From the editor: Introducing readers to the Good Life

2014-04-27T00:00:00Z 2014-04-27T07:56:06Z From the editor: Introducing readers to the Good LifeBy DARRELL EHRLICK dehrlick@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Welcome to the Good Life.

I’ll bet you always wanted to hear that.

Let me be the first to say welcome to the newest part of The Billings Gazette — the Good Life.

It’s not that we’ve finally arrived at living well here in Billings or Montana. In fact, that’s why so many of us are here — because the living, even despite a tough winter, is pretty good. We enjoy access to some of the best of everything — outdoors, history, education, health care, shopping, dining and, of course, the people. Life is pretty darned good here.

And that’s why we wanted to do something that focuses our attention on why living in this area is good.

Previously, this section had been called Magazine. It was an opportunity to showcase longer, in-depth feature reporting. Through the decades of the Magazine’s existence, we’ve told some pretty amazing stories. Some of Lorna Thackeray and Mary Pickett’s works found a great home here. Our photographers were able to showcase photo essays here. It was a great opportunity not only to showcase our staff’s award-winning talent, but also to capture the beauty of this place.

Being able to tell great stories or show an array of stunning photography will not change.

It was just that we felt the Magazine needed a bit of refreshing. After all, Magazine was a bit on the generic side. After all, “magazine” could mean anything. There are hundreds of magazines about almost any topic imaginable.

Instead, the Good Life will focus on some selected areas, chosen by The Billings Gazette staff.

This section will feature stories about:

Exploring the area. It’s easy to take the outdoors in Montana for granted. We sometimes forget that the place we work and play in is a vacation destination for many. We hope to spotlight some of those places that you may pass by every day, but are treasures right in your own backyard.

Food and drink. While we still love our meat and potatoes here in Montana, you can also have your sushi and curry. As Billings and Montana continue to grow, so do their culinary options. We’ll try to keep you updated on food trends and drink options. Cheers.

Pets. Americans spend more than $3 billion annually on their fuzzy (and not-so-fuzzy) friends. We’ll try to find more ways to talk about our four-legged, slithering and crawling friends.

Active. Though it may be cliche, there’s a big sky out there and it’s part of why we love living here. You can actually get out and do things without having to travel halfway across the country. Being active here means a variety of things, from running, biking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing ... you get the picture.

Relationships. This isn’t about giving dating advice. Heck, I can’t even fold laundry. Instead, it’s about the relationships we have and their dynamics. For example, America now has four generations in the workforce, and how they communicate and interact can be more challenging than ever. These are the types of stories we want to share with you.

Community. One of the best things about living here is the sense of place. We can celebrate our heritage. Living in places where there are distances in between makes us take notice of what it takes to live here, and what it means to be together as communities. We hope to tell the stories of our communities and their histories — in other words, what makes this place this place?

Environment. Montana is rightfully proud of what it is — one of the last best places, if not the last. How we continue to grow and develop the state means figuring out how to preserve the place we love. Our relationship with the land here is special, and how we manage the land and what we know about it continue to be a story that The Gazette is dedicated to following.

We’re excited to launch the Good Life — a section dedicated to celebrating the things that make living here good.

If you have an idea or suggestion for a story you’d like to see The Gazette tackle in the Good Life, send me an email or give me a call. As always, we love hearing from you.

Darrell Ehrlick can be reached by email at dehrlick@billingsgazette.com or by phone at 406-657-1289.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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