Editor's Letter: Your Continued Connection to the Community
Apr 23, 2020 03:37PM
By Daisy Hutzell-Rodman
Daisy Hutzell-Rodman is the managing editor of Omaha Publications.
Spring arrived amid chaos and fear. Usually my favorite local weatherman notes the spring equinox with gusto—this year he barely registered that there was an equal amount of sunlight and moonlight on March 19. I never heard him state that it was the earliest spring equinox in 124 years, a fact I found interesting as I read it on national news sites.
Magazines plan months, sometimes a year, in advance. At Omaha Magazine, we planned for the May edition to be the Adventure Issue a minimum of three months prior to publication, and some large stories were started before then.
The city has read a publication called Omaha Magazine since 1890. Publisher Todd Lemke started the current Omaha Magazine in 1983.
The magazine survived the savings and loan crisis from 1986 to 1995, the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, and the Great Recession that ran from December 2007 to June 2009. Through it all, we have brought our readers timely articles that include philanthropic and cultural events around town. Some of the articles have seen a more hard-news bent, such as last month’s cover article about how the community came together to help save nearly 1/4 of an endangered goat species at one farm during last year’s historic flooding. Other articles cover the culture—music, theater, authors, locally produced films, art exhibitions, and more—that make this city’s heart beat.
This issue has come at a unique time in everyone’s lives. A year ago, we planned for the May issue to be an annual adventure issue, as late spring is when many prepare to go on vacation. Last year’s edition ended up changing a bit due to the spring floods and some staff changes at the magazine, but we still produced a great edition about people from the Omaha area taking great adventures.
People are the lifeblood of this city, and this magazine. It is who we produce articles about and for that make us so passionate about this product.
The coronavirus that hit Omaha in March changed the way the staff at Omaha Magazine works, but not the quality or the scope of the magazine that we are bringing to our readers. As we communicated via conference calls, email, and a new cloud-based system, we watched our friends and neighbors in various industries change the way they serve customers and used our website to promote which restaurants are still operating via pickup and/or delivery. We plugged our headphones into our home computers for privacy and continued producing the magazine you see in the following pages.
In most ways, this is the magazine we planned many months ago. In other ways, it is not. Omaha Magazine photographer Sarah Lemke, for example, had been traveling with her longtime boyfriend Julius Fredrick and came home unexpectedly, causing a change in plans for that article. A couple of articles will be brought to you in future issues due to subjects being quarantined or uneasy being photographed during these uncertain times. Another change we made for efficiency’s sake was printing OmahaHome inside Omaha Magazine instead of poly-bagging together these magazines.
One thing is certain. Omaha Magazine is here for our readers. We have brought you an outstanding edition filled with Omahans and their passion for travel, for adventure, and for fun.
Someday we will go back to going on adventures, and Omaha Magazine will connect you to those future stories; but for now, I hope everyone who is able stays home and uses the time to reconnect to friends and loved ones in a safe way, whether that is playing board games with spouses and children or telephoning a friend to say hello.