This is my last issue of Desert Companion. (Boom, needle scratch, mic drop, gasps and murmurs ripple through the crowd!) Gawd, I’ve had such fun, such fulfillment, but it’s time for a break and something new. The deathless mandates of capitalism will vacuum my mind and body back into the labor force soon enough, so I’m taking a slacky sabbatical-type pause thang while I still have the fortitude to withstand the suction.
The privilege of serving as editor of Desert Companion represents the culmination of a squiggly Vegas journo career arc I certainly never planned and probably never deserved. I started with self-published punk and skate ’zines in the ’80s, lucked into the alt-weekly explosion of the ’90s, and then, in 2010, CEO Flo Rogers and Director of Development Melanie Cannon gave me and impossibly talented Art Director Christopher Smith a chance to grow Nevada Public Radio’s nascent city-regional magazine. We leaned into their vision of Desert Companion as a vehicle to celebrate, explore, and explain our fascinating city — in a manner ennobled by the mission of public radio. Over the last 12-plus years, I hope we brought you some reliable measure of delight, pleasure, wonder, edification, or fruitful consternation. I hope we helped to vividly and richly articulate Las Vegas’ sometimes elusive sense of place.
Along the way, we somehow managed to attract insane talent, the true engine of this magazine: Scott Dickensheets, Scott Lien, Brent Holmes, and dozens of brilliant writers, artists, and photographers. And last but most definitely not least, we were blessed with Heidi Kyser, who will serve as Desert Companion’s interim editor. Knowing that she’ll be taking the reins assures me that my tenure as editor is ultimately a foundational Phase 1 for the magazine’s exciting future. Heidi’s voracious curiosity, passion for storytelling, and blazing intellect will only steer Desert Companion onward and upward. I’m so stoked. I’ll finally get to read Desert Companion as a subscriber and see what the fuss is all about.
I love you, Las Vegas.