Miller: Just happy to be home
Frisco, CO Colorado
Watching the kids line up at Frisco Elementary Thursday morning, I was surrounded by other parents for whom the site was pretty much the best entertainment in the world. As the teachers did their best to instill some order into the crowd of kids filing into the building, we looked on and grinned at the wild hair, the slouching backpacks, the colorful sneakers and the din of youth that’s balm for the soul.
There’s still a part of me that wants to file in with them, plunk down at a tiny chair and whip out the finger paints. My first grader would have no problem with that, would not question it and would see it as a perfectly natural thing for me to do. But, along with the other parents, it’s off to work I go.
Although this week has been one for the “Happy Times” column: I returned to work in Summit County after an eight-year hiatus. Since March of 2005, I was making the trek every day from Frisco over the pass to the Vail Daily. With a couple of particularly challenging winters finally behind me, I was seriously questioning if I could do another when, lo and behold, the position of editor here at the Summit Daily opened up.
I biked to work a couple of times this week; one day, I walked. Anyone who saw me might’ve wondered what I was smiling to myself about it. Perhaps it was the silly refrain in my head that went: “I’m biking to work! I’m biking to work! I’m not on Vail Pass!” Another contributing factor was the sense of returning home to work for the newspaper in my home town, the community my family and I love above all others. This is the place where I graduated from high school, where I learned to drive … all that stuff.
And even though I worked for the paper from 1993 to 2000, serving as editor for the last four years of that period, I don’t at all consider this coming back to “my old job.” Things have changed a lot since I last sat in this editor’s chair. Sure, some of the players I knew in the 90s are still on the scene, but there are new people to get to know as well. New challenges – pine beetles, an even worse affordable housing situation, worker shortages and dwindling funds for local, state and federal agencies – all make for a different landscape than we enjoyed in the go-go 90s.
Things have changed for me as well. In addition to our first grader, we have three kids in high school (two at Summit High) and another already out of the house. Since I was last here at the Summit Daily, I’ve worked as a producer at the Sci-Fi Channel, editor of a family magazine in L.A., assistant editor at the Vail Daily, editor-in-chief for Colorado Resort Publishing (this company’s magazine division) and, since last December, as editor of the Vail Daily. I’ve learned a lot and hope to learn a lot more from the Summit County community about what the concerns are here.
To that end, I have an open door and I would love to hear from the readers. I’ll be available to chat one-on-one, to come in and meet with local groups or classrooms and anywhere else I can help strengthen the bond between the paper and the community. And that includes invites from any local teachers with a spare smock and some finger paint!
Alex Miller is editor of the Summit Daily. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 668-4816.
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