Quick points…

Forgetting that I have friends and acquaintances who fall into both the “hippie” and “right wing” categories, I threw out a vaccination quip about hippies and right wingers last week. Genius move. I won’t delve into the vaccination debate with any depth but we should point out that at least two of the people who have been identified having confirmed cases of pertussis in Gunnison County were immunized or had taken some steps in the immunization process.
I got a call from the father who had been diagnosed with the illness. He had caught it from his son. The father had a pertussis booster vaccination a year and a half ago as part of a tetanus shot. The son hadn’t completed the cycle but had most of the pertussis shots. The man’s message was not for or against vaccinations but to remind people, “If you have a nasty cough, get it checked out. I’m a typical healthy Crested Butte guy and I have the vaccination and I caught it. You can still get it so don’t think you are 100 percent protected just because you have been vaccinated.”
Brenda Ryan at Gunnison Public Health said that in last week’s article and reconfirmed that this week. She said because the county is under immunized, the cough could spread a lot easier. “If anything, I want to stress that testing and reporting to Public Health are important so investigation can be done and we can try to protect vulnerable people in our population,” she said.
Ryan noted those with full or partial immunizations tend to be much less ill with the disease.
Fair enough, whether you are a hippie or a redneck or a combo of both like so many here…

The One Valley Prosperity Project held its kick-off meeting last week. About 200 people packed a ballroom at WSCU. That is a good turnout for just about any meeting unless you are trying to get a ski area approved on Snodgrass or throw a blue-tinged party sponsored by Bud Light. One of the organizers, Pam Montgomery, told the crowd to “not be afraid. Go ahead and dream. Break through the bar and radiate possibilities. Work toward elegant simplicity.”
While I might be a bit of a skeptic about the goal of reaching one common vision or dream for the entire county that lasts for years, I am open-minded enough to let those with enthusiasm like Montgomery and Russ Forest and Jonathan Houck try once again to bring new “prosperity” to the people in the county. If they can find a way for us to work half as much and make twice as much money and ski or ride single-track three times as much—I’m all in with that sort of prosperity. I sincerely wish them good luck with this latest endeavor. They seem a passionate team.

After running up against a stone wall with messages left for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to get an explanation or at least a comment on the incident where officers picked up a U.S. citizen who lives in Gunnison and held him for three days without charges, I finally heard something. It was after another email and call to U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s office. But at least the director of communications for ICE out of Dallas said he is researching the case and hopes to have a response for me. That at least shows some promise in a Big Bother scenario.

And finally: For those who have been in Crested Butte 25 years or more, the events of March 6, 1990 will remain a big part of the community fabric. On that day, the lone bank in town blew up. Three ladies (hence the name of the park) lost their lives that morning in the propane explosion at the brick bank. Many others were injured and traumatized. All of us here at the time were affected.
It is not a day I like to relive. I was living in the northeast side of town at the time, and a phone call to my apartment alerted me to what happened. As I biked up Elk Avenue with my camera, the Four-way Stop was different. There was no building on the corner, just a pile of bricks and the steel vault sticking out of the pile of rubble. The town’s people converged and every effort was made to save those still living but buried. It was not a pretty morning. Hundreds of people pulled the bricks from the pile looking for their family and friends. When someone called for quiet to listen for survivors, the silence was eerie.
But the communal effort was inspiring in the mayhem. It is an experience for those at the scene that won’t be easily forgotten. It is hard to believe it has been a quarter century. I may not like to relive that day but it is a day in this town’s history that should be remembered.

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