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All equal before the snow

Don Rogers

Three weeks of “Ryan and Trista’s Wedding” start at 8 p.m. Wednesday on ABC. Are you ready?

This is the yang to Kobe Bryant’s yin, or vice versa. In any case, welcome again to Eagle County’s year of living celebrity.

Oh, we’ve always had our rain of famous visitors – presidential hopefuls raising funds, bigtime athletes having knees fixed, movie stars enjoying anonyminity under ski caps and goggles.



Generally, they’ve been well behaved and aside from the occasional TV ski special to fill late a Sunday afternoon, decidedly low key. The snow’s the thing up here.

So we Vailites – most of whom live a little beyond the place we claim as ours – can manage a certain cool when we deign to visit the outside. Joe Torre? Oh yeah, at the toy store the other day. Britney over at the Cascade, Cameron at the ski shop, the Kennedys commanding Game Creek, Tom Hanks all over Beaver Creek. And so it goes. Here, they’re just people. Say hi, let ’em be. No big deal.



We have our favorites, of course. How can you not in America’s star-struck society? For my wife and I, it was having a chat with Richard Dean Anderson a few years ago at a party at the Dobson.

Around the time our boy was born, we lived in the sawmill Sierra Nevada of northern California. Cable couldn’t reach us, and we didn’t have satellite. We roughed it on one channel, which had “MacGyver.” When our toddler quailed at one or another of his little boy challenges, we’d say, “Think, MacGyver. You can do it.” He’d screw up his little face and launch into whatever it was with all the courage and moxie of the TV character. Now that was star power.

Telling Richard how he got our boy through those crisis of toddlerhood was fun. Today the boy is the biggest fan in the family of “Stargate,” also starring Anderson. The actor suffered us well and said nice things about the Daily, as I recall. Seemed like a good guy, someone you’d gladly spend the day skiing or boarding with.



But it’s been awhile, since Gerald Ford’s presidency, really, since Vail commanded such prime time attention.

Now we have a new first couple for the nation to adore, and as it turns out they do by the millions. “The Bachelorette” rivaled the most popular of “The Bachelor” reality shows, with nearly 17 million TV sets tuned in to the peak episode, and a humble Vail firefighter became a star.

It’s a sweet story, a bit rich for me, but then the show wasn’t exactly aimed at guys who drink beer and turn first to the sports section. Still, even I can’t escape the covers of the celeb mags at the grocery store. And I strayed to a story in USA Today last week that declared Trista and Ryan are bigger then J. Lo and Ben. Oh, my.

Contemplating their real life love springing from a game contrived for national television is welcome respite from plumbing the weirder-by-the-day depths of the Kobe Bryant rape case, so strange it out-twists the fictional crime shows.

Strangest of all are the covers with pics of Ryan and Trista and Bryant, too – representing the sweetest and most sordid celeb stories going, with our mountain enclave serving in a starring role.

Still, captivating as these stories are to the world outside, Eagle County folk have taken them in the usual stride. Vail’s current first couple can live their daily lives here pretty much normally. Kobe Bryant might be a superstar athlete across the land, but here he’s simply the defendant. No less, no more.

So what fascinates the droll, jaded citizens of the Vail and Eagle valleys, if not these remarkable stories? As before and will ever be, the snow. When the ski season begins, what else possibly could matter more?

Yin, yang, and in between. The snow covers all, and we’re all equal before it.

Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 600, or editor@vaildaily.com


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