Roger Marolt
Snowmass Village, CO, Colorado

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August 21, 2012
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Village life is good, except for bankers and columnists

I love Snowmass Village. Most days the sun is shining and the others it is not. Either way it is beautiful, even when the skies are choked with forest fire smoke from the backwoods of Idaho; it's all natural. The people here are wonderful, except for the mean ones, and the buses run on time and on low-sulfur fuels.

I want to thank all the firefighters, police officers, town employees, fitness trainers, restaurant employees, clerks, tellers, lifties, lawyers, lawn boys, lacrosse coaches, golf pros, brokers, bartenders, builders, billionaires, bankers, bakers, and candlestick makers (sorry if I left anybody out) for all they do to make this the best place on earth to live, shop, ski, and do everything else except windsurfing. If I may gush on without causing any one of our many humble residents embarrassment, I would go so far as to say ...

Aw, what's the use? I could go on all day about what a great town Snowmass Village is, but it's not any more interesting to write about than you think it's interesting to read about. I mean, I tried, OK? But I'm afraid that was only the guilt talking.

I've been feeling kind of low about opening up the old Tarpgate file on Billy Boineau a couple of times in the past few weeks. Hey, what's wrong with a little bloodless fighting at a rock concert in Town Park? Before that, I was all over Mel Blumenthal. But, I really can't blame him, can I? Worst of all, I just tore poor old Jack Hatfield a new one in writing; you know, figuratively kicked him around, chewed him up and spit him out ... into the gravel ... the sharp, white decorative kind that they put in planters around skinny, wilted trees in Holiday Inn parking lots.

Anyway, I'm really sorry about all that. I think it must be because of all the pressure I'm feeling. I don't think many of you understand what kind of stress a Snowmass Village columnist is under. Seriously. I dare you to pull out a pen and pad right now and scribble down about 800 words on anything local. Need some topic ideas? OK, I'll give you both of them: 1) Base Village; and 2) Bankruptcy.

Great! You've got something written down? OK, now re-word it 51 different ways to cover the rest of the weeks of this year, and then repeat. Basically that's the challenge of a Base Vil... I mean Snowmass Village columnist.

What we don't have out here you could fill many columns with. The entrance of our town is not and never will be an issue until somebody can pinpoint where it actually is. Our S-curves don't slow anybody down enough to cause traffic problems. Does any local driver even see the round-a-bout anymore? The only HOV lane we have is a 200-yard long dragstrip on Brush Creek road that you are usually all alone on.

We have all the employee housing units we can handle and mold doesn't seem to be a problem in any of them, except the owner-

induced kind in the kitchens and baths, which a little Lysol can fix. We don't have a backlog of projects at the building department. There are no one-way streets to ride your bicycle against the grain on. We don't get famous and controversial speakers to speak here, so you can forget protests on that.

We don't have rouge jugglers in our mall, incidents of road rage in the grocery store parking lot, rugby games, or a fountain for half-naked people to run through when the bars close. You can't imagine what I'd give for a cab driver to come out here and offer anyone a free ride. Everybody does a good job of cleaning up after their dogs (my neighborhood excluded). We don't even have alleys to pee in.

Yes, I'm thankful for the occasional tip: "Have you seen that So-and-so has a trailer in his driveway this week. That's against the covenants, you know. If you really want to write a column, here you go." But, the fact of the matter is that, about as soon as I put pen to paper, I see my neighbors, Fred and Glenda, waiving goodbye to their elderly parents on their way to the Grand Canyon for one last excursion "before Dad's cataracts just get too bad for him to drive anymore," and the trailer is gone.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not complaining as much as I'm trying to explain. Life in The Village is good. For a newspaper columnist on the local beat, it's a little too good. That's why my life is heaven and my job is hell. But, don't you worry; I promise to not give up trying.

Roger Marolt does not want anyone in The Village to construe this to be an apology ... for anything. Contact him at

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The Aspen Times Updated Aug 21, 2012 04:30PM Published Aug 21, 2012 04:29PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.