As we come up on our 4th of July celebration 🎉 🎊 # # # I want to share a slice of Americana from the “Queen City of the Plains” (our first
nick-name, before the Mile High City.)
Ride 1: I took my first passenger at 10am this past Friday morning. The request came from “Susan” but walking out of the house was a guy that looked like a Fourth of July version of the professor in ‘Back to the
Future’🤡 . No kidding, he was wearing an American Flag # -tee shirt and red, white, and blue gym shorts and a star-studded cap. I thought to
myself “Oh my, this is gonna be fun”. And the first thing he did was comment on how much he liked my little red Mitsubishi. Then he began to tell me a story of a Mercedes Benz he bought, that ended up costing him thousands of dollars in repairs, in Great Bend, Kansas.
Ride 2: A bartender who grew up in Grand Junction. We talked about the similarities of our jobs and how we end up having interesting conversations with total strangers. We talked about the service industry and people who make their living doing for others. He was a great guy and we both agreed that one of the most beautiful places in the world is the Colorado National Monument just outside of Grand Junction.
Ride 3: Was an airport ride with a young guy who moved here from Wisconsin (one of thousands). He was headed back to the ‘Dairy State’ to spend The 4th on a lake. He was a lifetime Packers fan. I said “The Packers were my first NFL team. I chose them because Boyd Dowler, who played tight end for the CU Buffaloes, went on to play those great Packers teams of the early ‘60s. Of course my loyalty disappeared when The Broncos beat you in Super Bowl XXXII”! He was not amused. We also both agreed that the one thing Colorado does not have is beautiful lakes. “The few lakes we do have are so crowded that they look like a ‘Mad’ magazine fold-out page. On a three mile lake you will see 187 Jet-skis, 3000 combat fisherman, too many people with burnt marshmallows flaming at the end of a coat hanger.
Ride 4: In the evening I picked up this very engaging 30-something couple and we drove from Capitol Hill to their home near DU. We ended up talking about the state of religion and faith in the 21st-century. We could’ve
carried the conversation on for hours and it truly was hard to even say goodbye at the curb. I realize once again how much people hunger for honest, real, nonjudgmental conversations. The three of us talked about the nature of reality, the need for authentic community, and the current distortions of what it means to be faithful, or honest, or committed to things that really matter. I gave her a wooden cross, which was given to me by a 94-year-old woman in Greeley, who buys these by the dozens, and asked that I might share them. They’re made from cedarwood and each one of them is stunningly beautiful – my picture today is of one.
Ride 5: My second to last ride of the evening was three girls that I picked up at Dougherty’s, which is the bar that shares the alley with South Broadway Christian Church, where I served for nearly 18 years – from 1997 to 2015. As we were pulling out of the alley the girl in the front seat goes “My friend Ellen’s mom, is still the secretary there, I think”. That opened up the conversation for me to say, “Well, I was the minister there for nearly 18 years and I did Ellen’s wedding. It was the last wedding I did before I retired”. All three girls went on to talk about how much they love the Vitts. I was certainly able to add to that adoration, as I interjected, “And she’s the best editor that I’ve ever had”.
There were many other fun rides, and all of them reminded me of the importance of being present to one another.
I turn 69 tonight at midnight, that would be July 2, and in my wildest dreams I would not have imagined that I would get to live the kind of life that I do, and share it with a few hundred folks who read this blog—which
wasn’t even one of my great ideas 💡 !!!🤠 Onward and Upward,