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Old 02-02-2008, 06:13 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 13,176,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysses61 View Post
I think that Californians who retire or move to Colorado who are "materialistic" would gravitate toward convenient places like Denver, Colo Springs, Grand Junction or various other suburbs. Personally, I don't care for the sprawl in any of these places. When I retire, I'm going to the distinctly inconvenient city of Ridgway, where the winters are bleak and the closest Walmart is 45 mins. away. I don't want to be around people, I want peace and quiet.

California is impossible to pigeon hole, just as other states would be impossible to pigeon hole. The difference between Orange County and a place like Redding is the gulf of the Grand Canyon. It's the same in Colorado. There is little in common between Aspen or Telluride and Sterling.
Very Good Point. All states have many different areas. I grew up in New York State and most of the state is very rural that have little in common with New York City. It is the same in the most dense state-New Jersey--there are big city areas, and small out of the way towns.

I can understand your idea of retirement in an area which does not attract too many people; It has isolation. The problem is that when you are in retirement your get old and you will increasingly need medical services. The mountain towns in Colorado are not ideal for continual or emergency medical care.

Those areas are sparsely settled and even basic medical care is hard to get and the technical medical facilities are very, very, far away. The distance is made even worse by the difficulty of travel in the mountains. Many people built their "mansions" in these locals and have to sell as soon as the illnesses of age come in their lives.

It is not like the days of old when the family doctor could service most of your needs because the practice of medicine was simple, without all the technology. Today medical providers need the supports of sophisticated diagnostic facilities. If you live in Ridgeway, you are going to find yourself making long trips to the doctors, hospitals, labs etc. Too me--that takes too much of the pleasure of living in these areas. In addition, if you have a severe medical emergency--time is the important factor and trauma centers are very far away.

Livecontent

 
Old 02-02-2008, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,022 posts, read 98,892,281 times
Reputation: 31457
^^^ My thoughts are similar to livecontent's. In fact, health care was the first thing I thought of when I read of your plan to retire in Ridway. It would be a looong trip to the nearest health care facitlity for anything more than a simple illness. And unfortunately, we all get sicker as we get older.

The old family doctor really couldn't service all your needs with his (it was almost always his) limited technology. What he, or anyone else, could do was way more limited, which is why people used to die younger. He mainly offered TLC for anything that was outside the limits of medicine at that time.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 06:50 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,795,171 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
What "their own way of doing things" are you talking about? What do "outsiders" do that is so different? Do they walk differently, tie their shoes differently or what? I don't get it.

The last sentence is uncalled for, IMO.
About two blocks from me is a 70 year old grocery store/gas station. It has 50 year old pumps a 90 year old lady who runs it. The pumps can't handle the current gas prices, so you just remember how many gallons you pumped and tell her when you get inside. The store is her life and she'll run it until she dies. Everybody in town stops in to chat with her, and its a nice place to catch up with all the neighbors.

The people who are new to town make sure to fill up at walmart because they save 3 cents a gallon

Another town I lived in had a wonderful little butcher shop. The prices were good, and the meat was delightful. The butcher was a funny old irishman who always had a story to tell, and it was worth the trip just to listen to him.

Little family run businesses like these are the glue that make old neighborhoods and little towns true communities. They're also the first casualties of the chain stores that move in with suburbia.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,022 posts, read 98,892,281 times
Reputation: 31457
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
About two blocks from me is a 70 year old grocery store/gas station. It has 50 year old pumps a 90 year old lady who runs it. The pumps can't handle the current gas prices, so you just remember how many gallons you pumped and tell her when you get inside. The store is her life and she'll run it until she dies. Everybody in town stops in to chat with her, and its a nice place to catch up with all the neighbors.

The people who are new to town make sure to fill up at walmart because they save 3 cents a gallon

Another town I lived in had a wonderful little butcher shop. The prices were good, and the meat was delightful. The butcher was a funny old irishman who always had a story to tell, and it was worth the trip just to listen to him.

Little family run businesses like these are the glue that make old neighborhoods and little towns true communities. They're also the first casualties of the chain stores that move in with suburbia.
I'd be interested to know how you know it's the new people who buy their gas at WalMart instead of from this older woman. It's very convenient to blame everything on newcomers and WalMart. I bet if you went into WM, you'd see a lot of people you have known for years shopping there.

Did the butcher shop close? Or did the guy retire, or what? I like small business and I do my best to patronize them, but I do think WalMart, in particular, gets blamed for a lot of things that are not really its fault. When WM located in Lafayette, there was no more downtown. WM actually brought business to town that had previously gone to Boulder (and the sales tax with it). Sears, Roebuck was blamed for destroying downtowns, also the malls. Now it's WalMart. People usually go where they think they are getting the best value for their money.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 07:51 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,116,625 times
Reputation: 9066
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
About two blocks from me is a 70 year old grocery store/gas station. It has 50 year old pumps a 90 year old lady who runs it. The pumps can't handle the current gas prices, so you just remember how many gallons you pumped and tell her when you get inside. The store is her life and she'll run it until she dies. Everybody in town stops in to chat with her, and its a nice place to catch up with all the neighbors.

The people who are new to town make sure to fill up at walmart because they save 3 cents a gallon

Another town I lived in had a wonderful little butcher shop. The prices were good, and the meat was delightful. The butcher was a funny old irishman who always had a story to tell, and it was worth the trip just to listen to him.

Little family run businesses like these are the glue that make old neighborhoods and little towns true communities. They're also the first casualties of the chain stores that move in with suburbia.
How true. Let me tell about a small Colorado town with which I'm very familiar. I'm not naming it because, truth is, it could be any one of of a couple of dozen Colorado towns (and very like tens of thousands of small towns across America). 30 years ago it had a vibrant Main St. with nearly all locally-owned businesses. The exceptions were the chain grocery store, also located downtown, and a few franchised businesses that were also locally owned. It was possible to buy everything from an automobile to a suit to a good book to read right in that small town. The stores were in about a six-block area, accessible by walking to probably 2/3's of the residents of the town. Though residents might make a trip occasionally to one of the bigger towns or cities down the road, they generally didn't have to meet any day-to-day living needs. There was a lot of civic pride in the downtown, and the local merchants were all heavily involved in the community, supporting all nature of local charities and causes. There were a lot of senior citizens still living by themselves in the residential areas close to the core town. They could walk to the local stores and didn't need an automobile if they no longer felt comfortable driving. There was little crime, and most people didn't lock their doors, or take their keys out of their cars. The schools were near downtown, and many local children could walk to school. School buses were not run in the core town because they weren't needed.

Fast forward through 30 years of "progress" to today. Only a handful of the locally-owned businesses remain--and many of those are struggling. Some "specialty" shops, mostly catering to tourists and not carrying products locals would need, have replaced them. The main business district today, if you can call it that, has moved nearly 2 miles from the core town, anchored by a Wal-mart and a large chain grocery store. This new shopping area is virtually inaccessible to local residents unless they drive there--walking is not really practical--there isn't even a sidewalk to walk on to get there. Most items, if they are not stocked at those two stores, are no longer available locally--a trip must be made to neighboring larger towns 20-50 miles away--or ordered over the internet. The neighborhoods in the core town, where many seniors used to live, are now not considered very safe--there is gang graffiti showing up everywhere, including on the business buildings left downtown. With no public transportation available, many non-driving seniors--if they have no neighbors or relatives to rely on to transport them--are finding themselves having to move into assisted living facilities because they simply can not shop for themselves, get to the doctor, etc. The high school was moved to a couple of miles out of the town--now students either have to drive to school or take a school bus. One of the biggest single items in the school district's budget is now fuel for the buses.

So, this formerly pleasant small Colorado town now looks one hell of a lot like a miniaturized version of suburbia. Not surprisingly, it is having many of the same problems--and is every bit as dependent on cheap gas, automobiles, and "sprawl"-type development as its bigger counterparts. To someone who will say this is inevitable "progress," I say "Bull****!" I don't consider it progress at all. If having a bigger house and more crap to play with is the definition of "progress," maybe it is, but in terms of community, overall quality of life, and sustainability, it's not progress at all. It's degeneration into something increasingly ugly, undesirable, unsustainable, and insecure. We need to "re-examine the relationship" in the way we live.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,022 posts, read 98,892,281 times
Reputation: 31457
That is a very exceptional small town, that could offer all that stuff, from a suit to a book. My experience, in a city of about 100,000 in the middle of the Illinois cornfields (in other words, not a suburb), rarely had what you wanted beyond a pair of Levi's, or food. Everything was always on "backorder" if you wanted anything special, such as a special book. The bookstores usually had one or two copies of a few books. It was refreshing to come to Denver and have more choices. I came here in 1980.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:25 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,116,625 times
Reputation: 9066
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
That is a very exceptional small town, that could offer all that stuff, from a suit to a book. My experience, in a city of about 100,000 in the middle of the Illinois cornfields (in other words, not a suburb), rarely had what you wanted beyond a pair of Levi's, or food. Everything was always on "backorder" if you wanted anything special, such as a special book. The bookstores usually had one or two copies of a few books. It was refreshing to come to Denver and have more choices. I came here in 1980.
Not really. And, yes, I was able to buy all of those things there. What's amazing is if you go to the library and dig out old telephone directories and see the listings for all of the specialized businesses that used to be located in relatively small communities. Now, about all you see in a small-town Yellow Pages is listings for construction-related stuff, doctors, and lawyers. Oh, and Wal-mart and out-of-town car dealerships.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 08:43 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,510,346 times
Reputation: 4494
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlinggirl View Post
Actually it is the problem. The huge influx of people who imported their own way of doing things has overwhelmed the character of all the little towns that brought them there in the first place. There are a few still trying to hold onto their heritage, but you're killing them off too.
That's quite an accusation. If only I had that much power. I wonder if you have stopped to consider that perhaps your venerated old-time Coloradoans irrevocably set things in motion when they sold off their precious heritage to the big, bad developers. Perhaps you ought to look a little closer to home when seeking somebody to blame. I didn't bring Walmart or vanilla tract houses with me. They were already here. If you build it, we will come.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 02-02-2008 at 09:01 PM..
 
Old 02-02-2008, 09:01 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,116,625 times
Reputation: 9066
Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
That's quite an accusation. If only I had that much power.

I wonder if you have stopped to consider that the old-time Coloradoans you venerate were also seeking an improved quality of life when they sold off their precious heritage to the big, bad developers. Perhaps you ought to look a little closer to home when seeking someone to blame. If you build it, we will come.
Many of them had little choice. Encroaching development had pretty much destroyed the ranching and farming economies of their areas. Much of the infrastructure that supported that lifestyle--everything from the farm implement dealer to the processing or sales facilities for their crops or livestock was gone. They had little chance economically for their children to make a decent living FROM the land, just from SELLING the land. True, in some cases ranchers and farmers could sell their land for a price greater than they could make in 200 years of farming or ranching. I know more than a couple of ranchers holding multi-million dollar checks in their hand for their ranch that were crying uncontrollably from sadness over the way of life they just sold. Meanwhile, their "citified" children were busy figuring out how to spend all that money on fancy houses, cars, and other mendacious crap.

Personally, I think many yet unborn Americans will look back fifty years from now upon all of the mindless "development" and destruction of our rural lands that has happened in the last half-century as one of this country's darkest and stupidest eras. They will look upon it that way because they will still be paying--in both monetary and non-monetary ways--for what we wasted and squandered for nothing more than our own self-indulgence. In their enforced sacrifice and stark frugality, they will hate us for what we stole from them.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 09:29 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,510,346 times
Reputation: 4494
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Many of them had little choice. Encroaching development had pretty much destroyed the ranching and farming economies of their areas....I know more than a couple of ranchers holding multi-million dollar checks in their hand for their ranch that were crying uncontrollably from sadness over the way of life they just sold. Meanwhile, their "citified" children were busy figuring out how to spend all that money on fancy houses, cars, and other mendacious crap.
And this is my fault? Your crying rancher didn't sell out because Californians came seeking their bliss in the Colorado foothills. He sold out because the advent of industrial farming/ranching decreased the cost of food production and made it difficult for him to compete. Of course, he sold the ranch, but the buyer isn't to blame for the appeal of that multi-million dollar check.

Make no mistake, I am no fan of the vanilla suburbs that blanket the I-25 corridor, but I think we must look a little deeper than the influx of wealthy Californians to explain the dramatic changes in the Colorado landscape over the past fifty years. The urbanization/sprawl you criticize so vociferously merely filled a vacuum that was already in existence.
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