Remembering Lynn Volkens
Like so many area residents, I was saddened to hear of Lynn Volkens’ passing just before Thanksgiving. For those readers who never look at the Peak to Peak area’s “other” newspaper, Lynn wrote for the Register-Call for years – in fact, that’s where we first met.
Lynn reported for the paper, along with Aaron Storms, now editor of the Register-Call, when I worked there in 2003-4. Lynn was always patient and kind and generous – traits that she continued to demonstrate over the years when we were, technically, rivals. She stuck with the R-C through all its transitions, while I moved on to The Mountain-Ear.
Lynn Volkens excelled at organizing “debates” for local political candidates. She learned and grew with each one, and was flattered when I copied her format (with some changes) when Michelle Northrup and I organized debates for Gilpin County candidates in 2010. We could not have done such a fine job without building on Lynn’s foundation.
I didn’t know Lynn well; we tended to see each other only at those events we both were working. But her kindness and generosity were always in play. A couple of examples: I walked into the Gilpin Commissioners’ meeting room one Tuesday morning wearing a new teal sweater. “That color brings out your eyes,” Lynn said. “You should always wear it.”
There was a meeting we both covered, at which we both took copious notes and many photographs. My notes survived, but my camera died. I rather hesitantly asked Lynn if we could use one of her photos for my story. She hesitated not at all. You may remember a story in 2012 written by me, with a photo credit to Lynn Volkens. It was not a mistake.
Having two Lynns cover community meetings for rival newspapers led to some interesting conversations and e-mails with community leaders. Some were never sure which of us was which. One organization’s secretary kept sending me minutes of meetings long after I had stopped reporting on them. One elected official had me in a lengthy, interesting dialog until we both realized he thought I was the other Lynn.
She was so much a part of the community that I think that for a long time, folks in Gilpin County will think of me as, indeed, “the other Lynn.”