A parable | VailDaily.com

A parable

Once upon a time, many years ago, the dream of a young man attracted a young gorilla to the Eagle River Valley.

Nurtured by the valley (and access to some capital), the gorilla quickly grew to be a strong and powerful 800-pounder. The gorilla was smart, and had major plans to reshape the community as he saw fit, and his tracks and trails soon spread over much of the valley floor and surrounding mountains. Tourists came to play on the trails, and life was good.-

Over time, it came to pass that the forest where the gorilla lived and the town that the gorilla caused to be built grew to fear the critter’s economic and political power and strength. And it became apparent that the gorilla had lost sight of the very folks that kept bringing him his bananas each day.

A great many of these same folks were also growing weary of trying to make ends meet in the town that the gorilla caused to be built and moved downvalley, where it was sunnier.

Soon, over 75 percent of the houses in the town were not occupied by the people who brought the bananas every day, but by total strangers who lived far away and didn’t care much about the town at all. It began to show, and many of the people who liked to come and play on the gorilla’s trails went to Canada instead. Life was now not so good.

And then two strange things happened!

First, the forest realized that it had a 1,200-pound gorilla of its own that had the power and strength to deny the 800-pound gorilla its daily ration of bananas (and permits) that it so badly needed and wanted in order to stay fat and happy.

Second, a 2,400-pound gorilla, enticed by all that was going on in the valley and the quality of life that was offered, decided to make his home here and after talking to all the realtors in the valley chose an unincorporated area that the locals called the “Banana Belt” or “Greater Edwards.”

All the people that live in the Banana Belt are real people and love the valley and the mountains and want to protect it from the gorillas that have a habit of eating too many bananas.

Their new neighbor, who lives in a beautiful attainable housing project that was specially configured for his modest needs, likes his new community and new neighbors very much. So much so that he has pledged to use his considerable muscle (political, that is) to make sure that the valley grows and prospers in a way that while allowing for a reasonable amount of new growth, preserves the natural environment that is so attractive to so many people.

The people who live in the Banana Belt understand that the few people that live year-round in the town that the 800-pound gorilla caused to be built might be afraid of the political muscle of the 2,400-pound gorilla, but they have nothing to fear.

The Banana Belt folks are kind and wise, and will exercise their political muscle in such a way as to benefit the entire valley, not just a small portion of it.

A true story.

Peter Bergh


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