Our View: Living, and dying, history
September 5, 2007
It was raining out, but that didn’t matter.
Cars and trucks still stopped, and drivers put their vehicles in park. Some got out of their vehicles. Some just watched from the comfort of their cars.
In that sense, it was only fitting for people to watch from their cars as flames and smoke marked the last show of the Sunset Drive-In Theater on Aug. 27.
As it did in its heyday – when movies were the attraction – it brought an audience.
Reaction to the drive-in theater being burnt down to make way for a gravel pit has been mixed.
Some viewed the theater in its recent dilapidated state as an eyesore and were glad to see it go.
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Others remembered the good old days of making their way there to see a show with a night of fun with friends.
Others remembered both.
All of these opinions are correct in the editorial board’s eyes.
The final show of the theater also is a reminder that if we want to keep history with us, we need to actively preserve it because, as it stands now, we could easily lose other iconic markers of our past.
We already have lost the White Horse Saloon, and places such as the old depot and jail are increasingly falling into disrepair and becoming eyesores with every passing day. They too could suffer the same fate as the theater if we don’t take a more proactive approach to preserving such sites.
We need to look at these historic sites not for what they currently are, but for what they were. Then we need to look inside ourselves and see what these sites mean to us.
If we should find that keeping the history of these buildings alive is important, then we need to take the next step and seek to restore them.
Perhaps there is no better time for us to reevaluate our city’s historic landmarks than now, as Craig is getting ready to celebrate 100 years of being an incorporated city.
Perhaps this is the time for people to get more involved with the Craig 100th birthday committee, The committee meets each month and is scheduled to meet this month at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in Council Chambers at Craig City Hall.
Or perhaps it is time to get more involved with the historic societies, such as Preserving the Last Frontier (824-5343), or contact the preservers of history such as The Museum of Northwest Colorado (824-6360) and Wyman’s Living History Ranch and Museum (824-6346).
Or perhaps we do nothing.
If we choose the latter, we could very well watch our living history go up in smoke.