Vail is coming to a Crossroads |

Vail is coming to a Crossroads

Tom Boyd

I remember wide, feather-like snowflakes floating past a lamppost in midwinter. I had just come out of Friday night hockey practice at Dobson and, since I was too young to drive, I was on my way to the bus stop. My hair was freezing to my head, I was jogging to stay warm, and I was generally fired up. After all, it was Friday night, I was headed to the movies with my friends, and, of course, there was a particular girl I was hoping to sit next to.It was one of those moments when, for whatever reason, your mind takes a snapshot that lives with you forever. There was nothing especially memorable about the lamp post: no beauty waited beneath it, no car crash destroyed it, nothing spectacular defined it except that it was a moment of anticipation. The movies, the girl, the desire to forge ahead into the unknown world of pre-teen puppy-love, and the glorious importance of it all: life, the universe, the girl, the world, the snow I couldn’t wait to get to Crossroads. (For some reason, U2 was playing in my head: “With or Without You.” Almost every time I hear that song, I think of the snow drifting past that lamppost.)I united with my friends and we headed up to the bigger theater in Crossroads. There was a lot of jocular pushing around among the boys, most of it to position correctly for the upcoming main event: the choosing of the seats. We headed to the way, way back row of the theater, where we noticed the armrests had been pulled out of the floor.At this point, I was positioned perfectly to “accidentally” end up sitting next to the prettiest girl in the entire Minturn Middle School (who shall go un-named to protect the innocent).That’s when a group of older kids showed up and rudely interrupted us. After a very short conversation (which mostly involved the older kids bossing us around), we were told we had to pick a different spot in the theater.Confused, we headed to other spots. Little did those big bullies know they had ruined my night. My girl moved seats in the confusion, and I spent the entire movie sweating about my failures as a seat-positioner.Only years later did I realize why the older kids had torn the armrests out of the floor. The movies, it turns out, provided one of the few dark, indoor places outside the control of nosy parents. I didn’t know it at the time, but kissing (or “sucking face,” as it was known then) is made much easier without interference from armrests, (there may have been some other things going on back there, too, but it’s all rumor).It took a few years for the theater owners to get around to fixing the seats. I think they were having trouble enough fixing the projector, which broke down in the middle of nearly every movie (we used to call that a Crossroads intermission).Now the Vail Film Festival has come to town, and we’re hosting many of the nation’s future famous filmmakers here this weekend. Unfortunately, they’ll be showing movies in Crossroads Cinema, which is looking even worse than it did when I was a kid.Crossroads, like most of my other old haunts, is on the chopping block as part of Vail’s “Billion Dollar Renewal.” Something new and dazzling is sure to replace it. Frankly (and this may surprise you), I think it’s about time. I loved those days, but the future sounds even better.Still, I’ve only got a little more time to re-live the memories before they pull down Crossroads. So if you see me outside the Film Festival this weekend, headphones blaring U2, my eyes fixed on the snow swirling around some random lamppost, give me a minute to enjoy it then tap me on the shoulder and tell me it’s time to go. New movies, and a New Vail, await.Recreational water bill voted downA quick note: Eagle County Commissioner Tom Stone has once again been caught on the wrong side of the fence on water issues. Stone first supported Referendum A, and then recently supported the pro-Front Range, pro-development Senate Bill 62. The bill would’ve had a negative effect on the construction of water parks, but it was voted down in the State House of Representatives March 29 (way to go, House!).The bill subjugated Recreation In-Channel Diversion water rights. Avon is looking at building a water park under Bob the Bridge, and Eagle has long been looking at building a water park at the Fairgrounds site. These parks are cheap to build (once you have the legal ability to do so), and yet they bring tourist dollars to our valley especially during the not-so-busy shoulder season. In quotes given to the Vail Daily, Stone employed a well-worn scare tactic: he implied that we’d somehow run out of drinking water if we allowed RICD’s to exist. Wow, that’s bold. Even die-hard Republicans were calling me up, baffled at why Stone would support such nonsense.It’s time for Stone to get on board and support water parks. They make dollars AND sense for Eagle County. VTTom Boyd can be reached at

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