Living in a campground without rules

Column by Hal Walter

Rural Life – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

LIVING IN A CAMPGROUND has both advantages and drawbacks. At the top of the list would be neighbors who are regularly absent. At the bottom of the list would be camping trailers that dot the landscape like giant beer cans thrown willy-nilly.

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Alamosa’s Community Greenhouse

Article by Marcia Darnell

Agriculture – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

GREENERY, FERTILE EARTH, and the mossy scent of growing things. A miracle in the middle of a San Luis Valley winter.

Welcome to the Alamosa Community Greenhouse, where, for a mere $5, members can reap fresh produce as well as the benefits of community service.

“I cook and bake a lot with what we grow here,” says three-year member Audrey Liu. “I never buy tomatoes, I just pick ’em here.”

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John Earl Herschberger, the man who carved the lions

Article by Dick Dixon

Local Artists – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

JOHN EARL HERSHBERGER of Salida was one of the stonecutters who prepared granite for the Mormon Battalion Monument. In addition, he carved more than 1,000 gravestones in his 58 years in the profession — but he never got around to making one for himself or his family.

But Hershberger’s skills went past carving tombstones. His most famous work was the sundial that still tells time in Cranmer Park in Denver. He also carved the pair of gargoyle-faced lions, slightly larger than life-size, that guard the entrance to Salida’s Alpine Park.

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The Trek of the Mormon Battalion

Sidebar by Ed Quillen

History – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

GIVEN THE AMERICAN PENCHANT for commemorating historic anniversaries, it’s rather surprising that two such events have eluded civic notice.

This year, 1998, is the centennial of the Spanish-American War, and we’ve yet to hear of any scheduled celebrations. It marked America’s emergence as a world power, it demonstrated the power of the media to manufacture public hysteria, and it resulted in a long and brutal guerrilla war in the Philippines that was an eerie preview of American involvement in Vietnam.

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From Turret to Salt Lake City

Article by Dick Dixon

Quarries – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

STONE FROM THE UTE TRAIL AREA via Salida Granite Co. received national acclaim May 30, 1927, when the Mormon Battalion Monument in Salt Lake City, Utah, was unveiled before a crowd of 15,000 people.

Located on the southeast corner of the Capitol Building grounds in Salt Lake, the monument commemorates a 2,000 mile march that began in May of 1846 and lasted until July 16, 1847.

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Sedona offers a divine economic plan

Essay by Stephen Lyons

Planning – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

MY WIFE AND I had just finished hiking Brims Mesa outside of Sedona, Ariz., when we spotted a woman at the trailhead wearing a purple velvet, or velour, dress that hung loosely to her bare ankles. A garish, glittery skull cap of the same hue covered her black mane. In her righthand she held a hawk feather, and around her neck dangled an assortment of necklaces, pendants, and a leather “medicine bag.” She was not smiling even though she was about to enter the famous red rocks of northern Arizona, one of the prettiest places in the galaxy.

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Let’s adopt a lesser plan

Essay by Marcia Darnell

Planning – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

LAST SUMMER, a friend and I were winding our way through Crestone’s Baca Grande, an association-controlled, building-approved nondevelopment, when I saw something shocking.

“I didn’t know there was a hotel here,” I said.

It wasn’t a hotel. It wasn’t even a house. It was the garage to a house.

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Portland Plans to become Los Angeles

Essay by Randal O’toole

Planning – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Portland planners promised urban residents “livability” in the form of reduced congestion, affordable housing, and more open space.

— So it should come as no surprise that Portland is rapidly becoming one of the most congested, least affordable cities in the nation whose open space in the urban interior is rapidly disappearing.

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How communities can plan better for tourism

Planning – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

by Edward T. McMahon

SO WHAT DID YOU DO on your summer vacation? Did the destination meet your expectations? Would you recommend it to a friend? Or did dirty air, traffic congestion, crowded beaches, slipshod service, or towns awash in tourist schlock leave you feeling frustrated and cheated?

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My part in the Salida plan

Essay by Martha Quillen

Planning – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

AS FOR MY PART IN ALL THIS, I obtained a copy of the plan and read it before the first meeting. In truth, I couldn’t figure out how Salida could implement such a plan — since it offered an astounding amount of contradictory advice, and it frequently used language that was vague and confusing. The plan suggested housing where only rattlesnakes dwell, and proposed development on slopes that only a mountain goat could negotiate.

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Plan a vacation the next time your town makes a plan

Essay by Martha Quillen

Planning – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT they say about the best laid plans… Yet our communities are compelled to plan regardless.

In the last few years, Colorado towns, cities and counties have been driven to adopt comprehensive plans. The experts say communities need comprehensive plans in order to channel recent growth in desirable directions.

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Durango’s Strater Hotel had a 3-story indoor privy

Letter by Mary Jane Rust

Regional Lore – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Three stories and indoors at the Strater in Durango


I just read my December copy of Colorado Central and enjoyed it thoroughly, as usual.

The review of The Two-Story Outhouse reminded me of my conversation with Rod Barker, owner/manager of the Strater Hotel in Durango. I was at the Strater working on my book, Historic Hotels of the Rocky Mountains.

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Colorado got taken in dealings with UP

Letter by Hugh K. Wilson

Transportation – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Colorado got taken in dealing with UP


Contrary to the article by John C. Dill, the state’s Director of Economic Development, in the Nov. 30 Denver Post, Colorado got almost nothing in terms of concessions from the Union Pacific from its merger with the Southern Pacific. In fact, Colorado is the only state that will lose a substantial portion of its rail lines to abandonment as a result of the UP-SP combination.

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Some personal favorites

Review by Lynda La Rocca

Books – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some Personal Favorites

by Lynda La Rocca

I escape from reality through books chronicling the magical, the fantastical, the larger-than-life, the wonderful. In my imagination, I blissfully dwell “in days of old when knights were bold.” I am a member of King Arthur’s Round Table, striving to save Britain from the encroaching barbarian darkness, glimpsing the mysterious Holy Grail in the blue depths of flickering flames.

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Kennel of Love by Dogman

Review by Columbine Quillen

Local Music – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Kennel of Love


Sealed Records

I HAVE TO HAND IT to this band for two reasons. First, because they are in the forefront of the Salida recording scene. And second, because they have not succumbed to growth or tourism in hopes of making some cash.

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Even an old jar can be a Vial Of Life

Brief by Nancy Ward

Safety – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Vial of Life is the newest project of Al King, sheriff of Saguache County. It’s aim is to save the lives of the elderly and others with on-going medical needs.

“The idea was started in Alamosa County,” King says. “I saw it working there and knew it was something we needed in Saguache County.”

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UP’s tracks are snarled, but Tennessee Pass remains closed

Brief by Central Staff

Transportation – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

UPRR’s tracks are snarled, but Tennessee Pass stays closed

An occasional work train, picking up scrap, is about the size of rail service on the Royal Gorge Route these days.

But the trains aren’t moving all that well anywhere on the 35,000-mile Union Pacific system these days, even on routes it hasn’t closed.

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Leadville superintendent outstanding (in some ways, anyway)

Brief by Central Staff

Education – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Outstanding, in some ways, anyway

Peg Portscheller, superintendent of schools in Leadville, was honored as Superintendent of the Year by the Colorado Association of School Boards at the group’s annual convention in Colorado Springs in December.

The judges’ panel said she “has set a standard of leadership” and she “exemplifies the qualities which make Colorado’s public schools outstanding.”

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Burn, Baby, Burn — the elk will love it

Brief by Central Staff

Land management – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Burn, Baby, Burn: The Elk Will Love It

If you see a helicopter shooting flames in the Hillside area this winter, it is not an attack from the New World Order.

Instead, it’s part of a controlled burn planned by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management on about 1,200 acres along Sullivan Creek south of the Cotopaxi Cut-off Road.

San Carlos District Ranger Cindy Rivera, based in Cañon City, explained that in days of yore, natural fires thinned the thick growth of oakbrush in the area.

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Rural growth catches Time’s attention

Brief by Central Staff

Media – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

After years of decline, rural towns are growing again, and the national media are starting to take notice. The issue was featured in the Dec. 8 edition of the Washington Post National Weekly Edition, and on the cover of the Dec. 8 Time.

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More progress than they want at Turquoise Lake

Brief by Central Staff

Development – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some Leadville residents are more than annoyed at the U.S. Forest Service for a proposed “Public-Private Venture” to expand facilities at Turquoise Lake.

The Forest Service says it doesn’t have enough money to manage the popular campground, so it wants to bring in a private party.

Private-contractor management has already happened at most other area campgrounds, without notable complaint from the public, but the Turquoise proposal takes it a few steps further.

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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

A Loaf of Acupuncture and a Gallon of Reiki, Please

The Saguache County commissioners are considering granting a special use permit to allow a 31,000-square-foot “healing center” to be built in Crestone. The center would be the largest complex in the area — the Colorado College outpost is a mere 12,000 square feet.

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Are computers keeping Cleora alive?

Brief by Central Staff

Postal Service – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Are Computers Keeping Cleora Alive?

In our June, 1997, edition, we mentioned that the Postal Service still delivers mail to Cleora, even though Cleora’s post office closed on March 7, 1882.

Cleora, which survived as the name of a railroad siding, is a couple of miles east of Salida. It was originally a stagecoach stop named Bale’s Station for John Bale, its owner. He changed its name to Cleora, after his daughter, and its post office opened in 1876. The place faded quickly after the railroad reached Salida in 1880.

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Federal court orders new legislative districts

Brief by Central Staff

Politics – January 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Federal court orders new and improved legislative districts

Just in time for the 1998 election cycle, which starts in April with precinct caucuses, an interim committee of the state legislature has produced new district boundaries for the state House of Representatives.

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