Richard Carnes: Rose-colored shades of the Vail Valley |

Richard Carnes: Rose-colored shades of the Vail Valley

Considering the hues of leftover snow gracing our views this week, rust-colored is actually more appropriate, but that just doesn’t have the panache for a headline.

Either way, there are many around here who appear to be obsessed with negatives of late. You know what I mean ” things such as falling home prices, rising unemployment, who bows to whom and how deep they bow or smile or accept a gift on camera, if torturing 1,000 Muslims to save one American is really torture, the pros and cons of Eagle River Station (I have four words: The. Village. At. Avon.) and desperately trying to convince a few about the David vs. Goliath of advertising strategies when it’s actually more like Carl Sagan debating Larry the Cable Guy about evolution.

Hey, I understand, things aren’t great for anyone right now ” myself included. But if all I do is obsess with the bad crap in this world, I might as well join a cult of like-minded pessimists for pretend comfort or, worse, become a born-again Christian.

HA-HA-HA-HA, my Jesus-loving friends. It’s a joke!

Anyway, it is a shame that an unfortunate few can only see the world in black and white, allowing their bitter ignorance to falsely color what, in reality, is a beautiful spectrum of chromatic brilliance. But the best way to combat ignorance is through education, therefore …

Wait, who wants to be preached to in a weekly commentary? (All those raising hands need to put the paper down and go chase unicorns.)

Instead, I’ll concentrate on a few of the reasons most of us in Happy Valley remain happy. I hesitate, however, to speak for others, as the “others” tend to be offended from time to time (especially if I use the word “bitter”). So these are a few of my reasons ” mine alone ” which consistently contribute to my current level of happiness in spite of the economic doo-doo being spread around the globe:

I am happy we had great snow all winter and for the existence of entities such as the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and Vail Valley Cares.

I’m happy to live in a community where a fart joke can make the front page as a “Quote of the Day” and where local newspapers can run photos of young adults shouting, “Woo-hoo! Look at me; I can drink alcohol!” while making totally meaningless hand gestures that, for some reason, make them feel significant.

I am happy to live in a community where we can laugh out loud about skiers with pants around their ankles and elk with bar stools around their necks.

I am happy the golf courses are opening up for the season, as this provides me and my golfing buddies a great deal of joy. My wife likes it, too.

I think it is cool that in one weekend, without ever leaving this valley, I can plan on attending a soccer game, a ski race and a tee time and have all three canceled due to extremely heavy snowfall. I grew up with people in Texas who would barbecue an armadillo (the unofficial state mascot) for such an opportunity.

I’m glad I have yet to lose a single friend due to foreclosure or job loss, that I did not invest south of Gypsum or north of Beaver Creek and, when I purchase my plug-in hybrid later this year, the valley is small enough that the little gas engine will not need to kick in between my house and the golf course.

I am happy that my wife still loves me, the kids still think I’m a genius (depending upon circumstances), that I don’t have to worry about pirates while coming over Vail Pass (as opposed to walking up Bridge Street) and that Rick Perry is not the governor of Colorado.

I could continue, but I’m out of space. So go ahead, feel free to construct your own list and then e-mail it to the editor or even to me. Who knows? He might get as big a kick out of it as I will.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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