Andrew Stoller: Lucky to live here
This past weekend I went to my high school 20-year reunion. The overlying message I got from almost everyone that I spoke to was, “wow, you live in Steamboat, I love Steamboat.”
The people who I went to school with have become doctors, lawyers, film producers, professional athletes and more, but somehow I left feeling as though I was the one who had had the greatest success. I wanted to say you get to simply choose where you live; anyone can choose to live in Steamboat.
But maybe that is not true, maybe it takes an enlightened group of people who choose place instead of all the other factors out there. We are a special breed that has made Steamboat and places similar to it our home.
During my time in Routt County, I have always felt lucky to live here, but lately, this has been even more present in my thoughts. With the recent news of violence across our country and the world, I feel so fortunate that we live in the friendly confines of the Yampa Valley.
Think about it. We live in a place that is so friendly that traffic jams are caused at the corner of Fish Creek and Third Street because everyone is waving each other on.
Our controversies are about our city council members using tickets to free concerts. Our most prevalent call to the police is concerning bears in our dumpsters. These are not, “first world problems,” these are “Steamboat problems.”
Sure we have our issues too. Like everyone, I was crushed with the news on the front page of Friday’s paper. We are not immune to tragedy, but I would guess that as a community we handle it as well, or even better, than most.
And maybe we lack some cultural diversity, but we do have the diversity in our backgrounds. From the hippies to the ranchers, locals to the “locals,” skiers to snowboarders, and of course, the liberals and conservatives. Unlike other places, we handle all these differences with grace and compassion, maybe a friendly jab, but we all know that it is in good fun.
When my high school classmates asked me what brought me to and keeps me in Steamboat? I gave the generic answer, “you know you come for the winter and stay for the summer,” but that is not really the answer, is it?
It took me driving home through the traffic of I-70 to really figure it out. You come to Steamboat for the winter, and you stay for the people … the summers are nice too.
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The Routt County Board of Commissioners is back in the hearing room it vacated when the pandemic sent the world home in March 2020 — and the public is welcome to attend, too.