Journalism – My Writing and Photography

I learned the basics of writing in elementary and high school and refined them in college. Within a few months of moving to Crested Butte in 1979,  I got a job as staff photographer for the Crested Butte Pilot, one of two newspapers in the tiny town. The job paid $50/week. Editor/owner Lee Ervin and his wife Jane eventually encouraged me, “Gary, why don’t you write about these cross-country ski races you’re going to?” Soon I had my first published writing credit. They then realized I could write about the environment issues I was working on and published my first journalism piece, about the protection of stream flows in Coal Creek, the watershed of Crested Butte. 

From there, I started writing “hard news” about my tiny community. I even did some investigative journalism, digging into the past of a local business owner who had a bad reputation in town. It turned out she was wanted for car theft and soon disappeared. 

I ended up writing for all the newspapers in the community. I covered local government meetings, school issues, business, and even crime. In a small town, there’s lots of opportunity. Not so many specialist competitors. You get to do it all.

Having both writing and photography skills really helped. I’m proud to display here some articles where I contributed both.

I graduated to some regional papers and then national magazines. See my list and samples below.

Eventually, I decided I wanted to advocate rather than just report and became President of HCCA. In that role I could continue journalism about outdoor recreation, but my local-hard-news days were over. Yup, no longer the “objective” observer.

Then computer software — FileMaker database and web development — out-competed journalism. It pays better, and success versus failure is much more clear cut. But I still photograph a lot, still write, and still advocate. Many examples here.

Photo Tear Sheets