Throughout the past four years, there have been numerous references made to the division in the United States being greater than at any time in history since the Civil War. I have made those references myself, choosing the words to emphasize how deep the division between Americans was growing. The purpose, at least from my standpoint, was not to be dramatic or inflammatory; rather, the comparison was used to provide a context reminding us just how devastating the effects can be of a nation that turns against itself resulting in the loss of lives of fellow citizens and a threat to the ability of our precious democracy continuing in a functional manner.
It’s finally over. The year of change, the year of worsts, and the year we’ve hoped would come to an end. “Yay” for no more of 2020, and an even bigger “yay” for a fresh start in 2021. In all reality, that horrid year was only a few days ago, and this new year may or may not bring new change that we all are desperately hoping for and in need of. Yet, we are very hopeful, and we are in need of some good fortune now, of all times.
NOTE: The following article was first published in the Independent at the beginning of 2020. However, recently some of our readers came across the referenced photo in this article and a discussion ensued on social media. The Independent is very happy to reprint this story about a surprisingly interesting event that occurred in Kiowa County more than 100 years ago. –For Rob who first asked the question.
When I stepped into his shop, it was like being in the movie, “Back to the Future.” Mike Henry’s little house of treasures is tucked away in Lamar, but once inside it was a blacksmith’s dream in the old west. The cowboy way of life and all the gear that goes with it was on display everywhere. Before we made it into the think-tank of the operation, I saw things that one would use to cook around the campfire for cowboys driving cattle from Montana to Texas. There were handmade coffee pot tippers, forged tongs, forks, spoons, steak turners, bacon flippers, and more.
I knew I would learn countless things when I came to college--harder math, advanced writing techniques, different religions, time management, how to cook on my own, parallel parking, and how to set up my own doctor appointments. However, perhaps the most beneficial skill I have learned has been how to disagree with others. Coming from Kit Carson, I knew there would be numerous differences between my peers at CU Boulder and myself. Many local community members raised their eyebrows when they found out I was going to be living in this new place for the next four years. When I thought about it, I realized that we all tend to surround ourselves with people who hold similar beliefs. Therefore, my choice to willingly attend a university in a city that was unlike my small community seemed quite bizarre.