“There are two deserts,” Randall Henderson wrote in 1937 for his first Desert Magazine letter from the editor. “One is a grim, desolate wasteland. It is the home of venomous reptiles and stinging insects, of vicious thorn-covered plants and trees, and of unbearable heat. This is the desert seen by the stranger speeding along the highway, impatient to be out of ‘this damnable country.’ ” But the uninitiated only see the mask, he insisted.
“The other desert — the real desert — is not for the eyes of the superficial observer, of the fearful soul or the cynic. It is a land, the character of which is hidden except to those who come with friendliness and understanding.”
Henderson’s second desert is what the dreamers saw: Pastel sunrises and nights studded with stars, an arid landscape hardy enough to sustain even the most prickly things, and wide-open spaces in which to breathe, inspire, and create. Here are some of their stories…”