When I was a kid, my dad and I loved to climb mountains. There were a number of things I remember him teaching me while we were on those climbs: It is important to pace yourself. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Every so often, take a moment to turn around and look at how far you've come.
I think that anecdote is a great one to explain my father's love of history. Taking pause to look at from where we have come, and what went into bringing us to where we are, can serve as a valuable reality check to put the events of the day to day in context. As 2010 draws to a close, it is a particularly opportune time to have a look back.
My father has turned his passion for history into an art form, and his award-winning documentary films on the history of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West are a compelling and powerful look at the trail we have traveled so far.
From the history of Colfax Avenue, to the real story of Molly Brown, or from the perspective of a single building like Union Station, to the five geo-political 'states' that make up Colorado, my dad has opened my eyes, and the eyes of all who experience his films to the fascinating, and emotional back-story we all share.
As we in the West continue to hike the long trail toward building the kind of society we can all be proud of, lets all take a moment to put the next hill in context, ballasted by the larger ones we have already left behind.