Editor’s letter

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hi, friends:


I hope your day is getting off to a better start than mine! What a morning … it started with a finger getting caught in the door and the baby attempting to use a drain stopper as a pacifier. Exhausted and at my wit’s end, I reached far back into my closet and pulled out a black blazer — with shoulder pads — and put it on. I felt instantly more organized and in control. 

Funny how emboldening a piece of clothing can be. Just ask anyone who has worn a pussy hat like the one featured on the cover.

Gazette reporter Emily Cutts wrote our cover story, “One Year Later,” which zeroes in on three women who’ve been agitating for change since the inauguration of Donald Trump last January. Emily’s normal beat as a staff reporter is covering the Northampton police and courts system. Recently, I asked her to pitch a couple of stories to Hampshire Life, and she came back with this idea.

“I was reflecting on what I was doing at this point last year, and that was preparing to cover the Women’s March on Washington,” she says. Along with dozens of people from the Northampton area (including Amalia FourHawks, one of the activists featured in Emily’s story), she took a chartered bus with Gazette photographer Kevin Gutting to the nation’s capital. “I’d never been to a protest before, let alone covered one,” Emily says. “It was also the first time I’d ever been to Washington, D.C., so it was weird to be working and covering this historic moment — and then to just walk past the Capitol building, like, ‘Oh!’ 

“The experience definitely gave me a new skill,” she adds. “I later went to Boston to cover a different protest, and I felt more prepared to cover the event. I already had a clear backpack, just in case I needed it to get through security.”

Emily will be back in the magazine next week with something completely different. In the meantime, you can read about the new biography, “Chaplin,” which Steve Pfarrer reviews in “Book Bag,” and about the lush, textured creations of paper artist Keila Ploof, this week’s “Art Maker.”
To the loyal reader who asked us to start featuring more images of the featured artist’s actual work, thanks for the suggestion — we’re taking you up
on it. 

Finally, I’ll leave you with the latest from Bill Dwight, who takes on the topic of road rage — and how it connects to some of the online spaces that we inhabit. It’s an interesting observation and one that I hadn’t made until reading Bill’s piece. 

Take care.

Brooke Hauser