Precious little to gripe about |

Precious little to gripe about

Don Rogers

The snow is falling regularly. Those coveted “destination” visitors from out of state came in droves over the holidays, according to anecdotal accounts, anyway.

The stock markets are up, the economy is looking bright and the early season prospects for the Vail Valley’s businesses are mainly looking very good.

So why all the griping? Sheesh, recognize a good thing when you have it and try to enjoy living in by far one of the world’s garden spots.

An item in Tipsline the other day caught our eye. The caller was suggesting that maybe the world doesn’t really begin or end with heated sidewalks, jake brakes, lift lines and so on. Naturally, the next caller in line wanted to scream about how a windshield should be scraped free of ice. Liberal use of the word “idiots” was a big part of the call.

Our favorite is the great debate over the color of Christmas lights in Vail. Apparently, this is of great concern among at least a handful of people.

This is nuance, so the folks who love to hate Tipsline – yet read it in great detail, no doubt twice – might not get this: The by and large petty nature of the complaints is really a reflection about how good things are.

The issue isn’t so much whether a caller has the dignity or presence of mind to leave their name as what they say. After all, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between columnist Kaye Ferry’s approach and the Tipsline feature she so detests other than she has the manners and the courage to identify herself.

Face it, we like to grump on occasion, and for whatever reason, we really love to read what neighbors are crabby about, even whether Christmas lights should be blue or green or whatever.

Are there real issues in the Happy Valley? Well, sure. Growth. Jobs. What comes after the construction boom ends for good and the retirees fully take over. Cost of housing. The ripple effects of large-scale immigration. How the ski resorts stay competitive for the long run. Education. Social service needs. Taxes vs. revenue for government service. Water. The environment. Always the environment, which has pretty much received short shrift in this ever-more suburban region.

Thoughtful people are discussing those, too, and they might consider writing more letters to the editor on these topics. Or, hey, pick up the phone and put some more substance into the Tipsline dialogue. Sorry, Kaye, the forum stays. It’s up to the callers to raise the bar.

First, though, they’ll have to be concerned about something beyond that icy windshield.

Most of us understand pretty well just how good we really do have it. Thanks for the reminder, Tipsline caller.

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