Welcome to Locals 2003
Steamboat Springs — What constitutes a local? Different people have different definitions.
Some would put a time limit on it. You have to call Routt County home for 5, 10 or 20 years before you can call yourself a local. Others would say if your license plate has WZ on it, you qualify.
Others argue you can’t be a local unless you were born and raised here.
In the 11 years we have been profiling residents in our “Locals” special section, we have used all of the above definitions. Including the 17 people in this year’s section, we have now profiled 173 locals.
In selecting these profiles, we have used a much broader definition of the word local. In fact, we have most often used Mr. Webster’s definition of local — “of or relating to place.”
Many of those we have profiled, like Ty Lockhart this year, were born and raised in the Yampa Valley and are from families who helped settle this region. Some, like Nancy Wilson this year, have been here only a few years. We have even profiled some — Cheou and Ney Hoa Cheng in 2000, for example — as they were preparing to leave Routt County.
A local does not have to be someone who is powerful, wealthy, famous or athletically gifted, although some of our past and present locals fall into one or more of these categories. Rather, a local is someone who, as Mr. Webster says, is related to the Yampa Valley. Someone who has had an impact in some way on our community.
In fact, we have found the best way to select our locals is to ask for the community’s help. This year, more than 30 people were nominated to be featured in “Locals.”
This is not a scientific process. Though we have profiled more than 170 people in 11 years, there were 170 more who are equally deserving of such profiles. Still, we believe that, year after year, this section brings our readers a sampling of the stories behind the people who make our community special.
So let’s dispense with hard and fast rules on who is a local. A local could be a musician and rancher, like Jon Gibbs of Stagecoach. It could be a former newspaper editor who has traveled the world helping others like Dee Richards. Or a minister who has spent the last several years reaching out to help local youth like Tim Selby.
Lockhart, Wilson, Gibbs, Richards and Selby are among the 17 people profiled in this year’s section. They are, by any definition, locals. I hope that you enjoy reading their stories.
–Scott Stanford, Editor
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