Having had the opportunity to drive in Rangely and Meeker on recent Friday and Saturday nights about 8 p.m., it became immediately obvious that except for a few late-evening diners, there was nothing going on in either town as evidenced by a lack of parked cars or traffic on Main Street in Rangely or Market Street in Meeker.
Where are all the people? Where are all the cars?
Then it hit! There is no reason for cars to be out at that time of the night. There is nothing to do after dark in either town.
Even in small towns, one can expect the teenagers to be “cruisin’” the main drags, but, with very few exceptions, they were tough to find, too.
One of the reasons so many youths leave home after high school a lack of employment; another is the lack of entertainment. Many times, when these kids are forced out of the community after school, they don’t return and those healthy bodies and healthy minds move on to benefit some other community.
That is a shame.
Well, elections were held within the past couple of week in both towns, and I think it would be appropriate to charge both towns — led by both town boards — to come up with something for youths to do in Rangely and Meeker after dark, or about 8 p.m. during the summer.
No one can knock either town. Both are great towns in which to grow up. But, when these kids are grown up, what are they to do?
Keeping a town’s youth in town is a sign of a healthy economy and a wholesome town.
But one problem tends to feed on another until there are few bright spots and an entire town comes down to the residents feeling they are lost.
Sorry, folks, but that is happening now.
It is time for all the great minds in Meeker and Rangely to put their heads together and figure out what to do to stem the true exodus that is hitting Rio Blanco County.
I know this is not a new topic, but sometimes a reminder doesn’t hurt.
If one were to think about it, this could be one way to help stem the decline and make way for a prosperous, living and breathing town — where its young people can and want to remain in Rio Blanco County.
Roughly 30 years ago in Sierra Vista, Ariz., I forced myself to go to my first public health fair.
I found out that my triglycerides and blood sugar were high. Particularly the triglycerides.
I knew about it, but I pretty much ignored the figures, thinking I would get more exercise, change my diet, etc., all those things that make up great intentions.
But it didn’t take long to forget.
Having returned to an Arizona health fair about six years ago brought the reality home as to why those numbers from 30 years ago shouldn’t have been ignored. I found out I have full-blown diabetes – thankfully the Type 2 kind. Gratefully, I don’t have to take insulin.
My numbers are now borderline diabetic, but I continue to take several pills a day to maintain those lower numbers that would immediately shoot up again if I quit taking them.
I am too heavy and I don’t exercise enough. Being tied to a desk has a brutal effect there. I know I need to get up and out and enjoy golf again or spend more time on the lake fishing or even walking a bit of the White River. Besides, the white fish continues to evade my grasp and I want to try it out.
My main purpose here is to remind readers to get up before noon on Saturday, because anyone of any age could very well benefit from visiting the 9Health Fair, running from 7 to 11 a.m. at Meeker Elementary School.
Perhaps 30 minutes of your time on Saturday could save your life or add years.
A huge congratulations goes to Meeker’s six Destination Imagination teams that competed at the state event over the weekend, and especially to the three local teams that qualified for the DI World Competition that will be held in Tennessee this summer.
A large number of students and parents and advisors spend a lot of time with these students in preparation for the competitions. And anytime a person or persons can stimulate young minds to use their brains and imaginations outside of school hours, that person or persons has accomplished great things.
Going to world competition has become a habit for Meeker teams. A phenomenal habit.
When kids from a small town compete on a global scale with youths from more than 100 nations, there is much to be proud of, no matter where those teams finish.
Again, congratulations are due to the teams and their advisors and all one can say from here is “best of luck” come August.
Fishing is apparently quite good already along various parts of the White River.
Having spoken to a Meeker angler the other day, he was quite proud that in not much time he had caught a white fish, a rainbow trout, a brown trout and a cutthroat all while fly fishing.
That is not bad work on a good day, and particularly good in just about an hour.