One last (print) run: reader comments on the news of Greta’s retirement and the end of CATALYST in print

By John deJong

In mid-October we launched our campaign inviting you, the reader, to help us financially to bring this final issue to print. We also invited readers to leave memories and reflections, along with words of farewell for our departing staff, as John and Greta retire, Sophie heads to grad school, Polly revives her stained glass business and Emily takes up her new job at the University of Utah. (CATALYST continues in the able hands of the Minduct organization with Jenn Blum at the helm and Sophie and myself as volunteer support.)

Some of you we know personally; many others, we wish we did. There wasn’t enough space to publish all the notes, but here’s a generous sampling.

Connecting with readers has been, and will continue to be, our reason for being. Hearing from you has made this all worthwhile!

—Greta Belanger deJong


Greta, so thrilled you are taking a leap to whatever next grand adventure awaits you. I don’t doubt it will be awesome, whatever you do. And to your amazing team, can’t wait to see the new projects and progress that comes from you all.—Valerie Holt (Common Good Press former board president)


We love you so much, and you will be deeply missed. Thank you for all you’ve done for our community.—Laura Dupuy


I moved to Salt Lake from Amsterdam, at the very end of 1999. Colorful CATALYST was around, in all the places I loved to go to (for FREE!), and helped me feel welcome in this new city and continent. CATALYST has always been there and it has helped me get connected to some great resources. It has been a bright light of inspiration. I also loved the feel of the pages, the smell of the ink, and the colors jumping off of the pages. Thank you Greta, John, and everyone else, for creating it!—Ilse DeKoeyer


CATALYST has truly transformed Utah for the better. Thanks for doing the crazy-amazing work you have for decades. You ushered me into a new world of possibility and acceptance, as teen who didn’t quite fit in the old ’80’s SLC. Big gratitude!—Bonnie Christiansen, WSU Intermountain Sustainability Summit


What a service CATALYST has provided! It has felt like a lifeline to me as a Utah non-native, helping me feel the oasis of healing and creativity that is Salt Lake City. Connecting me to like-minded folks, clients and colleagues. Thank you, thank you, thank you Greta for your vitality and vision…and for the many dances on the floor. Blessings and good fortune to you in your next steps.—Shannon Simonelli, Luminous Life Maps


I’ve lived a lot of places since I was a Salt Laker and a CATALYST writer in the 90’s. I’ve still never seen as pretty, varied and informative a journal as this mag!!! Looking forward to the next variant! Do magazines have shoes to fill? These past 400 CATALYSTs left large prints…—Bruce Plenk, CATALYST food writer, ca. 1990


You are a great part of our community! Enjoy your retirement!—Marci Rasmussen, Especially For You


I feel such sadness about saying goodbye to the CATALYST print editions. Almost from the beginning of publication I’ve enjoyed thumbing through the pages, enjoying the articles and getting the real scoop on environmental issues, seeing ads for businesses I didn’t know existed and enjoying the calendar of events and what is happening each day in our world of living. I was relieved, when it went digital, that the look and ‘feel’ of it survived, and I hope it will continue in the next iteration. I always looked forward to picking it up at the rec center and sharing it with my exercise friends, especially my yoga instructor (shoutout to Charlotte Bell—hope your articles continue!) My best hopes go to the next generation and hope I will be able to keep up!—Chris Riggle


I discovered CATALYST Magazine when I first moved to SLC in 1991 and its alternative voice became one of my favorite go-to resources. I especially loved the frame-worthy cover art. It has gone through many format changes over the years, but I still love it. Thank you and best of success to Greta Belanger deJong and John deJong.—Kate Randall, Red Butte Garden


CATALYST created a community which I adopted when I came to SLC in the late 80’s. I have appreciated the support, networking and like-minded people who foster small businesses, art and performance, as well as out-of-the-box thinking. I look forward to the next chapter of CATALYST.—Eva Kauffman, Streamline Pilates


CATALYST has been a part of my life ever since I moved here in 1986. Thank you and good luck as you move on!—Debora Threedy


Invaluable work and reporting for so many years in our community.—Bonnie and Denis Phillips, Phillips Gallery


Your publication has been a mainstay in the community. I’ve loved it from the beginning – eagerly awaiting its arrival on newsstands. Thank you for your outstanding work!—Leslie Scopes Anderson


So sad!!! I love your magazine and life won’t be the same without you. This is so sad!!!—Dana Williamson, Wasteless Solutions


Thank you CATALYST! I have looked forward to reading your magazine for many years and appreciate the insightful, timely articles.—Susan Leary


CATALYST remains a gem. Kudos to Greta and her team!—Roger McDonough  KCPW


So proud of the work my magical aunties have done through the years with CATALYST. I have fond memories of flipping thru and spying the secret family pictures snuck in between the articles, and have loved the stories and advocacy shared by all of the CATALYST team. Much love on the end of this chapter and best of luck on the next!—Maria Robinson, Greta’s great-niece and birthday twin; Polly’s niece


Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for your tireless contribution and commitment to a like-minded community that started out with a small voice, and with your work, has grown and is thriving! I can’t wait to see what the future holds!—Brenda Kell


Go Greta! You deserve a break! But glad to have been a (little) part of it—Art Goodtimes, former CATALYST columnist


This is a sad day on McClelland Street. No more all-nighters signaled by Greta’s office lamp warmly lighting the aspen tree in front of Big Pink! Wishing Greta and John health and joy on their new path!—Donald “Rusty’ Kirkpatrick, CATALYST’s longtime neighbor


Great magazine. Relevant and interesting local content you don’t find elsewhere. Keep up the good work!—Oresta Esquibel


I have loved reading CATALYST for so many years! Thank you Greta (and John) for bringing me joy each month with healthy, sustainable and innovative content, while connecting me to a community that I adore. I miss the printed issues but I will cherish this last copy.—Stacy Hafer


Love all your art, stories, and information. Thanks for being the stable beacon of reason and hope in our lives! Wish you the VERY BEST Life has to offer.—Lori Egly


CATALYST has always brought me such joy and inspiration! Thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication through all these years. Much love,—Susan Dillon , former Common Good Press board member


Thank you for being a grounding and spiritual nourishment for our community. Every since I made Salt Lake City my home, your magazine helped balance the print information I absorbed and taught me so much about sustainability and local support. I am grateful for having shared space with you all and will grow with you into the ongoing digital platform. All the love,—Paula Webster, Creative Mornings


What a milestone 400th edition. Best of luck—Jeanette Bonnell


Thank you so much for making Utah a better place for all humans who live here and love it. A true community resource we were/are lucky to have!—Talia Keys, musician


I moved to SLC in 1994 to attend the ballet program at the U. I remember being so thrilled to find a publication that was in line with my interests. I have eagerly sought out your beloved magazine each month for years now. Your publication has enriched my life. Thank you  all!—Jennifer Beaumont


We love CATALYST—Nate & Sam Wheelock


CATALYST helped me find community as a 20-year-old college student who had recently moved to Utah in the early 80’s. Thank you for all you’ve done to build a progressive community in Utah!—Deeda Seed, Center for Biological Diversity


Thank you Greta and all of the CATALYST contributors for giving me a place to feel at home. Every month I eagerly grabbed a copy of the magazine to enjoy your artful, political, authentic, insightful, and welcoming community publication during the 30 years I’ve lived in Salt Lake City. Stories of how to be born, how to die, how to grow a garden, and how to support the community cemented my feelings that this was indeed the place. You have created a legacy that will live on and continue to inspire new generations to create warm, welcoming communities. I honor that contribution. Thank you.

On a personal note, I must say that I will miss the print version of the magazine greatly, if this will truly be its swan song. Admittedly I have read the magazine much less during the pandemic because my tolerance for screens is low, and for me the act of reading is more pleasurable and physically engaging on paper. I look forward to receiving a print copy of issue 400!—Joelle Dickson


Thanks so much for all the great reporting and resources that you provide for our community. CATALYST has been a real asset and I hope it carries on in some form at least.”—Alice Mulder, Weber State University


Love the CATALYST fam. Thanks for all your hard work and involvement. You’ve been a paramount publication connecting communities together and helping this city and its readers thrive.”—Aja Domingo


I joined CATALYST as an intern in 2019. I had just graduated college and moved to SLC without any real roots here in the community. Greta, John, Sophie and the rest of you all welcomed me with open arms and CATALYST became my home. Now, I know that CATALYST is more than a magazine. Through the disruption of this 2020 year, we have been reminded of the impermanence of many of the structures we once relied upon as constants. Simultaneously, we’re grappling with some very terrible “isms” that work to divide and exclude community healing and care. As a magazine, CATALYST may be impermanent, but as an “ism”—a good one—it will live on through each of us and continue to spark the creative energy and spiritual nourishment needed to move forward. Thank you, CATALYST staff and community, for the opportunity to engage not only in an excellent magazine, but in an ongoing movement. Thank you for the perspective, the wisdom, the inspiration and the love.”—Emily Spacek, staff


Greta and team, I miss living next door to you! Thanks for being the most wonderful neighbor and community member of Salt Lake. —Evan Melquist, one of several  delightful “neighbor boys”


I have so much love for CATALYST and everyone involved in it! Thank you for not only your years of service to our community, but for the tremendous impact you have all had on my life personally. Greta, you are a wonder and everyone in your life is very lucky to know you! Thank you!—Emily Marie Millheim, former CATALYST  staff


Greta, congratulations on your retirement and achievement in printing your 400th edition! Thank you for your persistence, community organizing, and leadership. I will miss seeing CATALYST on the stand. It softened my landing as a non-white change agent moving to Salt Lake City in 2001, served as supporting reminder during the dozen years I lived there that I was surrounded by other engaged caring locals and now, when I now pass through town, a heartening welcome to see the consistent steady growth of the creative community. Looking forward to hearing about your next set of adventures and what form your activism takes next.—Sam Reddy


I have enjoyed so much reading, thumbing thru, or just looking at the wonderful CATALYST  for the last 20 years!! I’m so sad!! Thank you so much for the years of wonderful magazine!!—Sondra Pickering


“Love you all!”—Jesse Walker, who DJed many a CATALYST party


Congratulations Greta and John, forever bound to all those who witnessed the 2017 solar eclipse together, up at Eversheds’ ranch. Thanks for all the chakra adjustments over these many years.—Cliff Butter


Awwwww, c’mon….can’t imagine my life here since my move in the mid-80’s without CATALYST. …my community.—Dee Downing 


Love CATALYST, love Greta and all of you! Wishing you all the very best!—Gwen Crist


Thanks Gret, John, Sophia and the whole crew of many years. Missing you already.—Willy Littig


Oh my! That is big news! Bittersweet for sure… and a new chapter begins…—Kindra Fehr, former columnist


Thanks to CATALYST for giving me a foot in the door of meaningful journalism. I will always be so grateful for this magazine!!—Avrey Evans, former intern


Wow!!! Thank you Greta for all your hard work and amazing insight. Utah is a better place because if your efforts. Dang, though.—Scotty Soltronic


Congratulations on your 38-year run at CATALYST. I can’t imagine all of the twists and turns you navigated throughout the years and how much joy and excitement you brought into your community! As a dedicated reader for 15 years, I can say you have enriched my own life with so many stories and learning opportunities. Thank you.—Lexi Kaili


Thanks for making CATALYST a thing. It reminds me of late nights at coffeeshops with friends, and all of the best things about Salt Lake. I’ll miss flipping through the paper copy, but look forward to seeing where CATALYST goes next. Hope retirement treats you well!—Mairin Rose Buckley


So proud of all that you have accomplished and so honored to be your friend and part of your support. Wishing you so much joy and abundance as you step into what is next. —Carolynn Bottino, All the Details Bookkeeping


Greta, thank you for putting out this incredible magazine that I have enjoyed for so many years! I will truly miss seeing it in print… I still love print, and we will miss your spirit behind it! I know it’s been left in good hands and it’s time to go digital. The content has been so full of light and love, informative, sometimes uncomfortable to read and always a treasure in my life! —Laurie Bray


Dearest Catalyst, What you have meant to me: The reassurance that I am not alone.

That other people in Utah care about what I care about.

That learning new things is not only possible each day, but that someone has taken the time to lay out a directory, a direction, a map for where to find, literally, the honey in these here hills.

That complacency is my enemy and that people are waving their arms in my face to say: Go forth and be helpful. Every month in Catalyst I’m reminded of what people are doing; I’m catalyzed.

That words matter, and proofreading matters. That reading and books and theatre and music still matter.

That the community, which seemed small and valiant when I moved here 28 years ago, is now large and valiant and much more diverse.

That everywhere I look, I’ve been taught to see: that the Great Salt Lake is truly Great. That pollution is in no way an abstract, distant danger to my health. That trees are large and valiant and diverse. That CATALYST will, every month, find yet another way to open up for me this landscape of life and love and danger that is Utah.—Dorothee Kocks

Thanks to all who share fond memories of CATALYST, and especially to those who have shared them with us.

This article was originally published on December 1, 2020.