What’s in a Name

Change is inevitable.  We know it.  We often don’t like it. You can’t always stop it.  Buena Vista has been going through major changes ever since I moved here 16 years ago.  Before the name Buena Vista was decided upon for this little mountain town, it had a couple of different names.  I know of two, Mahonville and Cottonwood.  I’m sure the buzz created by choosing a new name caused great anxiety for the locals, especially the Mahons.

If you are Spanish speaking, or even have minimal knowledge of Spanish, you will most assuredly cringe at the correct pronunciation of the name.  You would, however, be mis-pronouncing it if you use proper Spanish.

Alsina Dearheimer, a local, whose first language was German, who did not speak Spanish, chose the name Buena Vista.  The emphasis is on the “u”.  It took me a few years to embrace the correct pronunciation.  You can always tell the locals from the tourists…you can also tell when a local is firmly entrenched in this community as they embrace and love the correct pronunciation.

I had the opportunity to be interviewed by John Duesler, Jr.,  of Emerging Sports TV regarding life in  Buena Vista, or BV as the locals call it, last summer.  John was hired on behalf of CBS sports to provide an endorsing promo of our little town.  I had the honor of taking him and his cameraman by horseback (with a pack horse, of course) to the bluff overlooking BV.  My voice is the first one heard on promo:  Built by a force of nature.  That pretty much sums it all up….literally and figuratively!

Come visit us some time!

Equine Parade Down Main Street of Small Town, USA

I’m not done yet posting about Christmas Opening in Buena Vista, Colorado, USA….it’s just that special!  We are fortunate enough to have not one but 2 parades go through town on this day (the first Saturday of December each year).  I have heard several locals pose the question “why two parades?”  Well, there is a very good explanation.  The first, The Equine Parade,  delivers Santa in town for all the young boys and girls.  He invites all the local children to bring their wish list and sit on his lap.  Photos are usually included too.  Once he has visited with all the little children, The Parade of Lights ferries him to the Community Tree where he lights the tree before moving on to the next town awaiting his presence.

Warm & Fuzzies: Life in a Small Town

This is my fourth year as the chairperson for Christmas Opening in Buena Vista, Colorado.  I don’t meant to go on and on about it in my blog, but it truly is an event dear to my heart.  I think about it, conspire and plan all year.  I may be the only one!   I have fond memories of Christmas on the Square in Belleville, Kansas, my hometown.  I never dreamed that I would have such a big role in creating some of those same memories for the families in my now-hometown of Buena Vista, Colorado, but I hope that those who come year after year, or visit for the first time have the same warm and fuzzy memories.

Of course, things change here from year to year, but all in all, I think that we have created a tradition for our town that is rich in history and traditions.  Some things change every year, such as the different events around town, but then some things remain the same.  Santa will still arrive in town by wagon once again, and leave town in the fire truck.  The steadfast and popular Chocolate Walk and the Chili Cookoff will be back for another appearance this year too.  Of course the participants are forever changing.

Since I took on this project, I have wanted to see a Community Tree and last year the BV Beautification Board brought in a real tree.  They petitioned the Town of Buena Vista to purchase an artificial tree that will go up at the Optimist Splash Park each year hereafter.  It’s a great way to end the day which is fraught with excitement and expectations.  The fire truck will stop just so Santa can get off and flip the switch to turn on the the tree lights which will take us through the holiday season.

We have had several twists and turns to navigate, but as we are coming down to the final hours, it is exciting to see it all come together.  New this year, Reach Air Medical Services will start the Parade of Lights with the helicopter flying the parade route.  Way to go Buena Vista – start the Christmas Season out right!

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