The Local Defendant.
February 8, 2010
Dorothy went to Oz. The four Pevensie children trekked into Narnia. Wendy flew to Neverland. Alice fell into Wonderland. All these fantasy lands had a lot in common. The scenery was beautiful, they were full of lively characters, uncanny adventures, and, of course, danger. However in all these stories, all the main characters want to do is go home.
Jackson Hole is very much like the lands in these stories. The main difference is that everyone who comes here never wants to leave. Everyone, it seems, except me, who cannot wait to get out.
The area of Jackson Hole is beautiful. We’re surrounded by mountains, there are lakes and streams, rivers and creeks, bountiful wildlife and a plethora of outdoor activity opportunities. People come here to fish, hike, ride the river, mountain bike, sightsee, ski, snowboard, snowshoe, etc. The town of Jackson has roughly 10,000 or more people. I am one of them. I grew up in this town and saw it evolve into the crazy fustercluck it is now. Some things have remained, many things have been added. What I find most interesting, however, is how everyone wants to claim this town as their own. Everyone wants to say, “Yeah, I’m from Jackson.” These people come here and after two seasons (because time is measured in how many times you’ve guided the Snake River during the summer) claim local status. Well I’m here to call bullshit.
Let me give you a little rundown of who these faker are.
- College graduates: They’ve achieved an associates or a bachelors and now they’re ready to live! But rather than committing to an actual job, they take seasonal or part time jobs to make money for their activity expenses.
- Trusties: Twenty- to thirty-somethings who are still living out of their parents’ pocket. They’ve only had to pay half or less for everything they own, from their car to the apartment they share with two other guys.
- Shredders: Avid skiers or snowboarders who have skied Vail and everything in Vermont and New Hampshire, but have heard “this place is sick”, so they move here. They have really no purpose other than to get a free season pass,become known as someone important and brag about how many times they’ve gone out this year.
There are definitely more but these are the general three. One thing that most people in this town have in common is a lack of a long-term goal. Wendy left Neverland to grow up, and I promise you that no one grows up in Jackson. But as all these new people keep flooding into my town, I realize how much I need to leave. There’s no way up for me here. Just like there’s no way up for about 80% of the transplants either.
Whenever I go out to the bars I recognize less and less people. It seems that all the girls are named Kelly or Lauren, and they’re all from either the South or New England. The guys all look like they’re the Unibomber with their unkempt beards and large sunglasses. Half of them are named Ben.
The great thing about Jackson is its community, and these people are wrecking that. I don’t want to be the cynic bastard but I don’t know what happened! I understand why people move here. I understand the effect this valley has on people. But come on. If you’re going to move here, please, please, please have a reason other than “I came to ski.” There’s so much more to Jackson than that,but unfortunately that realization is wearing thin.
Who the hell are you people?