We received a letter to the editor via our website last week from a person who wrote “I do not own a phone,” in one of the required fields to get a letter published. Since we did not publish the letter yet, I will only use the writer’s first name, Moses.With Moses as a first name, of course I wanted to read what he’d written, but since Moses doesn’t own a phone and hasn’t replied to two email requests, I won’t publish his letter in its entirety. Moses suspected his letter wouldn’t get published, stating “it is not upbeat or bubble-gummy enough and may be taken as insulting to the staff of the Herald and or the local townsfolk.” Moses opened his letter with the following:“I hate to admit it, but I really do miss Jeff Burkhead. Love him or hate him, I would think the latter would be the norm. I think he offended too many people in the little town of Meeker. But, with that being said, He was a dog for news stories. He showed no fear in reporting the news, bad, good, gossip or otherwise. I feel that the Herald has gone downhill since his departure.”He goes on to say he believes I don’t dig into stories as deeply as Jeff did, “because of fear that if one offends someone, less coffee would be sold and less shopping would be done at a local business,” referring to the businesses my wife and I own.I replied to Moses via email. I too, miss Jeff. He did a great job during his tenure at the Herald Times. I know I don’t “hate” Jeff and I hope no one else does either. None of this is worth that.The truth is, the Herald Times is bigger than Jeff and me, our staff and even Moses.The Herald Times is the oldest business in Rio Blanco County, first published on Aug. 15, 1885, and every week since for the past 127 years. I love being a part of it and that’s all I am — a part — because no one could do this alone.I reprinted the “opening overture” written by founder James Lyttle and published in the first issue of the Meeker Herald. I hope we are still on course.In times like this, many people can use “upbeat” information.The Rio Blanco Herald Times is now before the citizens of Meeker, Rangely and the White River country as a candidate for their support and patronage.
From the August 15, 1885, edition of the Meeker Herald
Our opening overture will be brief. We will pass over the “long-felt-want” phrases and proceed to lay down our platform. After a short visit to Meeker, some time ago, we concluded that the country was good enough for us, and the consequence is — The Meeker Herald, which is now before the citizens of Meeker and the White River country as a candidate for their support and patronage. The Herald will not be run in the interests of the “rascals” out or the “rascals” in. We will confine ourselves to the local interests of Meeker and the White River valley, and we will at all times, to the best of our ability, promote and protect the same. The Herald will not be the medium through which private parties can air their personal grievances. We are not here exclusively for the benefit of our health, although we will have to acknowledge that the climate is delightful and the balmy and exhilarating air all that could be desired. The Herald will be conducted as a business enterprise.