Scranton: It’s a long road ahead but a great place to be

Lance Scranton

Colorado is a beautiful state and one that I moved to over 25 years ago when the opportunity to teach and coach at Moffat County High School was afforded by, then-Principal Joel Sheridan. Back in those days, he met with me one-on-one, posed a few questions, asked me about accordion paragraphs and then took me around to introduce me to some teachers who had similar interests.

He really got my attention when he showed me the salary schedule, and I realized that relocating to Colorado would be accompanied by a significant raise.

I was intrigued by the size of the school (850 students at the time), the success of the football program and the opportunities that a medium-sized high school would give my family as they grew. You could observe, as an uniformed outsider, that this was a community full of hard-working, blue-collar, no-nonsense people whose value and worth were reflected in the people I met early on and as I looked for a place to live.

I walked into a real estate office on Victory Way and was met by an agent who inquired as to why I was looking for a house and for what reason I was relocating to Craig. We drove around town that afternoon, and after looking at a few homes, I spotted a “For sale by owner” sign posted on a garage door on Riford Road.

I thanked the real estate agent and drove back to the house and took down the phone number. I called, went to visit the family selling the house and the rest, as they say, is history.

After almost 26 years in the same house, my wife and I have started on our second remodel of the home. Four boys were hard on our little house, and being empty-nesters, we decided that some improvements would be a great idea.

The house has served us well, as has the community and the school district. We’ve endured some tough times but always felt that we were supported by the community and those who we chose to associate with through church, neighborhood, and friends.

We have become like many in our community who believe that while we aren’t the most complete town on the Western Slope — we do have much to offer. The no-nonsense attitude of the town folk can sometimes be mistaken as unfriendly, but at its core, a deep sense of commitment is shared by those who have chosen to call Craig their home.

COVID produced a resurgence of people relocating to Moffat County and of those many people whom I have met over the past couple of years; it is the unique flavor of our town and the location that make it attractive to people trying to escape the busyness and politics of our urban areas. What we still offer in Moffat County is a practical and sensible approach to living, helping out our neighbors and calling out some of the things that we don’t like. It’s an attitude borne out of a deep sense of protecting a community whose general attitude toward life is that you, “earn what you have and you take care of what you got.”

So the road ahead might seem long, especially as we look around a state that doesn’t seem to reflect our values politically, but we’re still gonna be here working hard and trying our best to make things better in our little corner of Colorado. As our newest Superintendent Jill Hafey likes to say: “It’s a great place to be!”

Many of us, myself included, agree and know that the long road ahead also includes those who have used our highways to make Craig and Moffat County their home.

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