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Colorado on my mind, by Curt Buchholtz

Review by Ed Quillen

Colorado – December 1994 – Colorado Central Magazine

Colorado on My Mind
Introduction by Curt Buchholtz
published in 1994 by Falcon Press
ISBN 1-56044-272-7

Ever notice that no one actually keeps gloves in the car’s “glove box”? Or that paper clips clean fingernails and remove stuck floppy disks from computers, but seldom if ever clip paper?

So it is with a “coffee-table book.” The worst place for an expensive book of gorgeous pictures is a location that offers ample opportunities for beverage spills, and perhaps perusal by children with gooey candy residues on their fingers.

That said, what else do you call a hefty book with large slick pages of glowing photography sprinkled with smidgens of text, usually short quotes from famous authors of yesteryear like Zane Grey and Enos Mills?

The introduction by Curt Buchholtz of Estes Park, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, teems with generalizations. His “typical Coloradan” sounds like an adult version of the Boy Scout oath: friendly, cultured, outdoor-minded, concerned about the environment.

As for the 160 photos, well, make a list of the standard Colorado pictures seen on post cards and place mats, and you’ll find them within: the old mill on the Crystal River, the Great Sand Dunes under the Sangres, the Durango & Silverton Railroad, Mesa Verde, cowboys at a rodeo, cuddly bear cubs and mountain-goat kids.

But Colorado on My Mind does reach outside the mountains for some exquisite shots of the Great Plains. It offers some urban scenes, and even in the mountains, it includes a few people and human artifacts. Many similar books portray Colorado as an uninhabited wilderness, free for the taking, and this one resists that tendency.

If you enjoy comely pictures of your extended back yard, or if you’re shopping for a gift for a distant relative whom you want to impress with scenic grandeur, then put this book on your shopping list.

— Ed Quillen