Beathard: Counting on the mountains to be there
On Memorial Day five years ago, my parents and I drove through a snowstorm on I-70, all three of us packed in with a portion of my belongings in my little Honda Civic.
I had just graduated from Texas A&M two weeks before and was moving to Vail for an unpaid internship at the Vail Daily. I didn’t know whether it would turn into a job or not, but I wanted to move to Colorado and I was willing to take a chance.
During that summer I got to experience living in my precious mountains for the first time and interviewed for another job in the company. The day I drove up for my interview was the first time I ever stepped foot in Aspen. I remember walking through town and watching the Mill Street fountain dance in the sunlight, and when I came back to the valley to look for apartments, I got a room at the Stonebridge Inn in Snowmass Village. I remember driving up Brush Creek Road at dusk, the lights of the village twinkling up the mountainside, and wondering how I had never heard of this magical place.
I thought I’d live here two years, maybe three. Five years later, here we are. And yet, it’s time for another change. I will be moving to Denver this summer to go to law school at the University of Denver in the fall.
Living in Aspen has been one of the richest experiences of my life, but I’m blessed to be in a position where I have the means and the flexibility to do something different, and I’ve decided that it’s time.
The job I’ve had at The Aspen Times has certainly prepared me for this new phase. From covering council meetings, reading land-use codes and sitting in on a few court hearings, I’ve discovered an interest and an aptitude I didn’t know I had before. But I’m glad it hasn’t just been the boring stuff — I’ve gotten to cover your events, hear your stories and get to know all of you.
When I first arrived, some of you looked at me quizzically, probably wondering why we’d brought in some young, inexperienced girl for a position that had already gone through two transitions in the past year. I didn’t live in Snowmass, and that was a major point against me for some of you. But I busted my tail to get to know you and what was important to you. I got over my fear of asking stupid questions and have become accustomed to admitting my mistakes, traits that (I hope) have made me better as a journalist and will only continue to help me in life.
While I won’t miss those late council meetings, I will keep up with what’s happening in the village, where once I could not have imagined the controversy behind those twinkling lights. I hope that as I return over the years, I can watch the village prosper and succeed. At least one thing’s for certain — the mountains will always be there.
This time next week, I won’t be your editor anymore. If you need anything related to the Snowmass Sun, please contact Lauren Glendenning, editor of The Aspen Times, at email@example.com.
And if you want to talk to me, well, you probably already know how.
Jill Beathard is looking forward to a summer out from behind her desk. Email her (through this week) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Snowmass Village will host a fundraiser Dec. 14 to support longtime resident Jason Neilson, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.