Brian Sandford: Airplane ride was a reminder of changing perspective
June 23, 2013
From a street-level view, Carson City is a sight to behold. We're cradled by stately mountains, many of our neighborhoods are lush, and the ever-blue sky helps fuel our residents' good cheer.
The city is no less beautiful when witnessed from those blue skies, but the perspective is quite different. I was reminded of this a couple of days before the open house at the Carson City Airport, when photographer Shannon Litz and I got a 25-minute ride aboard a T-41 Cessna trainer.
Our pilot headed east, over Dayton and Silver Springs. The twisting, steep road to Virginia City didn't look so daunting when viewed from above. Our immediate world — Washoe, Eagle and Carson valleys — stretched out before us, suddenly seeming quite small. After that flight, I'll never see it quite the same way again.
Gaining a new perspective has been a theme of my relocation to Northern Nevada, as I learn a great deal each week about this region's residents, culture, history, values and virtues. Serving as your editor has been equally perspective-altering.
I worked late nights and weekends for a dozen years before arriving here. I liked my co-workers and had many friends, but we didn't often get to do what you'd consider "normal person" things. My schedule didn't allow it.
As a result, while I felt at home back in Tacoma, Olympia and Salem, I didn't feel connected to the community. I saw it mostly after dark, when it wasn't at its best. And I didn't get to meet many of the great residents who functioned primarily during the day, when I was dozing.
In the past month in Carson City, I've attended a dinner at the Eagles Lodge and a meet-and-greet with the region's new BLM director; covered a Wine Walk and the Taste of Downtown; attended events with readers such as the Star Parties held at the Jack C. Davis Observatory; interviewed residents with fascinating and diverse stories to tell; had informative and sometimes-amusing phone chats with readers; and had lunch with nearly a dozen of you. In the course of doing so, I've met hundreds of the people who make Carson City the great place that it is.
I've been here four months, but I already know this community better than most of the others I've called home. It's not a coincidence that I also like it more than the others.
That's partly because I've got a new and energizing role as an active participant in a city's daily life. As readers, you've helped me gain that new perspective, and I thank you for it.
Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.