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Maybe it was selective hearing, but it seemed like every time Charlie Johnston and I left the pavement during our Nevada travels we had one choice on the FM dial: country music. And that was just fine with us.
Whether it was Rodney Atkins’ “Take A Back Road” or Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” these became our rural Nevada ballads. Maybe it was a Luke Bryan song, or Toby Keith—whoever the artist, there are a dozen or so country songs that will forever transport me mentally to a dusty road in the Silver State. Charlie and I have driven hundreds, if not thousands, of miles on Nevada’s gravel byways.
So, it is with impeccable timing—in an issue that includes a feature story written by Charlie titled “Gravel in Our Travel”—that we send off our associate editor to a new chapter in his life. By the time this edition reaches newsstands and subscribers, he will have settled into his new home state of Colorado, where we are confident he will continue to shine as a competitive marathon runner.
Whether it was climbing Boundary Peak or Wheeler Peak, watching an annular solar eclipse from (nearly) the top of Arc Dome, or feasting on steak and sushi on the Las Vegas Strip, Charlie and I have had some memorable Nevada adventures to say the least. But loyal readers of the magazine already know that; if you’re new to Nevada Magazine, do yourself a favor and read some of Charlie’s work since he arrived here in 2007. I think you’ll agree that he’s one of the most talented staff writers and photographers we’ve had in our publication’s 77-year history.
As if that wasn’t enough heartache for one old editor to handle (need I remind you that longtime art director Tony deRonnebeck resigned in February), it is also with a heavy heart that we announce the departure of our veteran editor and production artist Melissa Loomis, who retired from the magazine in April. September 2012 marked Melissa’s 30th anniversary with Nevada Magazine.
Melissa first appeared in the Nevada Magazine indicia as an Associate Editor in the December 1982 issue. Her contribution to the magazine over three-plus decades is invaluable, including a stint as Events Editor before she assumed her most recent role in the production (design) department. In recent years, she spearheaded the creation of our annual Nevada Historical Calendar that is cherished by history buffs.
If you’re curious about the title of this Editor’s Note…yes, all good things must come to an end. But I choose to look at it like a new beginning for Charlie and Melissa. Please enjoy this issue as we close a remarkable chapter in our history and say goodbye to two great friends. Nevada Magazine would not be what it is today without them.
Cover Models: Melissa Loomis was on the cover of our February 2006 issue (top), a tribute to The Loneliest Road in America. Charlie Johnston is on the cover of this issue, releasing a hawk atop the Goshute Mountains.
Matthew B. Brown, Editor