Life’s not where or how much
My View: Claiming pedigree by neighborhood makes you a foolRichard CarnesSpecial to the Vail Daily”I am a wealthy S.O.B.”How does that statement come across to you?Does it mean I am better than you, or deserve preferential treatment by others? Does it make my opinions any more worthy, or lend support to my ideological theories simply because I could spend more money, hence more time, justifying or rationalizing them?Or does it make you angry because I was arrogant enough to say, and thus imply, that any of the above was true?Whether any of it is valid or not, that is exactly how scores of locals have been treated over the last week by alleged Beaver Creek homeowners concerning support for this month’s end-of-the-Happy-Valley-world-as-we-know-it issue, a.k.a. the dreaded alpine slide.The worst offenders are those who try so desperately to point out their significance and importance to our community with such anonymous claims as, “We earned our ticket for this lifestyle. …”In my opinion, if you have to tell someone you are rich, then you are not. If you have to say you deserve respect, you do not. However, if you have to threaten to take your tax dollars and charitable contributions away from Happy Valley to prove something to yourself, then by all means do so, as your money weighs far less than your shallowness. Another anonymous claim said, “Beaver Creek is run and marketed with the homeowners money. …”Hardly. Public documents found online show the main Beaver Creek Resort Co. revenue that comes directly from homeowners is real estate transfer fees, and those are only paid when buying or selling property. Guests are by far the main source of income.And counting veterans and recovering cancer victims as lauded members is an insult to all veterans and recovering cancer victims living elsewhere. I have a World War II veteran neighbor who flew over 50 missions, another who was shot down over the English Channel, and more than a handful battling cancer of one type or another. Does Homestead deserve more respect merely because of their existence in our neighborhood?Of course not. The ladies and gentlemen deserve respect, period, regardless of where they live. Your actions while awake are what define you as a person, not where you lay your head at night.And I have more news for you: Happy Valley is chock full of promising, caring, altruistic and philanthropic individuals willing to help each other selflessly through hard work and volunteer efforts. And you want to know the biggest part of it? The vast majority do not live in Beaver Creek. In fact, they live from the trailers in Dotsero, through the 50-year-old houses in Eagle, in the mini-mansions of Edwards, through the 100-year-old houses in Minturn, and all the way to the beautiful homes of far East Vail, and everywhere in between.Most of them prove they care about this valley by their deeds, not self-supporting, vitriolic, anonymous words.There was even an attack by yet another anonymous individual claiming that I insulted President Ford when suggesting they name the slide after him. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can, when trying hard enough, twist words of respect into a confusing jumble of letters. My suggestion was not only sincere, but serious. President Ford, along with his wife, Betty, did more to put Happy Valley on the international map than any other single individual, except Seibert and Eaton, of course.I honestly believe the man should be recognized locally in something other than a park bench in his wife’s garden.Beaver Creek is a wonderful part of this valley, but it is exactly that, a part of the whole. It is part of the bling that we love to show off to outsiders, but the heart and soul remains in the remaining 95 percent of the valley. I have many friends who are Beaver Creek homeowners, and they truly do not understand the those few who are acting as if their benevolent little world is about to come crashing down if a slide is built.I told them that this has nothing to do with a slide and everything to do with a pissing match between them, Brian Nolan, and the resort company.Look, fight all you want, wave your 1994 PUD documents in everyone’s face, take VR to court, call Katz every name in the book (at least on that we can agree), but please stop acting as if you deserve special treatment simply because of a number on a balance sheet.You should be above that superficial nonsense.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at email@example.com Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO
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