When members of our staff look back at an issue after it returns from the printer, there’s always a sense of pride in our accomplishments, whether it’s a striking cover image (check) or a strong lineup of stories complemented by beautiful design and photography (check and check). Each issue also seems to require the herculean efforts of a particular person, and for this issue that would be our deputy editor, Katharyn Rodemann. Kate, as she’s known around the office, is one of the most talented story editors working at any publication in the country, and I say that without an ounce of hyperbole. I’m a big believer in the phrase “It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true,” so consider the evidence: in this issue she edited our massive cover package, “Let’s Go Wild,” on remote and unspoiled places in the state, working with five writers, two copy editors, three fact-checkers, and nearly 18,000 words. That would be more than enough for a single month, but she also edited “Ebb and Flow,” Eric Benson’s terrific story about life on the Rio Grande after the recent surge of illegal border crossings.
This year alone Kate has served as the editor for an epic true-crime piece by Michael Hall (April’s “The Murders at the Lake”), a fun and revealing profile of Bun B, Houston’s unofficial mayor, by Katy Vine (May’s “Man About Town”), and a complex and nuanced feature about the death penalty by Pamela Colloff (September’s “The Witness”). In short, Kate is not only excellent at her job but able to work on a range of stories that would make most editors dizzy. She does it with an amazing sense of calm and confidence that inspires writers to want to work with her again and again.
A Dallas native and University of Texas at Austin graduate who grew up in Spain and speaks flawless Spanish, Kate is another proud member of our editorial staff who started here as an intern and has quickly climbed the masthead (and she is perhaps the only one who claims Barça as her favorite sports team, though she will always have a crush on Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas). She knows where the hottest restaurant is in Dallas, can rattle off obscure facts about the career of Larry McMurtry, and is unparalleled in her knowledge of the magazine. So what’s on her plate now? A well-deserved vacation, I hope.