Our Worldly Corner of the Globe

A friend recently asked me how I plan the issue themes for Roaring Fork Lifestyle. The answer is – I don’t! They always come as happy surprises.

This month’s theme – “our global village” – came to mind after I learned about two different Africa/Roaring Fork projects: Organic Health Response, a nonprofit that provides emergency medical treatment in Kenya, was started by the Salmens, a family of Glenwood Springs doctors. The High Cost of Cheap Gas, a documentary created by Jeffrey Barbee, who grew up in Glenwood, has just taken honors at Europe’s prestigious Envirofest film festival.

As you will learn in Parting Thoughts, I have become friends with someone who lives across the street but was born in Ethiopia. Perhaps it was those African connections that got me to thinking about how it is that, although we live in a somewhat-isolated valley in Western Colorado, it’s ever so worldly. (Or perhaps it was because of the friends I have made here – among them a Swiss economist, a Japanese-American former rodeo princess, and the daughter of a famous Armenian painter!)

Marshall McLuhan coined the term “global village” when he predicted that electronic communications would eventually link people so quickly that events a world away would be experienced in real time. In this valley, we’re locally linked at about two degrees of separation, but because we’re enmeshed in a web of international relationships, we can’t help but care about far-flung places. One of our Good Times features illustrates the point. It’s a photographic account of a valley-wide fundraiser that, owing to the internet and personal relationships, was launched within a week of the earthquake in Nepal!

This issue also invites you to meet artist Dean Bowlby who has painted scenes throughout Europe, as well as in Colorado. Two local veterinarians talk about how they help clients make end-of-life decisions about their pets. History 101 will review the many movies that have been shot here in the Roaring Fork Valley, and you will also get a preview of the many free concerts being offered here this month.

This valley is filled with compassionate and cosmopolitan people. I hope that you’ll enjoy meeting them as much as I have.