Nicholas Day: Telluride's July 4

IMG_3529 Nick Day, internationally known actor, sometime Telluride near-local, friend, has been in Telluride for about two weeks this time around. Nick is a key element in Jennie Franks' Telluride Playwrights' Festival, on- going, hosting actors' workshops, participating in readings. It goes on.

Nick was on hand for the 4th of July in Telluride, and has consented to let TIO publish the column he wrote for folks back home in England. Read it and ask yourself: "Am I/ are we really doing all we could to preserve this place we call home, Telluride, the wider world?"

Thanks, Nick.

Greenwich Time

by Nicholas Day

I’ve just had the privilege of spending Independence Day in small town America. It was an exciting and – unexpectedly – moving day. It celebrates the astonishing courage and determination of a people in defence of their rights, and brought the community together in a proud demonstration of what they are and what they stand for.


IndependenceDay-1270 After the colourful parade, the volunteer fire brigade hosted a barbecue for the whole town in the local park. After the diligent litter-picking at our last two public events on Plumstead Common I was astonished that there was not one litter-picker in sight. But then neither was there any litter! I saw one single coke can on the grass all day. People take their environment seriously here. They own it. That’s partly what they were celebrating that day. There were volunteers standing by each of the huge waste bins advising people of what goes in which. One guy was digging around in the compost bin pulling out the odd tin cans. All the plates and disposable forks were compostable.

This all set me to thinking about the community here. About the community being home. And what people are willing to do when they value their community so highly. I’ve never seen so many dogs in a town and there is a law here that dogs must be on a leash at all times. That’s a bit of a bore but people have accepted it for the sake of the community. You can actually be fined $250 here if you are walking your dog without a poop bag in your pocket! I love dogs, but I have to say this rather strict regime means that in the week I’ve been here I have not seen one offending poop.

So this is what I’m wondering about people’s sense of community: where are its boundaries for people nowadays? Do they stop at the front door? At the end of the street? What sense of ownership do we have of the world beyond our gate?

My family are happy and privileged to live in a street where we can say hello by name to most people in our terrace. We live in a community where a lot of people have taken responsibility for some of the world beyond their gates by volunteering to tend and care for parts of Plumstead Common. I suppose what would make me happier still is if more people could see the world outside their door with fresh eyes, see what we are doing to it, and feel the right to jointly own, manage and care for it.

We have a big chance to demonstrate our sense of community on July 26th when the PARKSfest programme of free events, funded by Greenwich Council, in our open spaces continues with “Plumstead Live!”, where a whole array of really talented local professional and amateur musicians will play  – a music gig of the people, by the people, for the people – and all in the pursuit of happiness. (www.parksfest.org)


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