From the Editor

Have you noticed how home projects always take at least three times as long as planned?

I am currently in the process of remodeling the enclosed porch on the rear of my house (okay, it’s a mud room). A project that began in late fall and, at this point, with luck, might be done by the next election.

I have no one to blame for this delay except myself. Granted, the recent holidays and publishing deadlines did put a crimp in the work schedule, but it seems I can always find other things to occupy my spare time; laundry, house cleaning, snowshoeing, visiting with friends, eating … time that could be spent in my grubbies, the radio turned up, clutching tools, getting this project completed.

So why am I bringing this up here?

It’s all about love.

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Born Again Love

By Dawne Belloise

“I think it may be time for you to let Ruby give up the ghost,” my friend said of the ‘72 VW bug I had sunk over $4k into over various and continuous mechanical ailments. There she sat in her red splendor, dead again by the side of the road. A glorified lawn mower, how hard can it be to find someone who knows what they’re doing to work on her? Beyond foolish adoration and the somewhat disturbing humanization of a machine, Ruby represents an era, an entire hippie generation of mobility and freedom, a lifestyle choice and philosophy. However, similarly to that love generation’s dream, sometimes Ruby just didn’t get as far down the road as I had hoped.

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Odd Fellows –Not So Odd Anymore

by Nathan Ward

The first snowstorm of the winter whipped across Salida but the lights blazed at the Poncha Springs Grange hall. The smell of fried chicken floated out through the snowflakes as a few hearty souls gathered to meet Frank Pegoraro, the Colorado Grand Master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF). He and fellow member Doug Pittman, also known as the Grand Secretary for the Order, had traveled to Salida from Canon City with their families to stir up interest and hopefully sign up a few new members for the flagging local Odd Fellows organization.

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Difficult Love

By Susan Tweit

One morning, I was sitting with my mom in her bedroom, feeding her a cherry danish broken up in tiny pieces. Her hospital-type bed held her upright; her frail body was propped up with pillows.

After I fed her a bite, her mouth opening obediently like that of a baby bird, she said,

“How do I get out of this hospice stuff?”

I thought for a minute. “You mean why do you need it?” I asked.

“I don’t want to be here,” she said.

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From the Classroom

Thoughts on Love

Love is what someone wants, love is what someone needs, love is what someone is, and love is what someone feels. Love can be for a person, a place, or even a thing, but what we don’t know is why love is what it is. We do know that love does exist and that it can be for good or bad. People can have a love for their parents or a love for a girl or a boy, but you can also have a hate of love. Love brings jealousy and sadness to anyone who doesn’t have it. Love can be a powerful thing and it can, like anything, be used with a good intention or a bad intention. Love is what everyone can share and have.

by Dylan Kuczko, grade 9, Lake County High School

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I Love Salida’s Living Room

By Eduardo Rey Brummel

Roughly a decade ago, Salida Café was called by a Front Range newspaper, “Salida’s living room.” Certainly, this is true, for there’s a hint of mother hen in the air; and anyone walking in when Clark is there, is considered both friend and family. Robert Frost once said home is the place that when you go there, they have to take you in. And so it is, at Salida Café – but only if you change, “they have to take you in,” to, “they graciously take you in.”

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For the Love of Food

By Jennifer Dempsey

I have always had a complicated relationship with food. I’ve feared it, desired it, hoarded it, denied it, resented it, obsessed over it.

So I’ve always felt a little envious and intimidated by folks who enjoy a pure, uninhibited love affair with food. But after interviewing several food lovers for this article, I feel embraced by these enthusiastic epicures, and am beginning to understand why George Bernard Shaw believed “there is no love sincerer than the love of food …”

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Water Update

by John Orr

Coloradans elect John Hickenlooper

What fun it was watching the election season last year. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper won the chance to deal with Colorado’s fiscal vise grip – TABOR, Amendment 23 and the Gallagher Amendment. The three constitutional amendments essentially tie the hands of the legislature and governor when they try to deal with funding allocation.

TABOR – the Taxpayer Bill of Rights – mandates that all tax increases be approved by the voters, which of course seldom happens. It also limits the growth in the distribution of revenues to a fixed percentage each year with the mandate that excess revenues be returned to taxpayers.

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News from the San Luis Valley

Fate of Transmission Line in Limbo

A proposed electricity transmission line over La Veta Pass is facing uncertainty after Xcel Energy threatened to walk away from the project. Xcel would like to see public money used to help finance the Southern Colorado Transmission Line Project.

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will soon decide whether to approve a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) application for the transmission line. Conditions placed on the CPCN by administrative law judge Mana Jennings-Fader would require Xcel to repay 50% of the project’s cost to its customers if the new line does not carry at least 700 megawatts of energy generated in Southern Colorado within ten years of operation.

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Chaos Remembered in Tranquility

Long ago, Andrew Marvel wrote the best love poem in the English language, so it is futile to attempt to write another. Instead of poesy, I offer some well-known quotations and advice about love and marriage, some of which have been found in The Book of Quotes, (Barbara Rowes, 1979). After all, even love and marriage can be humorous, and sad …VMS

If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question? – Lily Tomlin

A great philosopher once said – I think it was Henry Kissinger – nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There’s just too much fraternizing with the enemy. – Robert Orben

Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable. – The Wizard of Oz to the Tin Man.

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Ilse then and now

By Hal Walter

“ISLE, July 10, 1896 – Ilse is the name of the new post office and town that has sprung up at the Terrible Mine, which is on Oak Creek in Custer County, very near the Fremont County line. There are in the neighborhood of twenty-five families living in Ilse, and there is a settler on every ranch from Yorkville to several miles above Ilse.” – Levi “Bona” Hensel, The Pueblo Chieftain

Recently while researching the history of the Terrible Mine for articles about the environmental cleanup going on at the nearby former townsite of Ilse, I was stunned by the number of people who lived and worked in this area during the time between when lead carbonate ore was discovered there in 1879 and the mining activity dwindled in the early 1940s.

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REGIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP (and other items of interest)

Noted Gunnison Sportsman Passes Away

GUNNISON- A former Western State College professor who was also the first-ever recreation director for the City of Gunnison died January 10 after a brief illness.

Ken MacLennan was considered a pioneer of sport in the Gunnison Valley. As a student at WSC in the 1950s he was well known for his talents on the intercollegiate ski teams. In 1961 he became the city’s first recreation director after having trained with the U.S. Olympic biathalon team, according to the Gunnison Country Times.

MacLennan was also involved with the creation of Jorgenson Park and the Cranor Hill Ski Area. Additionally he helped Lake City locate a town ski hill and was a volunteer and organizer with the Gunnison Nordic Club.

He was also a coach at WSC for nearly 18 years and retired in 1996.

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Down on the Ground Loving What I Shouldn’t

by George Sibley

Our Colorado Central stablemaster, Mike Rosso, suggested that this month we might try to write about love – any kind of love – in honor of the St. Valentine’s festival. Because his email arrived just after I’d read an online article from The Los Angeles Times about Christo’s awning project over the Arkansas River, I thought, great: I’ll write about my love of things I love that make me wonder about myself. About my sanity, or morals, or something equally ambiguous. These are things that, on the surface, seem totally foolish, or unnecessary, or extravagant, or environmentally irresponsible, or any combination of those qualities – but I love them, which means rationality somehow got short-circuited out of the consideration.

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Mamelah’s Monologue

My daughter she’s 36, not married – oh yes, I’m very proud she’s got her doctor degree and a good job – though across the whole godforsaken country away – but okay that I could live with if that boy from California – I’ll never forgive her father for paying for that school out there – that boy who painted houses okay he was nice-looking but so what he had no ambition whatsoever you put the two of them together and my daughter is shining with brains –

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Modern American Life: Isn’t It Romantic?

By Martha Quillen

Americans are romantics. For five centuries, people have been coming to America seeking land, fame, fortune, and glory. Eldorado, the Fountain of Youth, the seven cities of gold. From the beginning, we’ve been passionate believers in our dreams, our destiny, our freedom, and a chicken in every pot.

As Terry Coleman points out in Going to America, disappointment was routine:

It was an old superstition, sometimes half believed by the simplest emigrants, that the streets of New York were paved with gold. When they got there they learned three things: first, that the streets were not paved with gold; second, that the streets were not paved at all; and third, that they were expected to pave them.

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It happened suddenly – a switch was flipped –

Enraptured atoms energized the night;

Our darkness yielded to unearthly light

As silver fires danced and rose and dipped.

I held my breath as heaven’s veil was ripped,

You pressed your heart to mine and held me tight;

I longed for rhyme, you longed for rhythm’s flight –

We found our parts within this passion?script.

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Free Love

by John Mattingly

I broke into adolescence in the middle 1960s, a time that became reknowned for free love. The concept of love being “free” capitulated to certain fiscal rigors by the 1980s, but there was a time when (call Ripley) a typical conversation between a young man and young woman went something like this …

“Hey, what’s happenin?”

“I’m like, freaking out over this tree. I mean, check out the way the branches go out, one after the other.”

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