New arts and entertainment editor at Summit Daily News
I was 18 years old, fresh out of high school, when my friends and I decided to drive the eight hours from Springfield, Missouri, to Manchester, Tennessee, to spend four days baking in the humid, 90-degrees-plus weather in a cow field with thousands of other sweaty heathens.
At the time, I didn’t understand why my friends wanted to stand for six hours straight in front a stage, leaving our spot only for frivolities like bathroom breaks, to be in the front row for a band with a weird moniker. Widespread Panic? I mean, what kind of name is that? I could barely wrap my head around this idea: I didn’t have to go to class, didn’t have to toil at work, all I had to do — all day and all night long — was listen to music.
I was hooked. Everyone was carefree and happy. In watching an artist passionately pour their souls into what they were creating, I could let go of my worries and live in the moment. In that moment, the music was all that mattered.
But a lot has happened since then. Now, I’m not just another member of the audience. I actually get paid to do this.
I’m proud to introduce myself to you as the new arts and entertainment editor of the Summit Daily News. You may have seen my name in the paper before on the masthead. I’ve worked at the SDN for the last two and a half years as a copy editor and recently transitioned into this new role just a few weeks ago. After a stint with my college paper as features editor, I graduated from Missouri State University with a print journalism degree and creative writing minor. I spent a summer in Boulder doing my internship with Marquee Magazine, writing album reviews and artist profiles (my favorite interview was with Garrett Dutton, better known as G-Love). Right before moving to Summit I was the news editor at The Examiner just outside of Kansas City (the Missouri side, not the Kansas side).
I moved to the county in 2010 — just for one season — and have fallen in love with the mountains. I’m looking forward to bringing you coverage of all the festivals, theater productions, art, and — of course — music that Summit County has to offer. I’ll also highlight local chefs, restaurant openings and other tidbits on the food and drink scene. There are so many talented people in the area, and I’ll be spotlighting their stories, too. Since I’ll be writing many stories about you, it’s probably only fair to tell you some of mine.
It was a very long journey in just a few short years that led me to Summit, and I’ll admit right now, I moved here as an escape. It’s a common tale that the men who live here have a Peter Pan complex; they never want to grow up. I did a lot of growing up too quickly before I moved here, and when I got to Summit it was like living in a bubble; the outside world didn’t really exist. As so many of us do, I lost someone important to me and was unsure of how to proceed with my life from there. I packed up my car with some camping gear and my dog, Marley, (who, at 12 years old, now looks like a cross between a Gremlin and miniature hyena), and traveled around the West for three months. I slept in my car, slept in the woods, slept in Wal-Mart parking lots. I visited national forests and parks, taking showers with jugs of water and Dr. Bronner’s, and started talking to my dog like he was a person. And then, somehow, I landed in Summit County, where I didn’t know a single soul.
As a kid growing up in Missouri, the closest thing I had come to snowsports was tying a sled to the back of my pony and holding on. When I was 19, my sister spent a season in Summit, and during a visit I decided to strap on a board for the first time and take a chance. It took me three hours to get down Dercum Mountain’s green trails — once, and that was that. Learning how to snowboard at 25 wasn’t easy. I would be sprawled out on a trail after falling for the hundredth time that day, shaking my fist and yelling obscenities at 3-year-olds as they flew past while (deliberately, I’m sure) spraying snow in my face. I had a bruises in places I won’t mention, and my forearms hurt so bad from pushing myself up that I couldn’t even brush my teeth, I could only turn my head from side to side as I held the brush in my mouth.
I spent three years working for Keystone, with odd summer jobs like horse wrangler and beverage cart attendant. I love to hike, mountain bike and read. You can often find me cooking in the kitchen with a good glass of wine in hand.
I moved to Summit County to escape real life, but before I knew it, it had become my life. That rash decision five years ago was one the absolute best ones I’ve ever made. And while I may not have made it to local status yet (how many years is that, anyway?), I’m proud to call Summit my home.
Please feel free to email me with suggestions or critiques, event happenings in town, if you’re a local artist looking for exposure, or just want to talk about food. I love this town and hope to do it justice in our Summit Life section. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (970) 668-4636.
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