Just to say thank you
I’ve been blessed to live in Mono County and the Mammoth Lakes area for more than four decades. During that time period I’ve seen many changes and many things stay the same. One thing that remains constant is the underlying people that make Mono County and Mammoth the greatest place in this country to live.
When I arrived in 1976 there were considered to be three types of people living in Mammoth. 1) the long time locals, 2) the seasonal employees, and 3) the tourist. In the winters of 1976/77 and again in 1977/78 Mono county was in the hard throws of severe drought. The community was truly a ski town back then and without snow the economy just stopped. It was the locals and Dave McCoy’s Mountain that supported each other and helped Mammoth survive.
Things were so bad that a sign was hung on Highway 203 (outbound) near where the courthouse stands today that read simply “Last one out of town, please turn off the lights”. It was a common sight to see cars and trucks towing U-Hauls and heading out of town on 203.
During that time, the County placed a building moratorium on construction because of the lack of water to support the needs of Mammoth. In the winter of 1978 all this would change. The snows came hard and heavy. The lakes filled, the ski area opened early, and the tourists were back (sound vaguely familiar?).
Suddenly there was a building boom in the County, and especially in Mammoth. Following the new rise in population, a new expression was heard in Mammoth by the 1980’s, “I’m a local”. Bumper stickers, license plate frames, and decals adorned all types of vehicles. It seemed that anyone that had been in town more than a long weekend could and would make this claim. This discussion of “who is” or “what constitutes” a local continues on to this day.
While my opinion only reflects my view of the term “Local” it is how I see members of the community. A local is a person who has moved to Mammoth and been here long enough to know and assimilate into the community. A person who knows and respects the finicky nature of Mother Nature. A person who appreciates the values of the area and doesn’t want to make this community into an old neighborhood that they felt compelled to move from. A person that has the good of our fellow community and neighbors at heart.
Now you may disagree with my opinion of what a local is and that’s fine by me. However, I wish to make you aware of a person that most of you “Locals” know but may not have thought much about.
I want to bring your attention to a man that came here as a young man just out of his schooling. He arrived and was viewed with some concern by certain locals as being too young and inexperienced for his role in the community.
Doctor Crunk was that young man. He arrived while Dr. Eckart, Dr. Hildebrand, and Dr. Lear were the established medical doctors. This young upstart would work tirelessly and slowly to gain the respect of the community. He learned the members of our community and the hardships of rural medicine. He would make friends only to see them pass. He smiled with joy as new members were born into our community, our only true locals. He has been there for all of us.
Hap & Patti Hazard