’re curious about, things we want answers for. Sometimes those conversations find their way into the magazine in the weeks that follow. Here’s a sampling of headlines for some of those stories definitely worth a read if you haven’t already:
“Treating pets with cannabis: Don’t get your animal stoned, get them well”
“Six ideas to make Durango even better: We researched progressive small towns and cities across the country. Here are six ideas that could work here”
“The state of Durango arts: Talking to experts about what’s good, support needed, and big dreams for local art”
#VanLife: A brief look at the mystique of van customization and four snapshots of Durango vans and vanners
After two years at this, I hope DGO is still as fun and compelling to pick up as it is to produce it. Here’s to many more years of freaks and weirdos, thought-provoking and inappropriate conversations, and maybe a trip or two to HR.