Yes, Craig America, there is a free lunch.
In fact, you can have two - yes, two - free lunches.
These freebies don't come in a bag and aren't shoved out a window. You casually walk to one of our local restaurants, sit down, order from a handheld menu and have pleasant conversation with three or four other free-lunchers.
I know what you're thinking, "where's the catch? There's got to be a catch." There isn't one.
Well, there is one, but there isn't one.
I'll try and explain this fabulous food fest.
Bryce Jacobson, publisher and all-around big dog of the Daily Press, has the idea that if you involve members of the community in the bi-weekly editorial opinion, not only will the newspaper become better, it will remind city and county residents that they have a voice and their opinions do matter.
Not a bad concept for a small town boy. He reminds me of the high school vice principal who kept letting me back in school.
As to the editorial board members, there were seven of us, including Bryce.
The ladies were quite the pair. Both are working mothers. They admitted they didn't understand some of the issues that face our community. They wanted to hear both sides of each issue and make their own informed decision.
Cori Kroese works for the paper in the advertising department; though not outspoken, she listens and thinks things through, asking the questions the rest of us had ignored or thought unimportant. On one occasion, she swayed my opinion. I know, Uncle Roy, hard to believe, but she did nonetheless.
The other lady, Nancy Sadvar, a local real estate agent, was not at all what l expected. She lets some assume she's a ditsy cheerleader, with no concept of the real world. Far from it, bucko. She's extremely well-informed and involved in the community beyond the call of duty. Her common sense caught me off guard more than once. I'm sure, beyond any doubt, Nancy would bite the head off a snake, to protect her family and values.
Patrick Germond, my male counterpoint, is the activist. My belief: Every board should have one. When Patrick is elected or stuck on one or another of his causes, get back on the sidewalk. Right, wrong or lost, his leadership will take it all the way.
The gentleman who managed to attend each of our meetings and write our opinions is one Collin Smith, who also covers government/business for the Daily Press. When Collin figures out what his ace is, I'll smile and say with pride, "He's my friend, and l knew him when." Thank you Collin.
The new editor of the Craig Daily Press, Jennifer Grubbs, joined this merry band on the tail end of our tenure. She has the straight-to-the-point, rapid-fire approach all good editors have. She will keep the paper moving forward and evolving with our community. Good choice, Bryce.
(For the record, I've only agreed with Mr. Jacobson two and two-halves times.)
During our first conversation, Miss Grubbs claimed to be a Libertarian punk rocker with Democratic tendencies. I'm not sure what that is, but l know the cure: a Moffat County road map, a full tank of gas and a three-day weekend. There's something about getting lost and enjoying it; just seems to cure most anything - especially weird tendencies.
Welcome to Craig, Jennifer.
Meanwhile, back to the free lunches.
If you're able to sit in a comfortable chair, in a medium sized well-lit room for one hour each Monday for three months, are willing to voice your opinion, no matter how right, wrong, or loud, "Vice Principal Jacobson" will buy you two free lunches.
The catch: participation. But your participation is free. So there is no catch.
Life and participating in it go hand-in-hand. If you ignore either one, the right to complain ignores you.
Thank you for your time.
H. Neal Glanville is a Craig resident who served on the Craig Daily Press's editorial board from July to September 2008. Beginning next week, he will write a weekly column on Mondays in the Daily Press.