Editor’s Notebook: August 2009

July 30, 2009

Greta Belanger deJong

The return of “First Person,” and an update on the Wasatch Co-op.

by Greta Belanger deJong

Many years ago—15 or maybe even 20 or more—CATALYST began a column called “First Person.” We would present a topic. Readers would write on that topic and submit their writing, mailing it in (some submissions were even handwritten for our inputting pleasure) or delivering them on these new little rigid computer disks. Then we would publish them.

Readers loved it. Readers got to be writers. More writers read CATALYST. All in all, at least in memory, it seems it was a fine thing and I cannot recall when or why we stopped.

For those of you right now thinking, “The slacker! She sounds like Reagan. Why no specifics?”: The archives are in the bowels of our old downtown office. Some day I will bring at least one of every issue here, and stare down the evidence of time passing.

As I’m fond of saying: Time lurches. Some covers and layouts from the ’80s I recall as if they were done last month; I can almost tell you what music we played, and what we ate, while we were in production. (The latter is easy, at least in the early ’80s, because it was always the same thing: cornchips and salsa and watermelon. Later: anytime breakfasts at the Shiloh Inn’s Sunrise Cafe. And then there was John deJong’s cooking, which of course was the best.)

Other old issues take me aback: What is this? Who did it? It looks just like CATALYST but I’ve never seen it before! Oh, look, it says I wrote that….

But my point is that I never really forgot about First Person. And mentioning it to assistant editor Pax Rasmussen recently caused new blood to pump through its veins. He loved the idea, brainstormed a list of dozens of topics, and has taken it upon himself to orchestrate a comeback. Read instructions, below. Then see what you might come up with.

Staff writer Emily Moroz had a bit of information that missed the Comings & Goings page, for which it was intended, regarding the emerging Wasatch Co-Op which we introduced last month:

“Good news: the folks on the steering committee will have a website, www.wasatchcoop.com, up and running up by August 15th. Ben Gaddis, Allen Stutz and several other pioneers of the co-op project will have sign-up forms for the online co-op newsletter, in addition to a Q&A board and a possible logo design contest.

“A community meeting is also in the works and will be announced once a sufficiently sized, centrally located space is chosen.” CATALYST will post that info on our website when we get it.

Now, not to change the subject, but…get writing. You know, drawing would be interesting, too. Tell your friends. And email in the goodies. This is going to be interesting.

— Greta deJong

Greta deJong is editor and publisher of CATALYST magazine.