Made in and for the Roaring Fork Valley

Most months, my editor’s letter explains how the articles we’ve picked relate to a theme, and this one is no exception. I’m going to tell you how my favorite local product, this magazine, came to be.

But let me start with a confession: when it came to selling “beat tags”, I was a waste of space.

“Beat tags” were little chunks of cardboard on string tags that were sold before high school football games. They bore catchy mottos like, “Go Kennedy High! Beat Lincoln!” My senior class asked me to sell 10¢ beat tags to help pay for a class trip.

That was the hardest 50¢ I ever earned!

Each time I tried to approach a customer, my heart would pound. I’d break into a cold sweat. I wanted to bolt in terror. I couldn’t fathom how bits of paper could possibly affect the physical prowess of the quarterback, or why anyone would want to give me their dime. (Don’t write to explain. Years later, when I went to management school courtesy of General Electric, they managed to explain team dynamics to me.)

Which is why, right now, I’m tossing my editor’s cap into the air and saying “hip, hip, hooray” for the man who made this magazine exist.

Nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. Drives a shiny, black pickup truck, has a handsome head full of silver hair, and a big grin. And a talent for sales that would have taken my whole senior class to Hawaii. I’m talking about my boss, Rick French. The guy who hired me for a job I happen to love.

Rick had already made this magazine a reality long before I showed up. He had a vision for a publication that would tell neighborly tales, build communities, and build businesses too. It’s working.

He’s done it for two years now, and that’s impressive. Not only because he’s done it here in the mid valley where other publications haven’t made the grade, but also that he’s done it in a fairly rural environment. Roaring Fork Lifestyle has about 50 sister publications around the country now, nearly all of them in big cities. I think it might have been that fact that earned Rick French a featured speaker role at the big Lifestyle conference in Missouri last fall.

You’re not going to hear many sales pitches from the editor; she got beat by beat tags.

But I’m making a pitch for Rick French. He made it happen for this magazine.

With your help.

If you’ve got a business, he’s a good guy to have on your team.

Give him a hand. Call him up and buy an ad!