Once again I thought about the "Theys." Recently, the county of Walla Walla had struggled over potential restrictions on located winery structures in the agriculture zones quilting those foothills. Those opposed to more wineries argued that if the wineries were built, "the next thing "they" will want is rock concerts." "They" will want weddings and "they" will demand the farmers quit operating while "they" have their ceremonies and concerts. "They" will litter - "they" will litter their wine bottles around our foothill roads. I remember thinking, "They" will do all of this? I never knew what to say to those comments about those damn "theys" and the problems "they" bring with them. I never knew any "theys" who littered their $30-50 wine bottles on the roads. Usually "they" pack their bottles home to age them in their cellars. I never knew that "they", the majority of winemakers and winery owners, wanted to fuss with the mess, details and liabilities of rock concerts and the wear and tear rock concerts can put on a winery and especially a vineyard. I thought the majority of winemakers just wanted to make good wine. Who knew "they" also wanted to take the time away from their winemaking and patrol concert crowds and fuss with little bridezillas and their soon to be monster-inlaws?
I always thought winery structures would be more appealing and complementary to the foothills than the rock quarries, pig farms, and small aircraft landing strips, all of which are already zoned in the foothills. The winery opponents keep trying to tell us that "they", wine and grapes, are not agriculture.
That late afternoon I left my new wine friends and kept thinking about all of the wonderful things "they" had to say about our Valley. "They" commented on the beauty of the old trees, the majestic old buildings and homes. "They" commented on the beautiful view surrounding the Valley on all sides, the great dining, the mesh of eclectic characters and how we have made each other into neighbors. Most of all, my new friends commented on our world-class wines. My new friends made me see my town as if I was falling in love with it all over again, just as they were for the first time. "They" told me again and again how fortunate I was to have been born and raised here. "They" told me how fortunate I was to have the old cherished memories and to be able to witness the positive growth. "They" reminded me just how fortunate I was to have all of these wonderful things about Walla Walla around me and at my fingertips.
I decided that "they" were the ones that I would finally listen to. "They" had the comments and opinions that I would value. Thanks Gene, Diane, Kathy and Tom!