Silver Cliff museum re-opens after five-year renovation

Article by Rayna Bailey

History – July 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

DESPITE ITS gold-painted wood siding and belfry complete with bell, the Silver Cliff Museum is a simple, unornamented building which reflects its original purpose: to serve as the town hall and firehouse. Located on Main Street in Silver Cliff, the historic two-story building was built in 1879, and is once again open to visitors — following a renovation project that took nearly five years and cost more than $176,000.

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Priscilla Fowler: Abstractions from nature

Article by Rayna Bailey

Local Artist – February 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

WILDLIFE, deer, elk, rabbits, bobcats, eagles, hawks, and the landscape, forests, mountains, meadows, wildflowers, make the Wet Mountain Valley a desirable place for artists. And regardless of their preferred medium, most artists working in and around Westcliffe look out of their windows and paint or draw what they see, beautiful landscapes, wild animals, and occasionally, buffalo or cattle.

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Mission Wolf: sanctuary and education in Custer County

Sidebar by Rayna Bailey

Wildlife – January 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

AS THE COLORADO Division of Wildlife and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service consider the reintroduction of wild wolves in southwestern Colorado, Mission:Wolf goes about its task of caring for unwanted wolves and wolf-dog hybrids that have been raised in captivity and can never be set free.

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Wet Mountain Water War

Article by Rayna Bailey

Water – July 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Despite sharing a similar purpose, the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District in Custer County, which was founded in 1969, and the younger Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District, in Salida, which was founded in 1979, have always had a love-hate relationship marked by court battles and uneasy truces, but also periods of mutual support.

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Radio in the Wet Mountain Valley

Sidebar by Rayna Bailey

Media – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

As long-time Wet Mountain Valley cattle rancher Bet Kettle tells it, 30 years ago about the only radio programming locals picked up in the Westcliffe area was emergency relays, some weather warnings and limited news using short wave radios.

If you wanted to hear music your choices were to turn on the record player or sing to yourself. Unless, Kettle said, you were in the right spot and the weather cooperated then “we used to get a honky tonk western station out of Cañon City.”

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Custer County goes on the air with KWMV

Article by Rayna Bailey

Media – April 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

THEIR GOALS may not be as lofty as the behemoth AM radio station to the north, Denver’s “50,000-watt voice of the Rocky Mountain West,” but developers of the 100-watt radio station KWMV 95.9 FM hope to eventually be the voice of the Wet Mountain Valley.

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Sally Gilchrist: A Designing Woman in Westcliffe

Article by Rayna Bailey

Arts – February 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

FOR SALLY GILCHRIST, looking into a room and seeing how it can be improved is as natural as opening a window and taking a cleansing breath of fresh mountain air.

The environment in a person’s home is the only place he or she can control, Gilchrist says. “The way we live our daily lives at home is a matter of utmost importance. Our surroundings should be serene and uncluttered, peaceful and minimally decorated.”

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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.

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Frozen Moments: Photographer Bill Gillette

Article by Rayna Bailey

Local Artists – October 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

GIVE AN AVERAGE PERSON a Nikon and a roll of film and they usually snap average pictures of family and friends that eventually end up in a photo album or shoe box on a closet shelf.

Put that camera in the hands of photographer Bill Gillette, and he creates masterpieces that are framed and hung on display in a home — eventually to become family heirlooms.

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Hillside 81232

Brief by Rayna Bailey

Hillside CO Post Office – September 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

Hillside 81232

Travelers heading north on Highway 69 who blink at the wrong moment might miss the town of Hillside, which sits on the Frémont-Custer county line. About the only indication that there is anything more than a collection of homes and ranches scattered across the countryside is the towering sign along the road proclaiming, “Welcome to Hillside, Est. 1904.”

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Is there life after U.S. West?

Article by Rayna Bailey

Communications – May 1999 – Colorado Central Magazin

BEING DUMPED by a lover following a long-term relationship — that maybe wasn’t always a great romance, but after all those years was at least familiar and comfortable — is painful. When the dumping comes in the form of a Dear John letter, pain often is replaced with anger, frustration, and a fear of the unknown: What happens next? Will I get to keep kitty, the leather sofa and the Jimmy Buffet CDs?

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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.

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Wearable Art from Becky Kagan of Westcliffe

Article by Rayna Bailey

Local Artists – March 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

INSPIRED BY IMAGES taken from nature, and working with silver, animal fetishes, natural stones, imported glass beads, and satin cording, Beckie Kagan designs jewelry that she calls wearable art.

“I grew up in the country,” says Kagan, a Leadville native.

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What to do when the well goes dry

Article by Rayna Bailey

Water – March 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Dave Knight, owner of Young’s Drilling, peered into the six-inch-wide opening of our well, pushed his red baseball cap farther back on his head and pointed toward a patch of dirt about five feet away. “Toss your checkbook over there,” he said, “and we’ll start drilling again.”

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