Living on the Edge: Five Years of Leadville Today
By Kathy Bedell © Leadville Today
“It kinda sounds like Leadville is losing its edge.”
The comment had popped up innocently enough in a conversation I was having with someone who was raised in Leadville, but currently living down valley. His words caught my attention, ensnaring me and making it difficult to pay attention to the remainder of our discussion.
The statement made me sit up in my chair, shifting my weight from side to side, as if to reset the balance between my role as a professional journalist and that of a 25+ year resident who had moved to the highest city in America to escape just the type of influences and attitudes that had now found their way to the mountain top.
The words twisted and turned, over and over like the mountain road I was driving, as I made my way back to Leadville along Highway 24. It was unsettling, and spoke to the ongoing comments and concerns that had come into focus recently. It was about the gentrification of Leadville; it was about newbie vs. long-timer; it was about new ideas literally taxing stoic generational families out of their homes, out of their neighborhoods. It was about change.
But as I rounded that last bit of highway, before it opens up to present Colorado’s tallest peak, a sense of surety returned. Mt Elbert: it’s never the same, yet it never changes.
I’ve looked at Mt. Elbert pretty much every day for the past quarter century. Like many who choose to live here, it anchors me; it’s always there. I can depend on it. Whether it’s laden with the green velvet of summer scrub or ablaze in the brilliance of autumn’s colors, it reminds me of what is true, of what is Leadville. Even on those days when Colorado’s highest peak is encased in clouds receiving the life-giving gift of water, I know it’s still there, even though I can’t see it. Mt Elbert has stood the test of time; it has endured the storms of life; it stands firm and strong while all else around it seems to swirl in uncertainty.
It was in that spirit that I created Leadville Today five years ago on November 1, 2011. At that time, there was a growing concern that the only news being distributed and shared about America’s highest city was bent towards the negative. There seemed to be a vacuum for good news and the daily information that people needed to live their best Leadville life. So, I choose to step into that space and create something that would balance out that view, to make a true difference for the people who live and visit here.
Because, you see, it’s together that we weather the storms that loom and pass over Mt. Elbert. It’s as a community, that we enjoy the days of summer’s sunshine, even if we’re not under the same roof or in the same neighborhood. It’s collectively, that we believe that there IS daily good news coming from our mountain town, even though we might not be able to see it.
In fact, it is exactly that union, our commonality, that gives Leadville its edge, whether you’re a native son, new comer, or visitor. Whether you’ve been here a week, or a quarter century; whether you ride a bike or hunt. Whether you work in town or commute, whether you are raising children or are retired, Mt. Elbert stands tall over all of our differences, providing a common goal to look up toward.
And that edge, THAT Leadville edge, like Mt. Elbert, is something that can never be lost. Because it’s bigger than me, and it’s bigger than you. It’s bigger than whoever gets into office, or whoever has the most cash or owns the most property. And it will continue to be there long after you and I are gone.
Just something to think about and remember as you live your best life, on the edge in Leadville Today! Thanks for all of your support and encouragement these past five years. It’s uplifting and truly DOES make a difference.
Leadville Today: What About Tomorrow?
How can I miss you if I don’t go away? While Mt. Elbert is lovely to look at, it’s also healthy to step away from the mountain to gain a new perspective. And after five years of hard work, that’s exactly what I’m going to do for the next week.
Leadville Today will be back for the 2016 Election results on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and with daily reports after that. But for now, it’s time to hit the pause button. It’s time to step away from the screens, to put the phone down, to just be. After all, how can I miss you if I don’t go away, and certainly the opposite is true as well!
However, fear not, as the Leadville Today website will still be here during that break, it just won’t be publishing daily posts during the next week. So take a look around, check out the stories you might have missed. And if you have an idea for a story, send it to us via the LT Contact Form.
Also if you’re interested in writing a story or taking pictures for an event, consider becoming a LT contributor and join us for the upcoming November 15 meeting. Simply fill out a Contributor Form, let us know what you’re interested in doing and we’ll send you the appropriate meeting details. And remember, you can subscribe to Leadville Today for FREE.
Until then, look up, look to Mt. Elbert and all its never, and ever changing glory, and remember the reasons you’re here, living on the edge in Leadville Today!
Kathy Bedell owns The Great Pumpkin LLC, a digital media company located in Leadville, which publishes two online news websites: LeadvilleToday.com and SaguacheToday.com. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org