Emily and I talked about starting a new feature once a week, in which we post about a story in the news.

I know the real idea is to editorialize about a national news story, but I’m going to start with something sillier. 

As one of my favorite authors, Bill Bryson, has pointed out, true insight into a town can best be gained by reading the local newspapers.  The soul of a place is revealed in political columns, real estate listings, obituaries, school lunch menus.

To see what gets the citizenry riled up, turn to the police blotter.  These are from the Durango Colorado Herald a few weeks back, and they are so brief, they’re downright surreal.  My favorites (in their entirety):

A dog chewing on tree branches did not appear to have any food in the 33000 block of US Highway 550 North.

About nine dogs were running on a road, chasing cars in the 200 block of County Road.

A woman was receiving strange text messages in the 800 block of South Camino del Rio.

A driver was seen throwing punches at passengers in the front and back seats of his car and swerving back and forth in the 31000 block of U.S. Highway 160 East.

A dead dog and a truck were causing a traffic hazard on the side of the road in the 22000 block of U.S. Highway 550.

A woman wearing little clothing was outside and yelling to herself in the 3000 block of County Road 309A.

Reading the police blotter of a small Western town must be where David Lynch got his inspiration for Twin Peaks.  The only thing missing is the log lady - or is she?  Perhaps the strange text message woman was carrying a piece of kindling.  Maybe the scantily clad self-talker was just about to start scrounging for firewood. 

A beautiful town filled with beautiful people, Durango is also, clearly, home to a number of eccentric people and equally eccentric dogs.  All co-existing on streets with very high numbers.  

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