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Wow, time flies when you’re having fun

Larry Banman

This past week, I was asked to provide some comments regarding my time with the Middle Park Times. The paper has been continuously published since 1886, making it one of the oldest papers in Colorado.

My 16-year association as editor of the paper amounts to a mere 13 percent of that time period. However, as reporter Will Bublitz noted, I was the last editor of the Middle Park Times, as many of us have come to know the paper.

It should be noted that the Middle Park Times will continue to exist. It will hit news racks and post office boxes on Thursdays, which is a return to the publication day which was traditional for many decades. It will now have more of a countywide focus, which is the role the paper served in its earliest days of existence.

It is my understanding that the paper has been published from Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs, Kremmling and now Granby during its more than 100 years of existence. It lacks only the Fraser Valley to make it a complete countywide circuit. We often think of history only in terms of our experience, when what we know is really just a small slice of a much larger picture.

As I noted in my comments to reporter Bublitz, one of the most important role of a newspaper is to accurately reflect what happened in that community for the day or week. For hundreds of years, newspapers have been the most consistent record of history. From who was born to who died to everything that happens in-between, a newspaper must be accurate in what it reports.

Those who run newspapers have an awesome responsibility to be a conduit of that information. In essence, they are the gatekeepers for the information that finds its way into the most permanent history book that most communities will ever have.

I tried never to take that responsibility lightly. There were times that I agonized over putting something in the paper or leaving something out of the paper. I tried to realize that something more important than myself was at stake.

Even the most difficult news to report has to make it into the paper. In the emotion of the moment and out of respect for the feelings of those involved, it would have often been easier to let something go. However, I realized that someday, somebody would be counting on the Middle Park Times to have an accounting of what happened.

That kind of position didn’t always endear me to people, but it was my position that the reporting of history was always more important. That said, I always tried to be tasteful in whatever I did, whether it be funny or tragic or simply mundane.

I also realized that the newspaper in a town like Kremmling has to be the quickest, most reliable and accurate way to distribute information. No other format fills that role. Accuracy is also most important in that role because a notice with the wrong time, date or place is often worse than no notice at all.

A perfect editor I have never been. What I have done is to get as many faces and names in the paper as possible.

This past weekend, I had occasion to go through the archives prior to my tenure. I was quickly lost for an hour or two as I read about and saw pictures of many people whom I have met and know today.

The paper did a wonderful job of painting a picture of the year 1886. My hope is that someday, somebody will look at the years 1989-2007 and feel like they have a good idea of what happened in Kremmling and west Grand County during those years.

My desire is that the Middle Park Times will continue to paint that picture for the entire county. I will continue to help paint that picture with a glimpse at high school sports and through my column.


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