The last time I felt this way I was 16, and I was quitting my horse vaulting team.
After six years of out-of-state clinics and regional competitions, gymnastics-like routines on the backs of large, compliant horses (yes, like the circus) and lots of rather horrifying spandex unitards, I was in the throes of high school and ready for a change. Yet, walking away from the team meant saying goodbye to friends, to years of hard work, to part of my own identity.
This week, I’m doing it again as I leave Las Vegas Weekly.
I’ve spent the last six years working on this award-winning publication, first as its online editor, then as editor of the print magazine. From my first days in the office, I knew it was something special—a publication that breathes Las Vegas through every page and every story, a magazine written by people who live here for people who live here, about the issues that make life in the Valley hard and the strange wonders that make it vibrant and unique.
I’ve gotten to know the city through Weekly stories. I’ve sat in the UMC emergency room at midnight, and in the cockpit of an aerobatic plane pulling flips over the desert. I’ve stood with day laborers along Pebble Road, and at the Venetian Circle Bar during AVN, trying not to stare at all that taut, tan cleavage. And I’ve met fascinating people along the way, from the patron saint of the Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort to a champion hot dog eater to burlesque legend Tempest Storm, who clucked at me over the phone like a naughty fairy godmother. I’m pretty sure I turned to one of my cubemates the moment I hung up and gushed like a pre-teen with a crush.
I’ll miss everything about putting out Las Vegas Weekly, from the brainstorming sessions where ideas fly rapid-fire to the deadline rush when we’re all in the zone to heated debates over commas, connotations and the proper spelling of “glowstick.” I’ll miss the energy of editing a story that really sings, and the odd anticipation I still feel every Thursday when the new issue hits my desk. I’ll even miss our occasional flubs, like that devastatingly delicious sandwich photo from Johnny McGuire’s that ran on the cover the day before the restaurant decided to close, or the time we ran a McDonald’s McRib ad insert across the cover … on the issue about Steve Wynn’s experiment with veganism.
My work at the Weekly has defined me, but when I say goodbye this Friday and lug my old issues away in boxes topped with desk shwag and mismatched pens, I’ll miss my colleagues most of all. I’ve never worked with a group of people who laugh as much as the Weekly team does, who support each other so fiercely, who take so much pride in their work and find so much joy in creating the best damn magazine around. It’s been a privilege to serve as their editor.
I can’t imagine a better crew to bring the Weekly to you, so I’m thrilled to be leaving it in their very capable hands, under new Editor Spencer Patterson and Managing Editor Erin Ryan.
I know they’ll continue to deliver the kind of fresh, engaging stories that have made the Weekly a vital voice in this Valley for the last 16 years, and I know they’ll add their own special spice to the editorial stew, making it even better. When they do, I’ll be reading. Maybe they’ll even let me write a story or two.