La Plata County is full of stories. New stories. Old stories. Stories by people whose ancestors were here centuries ago; stories by people who moved here just recently.
At The Durango Herald, we tell the stories of our community every day. Now, we want to hear you tell your stories – of your neighbors, co-workers and family. That’s why we have created Durango Diaries, an in-person storytelling series.
Beginning Wednesday and then every other week, the Herald will feature community members who are willing to share their stories in person on stage.
Each session will feature two to four community members talking about a topic important to Durango and La Plata County.
We start with where we are: “Home.” In our first session, some well-known locals will share their stories about why they have made Durango their home. Kicking off this series:
Duane Smith: A local historian and former Fort Lewis College history professor, Smith moved to Durango in 1964 and spent 50 years teaching at FLC. He has written 75 books, including one on the history of The Durango Herald. Now “retired,” Smith spends his time writing, talking local history and focusing on his two favorite topics: mining and baseball (mainly the Cubs).
Jaime and Marcos Wisner: Marcos is a fifth-generation Durangoan. After graduating high school, he traveled the world working as a cook for eight years. His résumé reads like the who’s who of where to be seen dining: New York City’s Torrisi, Jean Georges and Eleven Madison Park; California’s Hama Hermosa and Napa’s Restaurant at Meadowood. Finally, he landed a four-month stint at Copenhagen’s Noma, a restaurant ranked among the Top 10 in the world. He returned to Durango a few years ago, determined to bring something new and innovative to the town he grew up in. He and his father, Jaime, initially started The Box, a food truck, which led the way to starting 11th Street Station, a food collective he and Jaime launched in October.
Jaime was born in Mexico City and came to Durango for a week’s visit. Forty years later, he is still here, having earned a few degrees from FLC, spent 25 years in the travel business, worked in real estate and, in 1988, bought the property on the corner of 11th Street and Main Avenue.
Marc Katz: Marc and his wife, Jane, left Seattle about 28 years ago looking for a better place to live. They settled on Durango. Marc originally owned a computer-training company, which he operated for about 10 years. But with the 2000 bust in the technology industry, he began to seek a new career path. His brother, Jeff, who had worked in the credit card business, proposed starting a credit card services sales company, and together they launched Mercury Payment Systems, eventually selling the company to Vantiv. Marc and Jane purchased about 1,600 acres on Ewing Mesa and the Purgatory Nordic Center property. In early retirement, Marc spends his time focusing on ways he can help improve Durango.
The themes for our next Durango Diaries will be “Snowdown” and “Love Stories.” We’ll share more themes soon.
As we move forward, we will dive into more serious issues, such as drug use, suicide and homelessness.
We will also share the comedic and beautiful stories about members of our community.
And we want to hear from you. What issues do you want to have a dialogue about? Tell us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.