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Man on Main St. for Sept. 24, 2009

Virginia is for lovers.  La Veta is for….

    By Gary Rollins

LA VETA- It was not that many years ago that the sovereign state of Virginia proudly, even boastfully proclaimed Virginia was, unanimously, for lovers.  This claim stemmed from a sizable research project that carefully sampled visitors of all sizes, shapes and descriptions and asked them to say just what it was about Virginia that appealed to them most of all.

    The research told the story loud and clear.  People in that sector of the United States who wanted to enjoy the great outdoors expressed their undying, never-ending love for Virginia.  They loved the beaches.  They loved the forests.  They loved the food and the atmosphere and the warmth of the wonderful people who welcomed them with open arms and encouraged their swift return.

    Virginia won many awards with their “Virginia is for lovers” campaign.  It was a “slam dunk” success.  You could look it up.

    You  must be wondering, what does this all have to do with La Veta?

    Well, today, “La Veta’s Man on Main” is playing the role of a tourism history professor.

    You see, it was Virginia that coined that catchy, double-entendre phrase, but this past week, when I was trolling down Main Street and seeking to identify potential visitor candidates for my weekly interviews, I saw a 40-ish man posing in front of Charlie’s Market for a phone-camera snapshot.  At one point in the continuum, this was called a “Kodak Moment” and so I stepped forward and offered to take a photo of the two of them.  Both were handsome, to say the least, and they were enjoying the remainder of a stunningly beautiful early autumn afternoon.

    My offer, I am sad to report, was gently rejected by the fellow, who explained, “Thanks ever so much, but we’ll have to decline your offer.”

    “She is not my wife.”

    It was a time for nervous giggles all around and I felt it inadvisable to ask if they were truly enjoying themselves in La Veta.  I am a rather perceptive person, in spite of what my wife says, and I felt the slightest twinge of envy that two people could be freeze-framed in a deliciously special moment that would probably be later described by the two of them as hugely amusing.

    So, here it is and here we were, watching the days dwindle down to a precious few.  Summer is just about gone in the Spanish Peaks and those beautiful emerald-green aspens are mellowing into the soft maize that will soon explode into a brilliant yellow hue.  Enjoy it while you can, because this week one of those gigantic blasts of pre-winter air blew through our magnificent valleys and the aspens will be, ever so quickly, denuded.  The snow has begun to fall.

    As one season begins to fade, thoughts must next turn to the coming year’s needs and opportunities.  This teeny, tiny community with its abundance of charm and solitude and unmatched beauty must, somehow find a way to reach out and send an inviting message to every person who is seeking a wonderful place to enjoy the company of at least one other similarly-inclined individual.

    La Veta is on the lookout for a few good lovers.  It works in Paris.  It worked in Virginia.  I think it just might work on Ryus Avenue.

    But, what do I know?