Letters to the editor
For the last 21 years, the Vail Valley has been my home. It is the only home I know, and I shall quote and concur with my father: It is a great place to raise a family. I have lived here as a toddler, an adolescent, and since returning from college, as an adult. It is finally time for me to move on. California is calling. I have wanted for years to venture to other parts of the country and the world, but have always found reasons to stay in the valley. The beauty of this place we are all fortunate enough to call home is an amazing treat to wake to every morning, and the abundance of activities and nightlife keep every day interesting.But it is the people who have kept me here so long, so I want to take this opportunity to say goodbye to those who have made it so easy to stay, and so impossible to leave. First, to my parents, who despite what they may say have always given me everything I needed and more, and who inspire me every day. Dad, your work ethic and dedication to the ranch have taught me never to stop until it’s done right, and you got it right, so take some time off! Mom, your talent, your artistic brilliance challenge me to do something great. I see happiness and peace in you now that put me at ease. Your jewelry is magnificent, and you are amazing.To my childhood friends with whom I have stayed close over the years, especially Ry, and to those with whom I’ve just been reacquainted, I will miss the bond we share, and the looks of amazement we get from people who just can’t believe we actually grew up here. I’ll let you know how it is on the outside. To everyone I’ve worked with at Beaver Creek Children’s Ski School and Day Camp, at 4 Eagle Ranch, at Blockbuster, and everywhere else, thank you for making work so fun, giving me something to look forward to each day, and putting up with me when times were tough. To those I partied with at State Bridge, Wolcott, Main Street and sporadically on Bridge Street, I will miss the fun, and you all owe me a drink!To the Vail Breakaways, the hottest women on ice, I don’t think I can thank you enough for taking me in and making me a part of your family. I have never in my life had so much fun playing any sport or been so close to so many amazing women. Bring Stella back home! Julie, Tania and Alice, I’ll be back for our tattoos, don’t forget! To my hot tub, air mattress, garage sale, porch party crew, I will miss you all dearly. You turned my roughest winter into one of the greatest times of my life, and I will never forget you for that. My house in Cali has a big deck, and I’m sure we can find a hot tub nearby, so come on out – porch party! To my wise friends Paul and Joelle, thank you for all the good times, everything you taught me and did for me. I will miss dancing with hippies and garage sale-ing more than you guys know. Get together every now and then and talk about yard guard and how much you miss me. To my homeless boys, thanks for all the help when I was laid up, and for all the great memories, my couch won’t be the same without you. To everyone at Steadman Hawkins and Howard Head who helped me out, thank you for the great care, and especially to Gina and the girls in Edwards – you got me moving and kept me sane; you are saints. Kathleen, I will miss you most of all, scarecrow. To anyone I didn’t mention, I will surely miss you, too. I will miss this place that will always be my home, and I will definitely come back to visit, hopefully as a successful and widely published writer – cross your fingers. Farewell, Vail Valley, take good care of my friends.Jessica BackhusEagle-VailDead horseToday, Sunday 18 July, has been a great one for me. Got up a little late but alive. Went to pick up the Vail Daily, made a great breakfast and sat down outside on my little terrace on a beautiful day, facing the softly flowing Gore and relentless I-70, to eat and read the news and those always fascinating letters to the editor and the Tipsline. When reading the paper, the news and information grab my attention and the noise from I-70 becomes sort of like “white noise,” which disappears and is not bothersome. (Please no walls!) In that edition there was a letter which struck my fancy, to which I will address later. After breakfast I had a little conversation with my titanium knees to prep them that we were gong to take a little hike on Vail Mountain. They have been giving me a little grief lately, but today we decided to do the hike. I wanted to take the bus in from East Vail, to save gas, but the hour was late and time was pressing. Taking the Vista Bahn to Mid-Vail was a little slow, but the views were still exciting in summer, as they are in winter. The goal was Windows Deck, so the course of attack was to proceed up Rams Horn. Obviously, the knees look at this quite differently in summer than when we do in winter. Coming down is so much more fun. It wasn’t easy but we made it. The views were great from Windows Deck. It was raining on Holy Cross Mountain, and the bowls looked enticing. The birds were singing, the sky full of puffy clouds, with blue sky peeking through and I had a nice visit with Louisa. We, the knees and me, headed over to Eagle’s Nest and on the way at about the point of FARO I could see the Eagle Valley, not “Vail Valley,” spread out in front of me – Beaver Creek, Meadow Mountain, and those great trails many of us have hiked. But wait, there in the middle of the valley was an enormous white square. The big box. I think it was Wal-Mart, but it was so small and the area in which I stood was so pleasant and the weather so great it made no unsettling impression on me. So this is why I cannot understand the letter from Mr. Abplanalp, whose latest dissertation against the flagpole and flag, suggesting that all boycott Wal-Mart and Home Depot, and to write furious letters to them and jump up and down, screaming bloody murder about the flagpole and the flag. I suggest he take a hike in the high country and hear the birds singing, look at the sky and clouds, smell the woods and see the mule deer and other animals in their land. To read the letter of Frank Doll, which has much more basis of concern than Mr. Abplanalp’s obsequious letter about patriotism and “intent”: The horse is dead! The valley is shot to hell; forget about it! If I disagree with you, should I boycott your business? That would be stupid. Read John Dean’s book, “Worse than Watergate, The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush.” See “Fahrenheit 9-11.” Look at those burned and beaten bodies of Americans hanging from the bridge and wonder who caused all of this. Yup, it was George W. “I Got the Wrong Information About WMD” Bush who did this. And then Bush changed his mind and said he eliminated a horrible despot instead. Will it be Iran next to send our depleted armies to and spend billions more of our dollars to make them democratic countries? Hey, how’s it going in Afghanistan?I will not stoop to the gutter and do some name calling. I will not – will not! – suggest that Mr. Abplanalp is a “Richard Cranium,” as that would not accomplish anything. I am sure his intentions are sincere but in the wrong direction. Please take heed and look at the larger picture as to what is happening in the world, Mr. Abplanalp, and write something serious. Go for Avon’s jugular! Fletcher MacNeill Vail
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