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Photo E. Wilde

Editor’s Letter; May 2023

My Last Editorial; with love and gratitude

Most of our readers are aware that I am retiring as editor of Questa Del Rio News; this is my last issue. Some community members are saying, “You’re still here? I thought you left!” Yes, it’s been a long goodbye — but, remember, this is not goodbye, more like, see ya around….

It has been a rich, wonderful, and enlightening experience bringing this newspaper to you every month. It’s been fun for me, and I hope it has been fun for our readers, as well as all those who have generously contributed to this effort in myriads ways. It would be impossible to count everyone who has been in our corner rooting for us; thank you.

Special thanks are in order to Questa Economic Development Fund; we began as their newsletter and look at us now! I would like to thank Malaquias “JR” Rael, whose idea it was to start a newspaper. And for Lindsay Mapes — together we did it! Despite the odds and how increasingly difficult it is for local news to survive and thrive, we continue to do it. Thanks especially to Christian Isely, former Community Affairs Advisor for Chevron who has been a loyal ally and our most avid supporter. We thank Chevron as our major financial sponsor, and all our funders, donors, advertisers, subscribers — all those who have given us money to further our mission. Much as we love giving this newspaper for free, it isn’t free to produce!
And there are countless people, hundreds, who have written articles, shared photos, poetry, and insights, those who have given us interviews and tips, those who have volunteered with us, and those who have called us to say, “Hey, this is going on and we want you to know about it.” Thank you, we couldn’t do it without you, and this is true, especially to my good-natured partner, Pete, whose patience and tolerance has been truly saintlike.

I will forever be indebted to those whom I have worked with over the last five years.* Our Questa Del Rio News staff has been so professional, cheerful, and committed with a common mission: “To Inform, Inspire, Connect and Unite the Communities of Northern Taos County.” I think we have succeeded in that mission.
It takes a village or, in this case, a few villages. This project has been a labor of love, a community service and a creative outlet for all of us at the Questa Del Rio News. I am sorry I cannot name every single person who has been with us from the beginning; you know who you are and how much you are appreciated. I would like to give a special message of love and appreciation to Emily Wilde and Lynn Skall, whom I will miss terribly. Wah, dang it, I am such a crybaby, sniff sniff….

I am not sad to go — it is time. I have done what I can for Questa Del Rio News and I am happy to pass the torch to the next generation and to welcome Questeña Mikayla Ortega is our new editor. It will be fun to watch the newspaper continue to evolve.

I had put my own creative projects on hold and the one thing I have learned from getting older is how important it is not to procrastinate. My to-do list is daunting and, with my editorial experience, I should try to cut it in half!

It is with sadness that I share that we will be moving to Taos. There is a housing shortage everywhere, which has become a crisis; our population continues to grow as our resources dwindle. This housing shortage is keenly felt right here in Questa. Many families who would like to return to Questa, as well as those who have found jobs, but not homes, stay away…. I sincerely hope that Questeños will honor their ancestors by fixing up the beautiful adobe homes that are sitting empty. We have taken an adobe “ruin” and turned it into a beautiful home. It was a good investment and richly rewarding. Even though we have not found our dream home in Questa, it will always have a place in our hearts.

We have come to love this area, especially the people and all the unique things they do here. During my time with the newspaper, I was way too swamped to enjoy much of what was offered. My hope is that, despite living farther away, we can continue to support the community, and the newspaper, in any way we can.

I hope you will join us for my “going away party” on Wednesday May 3, from 5-7 pm at El Monte Carlo. Food will be served and the bar will be open for business!

Fare thee well, my friends,
and see ya round!
Lou McCall, founding editor of Questa Del Rio News.
*Five years, I just learned, is called a lustrum, like 10 years is called a decade… see page 16 for more.