I ❤ Wonder Valley

By Kevin Bone

In 1976, a graphic designer named Milton Glaser, while riding in a taxi, took a scrap piece of paper and… with a red crayon…drew what would later become the logo for the “I Love New York” slogan: Three simple letters and a red heart.

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As soon as I stepped onto the streets of NYC in my early 20’s, I got it. It was everything I didn’t know that I was missing in my life growing up in the suburbs up to that point. It had edge. It had funk. It had color. It had love. Intense love. It had people. People of every social and religious identity. People with imagination, dreams. People getting stuff done, making things happen. The punk rock kids sharing space with the “old timers”. New York City had art, seeping through every pore.

Lolly Goodwoman (Lindsey Andersen) taking a break after a colorful “StageFright” performance.

There was nowhere else I would rather live. I hearted New York. Well, life twisted and turned this way and that way, and nearly two decades later I “found myself” (yes, there was ❤ involved) in the middle of a desert town that by any outsider’s perspective might be the exact opposite of the “Big Apple” and all that the big cities had to offer. And yet, it quickly became clear to me that this tiny desert town…seated in a beautiful, vast landscape (complete with night skies that the big cities have not known since before the days of Edison) had…funk. Color. Love, intense love. People of every identity. People with imagination and dreams, getting stuff done. The punk rock kids sharing space with the “old timers”. And art, seeping out of every pore.

What this little desert town known as Wonder Valley was missing was the traffic. The crowds. The neighbors being on just the other side of your wall. The constant overstimulation. And all of that was and is alright with me.

I ❤ WV.

Kevin Bone: When he’s not helping his wife Laura Sibley run The Palms in Wonder Valley, he spends his time figuring out ways to get on a stage, either as a drummer (The Sibleys, Yes-Go’s), or as an actor and story teller, including his successful one-man play, “Kate’s Last Dance.”

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