This month, Patagonia Regional Times celebrates five years of publication. The man who first conceived of this newspaper—and whose guidance and enthusiasm has kept it going ever since—is Walter Andrew.
Since its inception, Walter has tirelessly pursued ways to make this newspaper better, by searching out contributing writers, going through the legal hoops to establish us as a nonprofit, creating structure and strengthening administrative support, and coming up with new ways to better serve the needs of the community. He has done all this while also serving as our most intrepid reporter and photographer. His illuminating photos of the many people who have appeared in our pages are testimony to his ability to put his subjects at ease and bring out the best in them. And those who have been subject to his inquiry for information about a story can attest to his relentless tenacity.
That he established this publication is but one measure of Walter Andrew’s investment in this community. He has also been a loyal fan of PUHS sports, a keen observer of local politics, and a strong advocate for solutions to the problem of affordable housing.
As his next door neighbor and one of his first PRT recruits, I have exchanged proofing pages, photos, and letters to the editor over the wall with Walter every month for the past five years. In the early days, neighbors could hear our occasional loud arguments over some aspect of an issue on which we couldn’t agree, as we sat in his back yard or mine, always remaining the best of friends.
Recently, due to health problems, Walter has had to absent himself from his role as mentor and ringleader (and reporter, photographer, board president, and more). It now appears unlikely that he will be able to return to PRT—and that is a tremendous loss. Every one of us at PRT knows what this newspaper owes to his inquiring mind, his tireless energy, and his inspiration.