Vail Trail eulogy stirs warm memories
Vail, CO, Colorado
Scott Miller’s excellent eulogy reminds us of the written word’s potency to reignite memories, rekindle emotions and revive an era long passed. During my childhood growing up in Minturn, only the Eagle Valley Enterprise approached the Vail Trail’s influence in the valley, and even that stalwart newspaper couldn’t seriously compete east of Edwards.
The Vail Trail really was the Vail Valley’s newspaper of record, carrying nearly the import to us small-town locals as The New York Times wields across the globe.
As the years passed, the Vail Trail got better. In the early ’90s, about the time a different George Bush spearheaded a different war in the Middle East, the paper reached its apex. Alongside editor Allen Best, there were incandescent writers like Miller, Joe Donnelly, Tara Flanagan, Scott Willoughby and the other assiduous scribes who not only presented, but usually pondered the facts they reported in beautiful prose.
I can easily recall the classy layout, in-depth content and thick issues that made the Trail seem more magazine than newspaper.
Even though I never wrote for the Trail, the newspaper and its writers influenced much of my later writing. I recall the journalists of that time, as I worked within throwing distance of the Trail’s Minturn offices, slinging up coffee and breakfast burritos for the Trail’s staff at The Turntable.
After I left the Vail Valley in the mid-’90s, I followed the paper’s progress from afar, happy that David O. Williams and Tom Boyd extended the tradition. Now, I learn of another death from a distant childhood.
I expected to read a mournful memorial. Instead, Miller served up a toast and tribute to a newspaper that I considered a childhood companion. And, in doing so, he returned the favor for those countless Boos burritos I served up to him and his Trail colleagues all those years ago.