Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hiding in Plain Sight

Last night my roommate asked me if I'd miss Lander. I had to answer yes. There was just so much life in that town. It was small, which forces everyone to get to know each other and their business. I like that; it's harder to be lonely when every time you step out door you'll see a friendly face. When I was a kid we moved around a lot, and I learned early on that every city and every town has a personality all its own. You can find it not only in the way people talk or how they dress, but in how they drive, if they open doors for each other or if the local watering hole is more like a pub than a bar. That being said, Lander's personality was made from people who helped their neighbors no matter what, let their kids play in the front yard, left their doors unlocked and their curtains wide open, and were always looking forward to the next party. It was a town that was equal parts cowboys, environmentalists and average American families. I heard someone once say that on one end of the bar there were locals wearing hiking boots and on the other end it was a lineup of cowboy boots. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the top floor window at the Noble Hotel you could see the hiking book variety riding bikes or walking to work while the cowboys powered down the street in diesel trucks or occasionally on horseback.

It was a treat to live in a community of stark contrasts and blatant opposition to time. Like the difference between the cowboys and environmentalists, Lander existed in a much different world than the rest of the country. Its hometown feel with a strong trust for each other and reliance on the community as a whole was so unlike anywhere I've ever lived. It was like going back in time to visit what Anywhere USA should have been. In a word, it was idyllic.

Lander seems to be hiding in plain sight, right in the middle of the country. Its distance from major cities keeps it isolated and, in effect, preserved. And honestly, I hope it stays like that.


Song of the day: Shadow of the Day by Linkin Park

1 comment:

Liz said...

Keep on writing Nicole. I sure miss your smile. Liz