EDITORíS DESK: A year to write a story
One of the challenges on a small newspaper is dealing with topics that require extensive interviews and/or research. A big paper can just assign someone to do nothing
but that topic until it's done. On a paper like ours, such a story can take months, with progress measured by a phone call here or a document there, after which the
project may be shelved again because time-sensitive issues take priority. But that doesn't mean such stories can't be interesting or fun.
An example in this issue is the story about the Osborne Trust Fund. The saga started a year ago, when Jean Foran of the Garden of the Gods Rotary Club asked us to publish a notice that applications for grants from the fund were available for the year 2005. I said sure, because the fund's coverage area includes the Westside. At the same time, questions started triggering themselves. Who were the Osbornes? What did this fund do? And why was the Rotary involved? The hardest question, as it turned out, was the first one. Here was this amazing bequest to help the needy on the Westside and up Ute Pass - $1 million at the outset, grown to $3 million now - and yet the benefactors were uncelebrated and remembered by only a dwindling few. How uncelebrated? How about not a single photograph? My quest for a picture of the Osbornes consumed nearly as much time as putting together the story itself. I could not believe that someone who had done as much as William Osborne - founding the Westside's Rotary, founding the Westside's first bank in a quarter-century and, finally, devising a trust-fund plan that is so neatly detailed it's as if he were controlling the money from his grave - that he had passed on so utterly unmemorialized.
In any case, it was an honor to at least be able to shed a little light on the man. Thanks to the Rotarians for their help, and for their continued focus on "service above self." In their hands, I'm sure the Osborne Fund will continue to thrive.