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Old 04-27-2013, 12:40 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,334,860 times
Reputation: 10278

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Never a dull moment in my isolated little part of Colorado. First everyone decided to sit around McPhee Resevoir and watch the water dry up and take bets as to when the entire thing would turn into nothing more than a few dust devils. The current capacity stands at a mere 19% of normal, and I figure that by mid-summer the pinto farmers will start cutting ditches into the Colorado when no one's watching.

Meanwhile, my quest for gainful employment continues, along with the on-going squabbles between County and City Governments around here, and the incredible difference in life style of those safely cocooned in Durango and Telluride versus the actual people who have muled on in for the long hardscrabble of a haul we all face these days. A recent sequence of events resulted in me writing the following letter which I decided to inflict on the forum members here and not just waste it on the members of our local so-called government:


FROM: COWGIRLS DON'T CRY, Inc.
Cortez, CO 81321
April 25, 2013
TO: PARKING DIVISION
City Of Durango
Durango, CO 81301
Dear Mr. or Ms. Division:

Per the instructions printed on the ticket you tucked under the wiper of my truck on the afternoon of April 25, I am registering an objection in writing and sending it within the stated 48 hour deadline.

I didn’t notice the sign for a private lot, so I parked there unknowingly. However, ignorance of the law is no defense. I object because the amount of the fine places an unjust burden on those who are least likely to be able to pay it – low income residents of places outside Durango and La Plata County.

Durango residents tend to have a higher income, so a $60.00 fine is mostly just a nuisance to them. Besides, they know town well enough not to park in an off limits lot by mistake.

The tourists who come here may not know the area well, but a $60.00 parking ticket won’t force them to choose between paying the ticket or buying the kids dinner – which is what often happens when a low income individual gets hit with such a fine.

People who live in the poorer counties like Montezuma, etc. often have to drive to the “unfamiliar” town of Durango for medical or governmental reasons. Often they come to Durango looking for work that isn’t available in Dove Creek’s drought stricken bean fields or the often struggling hospitality industry in Cortez. These people flip right out when they hit the traffic in the “big city,” and often park in the first spot they can find - for sanity’s sake if nothing else.

I like to imagine Dove Creek and Cortez also having cleverly disguised parking lots that snap shut over unwary out-of-towners - just like big Venus fly traps in a Sci-fi Western. Revenge is sweet! Bet that trust fund baby from Durango never dreamed that he’d have to pay all those parking fines for illegally leaving his vehicle on a vast pinto farm that stretches from one end of the horizon to the other. Take THAT, you city slicker, you!

But even if Dove Creek were to start playing rough, I really can’t imagine the Aspen-wanna-be’s of La Plata County becoming unduly concerned over a $60.00 parking ticket - chump change unless you happen to reside in Montezuma or Dolores County where unemployment may be as much as 20%.

Currently, I just so happen to be among the unemployed out here in the Lost Corners (the Land that both time and trust funds have forgotten). I seldom have the gas money to make the round trip between our two illustrious cities twice in the same month, never mind twice in the same week. However, on April 24th, I had to drive to Durango for a doctor’s appointment. In her office I noticed a copy of something called “the Durango telegraph,” published in and around DURANGO on a weekly basis.

I’d never noticed this rag before - no big surprise since publications which are unable to penetrate the event horizon near Mancos tend to fall off into the black hole created by the Great Mesa Verde Wormhole and a couple of mischievous Skin Walkers with too much time on their hands.

I perused the unfamiliar “telegraph’s” classifieds and noticed an announcement for a job that was a perfect fit for both my education and my experience. No application deadline was given, but I went down to the store that had the opening straight away… And was informed that they already had 90 applications stacked up, and maybe I’d be just as happy if I bought a few things from the store’s considerable inventory and gave up on actually earning anything to pay for my purchases with.

I have enough problems without getting arrested for shop lifting too, and while there’s any number of jobs I can’t do, this was a job that I COULD do to the point that I’d even won a few awards for doing it OK. I KNEW that I was an extremely competitive candidate – 90 resumes or no 90 resumes.

So, I started in on some heavy duty whining about this to the clerk out front until she finally went back and got me a job app to shut me up, warning me the deadline was actually already past. What deadline? Nice if one had been posted in the ad, but moot point since “the telegraph” doesn’t get sent over to Indian Country, anyway.

I returned to my little apartment out here in the Third World, and began to spiff up my resume. After that I tackled filling out the job app itself. I even typed up my responses to all those “How would your presence make our business take off and fly to heights never before attained?” type questions. I threw my heart into it. Did I mention that I have been out of work for a while now, and this was a job that I was a GOOD candidate for? I finished up at 3am and went to print my magnum opus out.

Ever had the cat gack all over your homework for reals? It happens. My printer gacked all over my application and then quit on me. I spent the remainder of my evening having fun with electronics. I NEEDED that job. My printer didn’t care. My next door neighbor informed me his printer was broken too when I knocked on his door at 5am. Finally, the sun rose and the dawn’s light revealed that my night of hell was quickly turning into yet one more tough trip through Paradise.

I made it to Durango far behind schedule after first sending my completed application ahead via an e-mail to myself. Someone told me to go to Point to Point Graphics up on 2nd Ave to get my paperwork printed up. I noticed that there seemed to be a number of available parking slots in the lot their shop fronted out on. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the parking spots were for residents, NOT customers. Whoops!

But the folks at Point to Point were the nicest people I met that day – very kind, very helpful. If you ever find yourself in Durango needing graphics work done, go to Point to Point. They printed out my ten pages of documents on a nice heavy duty bond for a mere .92 cents.

I paid my bill and ran out their door, my fully completed and nicely printed job app clutched in a folder. I zipped on down to THE shop on Main with MY job opening. Ever been in a position of authority and had someone try to pull the old “cat gacked on my homework” excuse on you? Yeah, I hardly ever believed that one either, and the store owner was no different than the rest of us usually are:






Didn’t I KNOW my application was due yesterday??? DECISIONS had been made and set in STONE! People had ALREADY been offered interviews. The other interviewees would feel cheated and DISRESPECTED if it ever became known that someone got offered an interview after they had ALREADY been offered one EARLIER. What part of “NO” didn’t I UNDERSTAND? ((((Maybe I couldn’t figure any of this out what with obviously being in my second childhood and all?))))

A woman my age shouldn’t pull all nighters – that’s for sure. Mentally I can still usually bring one off if I have to, but I’m a physical wreck and look it the next day. I assume my rather bedraggled appearance was easier to write off as early onset senility, rather than the true reason I’d given – a night spent working on what I hoped would be a decent application, especially given I’d only found out about the job a few hours before. I also probably didn’t look as though I’d be good at slinging around 50 lb boxes of merchandize, either – an odd job requirement, especially given that most places of employment now have those new fangled dolly things. Worst of all, my interrogator decided with a single glance at the top page of my paperwork, that I hadn’t answered the special questions on the final pages. But not to worry. My application would be carefully stored and taken out and reviewed when the next vacancy opens up in 2020.

Sometimes you just hit a person on the wrong day. Most likely, I wouldn’t have been hired even if mine was the very first and the most incredibly perfect application of all those placed on her desk. I probably should be grateful that the owner didn’t call the police and have them hold me while they called around to local old people’s homes to make sure there were no escapees.

And after all that, I returned to my truck and discovered it decorated with that ticket that I can’t pay until May 3rd because I’m STILL looking for work and all my cash has gone for gas, so my truck and I can continue in our quest for the holy grail of employment.

At the moment I have maybe $2 bucks and a Durango parking fine of $15.00 which will morph into a fine of $30.00 because I have to wait 7 days to pay it and that’s the penalty, sucker. If I’m having a tight month, I’ll have to flip a coin and see who the lucky winner is – the electric company or the Durango Parking Division. If the DPD loses the toss, they’ll send someone out to bust my knee caps if I don’t come up with (by then) $60.00 the next time they drop by.

Still, this letter of “Objection” is NOT a request that I may be exempted from the consequences of my criminal parking actions. The law’s the law. I ask only that my punishment be non-monetary, since at the current rate, I will owe the Durango Parking Mafia something like $122,880.00 by this time next year!

If I could just be granted financial clemency this one time, I swear I will never look for a job in Durango or La Plata County ever again. I swear it! Perhaps I could be allowed to work off my debt rather than trying to pay it off in cash I simply don’t have.

I can get a ride to town and mop the floors or wash the windows in Durango’s municipal buildings. I have a sharp eye when it comes to books, and I could spend a weekend doing shelf reading for the Durango Public Library, if you’d rather that. Or I can pull weeds and plant annuals in the flower beds that grace Durango’s parks. Whatever it may take for me to atone for my crime, I will do it.

I look forward to your reply concerning this matter and a prompt resolution that is acceptable to all parties concerned.

Sincerely,
Colorado Rambler
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:46 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
Reputation: 9132
Yeah, you just got the "treatment" from the "new and better" Durango that the "people with plenty of dollars and no sense" who have transplanted there have made the place into. I got a taste of it a couple of years ago. I happened to be driving through Durango then and had to pick up some stuff at a local business. I happened to hit town during their annual Navajo Trails Fiesta parade. No, Durango doesn't call it that, anymore. That's "politically incorrect" now, just like the Purgatory Ski Area is now Durango Mountain. I call them by their old names just to **** the newcomers off.

I got stopped by the parade at 9th St. and Main Avenue by a very nice middle-age lady directing traffic--she being a volunteer for the Parade. She said, "You'll have to wait for the parade to pass--which will take at least 20 minutes or you'll have to turn around." I told her that I would be glad to wait, shut off the pickup and got out to watch the parade.

The parade was nice, but the "parade" of people in cars behind me--both tourists and yuppie locals--were not. They asked me in surly voices why I was stopped at the intersection--like, they couldn't see that there was a parade--Hello! Several verbally berated the nice lady who was just doing her job. One guy--typical yuppie a******--gunned his yuppiemobile and bolted across Main between two parade entries. The nice lady just stood there in disbelief. In between all of that, she was busy tending all of the pre-teen and teen yuppie brats that were bolting across the street constantly (where were there parents?--in the coffee house having a latte?), often right in front of mounted riders on already skittish horses or in front of other parade floats and horse-pulled entries. The nice lady, obviously a ranch woman familiar with horses, had had her fill. "I won't volunteer for this again," she told me." I asked her if she was from Durango. She replied, "I was born and raised on a ranch around here, but this isn't the Durango that I grew up in. I want out of here."

For me, Durango has two main attractions: A very good hospital and the historical Durango & Silverton Railroad--the latter that a lot of the newcomer transplants really wish would just go away, notwithstanding that it is what built the town and what still provides a substantial portion of the town's economic base.

Colorado Rambler's post is a microcosm of what happens when a formerly nice Colorado town "yuppifies." The long-term residents, over time, get marginalized, usually eventually getting forced out, if they don't voluntarily leave because they come to hate what their home community has become. Which, in many cases, is what the newcomers want--they don't want any of the old "rabble" around--unless it's to clean their toilets or change their bedsheets.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,058 posts, read 12,406,241 times
Reputation: 25985
Great posts!
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: The 719
14,498 posts, read 22,347,982 times
Reputation: 13810
Gurl, you need to stay far away from Manhattan Island. I got 180 bucks worth of parking tickets in a weeks time. That was two tickets, a 65 dollar one and 125 for the other. The first one was tragic because I refused to pay 40 per day to park in a parking garage where they rotated your vehicle up in a carousel and there were obviously no in-n-outs.I had to feed the parking meter 6 quarters about every 50 minutes on the hour every hour while we installed a commercial floor at a place called Devine's Bar on about 84th and Columbia (?? It was near Central Park). Well I showed up late by 30 seconds one time and they nailed me. Oh, and I was parked two blocks from the job site.

Well, on Sunday, I saw that parking was gonna be free so we can park right out front of the job sight and be free, right? No. Those streets were jam-packed with cars and there was no place to park. I finally found a spot a couple blocks away that had a sign that said "No Standing". No Standing. No problem. I'm just going to park this rental minivan here that our knockle-headed floor installer decided to rent and we can get some work done.

So all day long, no ticket. As I walked to the corner Jewish deli or pizza joint for food I checked the car, no ticket... until right before we got in the vehicle so we could drive back to our hotel in New Jersey where our company booked us to stay in where we could pay 20 per night... in our own hotel! Denver downtown hotels pull this garbage too.

So would my boss pay for these tickets? Of course not. We had discussed what my cousin, who lives in the City told us... get a hotel right near the airport you flew into, and take a taxi everywhere you go. Our boss, my stupid brother, wouldn't be bothered with these arrangements, nor would his underpaid secretary / logistics / travel planner. My floor installer buddy wouldn't split the bill either. Somehow, the rental car was registered on my credit card too.

To my knowledge, Pueblo has one street, 2nd between Main and Court I think, that has parking meters.

Cool Hand Luke comes to mind.

You dear, are now a quota.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:48 AM
 
13,294 posts, read 25,470,882 times
Reputation: 20393
Ms. Rambler, you have written a magnificent opus!
I only hope the Parking Department reads it and offers you a job to write and edit whatever they have; also, your points are well taken.
Jazz, I don't think "yuppies" have existed since the 1980s. You need a better word for "outsiders with money" or "tourists" or something. I see gentrification as an area getting "quiched up," which was a city term some years ago. To me, yuppies were college students who had posters of Lee Iacocca on their dorm room walls and revered Ronald Reagan. Like I said, the 1980s.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,058 posts, read 12,406,241 times
Reputation: 25985
Two weeks after I moved to Ridgway in 2009, I got a letter in the mail from the Breckenridge Police Department that I was going to have my license suspended and a warrant issued for an unpaid parking ticket in their town.

I called them and after a lecture of not paying the fine, I told the clerk I didn't know where Breckenridge was, never heard of it and I had just moved here from out of state. On the notice was MY license plate number and the description of a white Audi. Ticket was written at 3am. So, I was in a town I never heard of, in the middle of the night, in a car I don't own (I drive a Mustang).

After some checking she discovered the officer transposed a number in that electronic ticket writer thingy. She said I should come visit because "we really are nice here", and I got an apology and a letter from them with some coupons and a Breckenridge travel guide enclosed.

My "welcome to Colorado" I guess!
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:56 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
Reputation: 9132
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
Ms. Rambler, you have written a magnificent opus!
I only hope the Parking Department reads it and offers you a job to write and edit whatever they have; also, your points are well taken.
Jazz, I don't think "yuppies" have existed since the 1980s. You need a better word for "outsiders with money" or "tourists" or something. I see gentrification as an area getting "quiched up," which was a city term some years ago. To me, yuppies were college students who had posters of Lee Iacocca on their dorm room walls and revered Ronald Reagan. Like I said, the 1980s.
"Yuppie" was originally coined as a contraction of "young urban professional." I guess that it's a lazy term for "egotistical metropolitan jerk from someplace else that that has more dollars than sense, but probably not as much money as he/she would like you to think, and thinks that wherever he/she moves should just up and change into just what he/she wants with no regard to what people who have lived in a place for generations think it should stay like." That's just way too much to type--I'll stick with "yuppie." Not everyone who relocates to rural Colorado fits that description, but enough do to keep wrecking the place for everybody else.
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:00 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,697 posts, read 4,334,860 times
Reputation: 10278
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Yeah, you just got the "treatment" from the "new and better" Durango that the "people with plenty of dollars and no sense" who have transplanted there have made the place into. I got a taste of it a couple of years ago. I happened to be driving through Durango then and had to pick up some stuff at a local business. I happened to hit town during their annual Navajo Trails Fiesta parade. No, Durango doesn't call it that, anymore. That's "politically incorrect" now, just like the Purgatory Ski Area is now Durango Mountain. I call them by their old names just to **** the newcomers off.
I am amazed at how much Durango has changed for the worse since I was on the FLC faculty back in the 80's. Oh, it was still a touristy town back then, and the kids from the college mostly majored in alcohol consumption (probably other substances, as well), but there were still many residents who had actually grown up in the area and people who didn't wear alligator skin, hand-made smoke jumper boots were treated the same as everyone else. (That was one of my mistakes, come to think of it. I needed to look like a humble advocate for Mother Earth with my Merrill clogs or Earth Shoes and my little under-stated designer, Navajo style patterned back pack that is sold for a mere few thousand bucks if you can find one).

Back in the day, a person didn't have to look as though they'd just stepped off their Leer Jet from Aspen or Vail in order to be accepted in Durango. And Ft. Lewis actually still fulfilled its role as a college where Native Americans could get a shot at acquiring a higher education. Tuition was free for any Native American tribal member. Then the funding for that program was abolished and you no longer see the groups of soft spoken Navajo kids wandering across campus or receive a surprise gift of a "dream catcher" presented by your Ute work-study kid at the end of the year. It's a real loss to all the College community.

Quote:
I got stopped by the parade at 9th St. and Main Avenue by a very nice middle-age lady directing traffic--she being a volunteer for the Parade. She said, "You'll have to wait for the parade to pass--which will take at least 20 minutes or you'll have to turn around." I told her that I would be glad to wait, shut off the pickup and got out to watch the parade.

The parade was nice, but the "parade" of people in cars behind me--both tourists and yuppie locals--were not. They asked me in surly voices why I was stopped at the intersection--like, they couldn't see that there was a parade--Hello! Several verbally berated the nice lady who was just doing her job. One guy--typical yuppie a******--gunned his yuppiemobile and bolted across Main between two parade entries. The nice lady just stood there in disbelief. In between all of that, she was busy tending all of the pre-teen and teen yuppie brats that were bolting across the street constantly (where were there parents?--in the coffee house having a latte?), often right in front of mounted riders on already skittish horses or in front of other parade floats and horse-pulled entries. The nice lady, obviously a ranch woman familiar with horses, had had her fill. "I won't volunteer for this again," she told me." I asked her if she was from Durango. She replied, "I was born and raised on a ranch around here, but this isn't the Durango that I grew up in. I want out of here."
Yep. I enjoy those lovely fall days when a rancher is moving his cattle or sheep down from the mountains. For me, it's a chance to roll my window down if it's not too dusty from all those hooves, wave at the riders and their hard working dogs and consult my book of Colorado maps to decide where I want to go to get lost THIS time. But heaven forbid some impatient type from the big city (ie Durango or Telluride) gets held up this way. I've seem them drive their Hummers into ditches or take off driving down the wrong side of the highway, so desparate does it make them that they might "lose" 5 minutes!

Quote:
For me, Durango has two main attractions: A very good hospital and the historical Durango & Silverton Railroad--the latter that a lot of the newcomer transplants really wish would just go away, notwithstanding that it is what built the town and what still provides a substantial portion of the town's economic base.
I've pretty much had it with Durango. The only attraction it now has for me is the possibility of work, and after my bookstore experience, I question even that possibility. The way the wealthy have built their gated communities and private enclaves with "no tresspassing" signs that block access for the average person to State and National lands just stuns me. The other day I was trying to find the house of an old friend and got lost which forced me to drive thru one of those country club type areas in an effort to get unlost. The area was almost completely surrrounded by public lands with elaborate rules allowing access only in months that end in "r" when the moon is full and no 13-lined ground squirrels might chance to be harmed. Money always will have what-ever it wants.

Quote:
The long-term residents, over time, get marginalized, usually eventually getting forced out, if they don't voluntarily leave because they come to hate what their home community has become. Which, in many cases, is what the newcomers want--they don't want any of the old "rabble" around--unless it's to clean their toilets or change their bedsheets.
You must be psychic, jl:

I was turning around in the driveway of some McMansion as I was attempting my escape from the King's Lands above when a feisty and elegant woman came out on her deck to yell at me. I beat her to the punch and shouted out my window. "Just trying to find the S.'s place, ma'am. Heard they might need a house keeper."

(The "S". family has become almost the royalty in Durango, anymore. I actually worked with the S. pater familias back in the day and used to play jokes on him for him to discover when he came into work. He was a very nice, well spoken gentleman, and he lived in a very nice but still regular house right there in town).

The mere mention of the S name seemed to have a soothing effect on the woman who'd come out to chase me off (probably with mace). She gave me the directions to get on the right road and asked me to give Mrs. S her regards. I promised I would, and once I got turned 'round, I left that neighborhood faster than an impatient Texan from Durango caught in a sheep herd.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:21 PM
 
Location: mancos
7,170 posts, read 6,449,848 times
Reputation: 4943
Great posts everyone,I have to work in Durango everyday for a couple of mos trimming overpriced crap houses.I start at 6:30 am to avoid the rush hour of nutz leaving late for work.What a shame what that town has become I remember when it had one stoplight and they turned it off at night,it was at main and heck I forget they renamed it college drive maybe it was 8th st.I moved from La Plata county 20 years ago when I had enough of the growth and all the idiots moving in.We call it little Boulder here in Montezuma county. I do enjoy working there and spending the money here.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:56 PM
 
13,294 posts, read 25,470,882 times
Reputation: 20393
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
"Yuppie" was originally coined as a contraction of "young urban professional." .
Of course I think everyone knows that (and in the 1980s, "young" meant under 30 and very driven in a busines career, regardless of what the business was. Therefore, after the 1980s, said people would no longer be "young" and some people want to blame the baby boomers for being yuppies but we're too old- right, Jazz?!
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