Editor’s Column: Cherish your right to vote, even if you don’t like the options

I have a confession to make: My 2016 ballot is still sitting unopened on my kitchen table. This is the first time in my 20-plus years as a voter I’ve struggled so much with my decision. I clearly remember “darkening the circle” for George H.W. Bush and Dan Quayle (despite his inability to spell) back in 1988. Don’t get me wrong. I will cast my ballot. My senior year in high school we voted on our senior class song. My best friend didn’t vote (I can’t remember why… I think she was in the darkroom developing pictures for our high school newspaper). Our choices for class song were Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” My friend thought her vote didn’t matter. She assumed no one would vote for Beethoven… I mean, really, we were high schoolers, surely no one would vote for Beethoven, right? Beethoven’s Fifth won by one vote. Had my friend cast her vote, the two would have been tied. That one non-important election taught me more about the value of my vote than any civics class. I don’t care if we have an electoral college, I don’t care if “everyone” says a third party vote is wasted, I don’t care if “everyone” says my vote doesn’t matter because it’s just canceled out by someone else. My best friend had a vote, and her vote counted, and because she didn’t vote, my graduation ceremony soundtrack will forever be Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony.” da da da daaaaaa  da da da daaaaaa  da da da DA da da da DA da da da daa  da da da DA da da da DA da da da daa  da da da DA DA da da da DA DA da da da  DA  DA  DAAAAAAAAAAA  It’s kind of ominous. Please. Vote. I don’t care how you vote, just don’t ignore your right. We cling to our rights to free speech and to the right to bear arms with feral ferocity. We should cling as fiercely to the right to vote. Some of us (women) have only had that right for a few generations. Our ancestors fought and died for that right. Don’t take it lightly, no matter what the pundits tell you. Fill out those ballots and get them in.

I enjoyed the HopeWest Gala Saturday, Oct. 30. My mother-in-law passed away on Sept. 12 (the weekend we moved) after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Her fight, and the last five days of her life she spent at the hospital, were a wake-up call for me. Our culture hasn’t dealt well with end-of-life issues. Palliative care such as HopeWest provides is something that is to be cherished and supported and applauded. HopeWest is doing a wonderful thing here in Meeker. Keep up the good work.

Pumpkins Eats ‘n Treats on Monday, Oct. 31, was my first experience with organized trick or treating. What a wonderful idea! No worries about the possibly poisoned homemade treats from the weird old lady down the block, no need to check your candy for razor blades… It’s a miracle any of us adults survived.

To our Dinosaur readers who are in the habit of picking up a newspaper when you go to the post office, we have been asked to remove our Herald Times rack from the post office property. You can continue to pick up your paper at the Gateway Conoco or the Dinosaur Loaf ‘n Jug. We apologize for any inconvenience.

There’s a lot going on in Rio Blanco County surrounding economic development. With that activity rumors and fear tend to balloon. But no one ever made a good decision or formed a solid opinion based on fear and rumor. Don’t rush to judgment. We don’t want to be the generation that looks back in 20 or 30 years and says, “I wish we’d done something different back in the day.”