Being the owners of Utah Valley Magazine means a lot of things (thousands of e-mails, big printing bills and meeting the Osmonds). But one of my favorite aspects is getting invited to community events such as the SCERA’s Star Awards. This is an annual gala where local artists are honored for their brush strokes, vocal chords and volunteer hours.In February 2009, Matt and I attend the Star Awards, where we ate dinner at a table with Alan and Karen Ashton. Love them. I also met Kurt Bestor and asked him for an interview, which ended up being our Nov/Dec cover story for Utah Valley Magazine.But perhaps the best part was meeting Arnold Friberg, who is best known for his patriotic and religious oil paintings. After receiving his Lifetime Achievement honor, he spoke eloquently and passionately — especially for someone in his mid-90s.Today, he passed away at age 96. Thank you, Arnold, for using your talent to paint “The Prayer at Valley Forge,” which hangs in the office Matt and I share together. It reminds us where true leaders get their inspiration.
‘In elementary school, I spent a day shadowing a reporter for The Post Register in Idaho Falls. We did cool things like interview a bus driver who slid off the icy roads with screaming kids on board. When I reported my career exploration project to the class, I created a giant front page with headlines like “Black and white photo developed in dark room” and “Reporters drink a lot of coffee.” The name of my made-up newspaper project was “Jeanette Gazette.” People laughed. This was my first successful rhyme and my first journalistic endeavor. But not my last.I liked the newspaper name so much that I created a second “Jeanette Gazette” for the pretend schoolhouse in our unfinished basement. (My older sister become a teacher. Probably because she practiced her lessons on me every day for years. Did I tell you I could read at age 4?) This version of Jeanette Gazette included info on upcoming parties for the faculty (which consisted of my sisters and a next-door neighbor) and field trips (which included the Idaho Falls Zoo, which I’m proud to say has gotten rid of its dingy, green lion cages). This time Jeanette Gazette was published by hand with markers on lined paper. Not very Gutenberg-esque, but it was the 1980s when people still rented VCRs and thought “laptops” were small dogs or thick afghans.Fast forward. My journalistic side turned glossy when my husband and I started Utah Valley Magazine 10 years ago. I’ve spent most of the past decade blurry eyed from spellchecking. (Why can’t the computer recognize “Timpanogos” and “BYU” as actual words?) People have suggested I start a blog where I give juicy behind-the-scenes details about being a magazine editor and a mom. Which always made me sigh deeply and slump back in my chair. The idea of blogging just seemed like more stress. More time. More spellchecking.Even so, I’ve finally decided to throw my reporter’s cap into the blogging ring and revive the Jeanette Gazette. (I just sighed and slumped.)