Thursday, January 29, 2009
Steamboat Springs It's easy for journalists to get caught up in the routine of their respective beats. Meeting coverage and event previews are important, but they don't make for a well-rounded community newspaper on their own. Human-interest stories, features and profiles add color and personality to our pages while also balancing the hard news coverage that is the foundation of any paper.
Maybe that's why I love Locals, the Pilot & Today's annual special section dedicated to the people who help define our community and make it the place many of us are so proud to call home.
My first Locals assignment as a reporter was longtime Steamboat Springs High School history teacher Bill McKelvie. The 32-year veteran of the classroom was retiring, and as we sat together over lunch at Canton, it was inspiring to hear him reminisce about the hundreds of students who touched his life and him theirs. We laughed as he told me about the day he met his future wife, Christine, in a singles lift line at the ski area.
That same year, I also wrote about Clark-area resident Kathy Winograsky-Main, a wonderfully kind, caring woman who found her calling while at a quiet funeral service for one of Clarks last pioneers, Hannah Murphy-Larsen. Winograsky-Main was troubled by the poor condition of the tiny Clark Cemetery, and as she undertook the slow process of cleaning up the cemetery, she discovered sunken graves without headstones.
Winograsky-Main helped form the Clark Cemetery Association, and her tireless research eventually led to the identification of all the grave sites. At the time we met, she had published two books on Clark history and donated all proceeds from the sale of one of them to the Clark Cemetery Association.
Winograsky-Main died in November 2008 after a yearlong battle with cancer. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to spend some time getting to know her, and I'm even more thankful that her passion for life and local history could be shared with our readers before her passing.
In the 17 years the Steamboat Pilot & Today has published Locals, we've told the stories of nearly 300 Routt County residents, each with a story as unique and interesting as McKelvie's and Winograsky-Main's. And we've usually relied on our readers to nominate the people whose stories will be featured.
This year is no different. Look for the Locals nomination ad running in the Steamboat Today. Fill it out, and send it to our offices, or e-mail email@example.com with your Locals nomination and why you think he, she or they should be included in this year's edition.
What's the criteria for being a local? I think it's simple: A local is someone who has had a positive impact on our community. Some of the best locals are those who do their work behind the scenes, perhaps not receiving the recognition they deserve.
Send us your nomination by Feb. 13. Locals will publish March 29 in the Steamboat Pilot & Today.
As always, don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-871-4221.