Please help me provide the answers because I know you have more than I do in this situation. I need some names of those who make a difference in Platte City, those that might be battling through a tough situation or those who just have an interesting story to tell. I’m asking you for help because at least one of the 43 scheduled participants in the Missouri Photo Workshop 66 coming to Platte City asked me for help.
And I felt helpless.
I figure: who knows this community better than this community? So if you live in Platte City — or even if you don’t — and know someone or someones who could be the subject of a photojournalism story, let me know.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter at @Citizen_Ross. I am truly interested to hear from our readers and hope to be able to pass the information along.
This upcoming workshop is a chance to see Platte City in a truly unique light.
Labeled MPW 66 because it’s the 66th inundation of the event, photographers from across the United States and 13 foreign countries will call this city home from Sept. 21-27. These are truly talented people with very diverse stories who had to apply and be picked for this prestigious opportunity.
I detailed much of what this project involves in a story that starts out front of this week’s Citizen.
But I’d like to add that in addition to the “students,” the instructors are some of the most well-respected people in the field, and their time, along with countless volunteer hours from mayor Frank Offutt and his MPW 66 team during recent months, make this possible.
Offutt often shows an enthusiasm for Platte City, and it’s easy to see why he desires MPW 66 to be successful. I sat down in his office in August and received an introduction to this event because my predecessor, former Citizen owner Lee Stubbs, has been involved, and the mayor wanted me to know what was up in case I could be of any help.
I haven’t been by the way, so I’m hoping this column can make a difference.
Anyway, the mayor showed me a couple of books that contained photos and stories accumulated during previous MPWs. The results were very impressive and leaves me — and hopefully some of you — anxious to see what the photographers coming to Platte City produce from our town.
The key will be to have interesting stories to tell — which brings us back to my request.
Daniel Gonçalves emailed me early Monday evening, and I was blown away by the large swath his request covers. In part, he asked for suggestions of people in Platte City going through an unusually hard time, possibly approaching that situation with a unique attitude; a family struggling to keep a farming tradition alive; an owner of a noteworthy business, an individual dealing with large-scale issues like health care, unemployment or addiction. Or just special people that stand out.
I mean, wow.
There’s so much ground to cover there, that you can’t really come up with a wrong answer. Except, I seemed to blank when trying to formulate a list.
I thought of Bob Zubeck, a recent widower, now living his life after the recent loss of his life Tina to cancer.
I thought of Skitch Davis and the quirks he’s brought to Davis Collision way down on Humphreys Road for years.
I thought of Richard Yanits, a former classmate, who has his kids involved in various rodeo events that take them all over the place based on his Facebook posts.
I think that’s a good start but clearly not my best work.
I know you guys have more and could do so much better. I know this isn’t a huge town, but there’s more happening here than I can possibly come up with on short notice.
I give myself a pass since I’m working on reacquainting myself with once-familiar surroundings that have changed a lot in the time since I moved away in 2005, yet to officially come back and establish permanent residence here.
So help me out.
I don’t want to disappoint Daniel or the mayor, and they both need my help ... and soon.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Citizen_Ross.