Luck: Successful communities make their own

I don’t remember the old singer or the song, but the line was … “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”. Other towns often say Durango seems to have a lot of luck.

Actually, luck has more to do with preparation, persistence and tenacity.

In a span of just 30 days, Durango will have assembled 9,000 people to hold hands to celebrate the completion of a seven-mile river trail, hosted campaign stops by first lady Michele Obama and vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan and will celebrate a visit by the Capitol Christmas Tree on its 26-city tour to Washington, DC.

Luck? No, things happen when somebody picks up the phone and makes it happen. I salute Jack Turner for his perseverance in organizing the Durango Connect project. He doggedly pursued his vision and convinced his city, the school district and his community that a brief timeout from a world filled with conflict was worth the effort. Turner recalled from his boyhood years the Animas River corridor being an unpleasant, unsafe, undesirable place and wanted everyone to fully appreciate the scope of accomplishment we all now enjoy. Thanks, Jack. Please visit

I applaud Fort Lewis College President Dene Thomas, the FLC staff members and local political parties for the unlikely effort to invite the presidential candidates to come to Durango. (Sure, like that was going to happen.) When it was determined that Air Force One could not land at Durango-La Plata County Airport, Dene responded, “Well just put him on a smaller plane, or send the first lady.” FLC’s persistence and commitment to host well-organized visits by leading political figures paid off because somebody picked up the phone and made it happen.

On Friday evening, Nov. 9, the Capitol Christmas Tree will arrive in Durango because of persistent work done by the Campbell family. A stop in Durango was not scheduled, until persistence and tenacity persuaded organizers that when called upon Durango steps up to the plate. The tree will arrive with police escort on a 110-foot, specially designed Mack truck, and be parked on Eight Street facing Main Avenue from 5 to 7 p.m. There will be a welcoming ceremony, hot chocolate and cider booths, tree saplings for children, ornament making, visits by Smokey Bear and Santa and Mrs. Claus, a choral group and more. This will be a rare occasion for Durango and a wonderful evening for families. More information can be found by visiting at

So why do some communities seem luckier than others? I’ll submit that luck has little to do with it. Because as the saying goes: “The harder I work, the luckier I seem to get.” Bob Kunkel is the downtown business development manager for the city of Durango.

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