A blend of writing and caregiving

Article by Sue Snively

Kent and Cathy Haruf – May 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

THERE IS AN ORGANIZATION in the Arkansas Valley that eases the natural journey from life into death and beyond. It is called the Angel of Shavano Hospice, and is an organization that has come to the aid of over 125 families since its inception in 1988. It cares not only for those who are dying, but also their families, and Hospice continues to assist families beyond the death of their loved ones — sometimes remaining for over a year or longer if necessary.

Read more

Save Snippy, save the world?

Article by Marcia Darnell

Tourism – February 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE ’60S ARE REMEMBERED in the U.S. as a time of turbulence, of war and protest, of free love and hippies. When people think of the ’60s they recall love beads and incense, the Beatles and tie-dye, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Read more

Combining Art and Activism in the San Luis Valley

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local Artists – November 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

SOME LUCKY ACTIVISTS in the West are able to mix their jobs (what we do for money) and their work (what we do for ourselves). Landscape painter David Montgomery blends the hues of his life into a passion for land both in palette and preservation.

Montgomery has been in the San Luis Valley since 1965, when he was a freshman in high school and his father was transferred to Alamosa to run the J.C. Penney store. Montgomery’s studio today is just across Main Street from that store.

Read more

Buena Vista Rocks

Article by Margery Dorfmeister

Buena Vista Geology – September 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

THAT’S NOT THUNDER you hear rolling off the mountains around Buena Vista. Nowadays, it’s more likely the rumble of rocks rolling off the bucket of a huge front-end loader into a semi dump truck. For generations, Buena Vista’s huge boulders have distinguished the town as surely as her Old Court House steeple. But with the present spate of building going on, her boulders — like her once prime lettuce heads — are being harvested for exportation.

Read more

Bones: A passion for percussion

Article by Shanna Lewis

Local Musician – June 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

WILD APPLAUSE, WHISTLES AND CHEERS. It’s not the typical response a bunch of high school kids usually give an instructor after a lesson, is it? Yet that’s what happened at the end of a recent performance at Salida High School by a master percussionist known simply as Bones.

Read more

Rural school districts and declining enrollment

Article by Charlie Green

Education – May 2006 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN I BECAME a member of the Cotopaxi Board of Education, I didn’t know much about how school districts operate. It’s been quite a learning curve! Like any organization, there are budgets, facilities, and personnel. But school districts have some fundamentally different issues concerning things like teaching standards, school trips, and money. This article is mostly about money.

Read more

Thinking like a refugee

Article by Chas S. Clifton

Evacuation – November 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

IN 2002, WHEN THE Hayman Fire rampaged southwest of Denver and the Iron Mountain Fire burned a swath along the Custer-Frémont county line, I took the first step: I gathered up my wife’s and my insurance policies, birth certificates and other vital papers and stored them in my office at CSU-Pueblo, figuring that those concrete buildings were safer from a forest fire than our little house in the woods.

Read more

Peg Corthoust and her flowering art

Article by Columbine Quillen

Local Artist – November 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

MANY AREA RESIDENTS are familiar with Peg Corthoust. She was one of the fastest skiers at Monarch’s Town Challenge Race last winter and she loves a good river trip. She always seems to be smiling and ready for a tasty conversation or a funny joke. But what a lot of people don’t know about Peg is that she is a phenomenal painter.

Read more

Bob Calder: Capturing Leadville’s Past

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Local Artist – October 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

AT FIRST GLANCE, the alleys separating Leadville’s weathered, wooden outbuildings from the backs of its Victorian, shotgun-style houses might seem an unlikely subject for artistic endeavors.

But in the hands of artist Robert W. “Bob” Calder, these scenes of the Cloud City at its most authentic are transformed into watercolors that lead viewers along the dusty paths of Leadville’s frontier mining heyday.

Read more

124 years of tradition at the Twin Lakes General Store

Article by Steve Voynick

Rural life – August 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

GENERAL STORES, those small, rural emporiums where you can buy a little of everything but not a lot of anything, are places where you catch up on local news, pick up the mail, and find out what’s biting. But they’ve been disappearing for decades, most replaced by look-alike, 24-hour convenience stores with brightly lit glass fronts, sanitized coffee counters, and minimum-wage clerks.

Read more

Cumbres & Toltec will steam on this summer

Article by Mark H. Hunter

Railroads – June 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE LITTLE TRAIN that “could” still can and will operate again this summer after a winter of discontent that nearly derailed it for good.

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, a historic, coal-fired tourist train that winds through the southern Rocky Mountains from Antonito, Colorado, to Chama, New Mexico, will begin operations on Saturday, June 14 and continue until October 19. The popular narrow-gauge line, which pumps millions of dollars into the economies of both small towns, usually begins operations on Memorial Day weekend, but mechanical problems with its steam-powered locomotives delayed full operations, according to officials.

Read more

Shapes, Shades and Sounds: The art of Michael Chávez

Article by Lynda La Rocca

Local Artists – April 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN ARTIST MICHAEL CHÁVEZ begins a new painting, he isn’t thinking about the finished product.

In fact, he’s trying not to think about design or hue at all. Instead, Chàvez lets the creative process engulf him. And the result is canvasses filled with evocative shapes and vibrant colors, which create a world of abstractions where form generates meaning based on the viewer’s personal experience.

Read more

Public Land User Fees aren’t going to go away

Article by Bob Berwyn

Public Lands – January 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

POPULAR RESISTANCE to recreation user fees on public lands may be spreading, but elected officials and agency bureaucrats seem intent on continuing the program.

Congress voted in October to extend authorization for the fees by two years, and a top Forest Service official testified before a House subcommittee that his agency will soon present plans for a new and improved — and presumably permanent — version of the so-called recreation fee demonstration program.

Read more

Monte Vista’s High-Tech High School

Article by Marcia Darnell

Education – October 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

IMAGINE GOING through high school again. Now stop grimacing and imagine going to class only when you want to, not having to match your learning pace with everyone else’s, and never having to listen to a lecture in a classroom or stand in line in the cafeteria.

That’s the reality of high school at Monte Vista’s On-Line Academy, which is now in its seventh year of educating people who don’t fit the mold.

Read more

State fights Feds on bypass flows

Article by Allen Best

Water – October 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE CURRENT QUARREL between Colorado’s water establishment and the U.S. Forest Service comes down to creeks named Fancy, Missouri and French. They tumble off the Sawatch Range and — if left to their natural ways — flow into Homestake Creek and thence into the Eagle River.

Read more

Sarah Woods of Westcliffe, the accidental artist

Article by Rayna Bailey

Local artist – October 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

WESTCLIFFE ARTIST Sarah Woods is an admitted conservative from a family of conventional teachers and lawyers. There may not be a “Bohemian” actor, musician, or artist in the entire clan. Except for Sarah.

Woods started out following in the family’s footsteps. She graduated from the University of Wyoming with a bachelor of fine arts degree, and says that although the university’s fine art program was highly specialized and open only to a limited number of students, it failed to teach participating students “the business of art,” or how to make a career as a professional artist.

Read more

A Meteoric Search

Article by Annie Hays

Meteorite – October 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE PIERCING SOUND of a Japanese girl band was blaring from my car speakers as I made my way to Saguache, and that strange, foreign, somewhat annoying noise somehow fit with the task at hand: searching for a meteorite.

Read more

RS-2477: Old roads and new controversies

Article by Ed Quillen

Public Roads – March 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHILE OTHER AMERICANS may be debating the merits and morality of RU-486, the hot issue in our part of the world is more likely to be RS-2477.

It’s not a pill like RU-486, nor is it an electronic standard like RS-232. It’s a federal law that was adopted in 1866 and repealed in 1976, and its name is happenstance. The “RS” stands for “Revised Statutes,” and it happened to be statute number 2,477 when that book was published.

Read more

Better History along the Road

Article by Allen Best

Roadside History – March 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

MANY OF US don’t even notice the historical markers along Colorado’s highways, and even when they do catch our attention, we seldom stop more than once. After all, we’re not going to see anything new.

But that’s changing with a new series of signs from the Colorado Historical Society which aims for inclusiveness and accuracy.

Read more

Weapons, Medals, and Cold Reality at Fort Garland

Article by Marcia Darnell

Historic place – April 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

THE FORT GARLAND MUSEUM is a wonderland of old times and old relics. Fans of the Old West, the Civil War, the military, history, playacting, art, and building restoration can find something to enjoy at The Fort Garland Museum in the town of Fort Garland.

Read more

Some words with David Lavender

Article by John Nizalowski

David Lavender – February 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

FEW WRITERS OF THE WEST have come to their subject with as much depth of experience and authority as David Lavender. Born on February 4, 1910, in the mountain town of Telluride, Colorado, Lavender witnessed the waning days of Colorado’s silver and gold boom. He even worked in Ouray’s Camp Bird Mine when supplies still arrived by mule train and trips to town were months apart in the harsh, alpine winters. Also, on his stepfather’s western Colorado ranch, he participated in the final years of the West’s open range.

Read more

How do you keep water down on the farm …

Article by George Sibley

Gunnison Water – December 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

An Embarrassment of Riches

WHEN THE DISTRICT JUDGE decreed for the second time in 1998 that there was not enough water in the Upper Gunnison valley for the Union Park reservoir and diversion to the Front Range, the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District Board was relieved. But they had no time to relax, because staring them in the face was a diligence hearing on the long-dormant Upper Gunnison Project.

Read more

Ma Bell puts us up for adoption

Article by Central Staff

Communications – March 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

Ma Bell Puts Us Up for Adoption

US West, the regional Baby Bell telephone monopoly, wants out of Central Colorado. The company has put 18 rural Colorado exchanges up for sale, and these include Salida, Buena Vista, Fairplay, Gunnison, Monte Vista, and Alamosa.

Why doesn’t US West want us any more?

Read more

Luck of the Draw: Artist Jocelyn Lillpop

Article by Marcia Darnell

Local Arts – February 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

SOME PEOPLE are lucky and discover early on what they want to do. Some are very lucky, and get to do it. Then there are the extraordinarily lucky few, those who get paid for doing it.

Jocelyn Lillpop is extraordinarily lucky, and she knows it. She’s been a professional artist since she sold her first painting, of a horse, at age 8. Lillpop was thrilled to be able to buy back that painting a couple of years ago.

Read more

Larger than Life: the Sculpture of Sean Guerrero

Article by Nancy Ward

Local Artist – December 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

SEAN GUERRERO’S artistic creations are larger than life.

It might be said they “litter” the countryside from coast to coast, since they’re made from articles discarded by civilization as it embraces newer things. But Guerrero’s art definitely is not “garbage.” Guerrero recycles chrome bumpers and other unwanted metals from vintage cars parked and long-forgotten in pastures, back alleys and junkyards in the Southwest and Midwest, and turns them into sculptures too large to be hidden away in exquisite homes or exclusive galleries.

Read more

Our bats go south for the winter, eat bugs in the summer

Article by Charlie Green

Wildlife – November 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

FOR A CHANGE from the issues which readers of this magazine can disagree over, I’d like to introduce one which we might all unite to support: bats.

Yeah, bats. Bats aren’t just Halloween cutouts; actually, around here, it’s rare to see bats that late in the year. They’ve usually migrated south before then. These are our invisible companions each summer evening. I’ve sat and watched them (on moonlit nights) both in the city and in rural Frémont county.

Read more

Fred Jobe: the Singing Sheriff of Custer County

Article by Rayna Bailey

Local Artists – August 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

FRED JOBE gives new meaning to the expression, “Whistle while you work.”

Although the lanky six-foot-four-inch lawman would never be confused with the happy-go-lucky dwarfs who made the tune popular in Disney’s Snow White, when Jobe pins his gold star on his chest and sets off to work as Custer County’s sheriff, he does it with a song in his heart.

Read more

Mountain Counties: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer

Article by Allen Best

Economics – May 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

FOR THE THIRD YEAR, Russell George’s plan to alleviate some of the disparities between the rich and poor counties has failed to make it through the Colorado House of Representatives –killed by a narrow vote in committee.

George, a Republican attorney from Rifle, represents Aspen and Glenwood Springs in the Colorado House of Representatives, as well as Meeker and Craig.

Read more

Leadville’s Mine Dumps: Monument or Menance?

Article by Sharon Chickering

Mining – April 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

An oversized golf course. A tiered wedding cake. Just plain overkill.

Those are some assessments of the reconstructed mine waste piles in Leadville’s Stray Horse Gulch.

AFTER MORE THAN FOURTEEN YEARS of study, investigation, and analysis by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, huge dump trucks and other heavy equipment rumbled over the east side of Leadville and up East 5th Street last summer. Work had finally begun on designated portions of the approximately 16.5 square miles of the California Gulch Superfund site.

Read more

Soho in Salida: Bright art from Marcy Misata

Article by Ed Quillen

Local Artist – November 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

by Ed Quillen

Within recent memory, Salida was pretty much a lunch-bucket town. When the blue-collar jobs faded with the closure of nearby quarries and mines, so did a goodly part of downtown, with empty storefronts spread along First Street.

But Salida’s downtown now thrives with studios and galleries, among them Soho — the name of a London bohemian district, the arty South of Houston area in New York City, and since this June, one place to find work by Marcy Miata.

Read more

Lies, damned lies, and standardized tests

Article by Gary Norton

Education – September 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

My summer afternoon was disturbed when I got a call from Colorado Central — they had some 45 pages of school statistics, mostly achievement test scores, on seven school districts in Central Colorado.

The data had been collected by the Independence Institute and sent to the magazine, and Ed and Martha, and at least one educator they asked, had difficulty finding rhyme or reason in the numbers. Ed asked me to go over them and try to make some sense out of it all.

Read more

In Leadville, DuPont means more than dynamite

Article by Sharon K. Chickering

Local Artist – July 1997 – Colorado Central Magazin

Art and Mary DuPont sit at a round table in a corner of their southern-facing, second-story front room, sun pouring in through floor-to-ceiling windows which command views of Leadville and the Sawatch Range. Bright red and yellow/orange tomatoes hang from potted plants on the floor.

Read more

The Western Frontier and La Frontera del Norte

Article by George Sibley

Changing West – April 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

I had my first personal encounter with la frontera del norte back in the early 1980s when I was running the saw at a small mill up on Black Mesa, between Gunnison and Crawford. The mill owner brought “a wetback” to the mill one morning — his terminology (he never made much of a point of political correctness). He had contracted for this man’s services with a coyote who’d brought in a truckload of Mexicans the night before.

Read more

The adventures of Zebulon M. Pike

Article by Ed Quillen

Local history – March 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

This hard winter marks the 190th anniversary of the first winter spent in Central Colorado by American citizens. History knows this as the Pike Expedition, named for its commander, Capt. Zebulon Mont gomery Pike, who left his name on 14,110-foot Pike’s Peak, which, as the late historian Marshall Sprague put it, Pike “neither discovered nor climbed nor named.”

Read more

Ski Cooper: Real History, Good Powder, and Affordable

Article by Steve Voynick

Local History – January 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Many Colorado ski areas share a common heritage. Like Aspen, Breckenridge, and Telluride, they took over comatose mining towns; or, like Copper Mountain and Vail, they were conceived on drawing boards. Either way, their bloodlines can be traced to venture capitalists out to make a few bucks.

Read more

Monarch: a WPA boondoggle that succeeded

Article by Ed Quillen

Local History – January 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

The mythology of the West holds strong to a belief that “rugged individualists” carved out an empire without any help from the government, but that version of history ignores some inconvenient truths. The prospectors expected federal troops to clear away the Indians, the farmers sought federal loans to build irrigation systems, the merchants wanted federal assistance on road construction, the ranchers desired federal subsidies for grazing …

Read more