My life my words: Cody Draper: A specialty in insurance and volunteering
December 24, 2010
"I was born in Nebraska, but I'm not a Cornhusker. My parents used to farm back there. I remember riding three-wheelers, and just being a kid, I guess. Building forts. I was pretty young.
"We moved to Steamboat when I was four or five. I've lived in Craig since 1993. We opened up a branch office from Steamboat, and in 1993 we bought out our share here in Craig and changed the name to Draper (Insurance).
"There's so many factors in (car) insurance. Twenty years ago, it was just age and driver's license. But there's so many factors anymore: what you drive, how far you drive, where you live in the state. The state is broken into territories. Liability for a vehicle here might be cheaper than liability is in Denver, but your comp and collision might be more expensive here than it is in Denver, just because of all the animals and glass claims up here. I get calls like, 'Can I get a ballpark?' And, I'm like, 'Man, you can't ballpark it anymore.'
"I went to Moffat County High School. I didn't go to college. I knew in high school what I wanted to do when I graduated. So, as soon as I graduated I got licensed as agent, and here I am.
"I was in track. I played some basketball and football, and also theater. My biggest memory of track is going from junior high to high school. My eighth-grade year I think I took first place in every event except for one. I kind of ran the roost around here between Meeker, Rangeley and Craig. But when I got to high school and ran against other schools, I realized, 'Man, I might not be as fast as I thought I was.' I barely qualified to go to districts, and never qualified to go state.
"People think I'm young. I help Mrs. Sperl up at East Elementary School with the swim program every year. And some of those kids are like, 'Oh, are you in high school? Are you in college?'
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"I hope they don't get rid of the (MCHS) pool. I think it's very vital to have a large, year-round pool in this community, especially for the schools. It's just important that kids get to learn how to swim. I talked to Sperl, I said, 'Man, if they close the high school pool, where are we going to go? The (American Legion Post 62)?' That's not big enough for us to use. I pray to God that they don't get rid of that.
"I wish people would volunteer more, outside of the holidays. I think that's just huge. It's awesome that people donate during the holidays, but I kind of wish people would volunteer more and keep the holiday spirit alive year-round."
"During the summer, I camp. I love camping, or going to the lake, or rafting. During the winter, I don't do a whole lot. If the Broncos are good, I'll try to go and watch a game, but I haven't had to worry about that this year.
"The best rafting trip was a four-day trip from the Gates of Lodore to Split Mountain down by Vernal (Utah). The campgrounds are sandy and beachy. And the canyon walls are golden. It's kind of like the Grand Canyon, just miniaturized. It's fun.
"I'm single, unfortunately. 'Hey, ladies.' I think I've just lived here too long, really. I know everybody."
"I went down to J.W. Snacks one day after work and the Parrotheads were all sitting around. I was like, 'What are you guys all doing together?' I sat in on (the Parrotheads) second meeting and just joined. It's been at least two years.
"The river cleanup is always fun. That's my favorite. Anything to do with the environment. But, our Music for the Schools committee is getting together to see what they can do with the project money we've generated. I think we've got about $1,800."
"Basically, we start out at Pebble Beach, and walk around Pebble Beach and Sand Beach with trash bags and pick up all the broken bottles and cans and trash. We've found diapers, and car batteries, and we found a car bumper once. I think people just take that stuff out there and toss it. We'll go around and pick it up and then we'll float downriver in rafts to Loudy, and pick up around there and barbecue afterward if the weather is nice.
"We party a little bit, but we don't want people to think that's all we do. Our motto is 'Party with a Purpose,' but we have sober functions, too.
"I ran for (Craig) City Council in 2004. I think I lost by 64 votes, if I remember right. It was less than 100. I was 25. I'd just moved back here from Fort Collins and I was like, 'You know what? Craig needs to grow and get with the times.' I didn't campaign at all. I did a couple yard signs that I put out the day of the election. Jimmy at Carelli's had my sign up in his window for years. I think he just took it down last year. I'd have people still coming up to me saying, 'Oh, that's cool you're running for city council.'
"I don't know if I'd run again. Not for a little while, I don't think."
"Who is Cody Draper? I think everybody already knows. I don't know."
— Interview and photo by Ben McCanna
Name: Cody Draper
Occupation: Owner of Draper Insurance