Discover more from The Remarkable Fools Letter
on the power of red rocks
a legacy of moving mountains
It’s true what they say: There’s no place on earth quite like it. When we arrived and stepped out into the open air of the amphitheatre, we all had goosebumps. It was so damn beautiful, I could hardly believe that such a place could exist at all.
The Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a wonder of humans and nature. Located near Denver in the state of Colorado, it’s in a country called The United States of America. Its’ three hundred foot walls document the sixteen million year history of the region. The time line of our lives sat as a layer of dust at the top.
Part of Roosevelt’s New Deal, created to help pull people through the desperate times of the Great Depression, The Red Rocks Amphitheatre was built to provide employment and teach trades. People were paid a dollar a day when there was very little money available. In the short term, this project kept people fed.
During the decade it took to create the theatre, over twenty five thousand cubic yards of rocks and dirt were removed. Over ninety thousand square feet of flagstone, eight hundred tonnes of quarried stone, ten train car loads of cement and thirty thousand pounds of reinforced steel all went into building Red Rocks.
Those are dazzling numbers. Even move amazing is the fact that most of this was done by hand:
The building of this theatre is not a steam-shovel job. The work is being done by man-power. After the excavation is finished most of the work will require skilled labor. Here the boys of the company will be repaid for the long hours spent with pick and shovel.1
Human energy is incredible. During the Depression, there was a surplus of potential energy. FDR’s New Deal Programs were able to tap into this energy and focus it on projects. In doing so, people came together and turned their energy into power.
The combined power of people working together didn’t quite move a mountain. Instead, it created a place of profound beauty with impacts far beyond anything the grateful workers at a time imagined. Born out of the Depression, The Red Rocks Amphitheatre is an incredible monument to what’s possible when we come together. It’s an incredible legacy, left behind by nameless hands who toiled for hours with pick and shovel. Their legacy will be enjoyed for perhaps centuries to come.
In order to create something bigger than yourself, in order to have lasting impacts on the culture, to create a legacy, Red Rocks is a great template. Put people to work. Harness their energy. Teach them. Give them meaning. Have them be part of something greater than themselves. Leave the world better because you were here. (it also helps to make sure you have enough money to pay for it all)
What great theatre would you like to create?
What legacy will you be involved in?
How can your energy be focused to create something bigger than yourself?
Where would it be?
What mountains will you move?
How would it begin?
What’s your version of Red Rocks?