Don’t they go by in a blink? It all started on Wednesday, June 26, 1974, with a special “Buyers Guide Edition.” Its cover toted daily flights to Denver on a new local airline, informed that phone rates for 600 families would be reduced and profiled local ox enthusiast Miguel Armijo.
“The fingers of Armijo’s hands are shaped like the bills of huge, gnarled birds. With them he has hewn logs into fences and made ox carts with axles as large as a young tree,” the story read. “He has bent wood into yokes, and carved miniature oxen out of cedar. The hands still fold into a strong, meaningful fist when [his oxen] Navajo and Apache act up.”
Armijo recalled how he had been kicked out of restaurants and barbershops due to his “dark complexion.” Later in the story he would reflect, “A few years back Gringos and Spanish began to like each other. I’m glad to see that happen. Gringos change. Both nations have changed.”
That human-interest element was a common thread in that first issue and continues to be a Reporter staple today. Retaining the best of “old journalism” and delivering “news of their own city, the news of their neighbors, the news of the things that affect their lives and the lives of their neighbors” to Santa Feans has been our priority since then.
“Why The Reporter?” a mission statement of sorts from our first issue, holds truths that still stand strong today. Inside this package you’ll find testaments from editors and publishers past, along with some vintage ads sure to tickle your nostalgic fancy, a time capsule of Santa Fe in the year SFR was launched and a tale of a near-murder with ink replacing blood. We also look forward thanks to Richard Stolley, the man responsible for securing the Zapruder film for LIFE magazine. Read his take on the future of media here.
Contributors old and new, we share this landmark moment with you. We tip our hat to the countless journalists who worked insanely long hours to put together this weekly product. Those who sacrificed being present at their child’s first steps in lieu of meeting deadline, forgot meaningful anniversaries—but never to properly attribute a quote—and were no-shows at countless other important functions and milestones, all the while never skipping an editorial meeting. Professionals who after their tenure here started their own publications, have shone at outlets such as Salon and the Wall Street Journal, went on to win prestigious national awards and fellowships, or got burnt out due to the thankless nature of the job, said, ‘Fuck it!’ and started working at a record shop. We celebrate all of you. We wholeheartedly thank you as well.
Most importantly this issue is dedicated to you, our readers. It’s you who have stuck with us though thick and thin, through the advent of that newfangled Internet and swimsuit-clad deities, through strongly worded letters to the editor that have kept us in check. Those of you that give a pat on the back upon meeting an SFR staffer or offer a kind word. My landlord for knocking $50 off my rent “to help with the cause.” We are indebted to all of you.
So sit back, relax and enjoy. Here’s to whatever the future holds. Oh, and I see you’ve been eying that cake. Don’t worry, we saved you a corner piece.