Jane and Wally Ewing wrote a Letter to the Editor of the Mountain Mail on their observations of Salida. We thought it was clever and right on point. We are re-posting it here
For the post several years my husband and I have spent winter months in Salida.
We settle into our children’s vacation home on G Street and live like longtime residents.
We subscribe to The Mountain Mail, keep a library card, have a membership at ExerFlex and use our Safeway cards.
We’ve made many friends and experience an exciting and healthy lifestyle.
On our way home to Grand Haven, Michigan last month, we had fund conjuring up a list of what Salida means to us:
Women wear ponytails. Men wear ponytails.
Old people ride bikes to the gym in the morning and ski in the afternoon.
Senior citizens are 85 or older.
There are few handicapped-designated parking places because they aren’t needed.
There are more yoga centers than gas stations.
There are more art galleries than yoga centers.
There are no dry cleaners because, who cares?
Burger King and KFC came and went.
Hats are worn but not for fashion.
Lip balm replaces lipstick.
People with crutches ride bikes on the snow.
Al fresco meals are not seasonal.
Consignment stores are in. Sears and JC Penney are out.
Mule deer and dogs are pedestrians.
Violins and fiddles share equal billing.
Athletics, authors, artists, musicians and ranchers are cultural diversity.
Burger choices on menus offer elk, buffalo and caribou.
People who live in Victorian homes are neighbors with those who live in miners’ shacks.
Anglers and surfboarders share the Arkansas River.
Mountains are your front yard. Open ranges are your backyard. Tumbleweeds are all over.
A hike up a mountain is a walk in the park.
Local politics incites shoot-outs.
Some say no to Christo.
Boots are for skiing, hiking, symphony concerts and church.
People smile a lot.
Brewpubs and java cafes replace Starbucks.
The public library is a hot spot.
Supplies of stirrups, saddle blankets, reins, cow records and spurs are at a neighborhood store.
A suit and tie is a Halloween costume.
The North Face supersedes Armani.
Every sunrise and every sunset brighten a mountain ridge.
Princeton is not a college. Monarch is not a butterfly. Methodist is not a church. They are mountains.
The midnight sky is the answer to a planetarium.
a cow, a dragon and kayaks decorate a rooftop, a parking lot and an alley.
The steam plant is really a theater.
Cowboys and cowgirls are the real deal.
People act young when they’re not.
The dude sitting at the end of the bar cleaning his fingernails with a hunting knife doesn’t draw a glance.
Bread is baked in a brick oven on the sidewalk.
Santa comes to town on a fire truck.
You can hike or bike a different mountain trail every other day of the year.
In winter people soak in Chalk Creek to relax.
Nearby ghost towns are inhabited.
The skies are not cloudy all day.
Bag balm is also used to treat chapped hands.