Loose Ends: Oct. 22, 2020

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Dolly Viscardi

MEEKER | Business as usual is a phrase that comes to mind when talking about the health of the local economy. I was surprised when Mesa County’s executive director Robin Brown was quoted in an article in mid-September in the Grand Junction Sentinel saying that “We are so used to boom and bust cycles that this current pandemic is business as usual for us.” It is almost a month later and I am not sure that many small businesses on the Western Slope would say they are back to anything close to business as usual.

Recently a conversation with a fellow walker brought to mind how individual reactions to everyday sights and sounds are very different. There are so many small things I hear each day that I like and take for granted. I just assume everyone else feels the same way. The recent Sounds of Meeker articles by guest columnist Kaye Sullivan in the HT highlighted some of the sounds many of us remember fondly when we are away from home: the St. James electronic carillon, as well as the noon whistle.

Walking on a wooded path recently, I chatted with a woman walking her dog. When she heard me mention Meeker, she said, “ We would love to get out of Denver. I love Meeker. I am a native Coloradan and I wish I lived there now. I hate the noise here.”

I thought back to the days when I described my favorite sounds of my new community to my family and friends living in more urban environments. I looked forward to the sound of church bells each day, children’s laughter from the elementary school playground.

And the rustling of the Aspen leaves.

During this pandemic, it is becoming apparent that formerly unobtrusive sounds suddenly have become annoying. Pitch, duration, and increasing decibel strength make a real difference these days. Getting back to business as usual could include a tamping down of the constant noise from all the complaining and grousing. Ah…for the sounds of near silence.

By DOLLY VISCARDI | Special to the Herald Times