My Turn: Enough with ‘I’ve been here longer’ |

My Turn: Enough with ‘I’ve been here longer’

Recently, while on a miserably smoky bike ride in the Glenshire area, I noticed two men hunched in the bushes on vacant but private land. They were in camouflage gear so I stopped and asked if they were hunting, to which they said yes.

I told them they couldn’t hunt there — not only was it private land — it was also an area where people cycle, jog, walk and parents push kids in strollers; somebody could get killed! This led to a heated argument which escalated into these men defending their “American freedoms” and me defending deer.

We never did see eye to eye on animal rights, but I was irate when one of the men blurted out, “I hate people like you. You move to Truckee with your opinions and ruin it for the rest of us.” He said “go away,” and “I’ve been here longer than you’ (translation: “therefore I can do whatever I please”). If we were having a remotely intelligent discussion, it went out the window for me right then.

Once and for all, fellow Truckee residents — whether you’ve lived here for three years or 10 or 30, you have no more rights than anyone else. Furthermore, we have no more rights than our second-home neighbors from the Bay and Sacramento and also the tourists who flood our town every summer, winter and many weeks in between.

I, too, get annoyed that I can’t zip into Safeway on a summertime Monday evening to simply grab a carton of milk without standing in a down-the-aisles line; it’s frustrating that it takes four times as long to get to my job at Northstar on holiday weeks; I’m bummed I cannot enjoy a downtown restaurant on a busy weekend — but, truth is, these folks support us so we can live in this beautiful place. We Truckee locals are builders and Realtors, we are in the food and beverage or hospitality industries — and they are big-time consumers.

As for the “I’ve been here longer than you” comment — stop. Enough! Decades-long or new resident, we all make this town great and deserve no more or less than anyone else.

And rude hunting guy — for the record, my family has had a home here for 33 years, since 1980. I vividly remember when Safeway was where Mountain Hardware is today; when there was an A&W where Dickson Realty currently stands and I also remember when there were zero streetlights here.

So there’s a good chance I have been here longer than you, but that means nothing. Let the “I’ve been here longer” argument go. There’s room enough for everyone.

Nicole Wojslaw is a Truckee resident.

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