As (bad) luck would have it, my son, Nick, was scheduled to fly to Washington, D.C. to begin his second year at the Catholic University of America early on Sunday morning, during the very weekend that thousands of Washingtonians were fleeing their fair city to come to Denver. As a political junkie, he couldn't have been more frustrated by the timing -- but at least he got a chance to see the way in which Denver International Airport is greeting visitors before he departed. Banners touting local attractions were everywhere, although the one that saluted "Inspiring Pike's Peak" left me a little confused. Are we somehow inspiring Pike's Peak? Or is Pike's Peak inspiring? And is the guy in the Kinks song "Lola" glad he's a man? Or is Lola the man? Great mysteries, both.
At any rate, few out-of-towners were around to see these placards, or hear the voice of Mayor John Hickenlooper echoing eerily through the vast spaces. The only people there at that hour were ones getting the hell out of Dodge, either because they didn't want to subject themselves to the madness (or the liberalism), or because they'd gotten big-enough bucks from renting their LoDo loft that they could spend a week in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, orange-shirted greeters were already on hand, fully prepared for the moment when the first person from elsewhere actually turned up. In fact, I was mistaken for just such a rare bird. When I asked one of the volunteers if I could take her photo with my cell phone, she happily complied and then chirped, "Welcome to Denver."
Thank you. Thank you very much. -- Michael Roberts
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