My twin brother, Evan, and I got flipped off the other day by an elderly gentleman who thought we were in the way of his Durango – and no, he wasn’t driving a Dodge.
We laughed and said, “Sir, have a great day.”
This is more commonplace these days, the finger, the too busy Durango, the “who the hell is in my parking space?” attitude.
My Durango was growing up a block away from my grandparent’s house, the Victorian with the keyhole window on West Second. I would pass it every day on the way to the same grade school my dad went to. On the way home, when the sun would hit it just right, you could see where he wrote “Mike” in wet cement.
The Durango Herald came every day before the sun, and we looked forward to seeing what John Peel had to say. I was scared of my teachers, and called anybody older than me Mr., Mrs. or Ms.
We bought our work clothes at Hogans and our evening clothes at Stuarts. Mickey Hogan would always tell a story about my father, and it was never true. The library was the hospital, and the liquor store was in the high school parking lot. Horse stalls were still on Main Avenue, the fairgrounds weren’t paved, and the green chile burritos were and still are the best across the street.
Shopping local first was the only option, and if the city spent money on art from out of town – and the locals had a little fun with it – that was community involvement, not a crime.
We still got a thrill hearing the train whistle, whatever age we were. We waved at the train and the riders would wave back. When we stayed out past curfew, it was with one of the daughters of the local judge, sheriff or chief of police. If you went to stay the night at Greenmount, you had to pay ahead ... and there wasn’t a checkout time.
Our Durango is your Durango. The same place that won’t let firefighters pay for a beer. Where the Katz family has put our trails into easement. We should be grateful we can all share.
Let’s continue to dress poorly, shop local and ask our city council to spend tax money on local artists and vendors. Ask the schools and city to hire people who care more about what happens in this town than what’s on their résumés.
Wave with all five fingers and I’ll wave back. And if you happen to see me behaving badly when I think no one is looking, remember that my name is Evan.
Tad Elliott is a third-generation Durangoan. He is young enough to laugh at grouchy old men, old enough to be one. firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column has been updated to correct John Peel’s name.