Fleeing to the desert

Letter by Doug & Lindy Barnes

Colorado Central – December 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Fleeing to the desert, away from Salida’s woes


Good morning from the Sonoran Desert.

It’s not often that I take the time to write to a magazine and its parents regardless of how it moves me (either very good or very bad). However, I must write and tell you how much I enjoyed reading “The Constitution Comes to Salida” by Ed Quillen.

Doug and I are former Salida residents, having lived in the old Wilson house at 15 Poncha Blvd. for three years. I often wonder why we ever left Salida, although a personal problem with the town government? (dictatorship!) vs. the city sewer was of monumental concern and expense to us.

We now live in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Landscape might change but people stay the same. You quoted Bob Philleo as saying, “People who have money are always pressuring you to act against those who don’t.”

The area we live in, although out in the middle of nowhere (we’re 75 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart), has been sectioned off into five-acre parcels and people are building homes. Brand new BIG! homes.

We bought a little 11-year-old house out on the very farthest corner of this “subdivision” surrounded by nothing but desert. The house is small in comparison to the others in here — 1200 square feet — and in serious need of work, which we have had neither the time nor the money to do more than a little bit to it each month.

We get very few visitors – many of these lovely law-abiding residents prefer to steer clear of the “rebellious old hippies out there on the SE corner”. Most of the residents in here have money and they build enormous houses, and they want their property values to go up, uP, UP!

I can’t blame them for wanting to make money on their investment, but this house has been here for 13 years (11 + 2 years since we bought it) and most of the others came along after that. But they have the money and they want to see this neighborhood “cleaned up”.

Who knows, maybe we’ll buckle under pressure. Spruce this place all up so it looks like a mini version of its big brothers and sisters — Mainstream Neutral — and then move on to someplace where there is less money and less commercialism.

If there is such a place.

I always enjoy every issue of Colorado Central and read it cover to cover.

I love the wit and humor and the sometimes subtle, sometimes not-so-subtle and usually irreverent words directed at government in general and the Salida City Dictatorship … er, Council, in particular. I’m glad Hal Walter is a regular and even though his article on “Making Hay while the Sun Sets” was a diversion from his usual witty, tongue-in-cheek style, it was very interesting and brought to light an awareness of the problems of growth that few people recognize as a problem of which they (each and every one of us) are a direct result.

Please don’t ever stop publishing this wonderful magazine — and on recyclable paper — and we will keep on subscribing. By the way, if you happen to see Mr. Wilson please say “hello” to him from Doug and Lindy.

Yes, the ghost of Mr. Wilson is alive and well and still living at 15 Poncha Blvd. (at least he was while we were living there). We visited this summer but didn’t see him … perhaps he wasn’t speaking to us?

The people who bought the house from us spruced it all up — Mainstream Neutral — and covered over all the lovely old-fashioned barn red siding which Mr. Wilson had painstakingly put on himself about 54 years ago…but then, what do a couple of old hippies know about anything anyway?

Doug and Lindy Barnes now at PO Box 508 Aguila (pop. about 500), AZ 853200508 brnstorm@primenet.com