Greener pastures

Greener pastures

The year was 2004. George W. was president, Janet Jackson malfunctioned on TV, Lance Armstrong won his sixth Tour, Thomas the Tank rolled onto American screens and “Friends” called it a night. And FLC grad Lainie Maxson bravely stepped up to sell ads at a fledgling alt weekly, The Durango Telegraph.

Of course the rest is Durango herstory. In the 17 years that followed, Lainie survived a myriad ups and downs, including two recessions, three printers, five office spaces, six photographers and a revolving cast of sidekicks that cycled through like “Spinal Tap” drummers. Throw in a couple big wildfires, floods, droughts, an orange reality TV star as president, a pandemic and a few scandals including the infamous “Moe’s Martini Gate,” and there was never a dull moment.

And through it all, Lainie managed to keep her pleasant demeanor, sharp wit, keen fashion sense (no one can rock a hat like Lainie, the Queen Mum not withstanding) and fierce faith in the paper. Perhaps most memorable, when things got really bad, and I threatened to jump from my office window, Lainie was there with the simple reminder to breathe (and that jumping from the ground floor would only be futile.)

Aside from her ad sales prowess, Lainie is a talented wordsmith, who brought us her brilliant weekly “Haiku Movie Review,” as well as many of the more memorable Page 1 toppers and “Ear to the Grounds.” (Keep ’em coming!) In addition, she has been a faithful delivery girl, “Word on the Street” wrangler and curator of the vaunted wall of “Man Meat.” All while keeping a spotless desk and having the best office Spotify playlist. In other words, she did a lot – despite never getting to truly experience a Monday holiday, because while the news may snooze, it never sleeps.

Well, lucky for her (and unlucky for us) that is about to change. This is the last issue of the Telegraph with Lainie aboard – she has accepted a new job as KDUR development director at her alma mater. While we will miss her smiling face and styley hatlery, we wish her luck, which she will need working with Liggett and Lynch (#jk). We take solace in the fact that we will at least be able to hear her voice during her weekly radio show, in which she has pinkie sworn to never, ever play a bluegrass cover of Prince. 

So, if you see Lainie, congratulate her on her new adventure as well as a job well done and buy her a drink (hint: prosecco). And if you happen to see her cavorting about, footloose and fancy free on Labor Day, tell her we said “hi.”

(PS: While we can never replace Lainie, we are in the process of trying to fill her ad sales position at the Tele. If you have some sales chops, a sweet hat collection and don’t mind a little sarcasm, give us a shout at telegraph@durangotelegraph.com)  

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