Every Thursday at 8 a.m. for the past year and a half, Carol Jacobson and Janet Sheridan sat in a corner at Serendipity Cafe & Coffee Shop as friends and writing partners.
The two women would read works that the other had written and offer critique and advice.
On Wednesday afternoon, Sheridan, a freelance writer and columnist for the Craig Daily Press and the Denver Post, lost her mentor and friend when Jacobson died in a boating accident on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument.
Jacobson was 54.
"She was a driving force in keeping literacy alive in this community," Sheridan said. "Through her bookstore, her outreach with the schools and her classes, she infected others with her love of writing."
Sheridan was not alone in her mourning for Jacobson and her infectious personality.
As the owner of Downtown Books in downtown Craig, a strong advocate of literacy and education, and an active member of the community, Jacobson's legacy will continue to ripple through the community.
Jacobson, an avid writer and a winner this year of the Colorado Celebrate Literacy Award, went beyond books and literacy to reach out to the community.
As a member of the Downtown Business Association, Jacobson spearheaded the Farmers Market, which takes place Thursdays throughout the summer, and supported the growth of all downtown businesses.
At Thursday's Farmers Market, a small cross was set out on the grass in Alice Pleasant Park with fluttering blue and white flowers in memory of a friendly and passionate neighbor.
"When she would come over here on Thursday afternoons, the whole place would light up," vendor Jennifer Stagner said. "I'll miss her energy and her laugh. The Farmers Market will keep going, but there will always be a hole there."
Downtown business owners shared a similar view of Jacobson's unbridled passion for community projects and Craig pride.
"She had a lot of good suggestions and input," Community Budget Center manager Karen Brown said. "But she was the kind of person who would actually follow through with things, as well."
Brown said Jacobson stopped by the Budget Center almost every day to take a look at the new used books that had been donated to the center and offer advice and a helping hand.
"She was just a good friend and a good neighbor to downtown and the community in general," Brown said. "She was just so full of life."
Other downtown business owners remember Jacobson's enormous impact on the community.
"It's a devastating loss, not just for the DBA, but for the whole community," Neolithics owner Carol Wilson said. "She was very involved in literacy and teaching and just enjoying life. I know she was really excited to work on the fair this year. She always had such wonderful ideas to promote businesses and to promote Craig. She was just a dynamo of energy. She had so much positivity."
Some found it difficult to talk about Jacobson after hearing about her death.
"I don't know, I'm still trying to understand it, and to accept that it's true," Wilson said. "It's hard to grasp that she's not here anymore."
At Serendipity, employee Diana Vesely won't be able to make tea without thinking about Jacobson.
"She always ordered peppermint tea or a double espresso," she said. "She was so kind and so positive. I know we'll miss seeing her."
Tammie Thompson-Booker, former president of the Moffat County Tourism Association, worked with Jacobson on an effort to create better informational signs at local historical attractions.
"Carol was real passionate about that, and she just took it and ran with it," Thompson-Booker said.
"She handled it. That's what I really appreciate about her. There was no whining, no second-guessing, it was just done."
Thompson-Booker said she will miss Jacobson as a positive force in the community and a personal friend.
"She did so many things I don't think people were aware of," Thompson-Booker said. "I think it's a huge loss for our community. I'll really miss her. My family will miss her, and my kids will miss her."
Jacobson's legacy wasn't limited to any particular part of the community. It stretched to such lengths as providing boxes of books to the Moffat County Jail library.
"She was just one of those ladies who was always happy, always put a smile on your face," said Tim Jantz, a friend of Jacobson's.
"She was just one of those people you enjoyed seeing. That's what I'll remember. She was very vibrant, very compassionate."
Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or firstname.lastname@example.org.