Letters to the Editor

Page 3 of 5

As an American who lived outside the United States for a decade, I can tell you that life in almost any U.S. city or town seems pretty similar, seasoned, perhaps a tad, with some regional flavor. Where you live is what you make of it. Some people's idea of living on the edge is to put a piranha sculpture in their backyard, ride a Harley to Larimer Square or snowboard at Vail.

I guess we all have to feel superior about something. If some people have such a hard time wrapping their minds around the imaginary line between Denver and Highlands Ranch, I can only wonder how they would react to other cultures, other languages and other people around the world.

Deborah Mendez-Wilson
Highlands Ranch

Something's fishy: Tony Pillow's red piranha in Vikki Stevens's yard is a replica of the sculptural sign in front of the Red Fish Restaurant in Boulder. Rather cute, I would say. Ms. Stevens could claim it is no more or less than the stone placards that serve as reminders to the residents of Highlands Ranch of where they live...given the similarity of the houses in the area. If she loses a legal battle, she might even be able to have ordinances created that would prohibit such development placards.

Suburbanites: 1; radical sculpturalists: 0.

Cleg Holiman

Cross his heart: I was reading a letter in last week's issue from a gentleman in the Highlands Ranch area, vilifying those who do not like that area and singing the praises of those who support it. (The article was right on, by the way.) I lived in Highlands Ranch until a year ago myself. I moved back to Denver proper to be in a real neighborhood, and not some bland waste of real estate with no soul. Highlands Ranch is a place much like Los Angeles, where everything is about appearances.

Well, I'll tell you what, folks: You can keep Highlands Ranch, your Range Rover and the sea of houses like something out of 1984, George Orwell's nightmare, and live happily ever after. The rest of the real people will gladly stay where we are and cross everything we have that you do the same.

Brian Jones

The song remains the same: "Home Sweet Clone" brought back memories of Melvina Reynolds singing "Little boxes on the hillside/ There is a green one, a blue one, a blue one, they are all made out of ticky ticky tacky.../And they all look just the same/A doctor lives here, a lawyer lives there and they all go to the club and drink their martini dry/Their children all go to the same school/Then to a college and become a lawyer or doctor/And move into a little house of ticky tacky/That looks the same."

In Highlands Ranch, as in many citadels of conformity in American neighborhoods, man is on parade from his mother's womb to the grave...searching, running and grabbing for the book that holds the pages of illusion. Yet when he goes home to his earth-toned cottage or a library (more often called a club), or numerous middle-class pastimes, all he finds is the agony of comprehension.

We see the animals at the zoo and men in jail...yet we all live in the mortal cage of suburbia, for the animals are you and me. The "I" seeks to be different, yet he conforms and watches all, for in reality we are all secret lovers of one another. Our truth is metal, plaster, chipboard houses and shiny cars; these are the gods for which we live, work and die -- the gods of papier mâché.

For we are all strangers who want to touch and feel and never be hurt, yet even our dogs receive more human love. The seventh day is here, and we can worship the true god under the sunrise of the seventh day, while garbage, bums, aspirin bottles and empty containers of sedation are collected...

And god created man in his own image.

D. Walton Hester

Painting the town: I lived in a "covenanted community" when I moved here eleven years ago. The sales pitch is exactly as James Hibberd described: Covenants will ensure you don't have the flamingo-pink or neon-green home in your neighborhood and will protect the value of your home. Of course, if I had thought back, I never had one of those in any neighborhood I'd lived in previously, but I got caught in the "spirit of the sale." For me, the controlled environment started when they wanted to take over my garbage. Now, I have my "blonde" moments, but I can at least manage my own garbage. And when I calculated the trips of three companies versus one company, I could not see the savings on the road (most of us used one of the three, but "they" didn't want to do the research homework). So we joined the Association (even that sounds ominous). There we learned of the vehement desire and power of the members (few in number) to maintain control. We watched folks come in to plead their case for their house color, basketball hoops and whatever personal item they thought would make their house their home. There were the homeowners who painted their home a bright pink, were reported by their neighbors (not that we couldn't see it) and felt the wrath of the Association: Repaint or be repainted. They asked for a delay, since they'd used their savings for this paint job, didn't realize how bright the color would be and would repaint next year. But patience and forgiveness are not characteristics of the Covenant Committee. So after the neighbors of the "Pink House" pelted the house with mud and tar, the Association contracted the repaint and billed the homeowner.

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