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The Look Back

Let’s begin with an auspicious quote, shall we? “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Perfect! Thanks, William Faulker. That’s just the sort of deepish aphorism we need to embark on this, our rolling celebration of 10 years of Desert Companion. That’s right, as of 2017, the magazine you’re currently enjoying on your couch, in a coffee shop or at the wheel of your car has been your guide to living in Southern Nevada for a full decade. Hooray, us!

We’ll mark the occasion with a special, super-fancy, redesigned 10th anniversary issue in September, possibly a massive shindig of some kind and — if certain people have their way — branded vuvuzelas. (Fingers crossed!) Watch this space and for more details as the time approaches.

Until then, because Faulkner’s right about the past never being dead, we will use this space each month to highlight different undead facets of the magazine’s life and times. Let’s begin with an overview blast of factoids:

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First issue: January 2007

First cover: “The Really Great Outdoors”

Issues important to the magazine: “Sense of place,” “pride in community” — from Lamar Marchese’s president’s letter in first issue

Familiar names in first issue: Christopher Smith, still art director; contributors John Curtas, Michael Green, Matt Jacob

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90: Number of issues altogether, counting this one

3: Issues of Desert Companion Family, not counted above

Frequency: It began with three issues a year, then bumped up to bimonthly and with the January 2011 issue went monthly

2: Number of editors — Phil Hagen (2007-2010), Andrew Kiraly (2010-present)

Genealogy: Before Desert Companion, Nevada Public Radio published the Cultural Guide and an Almanac

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Most frequent cover motif: Food and drink, 22 times, in nearly every incarnation, from Caesar salad to steaks (twice), sea bass to escargots, ice cream to donuts, burgers to pasta, beer to, er, beer

Quote from 2008 that sounds eerily current: “Let’s not talk politics for a moment. With the finish line in sight, we’ve been blogged out and You-Tubed to the max.” — Florence Rogers, president’s note, September-October 2008

Second most frequent cover motif: Fashion, 11 times

2: Covers featuring kayakers

Dubious parenting advice from 2009: “Yet Nevada is a fantastic place to raise kids, for they are exposed to the worst from an early age.” — Dayvid Figler, Winter-Spring 2009

1: Statewide staff road trips, chronicled in May 2016

Wise advice from 2010: “Going forward, rational exuberance is key: Las Vegans, like all Americans, need to retrain themselves to think more like casino owners than casino players, to be realistic and disciplined instead of finger-crossing, magical-thinking suckers.” — Kurt Andersen, from “2020 Visions,” January-February 2010