Forbes magazine has released a list of the so-called 'Friendliest' cities, and there isn't a Colorado town in the top ten. I have to disagree with this, and I have a story to prove it.

As my bio indicates, I originally moved to this state to be a snow bum, a feat that I accomplished with great flair. As I was bummin' about, I had the opportunity to take a position at a radio station and do a morning show in Fort Collins. However, the only thing that I knew about the Fort was that it did not have a chairlift running out of it. That was a mark against, but I stayed open to the option and decided to visit.

I booked a room in the Best Western University Inn and drove down. When I pulled in, everything looked pretty good. There were more stores and restaurants to choose from than in the mountains. I saw the Poudre River running through town. I was starting to approve.

Day turned to evening and I decided to go have something to eat and check out the nightlife. I was on my way to Old Town Square, but I was walking east on Myrtle. I could walk east on Myrtle until tomorrow and I would never run in to Old Town Square, so after a lot of blocks, I asked the next group of people for directions. They could tell how turned around I was, and one of the guys in the group simply said, 'Why don't you just join us for awhile? We'll show you around." We had exchanged about 10 words when he asked me to join their group. I caroused the entire night with them, and based on their friendliness and kindness, decided right away to move here.

I'm thinking that the people who compiled Forbes list may not have heard my story, so I thought I would tell it.

Keeping in mind that I believe that there is one major exception from their list, here it is.

The list, which looked at 500 regions with populations between 5,500 and 150,000 people, is based on data measuring the number of owner-occupied homes, crime rate statistics, philanthropy and percentage of college graduates, as well as surveys among residents.

Which city came out on top? Drum roll, please. The honor goes to Sammamish, Washington, a town so friendly we assume the residents will smile while helping you pronounce it. Orinda, California took the runner-up spot, while Fishers, Indiana took third.

Even though the cities of northern Colorado aren't on THIS list, there is good news. With 14 different states represented among the top 15, it's clear you can travel far and wide across the country and be sure you'll find some people with a smile on their face. As a matter a fact, we tracked down how far the closest 'Friendliest Cities' are.


1. Sammamish, Washington
2. Orinda, California
3. Fishers, Indiana
4. Seal Beach, California
5. Westerville, Ohio
6. Frisco, Texas
7. Alpharetta, Georgia
8. Downers Grove, Illinois
9. Huntington Woods, Michigan
10. Tooele, Utah- is 519 miles from northern Colorado!
11. Hamilton, New York
12. Herndon, Virginia
13. Hopkins, Minnesota
14. Apopka, Florida
15. Queen Creek, Arizona- is 913 miles from northern Colorado!