Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Mary Lynn Tartaglia

As a former employee of Magnus Lindholm, I thought I’d add my 2 cents to the fracas upvalley. You see, in the approximate two and a half years that we were caretakers for the Lindholms, Magnus told my husband on several occasions what a great country we live in. His wife also told me how when they left their homeland, she was pregnant with their first child and that she was due around July 4. She and Magnus had really hoped the baby would be born on the Fourth of July since they were starting a new life in America. Now, since that happens to be my birthday, I have to say there could never be a flag (or pole) big enough, there could never be a Fourth of July parade long enough, there could never be enough fireworks, or enough of the singing of “God Bless America” (even by Kate Smith!).I’d say that for Magnus to put up with all the rudeness and animosity toward him in the Vail Valley it has to be more than any money he has or will make there.Personally, I’d say what Cordillera has done to the view along I-70 is far more intrusive! Anyway, God bless America!Mary Lynn TartagliaGypsumLong may it waveIn salute to the raising of the giant American flag this Independence Day, I say, “Bravo, Magnus Lindholm!” It is also an “in your face” expression of defiance to those who would destroy us and what we stand for, as it was the first time the Betsy Ross flag flew.I have resisted entering the weeks-long brouhaha (that’s Irish, not Swedish) about The Flag (that’s American, not Wal-Mart) as long as I could. No one but Mr. Lindholm could say what his motive is in the size and placement thereof, and he has done so.Crass commercialism? Come on, folks. How many people passing on I-70 will be drawn by the American flag to shop at Wal-Mart and Home Depot? The truckers? How many people in Vail Valley hadn’t a clue Wal-Mart existed until they had a super-sized flag to follow like a yellow brick road? Excuse me? What if this were the weeks following 9/11? I hardly think we would have heard a word from protesters.Immediately after 9/11, huge flags appeared alongside freeways in California (and I don’t want to hear about “La La Land,” thank you very much) painted on the sides of big buildings, and covering six stories of windows in an office building. Drivers saw only the flags without any idea of what commercial building they were by or on, and I’m sure I was not alone in having a lump in my throat when I passed them. The reason for the flags should be evident even to the Vail Valley’s self-centered population.My Swedish mother, who arrived at Ellis Island at the age of 17 (and in Denver in 1918), flew the American flag with great pride every Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays. That flag was a reflection of her gratitude to her adopted country. It is one of my dearest family treasures. If she had thought of it under the same circumstances as Mr. Lindholm’s, she may very well have flown a super-size flag for the same reasons – the word, folks, is patriotism (not commercialism).As a Colorado native of 77 years, with my Swedish husband who is from a pioneering family (his mother was born in Lamartine, 11,600 feet above Idaho Springs), we have been grieved and appalled at the ant-like encroachment over our “purple mountain majesties.” The hills are not alive “with the sound of music,” but covered with bricks and mortar, and reverberating with the crack of golf balls being hit.Where are the incensed letters of protest over the “luxury time-share” development of the “languishing Avon lot” (languishing, yet?) at the east entrance to Beaver Creek (Vail Daily, June 23, Page A3)? Blocking the hillside view of spruce and aspen will be a 54-unit, five-story monstrosity of 130,000 square feet and 90 surface parking spaces. In addition, we can look upward, not to the Columbine blue sky with its fluffs of clouds, but to gondolas and chairlifts like “bats with a radar problem” (courtesy of my grandson, Collin).With due respect to Roger Brown and his “Requiem,” I hardly think Wal-Mart is one of the three major issues on the Western Slope – or is a 150-foot ship’s mast pole with a super-size American flag. Long may it wave!Dorothy Casperson

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