Eagle local cleans up post office parking lot (column) | VailDaily.com

Eagle local cleans up post office parking lot (column)

Alex Kendall
My View

When I was 9 years old, I gave my sister a hockey stick for Christmas. This meaningful gesture was un-notable, with the exception that my sister didn’t actually play hockey. No sooner did she open her gift than I immediately asked if I could borrow it. She burst out in tears and my loving parents promptly pointed out that I was self-absorbed, narcissistic and grounded for two weeks.

I learned a valuable lesson that cool winter morning and ever since then I’ve never given my sister a single gift (not even a birthday card).

The story could end there, but it doesn’t. For the umpteenth time since starting my small business as a commercial and residential remodeling contractor, I’m at a crossroads. I have a choice to make — become a cautionary tale like Eastman Kodak, Blockbuster Videos and most recently Sears Corp., or get with the times. The decision was easy — I’m trading in my hockey stick for a selfie stick.

That’s right, I’m ignoring every introverted cell of my body and going all-in on the “look at me” social media revolution. How hard can it be? All I have to do is document the most mundane activities of my life, like a trip to the lumber yard or flossing my teeth then podcast, Facebook, Snapchat, Tweet and Instagram my way to financial freedom. Early retirement, here I come.

But, before I start my quest for world domination through social media, I need to swing by the post office and pick up some past due utility bills.

Oddly enough, it was this fateful trip to the post office where this story really begins. If you’ve ever driven by the Eagle post office you may have noticed a small piece of land on the east end of the parking lot. On this forgotten sliver of land sits a bank of newsstands and is Eagle’s own version of the Bermuda triangle. It’s where candy bar wrappers and beer cans go to die and it’s brought to you by the department of It’s Not My Job.

In addition to creating a natural habitat for transient coyotes and snakes, it’s a sanctuary city for tumbleweeds. This is just one man’s opinion, but this patch of land is an eyesore to the community and incongruent with the Chamber of Commerce marketing efforts.

This past November, upon exiting the parking lot I finally had enough. I found myself muttering under my breath, “doesn’t anybody in this town own a weed whacker?” Then it dawned on me, I didn’t own just one, but two weed killing machines.

Ever the opportunist, I had an epiphany. I would combine my love for weed whacking with my newfound passion for social media. With my rusty old pickup, a rake and some oversized leaf bags, I spent the remainder of the afternoon doing what I do best, manual labor (see before and after photos).

You don’t need to call to my sister to confirm my motivations for “giving back.”

As of today there’s been no news crews clamoring for my story and definitely no social media feedback loop telling me how awesome and great I am. But the good news is that there’s always next year’s crop of cigarette butts and thistle weeds.

If this amazing story of giving back inspires you to shovel your neighbor’s driveway or help an elderly person across the street, be prepared. Have your selfie stick at the ready and never let a good deed or kind gesture go unrecognized or worse yet, un-monetized.

In the meantime, I’m anxious to return to the post office and admire my handiwork. So please help expedite my rise to fame and fortune by drawing a smiley face (the original emoji) on a piece of paper and mailing it to P.O. Box 408, Eagle, CO 81631. You will be rewarded for your efforts by receiving a hand-written note (in seven to 10 business days, holidays excluded, of course) from yours truly. You never know, I might even toss in my business card, in case you need some yard work in the springtime.

Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got to make up for the hockey stick incident with my sister and go shopping for the new (Husqvarna Model 455) chainsaw she’s always wanted.

Alex Kendall lives in Eagle.