Rob Taylor: No Denying the Feng Shui of Mount Baldy | SkyHiNews.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Rob Taylor: No Denying the Feng Shui of Mount Baldy

Rob Taylor
If Guys Could Talk

WANTED: Village Idiot. Said idiot must exhibit stereotypical tourist behavior with ignorant bliss. Bizarre cultural background a plus. No experience necessary.

This ad never ran in the Sky-Hi Daily News. It wasn’t necessary. I filled the position the day I rolled in to Grand County – whistling “Rocky Mountain High,” driving a Toyota (not a Subaru), capturing big game droppings on my digital camera, and – most embarrassing of all – wearing an Elmer Fudd Sheepskin and Wool Ear Flap Hat.

Locals approached me cautiously … until I spoke.

“Where did you get that accent?” they asked, trying to hide their smirks.

Support Local Journalism

“What accent?”

It was subtle, they claimed. Something in the way I pronounced words like “know” and “out.”

“Wisconsin? Michigan? Iowa?” they guessed.

“Close … 25 years of North Dakota.”

“Oh my gosh! You sound just like the movie ‘Fargo.’ I didn’t think anyone actually talked like that.”

Me? An accent? I vehemently denied it, but the damage had already been done. To the Colorado ear, my tongue was entertainment.

“I do not sound like the movie ‘Fargo,'” I said in perfect English.

“Hey, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Fargo is the capital of Canada, right? North Dakota, you say? Well, I have been to Mount Rushmore, but enough about me; how about rattling off a few lines from the movie … you know … just for kicks?”

That was the trade off: my brogue for local acceptance. Though it left me feeling cheap, I swallowed hard and delivered the goods.

“Oh, what the heck! Jeez, ya’ sure, you betcha, doncha know, Minnuh-SOOOO-duh,” I said. “Ya’ happy?”

When the laughter subsided, I scored moose, elk and bear haunts, off-the-beaten-path, 5-star hikes, the skinny on local cheap eats, free concerts, ski discounts, ice fishing tips, the works. Then, one local told me something I will never forget.

“This town is the hippie capital of Grand County,” she said with hushed tones and a sideways glance, nodding toward the Grand Lake boardwalk. “Look, over there.”

“Huh?”

“Guy with the headband, tie-dye shirt, ZZ Top beard. The Jerry Garcia wannabe.

Probably on his way to a sit-in … you know, a hippie.”

Her words awakened something from deep within.

“Hippies are people, too,” I snapped, flashing back to my college days. I, myself, once wore a mullet. To the open-minded, it looked like fine art. To the legally-blind, it looked like a Fabio regurgitation. One thing it did not do: shrink my brain.

“First impressions can be deceiving,” I added.

My argument fell on deaf ears.

Still, five years later, I remain convinced that hippies are simply humanity’s response to nature. The town of Grand Lake, Grand County’s so-called “Hippie Capital,” is home to Mount Baldy. Irony? Not in my mind. I call it Feng Shui ” perfect balance.

As I reflect on the hippie warning, I can only shake my head, but I hold no grudge. I believe that people – even those with hippie prejudices – can change: a philosophy I adopted years ago in the Great White North. When I was someone else’s village idiot.

When I dressed like Elmer Fudd in Viking Country. When I lived somewhere near Fargo, N.D.

Want more? Visit http://ifguyscouldtalk.blogspot.com


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grand County make the Sky-Hi News' work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.
 


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User