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Urban Perspective

By Zachary Urban

Our daughter Isabella has been fascinated by all the butterflies which have been flying around lately. She recently attended a field trip to the Butterfly Pavilion and ever since she has been on the lookout for a monarch butterfly. She will exclaim with great joy every time she sees one, or presumes to see one, “Monarch!”

Isn’t it amazing how nature can bring great joy, especially when seen through the eyes of a child. She helps me see these simple pleasures and learn to enjoy them as much as she does.

Should I be the one to tell her that what she sees is more likely to be a Sweetheart Underwing Moth, rather than an actual monarch butterfly? Does the moth not fly just like any monarch butterfly might? Does the knowledge of which sect of the Lepidoptera family this creature came from change her joy? I would prefer she find this out on her own, rather than ruin this moment of joy for her here and now.

But don’t get me wrong, there may be a true monarch flying around Wheat Ridge. The monarch butterfly is so named in honor of former King of England William III. Wheat Ridge resident Allen V. Evans made the pretty royal claim that he is a direct descendant of an unbroken primogeniture line legally documented since the third century in Great Britain, a descent of the same House of Stuart, different line, and registered in the Royal College of Arms.

On March 1 of this year Evans took out an ad in the Times of London (but not the Neighborhood Gazette?), to pronounce his rightful heir to the Sovereign crown of Great Britain. When I heard this I thought to myself, this wouldn’t be the first or last time someone from Wheat Ridge thought they are royalty.

I think it is telling of us here in Wheat Ridge, as far as the Carnation Festival Parade goes, we don’t crown a king and queen, rather we nominate a count and countess.

   In heraldry terms, a count was deemed to convey an approximate rank intermediate between the highest and lowest titles of nobility. There are many interpretations of what this might mean, but for me, this means we don’t presume to crown anyone, rather we take note of those who deserve to be counted among our best example as neighbors and leaders.

When I think of this year’s royalty for the Carnation Festival Parade, the beginning of the last stanza of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling comes to mind:

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much;”

Whether you are royalty, think you are royalty or you have royally screwed up we should take a cue from Isabella Urban to strive to see the monarch in everyone.

Zachary Urban can be reached at 720-252-5930 or