Letter from the mint editor: People of the Palouse will showcase stories

Residents have interests to share; editor finds her passion through interviews



EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen mint editor

Now that I can sit outside without freezing, I’ve been spending a lot of time studying on Thompson Flats. And by studying, I mean getting distracted by all the people walking by and lounging on the grass near me.

I’m not sure why I love people-watching, but I could sit for hours imagining stories for all the folks I see in public places.

Perhaps it stems from my humble roots as the nosy neighbor in my childhood suburbia. Whatever the cause, I have always loved to observe others — in a non-creepy way, I promise.

Given the chance, I always want to hear people’s stories to go along with my observations. My job has allowed me to do that in more ways than I could imagine.

As a reporter, I got to interview people about their field of expertise, and you better believe experts are passionate about what they do. You can learn so much about a person by the way they talk about their passions.

As Mint editor, I have received emails from people telling me their stories. One man told me he fell in love with writing when he was 50, after a long career with auxiliary facility services. He has since published three novels and wished to encourage me in my writing endeavors.

Recently I wrote a preview about Ku-Ah-Mah’s annual powwow. While conducting interviews, I saw the passion of those involved. I then attended the powwow and immediately understood why the event was so important to them.

That is what I love about my job. People here have so many diverse interests and passions they want to share with the world. I love seeing the fire in someone’s eyes when they tell me about their latest project.

Mint enables me to meet new people, many of whom I never would have known without this job. It enables me to fill in the gaps between that person sitting on Thompson Flats and that person who will talk for hours about art history, or biomedical ethics or working with kids.

I think my passion might be hearing stories. I also like telling them, but I always say the best part of my job is interviewing, simply because I get to hear straight from an expert why something matters.

There is no need for me to people-watch and invent stories for people when they are telling me their stories directly.

In accordance with this passion of mine, Mint will be running a special edition the Thursday after Mom’s Weekend. We’re calling it “People of the Palouse.” Plain and simple, it will be about the unique people who inhabit this place we call home.

Similar to “Humans of New York,” I want to showcase interesting and passionate people from our area. Maybe they will be familiar to you, maybe they won’t. My hope is these features will spark an interest in you, just like interviewing does for me.

Anyone can be included in this special edition. It only matters that you have a story to tell — something to share with the world that will enrich someone else’s life.

If you don’t think that criteria applies to you, I encourage you to think a little deeper. We’re all here in the Palouse for a reason. What brought you here? Or, if you’re from this region, what kept you here?

I will be going out onto campus and into the community in the coming weeks in search of people with stories to tell. Not everyone will be chosen, unfortunately, but I guarantee Mint reporters will do their best to cover a variety of individuals who represent the Palouse.

We need your help with that. If you know of a person with a story worth sharing, whether it be you or one of your friends, family members, coworkers or professors, send me an email. I can be reached at mint@dailyevergreen.com.

Tell me your story. I can’t wait to hear from you.