Letter: Wood, a better bumper sticker, welcome
August 10, 2016
A better bumper sticker, welcome
I recently found myself in a discussion on a Grand County Facebook site that left me annoyed….for lack of a better word. One individual was looking for a place to make individual bumper stickers, specifically one that said they especially loved it when people from Denver went home. As a third generation native here, I can tell you what I've observed in Grand County in the past 60 plus years. The areas where I used to ride to check cattle, accessible then by a barely passable track is now a county road where last year a house sold for over $4 million dollars. I have heard over and over, "We really appreciate what you have here', motioning to the wide open spaces that have become developments, some for permanent residents but many for second homes. Housing prices have shot up. People bring their problems and city attitudes with them, along with HOA's and too often an unwillingness to get along with their neighbors. A huge majority don't understand or appreciate the rurality of our "grand" county. Someone told me recently they really wanted to become part of the community The unasked question for me was, "which community?" There's one that exists for those of us with real history here, another for those who have been here 30 years or so, and there's the one for those who are new in the past 10 years or less. Significant gaps exist between them. I'd love to see the growth slow here. In fact if we could go back a few years, I'd be thrilled. Maybe we'd get some of our pioneer core values back. But for those who said they'd like one of these bumper stickers, the county unfortunately counts on those visitors for an economy. And visitors often decide to stay. So consider this: you got yours, or at least I'm guessing you did, because it would seem you now live here. How long have you lived here? And if you got yours, why shouldn't the next person get theirs? If those of us who are native had bumper stickers like what you suggest, it would probably include the suggestion you go home, too. And of course, if you want to get down to the nitty gritty, native Americans were here first, and they weren't given any more choices about white settlers moving in on them, than those of us with 100+ year historieswere given by those who have moved in. Maybe a less offensive sticker would be this: Welcome to Grand County. Enjoy your stay. Have a safe trip home.