Gator’s Open Letter to Girdwood
Hey hey hey friends, neighbors and haters! Gator here. Hope your season is going respectively well despite the occasional “r” word. In this little editorial I would like to extend an olive branch to each and every local business owner, family maker, dishwasher, stray dog, seasonal worker and world traveler. Print is not dead! You’re reading it, right meow.
Girdwood is a haven from big city nonsense that we know exists heavily outside our mountainous gates. Even our lower class citizens live in relative peace and are just trying to make a living. Don’t get me wrong, I know we have our bad apples. And by no means do I consider myself upper class. Hell, I get nervous in the hotel lobby or just by sitting in Jack Sprat (albeit worth it for the food if you got the $). For nearly a decade now, I’ve watched us mold and change, mostly for the better. I’ve listened to the old-timers and townies for what it’s worth. And for this moment, I want to weigh in.
Girdwood, I saw you make a baby, make music, make art, make love, make my dinner, smoke salmon, smoke weed from your glass bubbler, go vegan, get drunk, raise money, build a house, beat cancer, quit drinking, build a fire, break your ribs, break his face, raise your child, forgive your neighbor, love your dog, lose your wife, catch a fish, lose your dad, kill yourself, save a life and make perfect tracks on Max. You made tracks on your arm too. You got a DUI. You almost drown in 6-mile. You got married. You caught gold-fever. You got divorced. You fought the fluoride. You moved to Hope. You had another kid!? You graduated. You found my dog. You work too hard. You don’t get paid enough. You just about cut your entire thumb off. Your car caught fire. You got fired. You got hired. You caught some air. You cheated on her. You destroyed my bathroom. You sold your last gallon of non-fat milk. You fell in love. You rigged the election. You earned that big-ass mansion. You did CPR on that guy. You opened that store that we all go to. You finally skied the headwall. You never worked a day in your life and your mom in the lower 48 doesn’t know she’s buying your daily lattes and beers. You got your moose. You slept with my ex. And I slept with yours. You know what else, Girdwood? You’re alright.
And with this new paper, I hope to hear more of your true voices. I want this paper to bring us just a little bit closer to the fire. Just a little bit more glue to keep us bound. Not like Facebook. Not like other options available. I want a bit more pzazz in my paper. I want grit. I want honesty. I want raw data and raw responses. I want your pain and your love. At least, I want to read about it and see the picture.
When I moved here, I wanted to get involved in a local paper somehow. Immediately, I was met with opposition and harsh negativity. So I lost interest. Now that I see something new, I feel the spark again.
The Glacier City Gazette is our chance to promote an alternative press to what our town is currently being portrayed as. I don’t think the competition is particularly wrong or completely useless. I just really really really like the idea of another opinion. I can say that I like the Trooper Report, or as I call it “The Funnies.” By the way, what happened to The Avalanche?
How many of you live here seasonally or year-round and think this town (and area) is accurately portrayed in any of the current operating printed media for Girdwood? Some of you surely do, and that’s fine. But I, for one, am not impressed. (No offense to any new writers out there. I like you, just not the business you represent.) In a town chock full of free-thinkers, artists and sheer talent, why is what we have the best we can do? The spine of this town serves the public, sits at a register and washes dishes. You cook, clean and cater to a large number of people with larger number incomes. You check coats, luggage and I.D.s at the bar. The integral part of this town keeps us safe, all the way from the lift operators to the F.D. If you clean any of the public bathrooms in this town, I humbly bow to you. If you prep heavy equipment or deli cases then you are my people.
Few of us own, most of us rent. Where is your voice in this town’s printed press? I want people like you to be able to say what you want or at least read an opinion that considers yours. You know, more like how life is. I want us to break the mold a little. I don’t want my paper to be fixed to one audience. Hundreds of thousands roll in and out of this valley every year. This is a big club. Why do I feel voices like mine get black-balled? We should have a more open-armed medium to channel alternative voices to current local and global issues. And guess what? And here it is. It’s up to us to keep it.
To conclude this drop in the bucket of printed drivel, I would like to encourage the people who truly love this town to please support this paper. Place an ad or post a classified. I support the underdog. I want to give the competition a run for its money. I would like to thank Marc Donadieu for letting me have the opportunity to share my opinion with you. This was an option unavailable to me in the past.
Oh and if you have a problem with what I just said, good. Maybe you should write about it. Maybe you’ll get it printed! You might make me think twice. That’s one of the three things I do well, thinking and the other two. Make us all think twice. Let this paper be another melange of voices that requires a fire to delete. If you read this all the way to the end, you do not classify as lower-class, in my opinion. No, my friends, you are the cream in my coffee simply for reading an alternative to the norm.
Remember, this is just my opinion, something which is equally and simultaneously invaluable and worthless, provocative and trite, sarcastic and serious, but most importantly, quite refreshing to write.