An Open Letter to Colorado Natives From a Transplant

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A reader whose comment we shared in a recent Comment of the Day took some Colorado natives to task for boasting about their status.

The post's headline: "Don't Say You're From Colorado Every Five Seconds Like a Vegan."

The topic inspired another reader who came to Colorado from elsewhere to write an open letter to natives of the state.

The author sings the praises of Colorado with great passion while likening her relationship with her new home to that of a parent and a beloved adopted child.

Here's what she has to say.

Dear CO Natives,

There has been tremendous recent hullaballoo with regard to Colorado residency status (Native v. transplant). I am compelled to share my point of view.

On October 31, 2010, my family & I arrived at our new home in Morrison, CO. We traveled cross country from FL (my husband and I are not native Floridians, either) to start our new lives in this amazing state. After visiting a friend in Denver back in 2004, we decided that this is where we needed to be. After several years of planning, we made the dream a reality.

Personally, I cannot stress enough that since becoming a Coloradan, I am a much better me. This place is inspiring, enlightening and enriching in so many ways. I see my relationship with Colorado as like a step/adoptive parent caring and loving a non-biological child as their own. I am a Coloradan. I am a HUGE fan of all it has to offer. I am enamored by the landscape, natural wonders, lifestyle and the state of mind that Colorado nurtures. I am fiercely protective of this state and defend and support everything Colorado — with the exception of the "Native" nose in the air mentality.

I admit, my fondness of Colorado can tend to be a bit cheesy: I am guilty of snatching up anything I can find that is adorned with the CO flag: T-shirts, my Tervis, my purse/bag, stickers on my car, etc. I have never had a sense of pride about any place like I do of Colorado. And having pride is not something to be ashamed of, in my opinion. Nor is it only reserved for Natives. I won't, however, listen to Natives dis transplants in such a general manner.

I ask the Natives to understand and consider that some transplants actually care more about this State than they may realize. A step/adoptive parent may cherish a non-biological child in a different manner than someone that had a biological child, because they realize just how special it is and consider themselves very fortunate to have a child if they couldn't naturally, for whatever reason. It's not the same appreciation, it's just different.

Personally, I feel that perhaps I love and appreciate this state even MORE than some Natives might, because I know what it is like elsewhere. And I don't take it for granted. To the Natives that feel I am not worthy, let me make a few things known: I make it a point to buy "Colorado Proud" & "made in Colorado" groceries whenever possible; my husband and I tend to be "beer snobs" and turn our noses to beers (and booze) that isn't made here; I NEVER litter and am one to be a "litter-picker-upper" whenever I am out hiking or walking; I would never and have never walked on the red rock formations and have approached and called out folks that do; I can and DO obey traffic laws/speed limits and I know how to merge properly (which is more than I can say for many Natives); I have 3 dogs and it drives me crazy when I see those little plastic bags of poop left on the trails; I support the marijuana laws here, but also feel the pilgrimage of tourists and pot chasers could ruin it for everyone... the list could go on and on.

But here's the kicker— I saved the best for last: I was born in Oakland and am a die-hard Raiders fan. Don't freak out just yet! I will have you know that I DO support your Denver Broncos and I absolutely adore Peyton. Not many Bronco fans are as accepting the other way around. So, whether the Natives like it or not, I am here to stay and am proud to be a Coloradan. And I will never leave. So learn to accept transplants, because some of them may be doing more for this great state than you give them credit for.

Respectfully submitted,

Rhonda D

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