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A dozen years and counting

Brief by Central Staff

Colorado Central – March 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

With this edition, Colorado Central celebrates its 12th birthday; the first edition was dated March, 1994.

It was “The monthly magazine for survivors of cabin fever.” In the trade, that’s known as a “tagline,” and our thought was that most magazines have taglines, so we should too. But we never could decide on one to use all the time, so we change it every month (although, when we looked back on the 10th birthday, we discovered that we had repeated a couple of them). Suggestions are always welcome.

It was also Edition No. 1, rather than “Volume I, No. 1,” and this is Edition No. 145, rather than “Volume 13, No. 1.” Since we don’t bind them in volumes, and we don’t know anyone who does, we figured plain straight- through numbering made more sense.

Colorado Central began with 32 pages per edition; our last 32- pager was May, 1998. Our first 40- pager was November, 1995; the last 40- pager was March, 2003. We generally run 48 pages a month now. The first 48- pager was July, 1996.

In July, 2002, we ran our first 56- page edition. July is our biggest month for advertising; we also ran 56 pages in July of 2003 and 2004. In 2005, we ran 56 pages in July, August, and September.

As for the magazine’s general appearance, the biggest change came with the August, 2003, edition. We changed the “flag” (the “Colorado Central” on the cover) to a cleaner design that took less space, and in the process eliminated the little steam locomotive. It soon returned by popular demand. Even if the trains no longer roll through Salida, it was the railroads which defined and connected our region.

We also switched from spot color to full process color with the August, 2003, edition, and we’re still learning how to work with it. Some months the color looks pretty good, and other months, well, we’ll be charitable to ourselves and pass over that.

Just about every aspect of production has changed since 1994, when we took pasted- up flats to the printer; now our pages are burned onto a CD. We even delivered them electronically once, but it turned out that it’s faster to burn the CD and walk the six blocks to the printing plant than to transfer 50 megabytes even on a high- speed internet connection.

Now, almost all of our free- lance material arrives by email; back then, most of it came in on paper, although some writers sent it on floppy disk (and some still do).

But some things haven’t changed. Our mailing date remains the penultimate Tuesday of the prior month (i.e., the next- to- last Tuesday of February — the 21st this year — for the March edition). We’ve missed that only a couple of times.

Just as in the beginning, a lot of the work is still done on our kitchen table. Our first edition had pieces by Lynda La Rocca and Hal Walter, and they’re both still writing for Colorado Central.

We thank them, and the dozens of other writers, artists, and photographers who have worked with us over the years to produce 5,928 pages of the monthly magazine for people who can’t figure out a permanent tagline for a monthly magazine.