Column: PI intern hooked on Glenwood’s charms
As a Midwestern kid from Cincinnati, I had my preconceptions of what Colorado is all about. Skiing and weed were always the first things I associated with the state. In my mind, Colorado was a place where hippies go, traversing the landscaping, living out of vans.
But in another way, Colorado seemed like a sort of microcosm of what our country is all about. A melting pot of people from all over making lives for themselves in a unique setting with a unique set of problems.
Much of my preconceptions of Colorado have proven to be true, but I’ve learned so much more about the wonderful town and state you all are lucky enough to call home.
Honestly, I had never heard of Glenwood Springs until I got an email through Miami University’s journalism listserve calling for interns for the Post Independent. Still searching for a summer internship, I inquired further about the opportunity and was lucky enough to be taken on for the summer.
One of the first reasons I applied for the internship was for a chance to experience Colorado for myself. I have had several friends taken ransom by your state, so I had to discover for myself what it was about this place that was poaching my friends.
My main reason for coming out here was to further my professional experience. Having added journalism at the beginning of my third year of college, I was in need of as much experience as I could possibly get so that I could find a job after I graduate.
I’m also an avid fisherman. Back home, the only way I can get my fix is by sneaking onto golf courses or traveling an hour away to find a decent lake. I’d heard about the incredible fishing opportunities out here, and I wasn’t going to miss out a chance to experience that for a summer.
Side note here. Fly fishing is more of an art, comparable to making music or painting murals, than it is an outdoor activity. I could spend two lifetimes doing nothing but sleeping, eating and fishing and still not learn enough about the sport.
Basically the long and short of it is, I didn’t care about the town and I had no expectations of its people. I was here for me.
When I rolled into town with my father, the first thing he noted is the feel and look of the town. Aspen, this is not. In a good way. It feels like a working-class town with people who are relatable. People who don’t assume that they are automatically better than you.
As the summer went along and I became comfortable at my jobs (I also worked as a waiter at Juicy Lucy’s Steakhouse), I began to realize just how lucky I was. First off, I was working with an excellent staff at the Post Independent. The inner workings of a newsroom, even a small one like the PI’s can be something to behold. I had a rough knowledge of what it takes to cover breaking news, but watching the PI staff uncover and tell a story sometimes seemed to unfold like a scene from a movie.
For as much strange things that happen in the high country (i.e. cars falling off cliffs, bears getting their heads stuck in cheese poof containers, mountain lion attacks, etc.) the people of Glenwood are lucky to have the skilled, hard-working people at the PI to tell them about it quickly and accurately.
I also learned just how great the people out here are. I won’t go as far to say that they are more friendly than my fellow Cincinnatians, but they are at least as friendly. I’m somewhat of a city boy, but living in small-town Colorado has shown me that life can be lived and enjoyed just as much at a slower pace, if not more.
As it relates to my internship, I could not have asked for a greater town in which to gain experience. People here truly care about the goings on of their city. Everybody picks up the paper and knows what is happening around town.
It made me feel important, like I was providing a truly valuable service for a concerned people. I can’t properly express how much that helped me nullify any doubts I had about my chosen career path.
You all made my job easy. Well, easier, at least. Any time I picked up the phone to interview someone, I nearly always hung up with the information that I needed, along with several leads of other good people to talk to. Coming from other job experiences where people were not as willing to help me out, it made things much less stressful.
The people here care about the things that matter to me. There could probably be an entirely separate paper in Glenwood to deal with stories about environmental conservation and sustainability (although the same is probably true of construction projects). There is always something cool going on here in the community, be it a festival, fundraiser, farmers market or fair. Community matters here, and that’s very refreshing to see.
Now my summer is ending. I’m leaving here to return to Ohio and finish my last semester of college. I will miss a lot about Glenwood. The mountains, the stars, the people and, most of all, the fishing.
I’m not going to lie to you and say I’m dropping everything else as soon as I can to move out here. I miss my home and my friends and family too much for that.
What I can tell you is that I will take what I’ve learned here with me wherever I go. So thank you for that.
Always strive to get better, but don’t change a thing about what makes this town and its people so great. If the rest of the world were even tiny bit more like Glenwood Springs, it would be a much better place to live.
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.