There's a saying that I'm often reminded of when we face challenges or when we find ourselves in the midst of celebration—"Standing on the shoulders of those who came before us."
In difficult times, I often remind myself of the people who've come before me—I guess for lack of a better word, my ancestors. My challenges seems so small in comparison to bringing everything you own over the border on horseback or covered wagon as my great-grandfather did from Guaymas, Sonora and my great-great-grandmother did from Magdalena, Sonora. I figure, knowing many of the stories of what they faced and what their children faced, my obstacles are small.
In celebration, I think of the same people, too, and as my family has grown smaller over the years and my friends have become more important in my life, I always recognize that I stand on the shoulders of many people in Tucson and people who've mentored me and helped me in my work over the years. So when I was recently promoted as managing editor of the Tucson Weekly, I thought of all those amazing shoulders—my son, friends, co-workers, interns, sources, readers, fans and critics, and past editors, specifically thinking of Jimmy Boegle and Dan Gibson, and especially our former assistant editor Irene Messina, who left in September to take a job with Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild's office. I miss her every day.
I wish Dan Gibson the best in his new work with Visit Tucson. He brought a true love for Tucson to this paper, along with a love for writing and music. I know part of his vision for the paper will continue, just like part of Boegle's vision remained. But we know change can be difficult for Tucson, and sometimes while going through change, it's good to reflect on those who came before us and take a moment to thank them.
So here I am. I can't really say I feel the heat as of yet and I think my time in the industry has given me some much-needed tough skin. What I feel is an excitement for the Weekly. We have a new staff writer, Heather Hoch, whose primary focus is food and music. The little buzz I've heard so far from folks downtown makes me realize we've made a great choice. Get to know her this issue in an interview in our Chow section on Page 15 and be sure to catch-up with her in the dead tree issue and online at Daily.TucsonWeekly.com. Next week, we'll announce a second staff writer coming on board—a former intern who carries a fire for news and community the way I did when I first came to the Weekly.
Growing staff and a new editor means a new vision for the Weekly that is, well, almost the old vision to some extent—returning to news coverage and actally making ass-kicking part of our story development conversation. It's remembering we're an alternative newsweekly after all—nothing wrong with strengthening those roots and getting back to what has always been part of the fire I carry, and it's what a large percentage of our readers desire, too. I expect we'll restructure other parts of the paper, and in fact, you'll notice this issue we've brought Chow forward, right after news. Nowadays folks, it's all about the food and drink; at least that's what we hear from you.
And speaking of you, we want you back. I've missed your letters to the editor, good or bad, and I've missed running guest opinion columns. This week we figure out how to make room for your voice—your return to the pages of the Tucson Weekly.
It's a vision that's a homecoming of sorts—at least that's how I want to look at it. So, let's stand on the shoulders of everyone who's come before us. Welcome home.
Mari Herreras, Managing Editor