Brief by Central Staff
Around Central Colorado – August 1994 – Colorado Central Magazine
Mountain Bob emerges to bad news
BUCKSKIN JOE — Mountain Bob Leasure emerged on June 15 from the shallow San Isabella Mine at Buckskin Joe at the Royal Gorge.
The 73-year-old retired miner, country singer, and short-story writer stayed underground for 227 days to break the known world record of 210 days set in 1987 by a woman who sat in an Italian cave.
However, the Guiness folks now say the record is 463 days, set by a Yugoslavian in 1970, although that wasn’t published before Mountain Bob went underground.
At any rate, he’s got the record for Central Colorado.
Social Service Offenders
SALIDA — Since our June issue came out we’ve heard from several people who feel they’ve been victimized by county social services departments all over the state, and the Kempe Center is often mentioned.
A new state law providing for oversight committees may improve things in the future, but that won’t prevent such abuse, since you can’t complain until after the fact.
GUNNISON-Surviving members of the Branch Davidian group from Waco, Texas, are planning to move to Gunnison County.
They had a house rented in Baldwin, but the landlord had second thoughts, and they’re continuing to look for a home in the mountains, where at least a dozen members will live.
Gunnison Sheriff Rick Murdie sounded reasonable. “I’m not going to allow what happened in Waco to happen in Gunnison County — on either side of the spectrum.”
Murdie said he didn’t know why the Branch Davidians found Gunnison County so alluring.
“Any remote area has that potential,” he speculated. ~I would have preferred they picked on Montana.”
DENVER — Most of us have heard of “Lone Eagles” –self-employed folks who can make a living anywhere they can connect their fax machines.
The term was coined by Phil Burgess of the Center for the New West in Denver, and the Center has added to the aviary with other rural residents: Wise Old Owls (retirees) and Country Hawks (back-to-the-land sorts).
Now Colleen Boggs Murphy, senior fellow for rural policy studies there, has found a new bird: “many are dismayed by the arrival of what we call ‘Humming Birds’ — city slickers who flit in and out of a community to visit their 10-acre ranchettes, ‘ghost house,’ or condo that is vacant for most of the year. Humming Birds include celebrities and wealthy urbanites.
“These people come West for that ‘unique experience,’ or activities like riding, running cattle, or fishing… But most Humming Birds are self-absorbed, migratory birds addicted to the action of Big City Life.
“Lone Eagles should not be confused with Humming Birds. Unlike Lone Eagles, who choose a community because they are attracted by the local culture, Humming Birds cause problems for locals. They assault the local culture. They build fences and roads that make it harder for elk and other wildlife to move between summer and winter ranges. They take acreage out of cattle production, reducing the political influence of local ranchers. They often oppose local referenda or spending that serve traditional economic or cultural purposes.”
She cites Ridgeway as a spot that has been too successful at attracting Humming Birds. In Boise, a taxi driver remarked that “If you see a nice house around here, you can bet it belongs to a newcomer.” In Bozeman, where the average house price has gone from $65,000 to $100,000 in the past four years and property taxes went up 11% in one year, you can buy a T-shirt that says “MONTANA SUCKS. Now go home and tell your friends.”