Quillen’s Corner: To Live and Support the Impossible Dream

By Martha Quillen

If anybody tries to tell you that the United States of America is no longer the greatest manufacturing nation of all time, you should remind them that this is the Information Age, and due to the Internet, information has gone viral and is out of control. Now, people are calling this a “post-truth” era, because there are so many conflicting stats, facts and figures being produced. And clearly the United States contributes plenty to those developments.

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Restaurant Review: Nana & Nano Monteleone’s Deli and Pasta House

By Forrest Whitman 418 E. Main Street, Trinidad, CO (719) 846-2696 Wednesday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Waiting for a train in Trinidad, Colorado? The wait can be better if you eat at this little Italian deli. It’s on Main Street about five blocks from trackside so you can almost hear the train …

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Real Deal Music Review: Smacky

Reviewed by Brian Rill

Smacky, an independent band from Cleveland, Ohio, is a rare gem I have known and loved for many years. This month I’m pulling something out of my personal favorites and reviewing a really great band that put out a really great single album. The self-titled 2006 CD, Smacky, is like a cross between classic Rush vocals and Zeppelin guitar riffs. The band is made up primarily of vocalist and bass player Laura Van and vocalist and guitar player Jeff Scarborough. Don Krueger plays drums.

“Revenge, jealousy you’ll be a part of me,” Who’s Crying Now is a song with a slow groove that starts the album off. Smacky’s instrumental hooks and vocal harmonies are top notch and make the songs something to be savored. They paint a portrait of a darker fundamental vision of the world and of interpersonal relationships. Songs like Your Suicide bring the darkness to light with an up tempo meter “I’ll be your suicide; I’ll shut you up; dry your eyes. And when you hate yourself, I’ll help you be somebody else. I’ll be your do or die. I’ll be completely on your side, not like those other guys; they’ll mess you up and screw you.” After every vocal refrain a hot guitar riff spreads over the song like butter.

The CD can be downloaded at www.cdbaby.com. It makes a great car ride or morning run mix. From beginning to end the tempo won’t drop and the grooves just keep coming. After the tenth song, Like Harmony, there is a long space and then a backwards solo vocal harmony that tricks you every time, always startling and taking you by surprise. Sin City explores the underbelly of Vegas. The catchy tune Jeannie takes a look at the role of guns in our culture and the impact they can have in the wrong hands. “Just for fun, took your daddy’s stupid gun. You should of thought of telling me. I can’t believe that your daddy is so stupid he left a loaded magazine. You pulled the trigger Jeannie.”

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Museums of Central Colorado – All Aboard Westcliffe Engine House RR Museum

By Mike Rosso Originally constructed in 1901 to house the engine for Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, then in the midst of expanding its rail network statewide, the non-profit Custer County rail group, All Aboard Westcliffe (AAW), purchased the dilapidated ruins of the single stall engine house in 1992 from Tony DeDomenico. Abandoned by the …

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Book Review – Heading Home Field Notes

By Peter Anderson
Conundrum Press, 2017
978-1-9422-8021-7; 84 pp.; $14.99

Reviewed by Lynda La Rocca

Short, but sweet – and wistful, sad, thoughtful, funny, poignant, or filled with longing. That’s how I’d describe the essays that make up Crestone-based writer, teacher and poet Peter Anderson’s latest book, Heading Home: Field Notes.

These lyrical musings, which the author describes as “a collection of flash prose and prose poems,” are true songs of the open road, a road that stretches invitingly and seemingly endlessly before this man who starts down it independent, unencumbered, eager to learn and experience and explore.

It’s a lonely road where, paradoxically, one is never alone and “everyone [is] a good buddy just waiting to happen.”

It’s also a road Anderson is still traveling, albeit now with the quiet certainty that it always circles back to family and to home.

Along the way, Anderson revels in the vast sweep of the West with its moon-cast shadows and wide-open spaces, snowdrifts and high deserts, mountain ranges and deep forests.

He encounters mule deer and cougars, watches turkey vultures soar the thermals, and waits for bats to emerge from an abandoned mine. And he introduces us to rodeo clowns and waitresses, long-haul truckers in backwater cafés, a Navajo family stuck with his own family in car-repair limbo at the Econolube, friends separated by distance and death, and friends reunited over a beer. He falls in love and becomes a father who teaches the basics of pond hockey and air guitar and comforts his two girls after their ducks fall victim to a stealthy predator.

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The Natural World

By Tina Mitchell

As we hiked above treeline, the path took a right turn and our ears filled with high-pitched, squeezed-dog-toy squeaks. The dogs snapped to attention, so we made sure we had them on short leashes. We had entered the realm of American Pikas.

Small mammals related to rabbits and other lagomorphs (even though they look more like big hamsters), American Pikas (pronounced “PIE-kah”; Ochotona princeps) are cuddly-looking, pocket-sized mammals with oval bodies only about six inches long, moderately large rounded ears, and no visible tail. Their sharp, curved claws and padded toes help them easily scamper around alpine rocks. Their voices clearly announce their presence; but camouflaged against the boulders, these spritely creatures prove more difficult to see.

At least 30 species of pikas live throughout the world. Most inhabit mountainous areas of Asia, but two live in North America – the Collared Pika (O. collaris), in Alaska and Canada, and the American Pika, found throughout the high western mountains of North America. The genus name Ochotona stems from ochodona, the Mongolian word for pikas. The species name princeps, from the Latin word for “chief,” refers to a tribal name for the pika: “little chief hare.” Pika is the word used for these animals by the Tunguses tribe of northeast Siberia.

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Eye on the Fifth

By Daniel Smith

Pretty soon you may need that proverbial program to keep the candidates straight in Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District.

When Colorado Central editor asked me to write this column, I wondered if there would be enough activity in the district race to keep thing interesting – obviously, he was prescient.

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Colorado Then & Now: Chapter VI. Leadville & Vicinity

Several early pioneers camp below Mount Princeton and Mount Antero. Photo by Joseph Collier, circa 1880.

Note: The following is an excerpt from the book, Colorado Then & Now by Grant Collier and his grandfather Joseph Collier.

“This mountain was named after the miners, after D. C. Collier, one of the editors and proprietors of the Register, in consideration of his eminent success as a prospector. The view is from the Perue Fork of the Snake River, which runs down through the willows in the foreground. It is from the direct front, looking down through one of the beautiful, sunny, grassy, parks, which constantly recur, and which, in their season, are covered with gorgeous foliage so peculiar to the western slope of the continent.” – Joseph Collier on an image of Collier Mountain

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Railroading Returns to Como

Chuck Brantigan with No. 4 in February 2017, as the engine begins its journey to Wyoming for repairs. (Photo courtesy of Chuck & Kathy Brantigan)

Article and photos by Laura Van Dusen

It’s been 80 years since the last train left the Como depot. Eighty years, a lifetime ago, since a train whistle gave a last shout pulling away from the station, and a narrow-gauge engine, steam belching from its stack, pulled rail cars across South Park.

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The Original Colorado Central

The Colorado Central Railroad had a rocky history. Some of the conflicts around its birth are still echoed in fights over the route of Interstate 70 up the mountains from Golden. The railroad even began with a fight. That was in the 1870s amid a contest between two railroad magnates, Willam A. H. Loveland of Golden and Jay Gould of national reach. That conflict escalated to passionate levels.

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From the Editor: About This Issue

By Mike Rosso

I’d like to start off with a bit of business.

Last month, due to negligence on the part of our new printer, many of you received only a portion of the July issue and in some cases, only the cover. The problem lay with the “stitch and trim” process, the last order of business before the magazines are shipped to us. With apparently little oversight, the printers allowed over 900 copies of the magazine to be shipped with compromised stitching, resulting in many magazines falling apart in transit.

This was disastrous for us as we spent a good portion of the past month repackaging and resending magazines – time we could have spent researching articles, selling advertising, and other day-to-day business. We’re happy with the quality of the actual printing but when the last worker neglects to do their job well, the entire works fail. We’ve been promised this will not happen again and if you are reading this, chances are they’ve corrected the problems. If you were one of the unlucky ones to have not received an intact version of the July issue, please contact us by email at cozinemag@gmail.com or give a call at 719-530-9063 and we’ll make it right.

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About the Cover Photographer: Grant Collier

Grant Collier grew up in the foothills above Denver and spent much of his childhood exploring Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Grant took up photography while attending college in Los Angeles. He found endless photographic opportunities in the Desert Southwest while driving to and from L.A. After graduating from college in 1996, Grant began a photographic career …

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Touring (and Arguing) The Great Railroad War

By Forrest Whitman

Lots of the railroad history around Central Colorado is fun to discuss and argue about. The great railroad war (1878-1890) was a fierce fight. The contenders were General William Jackson Palmer’s Denver and Rio Grande Railroad versus the Santa Fe Railroad led by William Barstow Strong and Thomas Nickerson. The reader is invited to revisit the sites of the battles.

The first battle: A fine way to look at this site is to take the Southwest Chief passenger rain. As that train crawls up Raton Pass, I recommend getting a beverage and scanning out the sightseer lounge car window. Near the summit there’s still a sign erected by the Santa Fe Railroad. It’s announcing the site of “Uncle Dick Wootton’s place.”

This opening skirmish was fought in the very early morning of February 27, 1878. As the name of his line says, Palmer wanted to build south to the Rio Grande. The Santa Fe coveted the same territory.

The law was on the side of which railroad could lay track in the pass first. This battle should have gone to Palmer. He had interests in southern Colorado for a long time and had built rail here. Why didn’t he claim the pass long before 1878?

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places … The Midland Tunnels

By Ericka Kastner

During Leadville’s bustling mining days of the late 1800s, the town of Buena Vista was served by three separate railroads and the standard-gauge Colorado Midland arrived last – in 1887.

A steep, uphill buggy ride from Buena Vista gave passengers access to the Midland Depot, which was situated high above town and followed the banks of the Arkansas River. When the Midland was laid, workers had to dig tunnels into the rocky hillside at a point along the road where the valley narrowed in order for the train to continue to follow the route along the river. When this series of tunnels was completed, many folks believed that this was the only spot in the country where a train could be in four tunnels at one time.

More than 100 years later, the days of the railroad in Buena Vista are long gone – the route was abandoned in May of 1922 – but these tunnels can still be seen today. I lived in Buena Vista for about five years, and during that time I travelled the “tunnel road” quite frequently.

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The ‘Stack Turns 100

By Susan Jesuroga Beyond the old brick storefronts in downtown Salida and the ghost of the rail yard, long dismantled, there is still one tall and unmistakable symbol of Salida’s industrial past. This sight is familiar to any traveler entering Salida from the north: the 365-foot smelter smokestack. In the late 1800s, Western states saw …

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The Salida Studio Tour 2017

The biennial Salida Studio Tour will be showcasing 22 Salida fine artists and crafters in 19 studios inside city limits and the immediate surrounding area of Salida on Saturday, August 12, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, August 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s artists are known locally and nationally for their professionalism and high quality of work.

This is a unique opportunity for the public to visit and to share the artists’ hands-on techniques of their creative processes. The free studio tour allows attendees to observe working studios, interact with the artists and view both finished pieces and works in progress.  Artists’ works will also be for sale. The Salida Studio Tour is a collaboration of working artists dedicated to promoting, enhancing and expanding appreciation and knowledge of the process of artistic creation.

Amongst the 22 participants are oil painters, photographers, sculptors, a clock maker, a glass blower, a fiber artist and many other talented Salida-area artists.

One is Kay Litz, a sculptor who combines materials of various colors, textures and characters to create interpretations of nature. The use of found objects, natural objects, and handmade papers are added to her clay/cast stone/glass figures she models, molds and casts.

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What if Wildflowers Could Sing?

By Hal Walter

Peter May has been a musician for most of his life, and even co-produced and played on a Grammy Award-winning album, but he never dreamed he’d be the composer for one of the greatest symphonies in the universe – nature.

The 52-year-old Michigan native and longtime Crestone resident recently released his new CD, Spreading Like Wildflowers – A Sonic Bouquet from Colorado.

The music falls under the new genre called Nature Fusion, and among the musicians are Colorado wildflowers, including fireweed, scarlet gilia, columbine, arnica, Woods’ rose, purple penstemon, lupine and others.

Yes, you read that correctly. Peter has produced an album of flower music.

Also making guest appearances with backup lyrics on some of the tracks are bluebird, hummingbird, owl, red-winged blackbird and Western tanager, and Abert’s squirrel.

Peter’s mother sent him to Michigan’s Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp every summer when he was a kid. He learned to play the trumpet at a young age, and later participated in concert and jazz bands.

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