Judah Freed February 28th, 2008

A small group of us freelance writers gathered in a Washington Park home in 1977 to join Patty Calhoun, Sandy Widener and Rob Simon in planning the first edition of Westword. We knew Denver had never seen a publication like this before. Not even the Straight Creek Journal or the celebrated Cervi's Journal dared to fulfill a vision this audacious. In the five years that followed as I wrote for almost every edition of Westword until my journalism career took me other directions, my editor was Sandy Widener. I grew to respect and honor her keen editorial instincts, from finding the right angle in a story to spotting the missing element in my reporting that gave the whole piece its broader context. I also grew to love her wit and good humor, her charm, and her strong sense of integrity. I felt deeply moved by the news of Sandy's sudden accidental death with her husband and daughter. The fragility of life was driven home to me along with a firm conviction that none of us can afford to defer our dreams. If we have a vision, like Sandy shared with Patty and Rob, we need to get off our backsides and go for it -- now! Sandy, you are missed. Ken Judah Freed