Carnes: Fitting eulogy for Dailys editor
OK, so maybe the E word is a tad premature I was going to call this column a tribute, but seeing how Don is leaving Happy Valley for the greener pastures of a desert no matter what I say, I followed my gut and used the first word that came to mind.Anyway, Mr. Rogers (and anyone else who might happen to be reading), remember when you joined our Happy Neighborhood, way back around the turn of the century?Adam Aaron was the local sheriff in town, Judy Yoder cringed any time she heard the phrase Buckleyville, Y2K was only a few weeks away from being a punch line and some guy named Pope was nothing more than a future pain in your backside.Yep, a lot has changed since you first graced us with your naive veneer. Though some of us saw directly through that thinly-veiled innocence right up front, we still decided to give your scrawny little basketball playing backside a chance.Quietly introducing yourself to the community, you preferred to sit in the background for a while at first before showing your California/Hawaiian rainbow of true colors.But it certainly showed itself after a few months.From the vote on Vail Center and the Vail Charter Amendment to the funeral for the BB&B, you slowly began in that first year or two to realize the power of your potential influence over the masses.And not that you would ever admit it, but man, did you ever influence.Next came Tipsline and Wisdom on the Web, two of the cleverest little marketing tricks Id ever seen (next to David Copperfield Vegas photo-ops, of course).In between all the years of Vail constantly switching back and forth from No. 1 (YEAH!) to No. 2 (yeah), you dealt with, and shared your opinion of, the monorail, golf course ice bubbles, the Middle Creek housing project, the possible incorporation of Edwards, the opening of Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot, Eagle-Vails half-diamond interchange, the horrific fires on Storm King Mountain and our lovable county commissioners resolution condemning terrorism (a meat-free philosophical sandwich is there ever was one).You presided over the political color-shifting of Eagle County, the reality TV love story of Ryan and Trista, the occasional bank robbery, the Nathan Hall skier death trial, the Alberto Vilar embarrassment, and of course the one-word debacle known forever as: Kobe.You journalistically witnessed the evolution of Cliff Thompson from his seat at the ABC Times, as he took a left turn through your office and then back to the far right known as Ginnturn, and the evolution of Lionshead from a well-worn canyon of condos to well, to whatever its about to become over the next year or so.And then there was you and your ranches, where you damn near single-handedly won the battle for Bair, lost Eaton, and just recently won Gates. Only time will tell how the war ends.You helped the fall of the home rule charter, the rise of Solaris, and poked fun at alpine slide haters, those decimated by dog poop and the explosion of no-smoking zones. In between it all your two beautiful children went from shy, unassuming kids sometimes embarrassed by their fathers opinions to confident young adults ready to take on the world and prove where Dad was right (or wrong).I did my best to talk you out of leaving. I attempted (obviously in vain) to plead my personal frustration of never really having any close friends around here because, sure as hell, most end up leaving sooner or later anyway.Tempting though it must have been to stay, I get the feeling that even if Kaye Ferry become Vails mayor and Mike Cacioppo a county commissioner, you would still leave.Jim Lamont could become the head of the Colorado Department of Transportation, Pete Buckley the head of Avon, Cindy Cohagen the director of Eagle County Land Acquisitions and Marty Lich the director of IIA (Illegal Immigrant Assimilation), and you would still hit I-70 west.I suppose the best that we can hope for is that they have a West Coast version of Packy Walker and Frank Doll over there in Bumfudge, Nevada, or wherever it is you insist upon going. At least youd be entertained and maybe learn something.So go ahead, leave, see if we care. Good riddance, you putz.Damn, Im going to miss you.NOTE: The preceding opinions belong to Richard and are not necessarily shared by this newspaper but he really hopes they are this time.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a biweekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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