I recently remarked to a friend – a teacher and musician in town – that DGO was ready to celebrate a year in publication. He was surprised it had only been a year. “I can’t imagine Durango without it,” he said. It may have been the best compliment I’ve received all year.
As a founding editor of DGO and a person who shaped its aesthetic and voice, my goal was to be surprising and smart, uncovering aspects of the community that no one was talking about, topics people were not willing to broach, underserved voices and communities that were not being heard. With the thoughtful, cerebral and one-of-a-kind work of partner-in-crime Anya Jaremko-Greenwold, DGO’s only other full-time staffer, I couldn’t be more proud of this amazingly talented and thoughtful crew of ragtags who have contributed over the year.
We dedicated an issue to Pride. We talked to female musicians who at times face sexual harassment as a part of going to work and doing their jobs. We broached the subject of prescription drug abuse. We’ve prompted conversations about furries and bronies and the amazing spectacle of drag. We talked to psychics and spirit healers and ufologists. We made a strong crack at understanding the Peter Pan phenomenon and once found a compelling and insightful way to explore, of all things, beards.
Through it all, we’re always trying to be edgy, surprising and, most of all, thoughtful.
It’s why I’m proud of Chris Gallagher’s column. I wasn’t looking for a column about stoners reporting live from their parents’ basement. I wanted someone who could write about marijuana intelligently with reverence and passion, and it’s why the title he offered for his column – “Seeing Through the Smoke” – is so apt.
It’s why I’ve loved Robbie Wendeborn’s beer columns from the get-up. This is a guy who is in the business, knows beer inside and out and is passionate about it. He has something to say, knows how to say it and does it in a thoughtful and informed way, all with a punk rock attitude and voice.
It’s why I love Heather Narwid and her “Style Fetish” columns. Talk about a firestorm firecracker of a person. I’m always fascinated by Heather’s mind, its endless creations and associations. Heather’s writing comes from amazing generosity, wisdom and fervency, something I dare say is like no other around.
It’s why I always look forward to reading Cyle Talley’s quirky voice that shines through in each of his “Get Smart” columns and why I have grown to trust and rely upon Bryant Liggett’s insider clout on the local music scene and the bands constantly storming through.
After 52 issues, there is, of course, work to do still, stories to write, corners to shed light on. We still face some resistance and a little mistrust here and there, but we’ll keep moving forward, carving out our own unique niche and convert the non-believers in the next 52 issues, which means we have to continue to earn your trust and support by publishing something relevant and engaging every week.
I know what some of you are saying about all this we-turned-one horn-tooting: You know, there’s another thing here in town that is square-ish and made of paper that comes out on Thursday that covers some of the same kinds of things that DGO does and they’ve been going for 14 years! And to that I say: You’re right! Our fellow weekly pub has obviously been doing something good in this community to achieve and retain the support, loyalty and admiration of so many. My personal, sincere hope is that all of the publications in and around Durango can co-exist and thrive doing what each of us does best: telling stories and supporting different aspects of this community in the only ways we know how for years to come.
I say more, not less: More voices, more exposure, more surprises and more celebration.