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‘I have a story for you’

Ryan Hoffman
rhoffman@citizentelegram.com

Among the articles in this week’s paper is a story about a young man named Bradley whose wish came true in Parachute this past weekend. The story grabbed my attention the second I heard about it, and with little else happening in the world — outside of deflated footballs — now seems like a good time to fill you in on how that story ended up in the paper. Spoiler alert: It is not because I am a great detective or that I was out searching for stories over the weekend. In fact, I was doing laundry at Fourth Street Dry Cleaning and Laundry Saturday when a voicemail was forwarded to my cellphone. It was a woman named Claire Weatherby, who apparently had a wonderful story and wanted me to call her back. Time was a factor, she said.

I later learned Weatherby had transported the horse in the story, Kansas, as a favor to a friend she had at the Make-A-Wish foundation. As a horse fanatic, she also could not pass on the opportunity to meet John Lyons, she admitted. Weatherby had never met Bradley or his family prior to agreeing to bring the horse to Colorado from Texas, and she had nothing to gain personally.

She was just along for the ride, but after spending several days around the family, Lyons and Kansas, she realized that this was a story worth telling, she said. I would have to agree with Weatherby, and luckily my schedule was compatible with the short notice. Without her tip, though, the story would have never appeared in the paper, and most of us would have never known that it even happened.

It’s not every day you learn of a story like Bradley’s, but there is no shortage of stories worth telling; whether it is a boy riding his horse for the first time or a young woman overcoming a spinal injury to start her own business.

Our community is filled with seemingly ordinary people doing amazing things, and there is more to it than just a warm feeling in our hearts. These are the stories that inspire hope, that remind us of our potential, that prove not all people are as bad as we might believe — an important and needed reminder for cynics such as myself.

The challenge is that sometimes these people and their stories become part of everyday life and we fail to recognize the extraordinary nature of what is happening before us. I find myself guilty of that far too often, which is why I am grateful that Ms. Weatherby had the inclination to call me last Saturday, and I hope more of you do the same.

Ryan Hoffman is editor of The Citizen Telegram. He can be reached at 970-685-2103 or rhoffman@citizentelegram.com.


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