Friends shouldn’t let friends run for office

Column by Hal Walter

Politics – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

LET’S FACE IT. Friends really shouldn’t let friends run for office.

But try as I might to dissuade Curtis Imrie from pursuing politics, he still insists on running. And maybe that’s a good thing for us all.

I met Curtis years ago, and have gotten to know him fairly well as a “mentor” of sorts in the sport of pack-burro racing. He got me started, sold me a burro, and recently told me that I’d be a fat journalist making typos in obits somewhere if it hadn’t been for my involvement in the sport.

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Saving Marriages and other delights of antique tractor pulls

Article by Wallace Williams

Old Machinery – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

MOST PEOPLE THINK OF SUMMER as a time for gardening, traveling, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, biking, sightseeing, and generally doing things outdoors. There is, however a rapidly growing family activity offering travel, entertainment, food, camping, and 15 minutes of fame packed into a minute and a half. Obviously, it is Antique Tractor Pulling.

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Does anybody know what they’re really up to

Essay by Martha Quillen

Local Politics – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE CITY OF SALIDA has a public relations problem. As most of you know, Ed, The Mountain Mail, and KVRH Radio have gone to court to try to make Salida’s public relations more public.

But that isn’t the problem I’m referring to. No, I was thinking about the problem that started this whole episode.

I suppose a lot of city officials think their problem is Monika Griesenbeck. But it’s a lot more complicated than that.

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Life’s better where the garlic grows

Letter by Eugene Lorig

Moving – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Life’s Better Where The Garlic Grows

Ed and Martha:

Another year gone by already? You aren’t fudging my subscription ahead by a couple of months, are you?

I wonder how those New Yawk-type bastards who shill for US West, and who have probably never seen this country except when flying over it on their way to L.A., know that “Life’s better here.”

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The last word about native status

Letter by Jeanne Englert

Mountain Life – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Latest Words About Native Status


“Last settlers,” they called us when our grassroots group organized in 1979 to oppose the controversial Animas-La Plata water project in southwestern Colorado. That wasn’t true. Half of us were Colorado natives, some with roots going back several generations. My great-grandfather arrived in Auraria in 1858, when it wasn’t Denver yet, and he was the first building contractor and sheriff of Arapahoe County. My maternal great-great-grandfather arrived in Auraria in 1860, and co-founded the Tivoli Brewery.

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Is silver the solution?

Letter by Paul Martz

Summitville – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Is Silver the Solution? or, Who Makes the Rules?


I’d like to comment on a misstatement of fact in a part of Briefs from the San Luis Valley in the June edition of Colorado Central. The topic was Summitville Studies and the brief states that “The river was contaminated with copper and other toxic substances after leaks from the leach-pit mining operation of Galactic Resources….”

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The first winter climb of Mount of the Holy Cross

Letter by Allen Best

Colorado Central – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Men Should Ask Directions, and the First Winter Climb of Mount of the Holy Cross

Dear Ed:

I feel as though I’ve just seen Michael Jordan miss a slam dunk or heard Keith Richards miss a riff. I’ve seen you fumble on both regional history and regional geography! I will not relish in that discovery. First, you can so easily find errors in my own work. Second, the error about Holy Cross was merely a suggested one; moreover, the factual history has been obscured by a bogus but widely disseminated account.

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High Line History

Sidebar by Ed Quillen

Transportation – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

These days, there are only two major railroads in the West: the Union Pacific and the Burlington Northern Santa Fé. The track from Leadville to the summit of Frémont Pass has been owned by both of them.

The line began in 1884 as part of the narrow-gauge Denver, South Park & Pacific, which was soon acquired by Jay Gould and added to his Union Pacific.

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Saving the High Line: An expensive $10 bargain

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Transportation – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

STEPHANIE AND KEN OLSEN recently celebrated a special anniversary. But instead of champagne and candlelight, they marked their milestone with a locomotive grease job and the blast of a train whistle.

The Olsens’ Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad Co. turned ten years old this May. Like the little engine that could, the LC&S has helped put Leadville back on track toward economic revitalization. In the process, it’s also given thousands of passengers a close-up look at some of Colorado’s most spectacular high country scenery.

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The Last Train

Sidebar by Ken Stitzel

Tennessee Pass – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

The last through train left Pueblo on August 23, 1997. It was a westbound taconite train with two lead engines, three mid-train remote-controlled units, and 96 cars — quite similar to the train Grinch and I rode.

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A White-Collar Hobo riding over Tennessee Pass

Article by Ken Stitzel

Transportation – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

HIDING IN A DITCH like a commando, I cringe as a giant machine approaches. The earth shakes. Twenty feet away, two sooty diesel locomotives roll slowly past, pulling a dark train of hopper cars. Quickly, I rouse Grinch, my travel partner. We wait for the straining locomotives to disappear around a bend, then we approach the train.

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The RV City at Antero Junction

Article by Laurie Wagner Buyer

Roadside Attractions – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

YEARS AGO BUFFALO ROAMED HERE, and Ute Indians hunted along the pine-timbered ridges and grassy bottoms of the South Fork of the South Platte River. When the homesteaders and ranchers arrived in South Park this was the domain of the Harringtons, the 63 Ranch, and Tom McQuaid’s Salt Works Ranch; cattle replaced the buffalo, and cowboys rode the rocky hills.

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Waste it to save your community

Essay by Ed Quillen

Water – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

IN THE REST of the temperate world, “spring” means a season of blossoms, greenery and gentle showers. Here in the mountains, it means wind or blistering heat alternating with blizzards — often within the hour, accompanied by landslips and rockslides.

Throw in the emergence of blood-sucking woodticks, the pungent aroma of a yard thawing after a winter of dog deposits and the discovery of mule-deer hoof prints where your crocuses should be, and it’s easy to see why all mountain-dwellers with money decamp to Mexico for what they call “Mud Season.” But in recent years, there has been one certain sign of spring: the vernal notice from your city utility department concerning water usage.

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Democrats don’t seem to be following their own rules

Brief by Dawn Easterling

Politics – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

In the wake of the Democratic party’s State Assembly May 30, congressional candidate Curtis Imrie of Buena Vista accused the Democratic Party of being “lax in enforcing the rules.”

Imrie, a ballot casualty at the assembly, said Anthony Martinez continues to represent himself as a candidate even though he does not qualify.

Martinez, who lives in the San Luis Valley, admitted he stayed in the 3rd Congressional District race because he expected the party to bend the rules for him.

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Pack-Burro Racing turns 50 on Mosquito Pass

Article by Hal Walter

Pack-Burro Racing – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Mosquito Pass has its own special place in history.

At 13,187 feet, the route originally was a footpath between the two mining camps of Fairplay and Leadville. In the 1860s Father John Dyer carried mail and Protestant preachings over this pass, using skis in the winter. Later the pass served as a route for telegraph and telephone lines, was a toll road for wagons and stagecoaches, and was immortalized in Wallace Stegner’s epic novel, Angle of Repose.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Water Bill Passes

House Bill 1011, sponsored by San Luis Valley legislators Rep. Lewis Entz and Sen. Gigi Dennis, passed the state senate just three days before the end of the ’98 session. The bill will require any groundwater pumped out of the Valley to be replaced.

This law effectively puts the kibosh on Stockman’s Water Company, which plans to export 150,000 acre-feet of water a year to the Front Range. Stockman’s owner, Gary Boyce, claims the action is no obstacle and is expected to appeal the law in water court.

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Yet another South Park emerges

Brief by Central Staff

South Park – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

It turns out that Colorado doesn’t have the only South Park that isn’t on TV. There’s one in Pennsylvania which is actually a park in the most common sense of the word.

The South Park in the Keystone State is a game preserve and part of the Allegheny County public park system.

It was featured in the June 9 edition of the Wall Street Journal on account of its small bison herd and resulting difficulties with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Museum is a long way from Gunnison

Brief by Central Staff

Gunnison name – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

A Long Ways from the Gunnison Country

Among the attractions of Dutchess County in upstate New York, according to a tourist brochure circulated there, is the Gunnison Natural History Museum.

We wondered if there as any connection between that Gunnison and Colorado’s, but if there is, we haven’t found it yet. The museum in New York was named for an Olive Gunnison, a long-time area resident who bequeathed her collection of fossils and the like to the local library in about 1960, and the museum evolved from that.

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Everyone must be able to afford wilderness

Essay by ‘Asta Bowen

Wilderness – July 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

AT THIS YEAR’S International Wildlife Film Festival, held each spring in Montana, I worried a little about the price of admission. Not that moviegoers were balking; these days, $7.00 for an evening of world-class films doesn’t seem too far out of line, and it certainly didn’t keep the theater from filling up for the Friday night screening.

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