Letter by Slim Wolfe
Boundaries – June 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine
Somehow, you can find gates just about anywhere you look
So you’ve got a bug up your butt about gated communities, as well you should. First time I sighted the San Luis Valley I knew I’d found the best gates around, chains of fourteeners. It took a few years before I got my piece of that. We’re like-minded, we like elbow room and vistas. Human-made gates here seem trivial.
I do make a point to take an extended trip now and then to remind myself of what’s on the other side. People of color, for instance. I grew up with them, in the city, but after all these years up here, I have to readjust my palate to the taste of ethnic diversity. I always enjoy that part. Then there’s congestion, pollution, flatness and humidity. Good for the soul in small doses.
Somehow, I always wind up in a gated community out there. The folks live in a retirement ghetto with a 3-strand cyclone-barbed wire perimeter and uniformed guards at the gate who all seem to come from someplace like Barbados. Why these hirelings should feel any loyalty to their old charges is beyond me.
Then I might go work a few weeks at a Renaissance Festival, another gated community of like-minded oddballs like myself. Report to the office and get your pass, show it on demand. You’re working for who? The gate will be padlocked at dusk.
Now there’s another kind of gate — the plastic pin gate. If you don’t have your plastic PIN you’re out of luck, bud. Gas stations whose only employees are swipe machines. Pay phones with no slots for change. Businesses that don’t have time to read their snail-mail. I don’t guess I’ll adjust my palate for that.
Slim Wolfe Villa Grove