Vail Daily column: Damn you, Don Rogers
I hate making friends in this valley.
Wait, let me rephrase that: I hate making “close” friends in this valley.
Why, you ask?
Simple, really, as it is one of the few downsides to living here, or any highly transient resort area, I suppose.
People come into your life, perhaps as an impetus for change of some sort, and if it is a positive change they become your friend (if negative, not so much). Over time, sometimes years, the relationship evolves from one of a potential business acquaintance to a true friendship, someone you can count on for mutual support when needed.
Even though you might not hang out often, say once a month or so, when together you both truly mesh as friends. Have coffee, a beer or three, discuss writing, share writing, share ideas, talk politics, debate politics, plan futures, talk wives, kids, family in general, joke, laugh and basically just do the things that friends do.
Over the years the friendship deepens, mutual respect grows, and you allow yourself to become more and more comfortable with the relationship, and then suddenly, without any warning whatsoever — wham! — they announce their imminent departure.
Damn you, Rogers.
Via former Vail Daily publisher and current company big shot Bob Brown, Don hired me as a weekly columnist back in December of 1999, and our friendship has grown steadily since the very first Tuesday of the 21st century, Jan. 4, 2000 (827 Tuesdays so far, but who’s counting … )
Along with that Randy Wyrick fellow, I helped Don and family move into a new home up Eby Creek. His beautiful wife and kids, back when they were still flirting with double digits, came to our home for dinner.
We’ve skied together (ever the rebel, he of course snowboarded), drank good beer, enjoyed great food, had serious philosophical discussions, debated possible lifestyle changes, such as when he briefly moved to something called “Gardnerville” without his family because it was a good opportunity to learn a new position in the company (not this time, though — the jerk didn’t even ask my opinion).
Sure, it was with his family’s blessing, and it worked, and he was back in Happy Valley soon, just like he promised.
But this time the whole lot of them are hittin’ the highway.
And that, right or wrong, selfish or not, is why I have grown to dislike having close friends around here.
Don is not just a good friend, but he is a good person, a pillar of our community (albeit with bad knees), a level-headed and open-minded debater, in his mind a great basketball player, and I have nothing but respect for his intellect (when he really uses it).
But dammit, it takes more than two hands to count the number of actual close friends I’ve had over the last three-plus decades that have up and left for greener pastures, or whatever the hell they’re chasing.
And yeah, it bothers me, a lot.
Then again, this isn’t really about me, I know this, and of course I wish him and Mary nothing but the very best.
It’s just that, well, it’s just … I’m gonna miss him, because of what close friends around here always seem to do.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.