Richard Carnes: Sprummer in the Vail Valley |

Richard Carnes: Sprummer in the Vail Valley

Seemingly random thoughts on a late Sunday afternoon …

In spite of popular meteorological opinion, we only have two actual seasons in Happy Valley.

Outsiders usually call them winter and summer, but locals affectionately refer to these seasonal atmospheric conditions as “snow” and “no-snow.”

Oh sure, we have those other brief moments in time, usually lasting a week or two, but they are hardly worthy of formal monikers. For the uninitiated, winter is followed by sprinter and sprummer, with summer followed quickly by a fortnight known as fummer and another we call finter.

Pretty self-explanatory, when you think about it.

Graduation went off without a hitch last Saturday (thank you for asking), making the Carnes’ count an even two down with only one to go, and me just a few inches shy of the 50 yard line.

Short of an intellectual time warp allowing a genius IQ to suddenly appear overnight while the boy sleeps, I’ll be fifty-friggin’-seven when the last of my brood finishes high school.


I noticed the Eagle River Preserve in Edwards opened to the public last Saturday. Well, admittedly, I didn’t actually notice it, but I did read about it in the paper (this one, btw).

After many years, $12 million, and perhaps hundreds of splintered friendships from loud and bitter infighting, the small parcel of land is portrayed as being “devoted to quiet.”

I wonder if they’ve ever happened to notice the parallel stretch of extremely noisy asphalt known as I-70. You can’t miss it even if your eyes are closed.

Speaking of loud, down Eagle way I see folks are using the Matrix (YouTube) to convince locals not to take the RED pill. My opinion hasn’t changed on the subject, as the entire fiasco continues to remind me of the Village at Avon. Take a look at what was approved there in 1998, then look up and see what’s there today and the lawsuits being tossed back and forth along with all the promises made and promises broken, and you’ll know from whence I speak.

On a somber note, the main reason I could not mentally compile a complete column this week was the Saturday announcement received about local 14-year-old SuperKid Thomas Walsh and his sudden visit and subsequent stay at Children’s Hospital in Denver.

Thomas, whom I’ve known since playing Bob Cratchit to his Tiny Tim on the Vilar stage in 2001, along with his wonderful mom, Kathleen, are dealing with Ewing sarcoma in his pelvis as well as metastasized lungs.

This handsome, intelligent, extremely talented young man has cancer, and deserves the full force of compassion and assistance that we all know Happy Valley can provide.

Chemo treatments began Sunday, but he hopes to be home by the end of this week. You can follow his journey on Facebook (search: Thomas Walsh will make it through this!) or (search: Thomasgettingbetter). The more the merrier. Thomas and Kathleen need us now more than ever.

E-mail Richard Carnes at

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