Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: The best place in the world
Vail, CO, Colorado
About this time most years I reflect on how incredibly lucky I am to be here.
I remember Bob Brown, then the publisher of the Vail Daily, asking me during the job interview why he should believe I’d stay after a newspaper career punctuated by moves every couple of years, if that long.
I remember spouting some gibberish about growing up in Hawaii and living most of my 20s in Santa Barbara, kindred souls to Vail if you, um, can overlook that lack of snow thing.
I believed it, and he bought it. And so here I am, 11 years later , other than a short exile to a sister paper in Nevada for most of 2008.
That pesky Vail Mountaineer sprung up while I was gone. And to be honest, I’m indebted to J.P., founder of the Vail Daily and the Mountaineer, for the chance to return. I must admit I enjoy kicking his you know what on as regular a basis as we can manage it. Nuthin’ personal. I’m simply my father’s son. Dude always liked a good fight.
More than that, I love working where The Paper still matters. Love us, hate us, you read us. Believe me, it’s not that way everywhere. I believe we’re a better community for this rather intense interest in the paper and the way it brings us a little closer together. That’s important.
Most of all, though, I value how my children grew up and thrived here.
Should have known when my wife shook her finger at me on Day 1: “Next life or next wife. I’m not moving.”
Understand that before this move, we’d toured the country from West to Midwest to East to West to … here.
And that was before our son turned 11.
He made out. Last summer he married his high school-college sweetheart and is busily living happily ever after. (I believe it, and others who know them believe it, too.)
For our daughter more than the rest of us, this is her hometown. That may not bode so well since my wife and I both couldn’t wait to bust out of our hometowns, and never looked back. But we weren’t from here.
This is a weird, quirky place with a ton of wild soul. And then there are the mountains. The backcountry starts outside our door, and we’re only a mile from the freeway. The best and brightest come here regularly; some make this their home.
I believe there’s no place better, even if the ocean maybe is a hair far.
I also believe too many of us take it for granted. But not me. I’ve lived all over the country, and choose here.
I could list a page of reasons, but space is running short quickly. So I’ll stop with the single best reason.
It just feels right in the gut. Great snow doesn’t hurt, either.
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