Meet Doctor Robert

By Elliot Jackson

For most of us, our first memory of “The Music” was mediated through the miracle of electronics, whether through the radio:

12 years old, rushing around getting ready for school, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” plays on the AM radio, stops me in my tracks, and I’m instantly in love – Lynn Wetherell, Paonia, Colorado

Ancient technologies like the record player:

 Had the 45 of “Yesterday” (still remember, the flip was “Act Naturally”). Summer of 65, I was four. Maybe the first record I ever owned. Played it over and over and over and over … Adam Davis, Kirksville, Missouri

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Micah’s Truth: Run Free!

By Hal Walter

Although our trails had crossed numerous times over decades of mountain running, if it hadn’t been for the untimely departure of a close friend, I’d likely never have met the near mythical Micah True, aka Caballo Blanco, the central character of the New York Times bestseller “Born to Run.”

Micah recently made headlines when he was found dead four days after disappearing on a solo trail run in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. Among the search party was Christopher McDougall, the author whose first search for Micah led to literary acclaim.

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The Fairview School

Story and photo by Eugene Blake

One-room country schoolhouses and those who attended them are becoming rare. But one of these school buildings – Fairview School seven miles north of Gunnison – is again becoming a vital part of the historic Ohio Creek community.

The school began in 1881 when local settlers established District 10 with the encouragement of a former teacher, Lewis Easterly, who served on its board for 52 years. By 1882 work had begun on a log school, but a tent was rented at the start of the fall term. Rev. Thomas Cook was hired as the first teacher. In 1883 the log schoolhouse was completed and given the name Fairview because of the view of the Anthracite Mountain Range and Carbon Peak to the north.

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Dispatch from the Edge

By Peter Anderson
Dear Griz,

Old Route 66. The Mother Road on the eastern edge of Flagstaff. Near the Great Wall Chinese Buffet, Bubba’s Real Texas Barbecue, and Purple Sage Motel (American owned), we are sitting in the customer lounge of the Econolube. An oil change is rarely just an oil change for this old Dodge, with a big fender dent, a wandering right headlight, and 140 G’s on the odometer. “All four tires are cuppin’ real bad,” says Calamity Jane, the service manager. “You’re a blowout waiting to happen.”

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The Fryingpan-Arkansas River Project at 50

By George Sibley

Part 2: The Quest for the Rational versus the Irrational and – Immortal?

Lying astride the Continental Divide, Central Colorado has been a crossroads for some action and a lot more “discussion” concerning the state’s central problem: an arid region with 90 percent of its people on one side of the Divide, and around 80 percent of its water on the other side. The Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, celebrating the 50th anniversary this year of its “creation on paper,” is one of Colorado’s solutions to that problem, moving water from the West Slope through the Divide to the Arkansas River Basin. This second part of the story details how the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project came to be.

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Letters to the Editor

Memories of the Alpine Tunnel

To the Editor:

To us, the Alpine Tunnel was always an illusionary magnet that drew our eyes and imagination to that lovely mountain. The story of the building and the courage, stamina and industry of its builders was the stuff of legends – an added attraction.

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Regional News Roundup

By Christopher Kolomitz

Farewell Campy

SALIDA – Laurence Campton, a well known Salidan, died April 13 at the age of 95. Known as “Campy” throughout the community, Campton moved to the area in 1949 and had just celebrated his 75th wedding anniversary with wife Daisy. He survived imprisonment during World War II, was the 1959 FIBArk down-river race champion and in the early 1950s and ‘60s served as the manager of the Salida Chamber of Commerce, The Mountain Mail reported. He retired from the Chaffee County Road and Bridge Department in 1984 and a few months later began a 21-year stint as the county veteran service officer.

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The Problem with Remembering History is that it Never Ends in the Same Place

By Martha Quillen

In April, Ed spoke to the Chaffee County League of Women Voters about the history of journalism in Chaffee County and included mention of Colorado Central Magazine, which made me realize that C.C. is eighteen years old now, which should make it old enough to vote. But despite the Supreme Court’s assumption that corporations have first amendment rights, they still can’t vote. Instead, they can merely buy elections.

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Book Reviews

Topic of Capricorn
By John C. Mattingly
Illustrations by Judith Penrose Mattingly
Published in 2011 by Mirage Publishing
ISBN 978-0-9710430-4-6

Reviewed by Ed Quillen

There’s an old saying that “Goats can live on nothing and a man can live on goats.” Given that observation and the dismal income level of certain portions of Central Colorado, it’s kind of surprising that we don’t see more goats around these parts.

The critters do have remarkable appetites. A couple of years ago, the Jumpin’ Good Goat Dairy in Buena Vista entered a float in Salida’s boat-race parade. It was a long flat-bed trailer with a corral full of goats. The corral was decorated with plastic flowers. The goats kept jumping to eat the polyethylene blooms.

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The Fading of a Legend: Doc Holliday in Leadville

By Charles F. Price

On July 17, 1882, nine days after a visit to Salida – described in the April and May 2009 issues of Colorado Central – John H. (“Doc”) Holliday pulled into the town’s division yards on a DR&G train from Pueblo, headed for the silver camp of Leadville. This time he didn’t get off.

Perhaps on his previous sojourn the Arkansas River burg just hadn’t offered the right inducements. The notorious gambler and gunman was a high roller and Leadville, even if past the apogee of its boom, still boasted the kinds of fast-paced action Holliday preferred. Later that day when he stepped off the train at Leadville’s four-gabled brick depot, Doc was at the summit of his fame, or infamy, seemingly in the pink of health and no doubt looking forward to fattening his bankroll at the camp’s several classy gambling parlors such as the Monarch, the Board of Trade, the Texas House and Mannie Hyman’s Saloon.

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The Delectable Dandelion

By Doann Houghton-Alico

What? You think there’s a typo in the headline? No, as it turns out, every bit of this plant is edible, and in France, certainly known as an international culinary center, they are grown as a commercial crop. In fact, the name is from the French dent de lion or lion’s tooth for their serrated leaves.

The deer and our climate and lack of water make picture-book green lawns a rarity here, but if you’re one who yearns for that, you hate them; even gardeners pull them up every chance they get. But wait! There’s another side to these ubiquitous plants.

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The Caboose

by Forrest Whitman

Hobo News from Colorado Central County

Spring nights bring the low, long moan of a freight crawling up the ruling grade. That sound makes solid citizens roll over in their sleep and remember some hobo dreams. When the nights get warm some of our readers vow to “by golly go rail ridin’.”

Not many will actually go hoboing and some hobos do eventually get over spring fever and settle down. Wayne Iverson for instance. He rode the rails for twelve years, but now he’s settled down in Colorado Central country and written a book you can buy at the Book Haven. Hobo Bob, on the other hand is still catching out on freights and he’s got to be over sixty. Both of their stories are great.

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Five Obscure Hikes (You may not know about)

By Phillip Benningfield

Most of us, if fairly avid outdoors folks, have strolled along the Colorado Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the easy-to-get-to trails surrounding our little mountain towns. What we miss by taking the well-trodden routes – although these aforementioned trails are superb – is the personal gratification we find when our minds are fulfilled. We feel the need to see what is around the next ridge, what is over the next pass, what sublime view we might otherwise miss. The selections here are certainly known by the more adventurous who can’t get enough of Colorado’s fine offerings. If you have not seen the rock formations in and around La Garita or even further along the off-the-beaten path, then pack a lunch and dinner, take plenty of water and do not plan on getting home on time. A detailed road atlas and/or gazetteer will show all the necessary roads.

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Beginning “Tool Girl”

By Susan Tweit

I’ve never claimed to be Tool Girl. Back in college, in fact, my housemates prohibited me from playing with their power tools when we were renovating our old house. As I recall, a small incident with a reciprocating saw and one of my fingers precipitated the ban. Both recovered, though the finger required a few stitches.

It’s not that I’m clumsy or incapable; I lost much of the feeling in my fingers and toes to Raynaud’s Syndrome, a companion to the Lupus I’ve lived with all my life. If I don’t watch where my digits are relative to implements of destruction, I can get into serious trouble before I notice what’s happening.

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By John Mattingly
When I started farming back in the late 1960s, I had a little time in the winter, during which I started writing. It became my hobby. A lot of farmers are able to pull a hobby out of their profession by fixing up antique tractors, or tinkering with various kinds of collections, or restoring old guns, but I settled on writing.

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How to Tickle A Trout

By Virginia Livergood

Why would you want to tickle a trout? To amuse yourself, to amaze your friends, or to provide a great fish dinner. Maybe you’ll come up with your own reasons to tickle or not to tickle a trout after you read this story.

My friend, Hap Chapman returned from a campout at Crater Lake, altitude 11,700 feet, near South Fork, Colorado. He planned to fish for trout to feed the nine campers in his party so had taken a rod and reel. Finding the trout not interested in the fat, juicy worms he had dug, he claimed he caught the fish by hand. I’m incredulous. How in the world do you catch a trout with your hands? I can barely hold on to one well enough to get it off my hook!

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From the Editor

Browns Canyon

Back in November 2009, we wrote extensively about the proposed Browns Canyon Wilderness Area in central Chaffee County (Colorado Central, No. 189). Recently there has been some major movement on the possibility of wilderness and/or national monument designation for the area on the part of Sen. Mark Udall. Our current congresscritter, Doug Lamborn – apparently due to some lingering animosity towards his predecessor – has chosen not to pursue years of negotiations on the scenic, diverse and remote 23,000 acres of Forest Service and BLM land, but now he is getting rightly nudged aside with the proposals put forth by Udall.

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Patty LaTaille

“Cancer Gene” Common in SLV

Cancer rates are abnormally high among young men and women in the SLV, and now an explanation is at hand. With recent breakthroughs in science, historical anecdotes and good timing, there may be an answer to the many deaths due to breast and other cancers each year. According to The Denver Post, “Many of the descendants of the devoutly Catholic families who settled this valley hundreds of years ago carry an inherited genetic mutation that is linked to cancer. That gene mutation is found, primarily, among Jewish families.”

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Milagros – Hoping for a Miracle

By Ann Marie Swan

Milagros means miracles in Spanish. Fittingly, a miracle would be helpful right about now to keep Milagros Coffeehouse on Main Street in Alamosa. The lease ends this year and this beauty of a building is for sale.

All profits from Milagros support the nonprofit La Puente, which means the bridge. La Puente’s mission is to feed, clothe and shelter people in the San Luis Valley. Milagros, in the center of town, is a public relations storefront for La Puente’s work. Other La Puente enterprises include a motel, two thrift stores and a boutique.

The nonprofit’s message doesn’t appear on Milagros’ exterior, a red-brick historical treasure. The philosophy is experience the place first, then learn of the mission later.

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