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Mayor’s Column – October 18, 2017

October 18, 2017


Vegas. Chance. Time out. Get away. Lights, glitter, music; old car events, over-sized concerts; friends. Come home with a little more cash than you took. Simple pleasures. Stay alive.

How far to Vegas? Not far. A few hours will speed you from the cold cares of life, the snow, the jobs, and the dull routines, to the city of glamour and money – and of forgetting the cares of the day for a day or two or three.

My first thoughts when I heard were fears for my people. I know many of you take in a Vegas vacation just for a change of scenery if not for the hope of coming home rich. Any of those hopes will be held in confidence until you come home rich – or at least able to boast of your self-control – how you dropped no more than you planned to drop.

But all of you plan to come home sweet home, be it ever so humble (there’s no place quite like home), mortgaged, and in need of small repairs. Las Vegas can’t hold you forever or for long.

Or can it?

Seems the folks caught in the crosshairs of madness personified all planned to come home if not richer at least home. Of course they did. Vegas would be a mere blip, soon forgotten, in their otherwise-ordinary, otherwise-humdrum existences.

How things can change in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye!

It was a long couple of days until it was finally confirmed that no one from this part of Creation, no one of my people was taking a dreamless detour on the way home from the city of dreams. Once again it happened to somebody else, somebody far away. Still tragic. Still senseless. Still obscene. Still fraught with wondering what’s next. But the pain is less real. Somebody else is feeling it.

How far to Vegas? Not really far in any sense. Get there in a few hours. Come here in a few hours.

Vegas come here? Over my bruised and broken carcass. No never!

So I wonder, what can I do, what can we do as a community of regular people to see that Vegas never comes here. How can we make our community a safer, healthier home town, a town in which we not only feel safe but are safe in every sense of the word?

Maybe it starts with caring – caring who our neighbours are; caring why they do what they do.

Maybe it then moves to learning about our neighbours – and from that vantage to actually doing something human. Take over a fresh loaf of bread, a plate of your own best cookies, an invitation to a bbq in your back yard – to your enemy next door. Destroy your enemy! Yes, by all means caring and generous! And create from the ashes a friend, indeed.

I’m just musing. You have no enemies, do you?

How far to Vegas? It can be as far or as close as the intent of your heart. So let’s be the kind of persons like the kind of persons we would like everyone to be. Let’s continue to build the kind of community like the kind of community to which we want to come home.

And let’s leave Vegas where it is.


Merlin Nichols, Mayor