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    Goodbye to All of You

    Out of the 180,000 or so words I’ve scribbled (and a few million
    more I’ve edited) over 117 issues of this magazine, none come quite
    so tough as these. I’ve never been good at good-byes, so I’ll just
    say it straight out: This is my last issue of Utne.

    My office, with the sweeping view of Loring Park, is cleaned
    out. Nina brought platters of nachos, tamales, and quesadillas into
    the Utne library for a grand going away party, which
    continued throughout the evening in a series of nearby barrooms.
    Farewells have been made, often two or three times, with everyone
    on staff.

    Now, all that’s left is to thank you — the amazing readers of
    Utne — for your support and your critiques through the
    years. You’ve emboldened me to push farther, to probe deeper, and
    to soar higher than editors at most other magazines would dare.

    In many ways, I grew up at Utne. It’s where I met my
    wife, Julie, where I continued my education in subjects ranging
    from global politics to blues music, where I came of age as a
    writer, where I first learned about a thousand new ideas that I’ve
    tried out in my life. It’s been a privilege to work at this great
    magazine over the past 19 years.

    By the time you read this I will be at my new position as
    executive editor of Ode, an independent magazine from the
    Netherlands that has launched an international edition published in
    English. It’s a tremendous opportunity to continue along a path
    that Utne opened up for me.

    My greatest satisfaction through the years at Utne has
    been the chance to research, from the ground up, issues like
    alternative movements in Germany, a renewable energy think tank in
    Colombia, and day-to-day life in Russia. My new job offers me an
    opportunity to focus on these kinds of important and inspiring
    issues. While remaining based in Minneapolis, I will be writing and
    editing articles that help shine new light on what’s happening all
    around the planet for a global audience.

    The reason I can leave Utne in such high spirits is
    that I know the magazine remains in good hands. My successor is
    Karen Olson, who has shown remarkable talents in five years at the
    magazine, rising from assistant editor to associate editor to
    senior editor to managing editor and now editor. The editorial team
    as a whole is one of the best in the business, not to mention some
    of the most interesting and colorful people around. There is no
    topic imaginable, from Japanese poetry to wildlife biology to the
    inside scoop on certain movie stars, about which someone on the
    staff is not impressively well-informed. I will dearly miss our
    wild and woolly meetings, where I always came away with a
    half-dozen dazzling ideas and a hoarse throat from laughing at full
    volume. And, just like all of you, I wait with excitement to see
    what they come up with for the next issue.

    Jay Walljasper can now be reached at:

    Published on May 1, 2004


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