Matt Zalaznick: Cool! A cop lives across the street |

Matt Zalaznick: Cool! A cop lives across the street

Matt Zalaznick
Vail CO, Colorado

I just figured out I’m not a teenager anymore, and it came as a shock: While house-hunting recently in Eagle, I saw an Eagle County Sheriff’s cruiser parked in the driveway across the driveway from a prospective property.

I mean, its sirens weren’t blaring ” the cop obviously lives there.

The old hell-raiser in me was ready to hop back in the car and head over to the next for-sale home on the list, curb-appeal be damned.

How was I going to have raging parties with the heat right across the street? I moved to Vail to have fun, right?

And could I have invited the band over to jam on the lawn into the early hours of the morning with the fuzz primed to pounce?

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Oh yeah, it suddenly occurred to him. I’m not 22 anymore. I’m not even 32 anymore. More importantly, I’m kind of dweeb ” I don’t hold raging parties or play in a band.

I was in bed reading last New Year’s Eve before 10 p.m.

Even more importantly, I have two small daughters ” which means, lo and behold, the cop living across the street is a darn fine thing!

I also know I’m getting old because teenagers look dangerous. OK, the teens in Eagle County don’t look some much dangerous as ridiculous ” the style with the big headbands, tight jeans and the giant, cheap-looking sunglasses that probably cost $50? It’s a look that’s part Bjorn Borg, part Flock of Seagulls, part low-grade heavy metal video.

My goodness, he thought, suddenly 1982 is retro and hip. What’s more, those days are as long ago ” longer ago, for crying out land ” as, say, 1967, was when I was a teenager and tie-dyes were retro and hip.

Man, Woodstock seemed so long ago when, in high school, there seemed to me nothing cooler in history ” not the Battle of Hastings, the Boston Tea Party, Martin Luther King’s civil rights marches or Hunter Thompson’s trip to Las Vegas ” than having attended that legendary concert at which so many of my hell-raisin’ rock-and-roll heroes performed.

But, I thought ” while staring at and receiving comfort from the cop car ” Woodstock, when I was in high school, was as many years ago as high school, for me, is years ago now.

And now that I think about it, all the mud and crummy food and dingy sleeping arrangements and lack of bathrooms and strange people just seem a hassle, even if Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were there.

I’m finally so old that there’s no guarantee that I’d drag myself to the next Woodstock, even if it was happening, say in Durango or Moab or even Boulder ” in, say, 2009, when I’ll turn 36 and worst of all, I’m wearing a collared shirt on the weekend ” no, worse than that, an acid test doesn’t sound like any fun, no, no, worse, much worse, worst of all …


No kidding. My first and most beloved car was the 1980 Datsun 280ZX turbo my dad passed down to me when I turned 16. I love the pickup, the sleek body and the fact that there was no back seat, which meant I never had to drive to parties on weeknights because there wasn’t any room for my gang of wannabe beatniks and merry pranksters.

But now, help me, I stare in the windows of minivans and pine over the DVD players and all that space for kids and diapers and squashed, seeping juice boxes and toys and baby seats and jungle gyms purchased on family shopping trips to Denver.

And man, those automatic sliding doors ” heaven.

A minivan ” my Les Paul and my old Pink Floyd posters for a minivan.

Can you imagine Jack Kerouac driving cross-country in one of those dorkmobiles?

Managing Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at

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