Jon Mitchell

Snow was one of the first things I looked forward to seeing when I moved back to Colorado Springs.

That was last year, and there was plenty of snow across the Pikes Peak region and in the mountains forever overlooking the city. Then again, “plenty” is a relative term; I’d just moved from western Oregon where, at this time of year, it rains, and rains, and rains and rains some more and hardly ever snows.

Fast forward to now, and it’s safe to say everyone in El Paso County wishes we’d get some kind of snowfall. I wish it could at least be like last year, when Pikes Peak was covered with snow and I regained my winter driving skills, just like riding a bike.

Of course, there’s stuff I wish for every year, and it’s been documented with a Christmas Wish List column I’ve written throughout my 20-plus year newspaper career that’s included stints in places like Roseburg, Ore., and Colorado publications in Greeley, Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction.

I feel blessed to be at the paper I grew up reading — I pored over plenty of sports pages and box scores at my home on North Institute Street — and equally blessed to continue this column. And no, I’ve never gotten everything I’ve wanted. I’d be shocked if that happened this time around.

As follows:

• I wish nothing but the best for all the Springs residents impacted by the windstorm this past week that toppled trees, blew away roof shingles and crushed cars, among other things. At a time when kids are waiting for Santa to come down the chimney, the last thing their parents want to deal with is a tree trunk in the driveway or doorway. Here’s to hoping most of these are taken care of before the snow finally falls.

• I wish all of those people upset about the proposed 25-story residential tower in downtown Colorado Springs would calm the heck down. I get it. Your view of the mountains would be blocked, and there’s no other view like it in the world. But if that tower is built, you can walk just a few feet to either side of the building, and the mountains will still be there.

This city needs housing badly, and I actually wouldn’t be opposed to a few more downtown towers going up. After all, building vertically instead of out could, at least, keep us from annexing Peyton anytime soon.

• I wish nothing but the best of luck to all those families looking to buy a home — any home! — in the area. I’ll yell it to the heavens until the day I die how lucky I was to land our house when my family and I moved here. Unfortunately, our situation is the exception, not the rule.

• I wish my family and I didn’t get COVID-19 this year. Luckily for my daughter and I, it was more of a mild annoyance. But for my wife, it was a week-long sufferfest that included a trip to the emergency room. And regardless of how you feel about it, I’ll say this: I wouldn’t wish that sickness on anyone.

• I wish driving on Academy Boulevard still wasn’t like driving the Autobahn.

• I wish Conway’s Red Top was still open.

• I still wish the parents who scream at kids and belittle officials at high school games would get a clue.

• I wish the Citadel was still a cool place to hang out — that’s where my friends and I went for lunch every day when I attended Wasson High School in the 1990s. Now, the police blotter tells me differently.

• I wish for more success for the Colorado College hockey team in its new, shiny, sparkling, on-campus arena. As a kid growing up, I used to love going to CC hockey games at the old World Arena before it was torn down to make room for a ballroom. The new venue reminds me of that old one.

• I wish the best to Ralph Routon, who was a sports columnist at the then-Gazette Telegraph when I was growing up who inspired me to do this for a living. I was tempted to wear a Santa hat for this column like he did every year.

But most of all ...

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a wonderful holiday! Season’s greetings!

Jon Mitchell is the lead editor and content manager for The Gazette’s E-Edition. Phone: 719-636-0108. Email: jon.mitchell@gazette.com.

Jon Mitchell is the lead editor and content manager for The Gazette. Phone: 719-636-0108. Email: jon.mitchell@gazette.com.

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