Quillen’s Corner

By Ed Quillen

Before the sun came up on the morning of Oct. 1, I got into my pickup to drive to the Salida Café & Roastery (the establishment formerly known as Bongo Billy’s Salida Café) for breakfast followed by the monthly business meeting of the Salida Business Alliance (formerly known as the Salida Merchants Association). I’m not much of a businessman – especially since selling this magazine to Mike Rosso – but I was re-elected secretary of the SBA last winter, and it behooves me to attend meetings.

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Browns Canyon Wilderness…Another Chance?

by Mike Rosso

What began in the 1970s as a review and evaluation for wilderness designation has become a jumble of information and falsehoods – involving politicians, off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, wilderness proponents and the National Rifle Association.

If designated, the proposed Browns Canyon Wilderness Area in central Chaffee County would be one of the lowest elevation wilderness areas in Colorado and one of the few actual wilderness areas combining both U.S. Forest Service (USFS) as well Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.

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Waiting on Richard’s Marble

By Susan Tweit
November 2009

It’s official: my husband, Richard, is missing a marble. Or at least a marble-sized tumor.

A week and a half ago, his neurosurgery team removed a purple tumor the size of a large marble from the right temporal lobe of his brain. They reported that they’d gotten the whole thing, it stayed intact, and that it was small and well-defined.

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Writers on the Range – Burning Man was better next year

by Dennis Hinkamp

My collection of silly buttons from the Burning Man festival in Nevada includes one that says, “Burning Man was better last year.” The irony, of course, is that this button is given out every year, and every year thousands of people keep coming back.

If you’ve ever been part of an annual event that lasted more than five years, you’re probably familiar with its evolution. Events generally go through a cycle of being original and innovative, then progress to bigger and better, tapering off at last into predictable. Everything from Mardi Gras to your Uncle Larry’s Fried Frog Leg Festival goes through this process. Too many years together working on anything leads to discontent — just look at the divorce rate.

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If a deer falls in the forest

by Hal Walter

Out for a run one afternoon in October, I was negotiating a burro down a steep trail that cuts from one cul-de-sac to another in a nearby subdivision. Downhill and to my right I saw a doe deer literally flopping down the hill through the trees. The animal appeared unable to gain its balance or to stand up.

I stopped and watched as the deer came to a rest, then I tied my burro to a tree and walked down to get a closer look. The doe flopped over a couple more times then lay still. I looked her over as closely as possible. I could see no broken legs or apparent gunshot wounds — which was my first guess since the first big game rifle season had opened the previous day.

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Down on the Ground with Another Love Story

by George Sibley

I’m writing this column from a cabin on the bank of the Wisconsin River, again. A lazy, lovely river, attractive to big gaggles of geese, a snag across the way in which a eagle often sits, occasional resting place for a sandhill crane or two, a couple egrets, and a daily parade of turkeys down by the beach. A beautiful place in which everything and nothing dependably happens daily.

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Video Review: Locavore – Local Diet … Healthy Planet

Produced by Lynn Gillespie
Directed by Jay Canode
2009- The Living Farm & The Locavore Movie

Reviewed by CC Staff

“Once upon a time, all human beings were locavores, and everything we ate was a gift of the Earth. To have something to devour is a blessing – let’s not forget it.” – Jessica Prentice

With this quote begins the film Locavore, produced and filmed primarily in Colorado’s North Fork Valley, home to some of the best peaches, apples and other produce in the state if not the country.

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A Lender Be (A Cautionary Tale)

by Jeff Osgood

It takes about three minutes for me to realize I’m not prepared. The six-person tent needs to go up and the light is fading and the rain’s about to move back in. It’s only my second go-round with this tent and the first was in our backyard in broad daylight where the stakes slid into the ground as easy as a straw into a milkshake. Now, under the dripping pines just outside Sand Dunes National Park with the wife and kids watching anxiously from our van, it’s a different game. The stakes barely puncture the gritty granite ground and the black loops and hooks on the tent are disappearing before my eyes.

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Historic Architecture of Central Colorado

Valley View School, located two miles west of Salida on County Road 140, represents one of the last of more than 30 rural school districts formed in Chaffee County at the peak of mining activity. Built in 1903, this one-room schoolhouse held classes for up to 42 students from ranching families. The property includes a rectangular plan, gabled roof, cloakroom, tall narrow windows, one large classroom and outdoor privies. One teacher commented: “The outbuildings should be fixed to prevent the drifting of snow in them. They should be whitewashed inside and plenty of lime scattered about.” Besides a schoolhouse, the building was also a community center.

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Book review: Brothers on the Bashkaus

by Eugene Buchanan
Published in 2007 by Fulcrum
ISBN 978-1-55591-608-4

Reviewed by Ed Quillen

In the summer of 1993, Eugene Buchanan and three fellow American floaters arrived at the Moscow airport, where they were supposed to meet André to run the Kalar River in Siberia. Except André was in Turkey with no firm return date, but he’d told his friend Boris, part of a Latvian river-running team, and Boris wanted them to join a trip down the rapids of the Bashkaus River, also in Siberia.

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Portrayer of Souls – The Art of Bailey Escapule

by Sue Snively

She exudes personality, showing kindness in her eyes, determination in the set of her jaw and subtle humor in the “almost” half smile on her lips. There is wisdom coming from the overall expression on her rugged and wrinkled face. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but the elegance of this lady with her dangling earrings and her creased and folded hat makes for a very attractive portrait. It is a portrait of what it means to grow old gracefully, accepting the wrinkles, the gray, and other affirmatives of the later stage of life.

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Marcia Darnell

Sad but True

One of the Valley’s greatest mysteries has been solved. The whereabouts of Danice Day, missing since January 2002, have been resolved. Remains uncovered in Arizona were confirmed to be the 19-year-old waitress from Monte Vista. Her romantic partner, Victor Braun, 33, who directed authorities to the remains, has been charged with manslaughter.

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Reintroducing the Tabors: A Series

by Francisco A. Rios

(Editor’s note: Dr. Rios, a retired professor from the University of Colorado at Denver, spent 805 volunteer hours over a span of one year and seven months cataloging hundreds of letters from the Tabor Collection at the Colorado Historical Society (CHS) onto a computer database. Over the next several months we will be reproducing some of these letters as a series with the generous permission of the CHS.)

Why would you, the readers of Colorado Central, want a reintroduction to the Tabors? Can’t many of you recite the Tabor tale of rags-to-riches-to rags by memory, citing chapter and verse? Haven’t scores of you been up to Fryer Hill and seen Horace’s Matchless Mine and Baby Doe’s cabin? Is there more to say about the Tabors?

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The Colorado Cannabis Question

by Jennifer Dempsey

When Salida resident Harold Coffman was diagnosed with bladder cancer last year he began taking a cocktail of prescription drugs that included pain-relieving narcotics, antibiotics and laxatives to ease his pain.

On the recommendation of a friend, Coffman tried marijuana as an alternative pain reliever. The relief was almost instantaneous and he immediately went to his doctor in Salida to apply for a medical marijuana user’s license.

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Flaming Om

by Celeste Labadie

It’s a conspiracy,
someone said,
but I’ve done this myself.
I’m collecting things.
Drowning in stuff.
Clinging to memories while
packing and repacking what
I’ll surely leave behind
when the big whatever
has its way with this corporeal sensibility.

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From the Editor

LAST MONTH I HAD the opportunity to participate in a roundtable workshop held October 15 by the Denver-based Alliance for Sustainable Colorado.

The roundtable, part of an all-day summit held in Salida, drew about 50 participants representing business and non-profit leaders, elected officials, alternative and mainstream energy providers, educators and other community members from Chaffee, Lake, Gunnison, Fremont and Saguache Counties.

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Mike Rust – An Intense Guy

by Betty Plotz

In order to pay tribute to his life, I’ve been casting about to find a word to describe Mike Rust. A unique and independent person who proudly lived “off the grid” near Saguache, Co, “Mike Bike,” as he was known by friends, disappeared on March 31, 2009 after confronting burglars near his home.

I decided to go with the word “intense” to describe Mike. He lived life at a very intense level. Coming from a raucous Colorado Springs family that included six other intense children, he began building bicycles in the seventh grade.

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Recipe – Fideo (and Old Friends)

Fideo sounds like a dance, maybe a Rumba, or the sound when you discover something you’ve lost, like “Eureka!” This simple and satisfying pasta dish is all of the above. Origins unknown, it arrived on the plates and palates of the lost and weary time travelers Donna, Ruth and Jan, originally from Long Island, New York. Now the story really begins. Hungry from their journey to Salida for a high school reunion, the ingredients arrive in the hands of a local gal, ready to cook. Soon the steam was rising from the pan and the smell of the spices piqued the nose. Having been one of those individuals arriving from afar nothing could have smelt or tasted better.

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REGIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP (and other items of interest)

Mine Drainage Act Passes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On September 29, the Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel Remediation Act of 2009 (H.R. 3123) passed in the U.S. House.

The bill had been introduced by 5th Dist. Congressman Lamborn along with a companion bill by Senator Mark Udall.

The bill assigns responsibility for the problematic tunnel to the Bureau of Reclamation who will be in charge of fixing and maintaining the tunnel which has deteriorated over the past 50 years, and caused much alarm in Leadville in 2008 when it began to leak, prompting the Lake County Commissioners to declare a state of emergency.

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