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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that has a twin, of sorts.

Steve e-mailed us from the Denver law firm where he works after having a Twilight Zone-ish experience looking at one of the newspapers down there.

“In the Denver Daily News, which seems to be published by a completely different company than yours, there is a column called “Talk of the Town,'” Steve writes. “It starts every column with some variation of, “Good morning and welcome the world’s only column that …’ It also usually ends with some variation of, “We out …’

“Is there some sort of a relationship between the two newspapers, and if not, which one of you is stealing from the other?”

A clever observation, Steve, and we’ll settle it all with a Discovery Channel-like monologue on the history of daily columns.

Before the Vail Daily was the Vail Daily, it was Town Talk. Its founder, long since gone, was basically writing like we do and printing out single-sheet papers on a erox machine. This quickly evolved into quite a popular operation. The same person started the Summit Daily News and a couple years ago, the Denver Daily News.

Years ago, he sold the Vail and Summit papers.

When the Summit Daily News was started to compete with the late Sentinel, Summit Up became a popular feature modeled after the original Vail version. (We should also point out that the Daily eventually consumed the Sentinel, taking some of its staff and moving into its buildings, and now, the original creative forces behind Summit Up are leading the way with the Daily’s current competition.)

This column, however, for reasons unknown to anyone, seems to have enjoyed much greater success. Variations have popped up: The Leadville Chronicle, owned by our owners, had a run with “Leads Up” for a while.

Yes, the Denver folks probably should have come up with something of their own. But let’s just call it an homage, if you will, since the institution that is Summit Up is bigger than us all.

Wouldn’t you say, Steve?

***

Last week, we wrote a bit about what we call First-Degree Shenanigans, also known as the political wrangling that led us to war in Iraq. Following that column, we wrote about an anonymous caller who was very upset with our entire paper for printing such biased, liberal points of view and wondered why we didn’t write about any of the good things that came out of the war. We left it to our readers to help us figure out what this caller was referring to.

Shelley in Dillon solved it for us. “She was only referring to the elation and pride I am sure we all felt when we found out that 100 percent of the reconstruction contracts after the war is over (or whenever) went to companies from the United States!” Shelley wrote. “Whoppee! Forget WMD or Saddam! It doesn’t matter if we find either. We got a country to build, oil to refine, money to make … So as the tentacles of America’s multinational companies continue to attach themselves overseas, we can rest assured that it was not all for naught.”

Shelley then went on to say some unflattering things about certain Cabinet members which we’ll refrain from repeating so that she doesn’t wake up in John Ashcroft’s basement someday. But she did leave us with a parting comment that we think all of us can relate to:

“Where, oh, where is our philosopher king?”

***

An anonymous caller got quite a laugh reading the newspaper the other day and thought we “might be able to bandy this about,” given our sense of humor.

The caller noticed the similarity between the names of the outgoing CMC dean and the new mayor of Denver. No, Tim Hoopingarner is not related to John Hickenlooper. And we can’t accuse them of being the same person, (even though they haven’t been seen in the same room) because they look nothing alike.

But we do think they should sit down at the Wynkoop, watch a game of hoops and drink brews until they get the loops. (We thought about trying to work hicks and garters into that, but it just seemed slightly distasteful.)

***

We’ll leave you today with one of the observations Pat sent us: “Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, “I think I’ll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out?'”

We’re out playing Wilt Chamberlain, planting little seeds of daily columns all over the world …


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