There's been a lot of attention focused about the whole "Alex" hoax story locally and statewide over the past few days and there really isn't a lot left to say.
But before I put this to bed I have to address one last concern. Various media outlets have gone into great detail about how this community has been victimized.
Let's clear that up. We were fooled, but if anyone who knows anything about this community knows this - we aren't victims. We are fighters.
We fight about everything. Eagle River Station, Haymeadow, the Hernage Gulch trail, the county open space tax, the Costco cost-share agreement, the Eagle budget, medical marijuana dispensaries, Romney, Obama. You name it, we'll argue it. There are people in this community who don't agree about anything, but I bet they agree about this. When talking about their opponents, they don't call them victims, they recognize them as fellow fighters. I think we fight a lot because we have something worth fighting for.
Frankly, a lot of the time our fights are ugly and divisive. But sometimes they are inspired and united. When they are, it's something to behold. The Alex story was one of the latter.
When we saw that photo of a little bald boy wearing a Superman shirt and holding a thumbs up, we saw a kindred spirit. Hell yeah - that was our kind of kid. Game on. Kids stepped up and showed their stuff and we were so darned proud of them. The community's collective will was focused to make sure that a little boy's final wish came true. We hit the trenches.
And we were fooled. But we weren't victimized.
A lot has been said about how we are compassionate and big-hearted, and that's true. We are compassionate, big-hearted brawlers.
I want to close this subject at the place were it started. When it became obvious that we'd been hoodwinked and we had to tell the community the truth, we spent a considerable amount of time concerned about how we would break the news to the Eagle Valley High School football players. That was a waste of effort. The coaches told the boys - they were stunned and then they were mad and then they were embarrassed. And now they have a bigger fight to think about. They have a playoff game in Frederick Saturday and they don't want any more Alex distractions. They are moving on to the next battle.
That football team is a scrappy bunch. That's why I like them.
Some time down the road there will be another story - a real and thoroughly vetted one - that inspires us to join in a battle. And we will, because that's who we are.
That's one thing I know about this community. We are always up for a good fight.