Plane crash claims two
By David C. Mitchell
A Colorado Air National Guard helicopter, assisted by Upper San Juan Search and Rescue personnel, retrieved the bodies of a Parker couple from the site of a plane crash on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass above U.S. 160 Wednesday afternoon.
Donald E. Ecker, 66, and his wife, Jimmie N. Ecker, 59, were in flight to Pagosa Springs Sunday when their single-engine Cessna 182 went down during a heavy snow storm.
The wreckage was located late Tuesday afternoon, just below a shear rock formation that rises above an area known as "The 160 Slide." The extremely steep avalanche area sits above the northwest side of the highway about 2.5 miles below the summit of Wolf Creek Pass in Mineral County.
The plane's flight plan, which had been recorded at the Front Range Airport east of Denver, stated that the couple planned to land at Stevens Field in Pagosa Springs, before continuing to the Farmington, N.M., airport.
The couple had planned to visit the pilot's brother, Alden Ecker of Pagosa Springs, and then fly on to visit their daughter and son-in-law, Greg Morgan and Rev. Johnnie Morgan, who live in Farmington.
Alden Ecker said yesterday that his brother was "an experienced, cautious pilot. He was instrument rated. He had filed a flight plan and had flown the route over Wolf Creek Pass a number of times. We've flown it together no telling how many times."
Based on his own experiences of flying Wolf Creek and on flights he had made with his brother, Alden said his brother probably got trapped by heavy cloud cover and extremely strong winds that moved in behind him after he had crossed over the Continental Divide atop Wolf Creek. "He probably had good weather behind him before he crossed over the ridge," Alden Ecker said, but icing, poor visibility and strong swirling winds became a factor on the mountain's western slope.
"Their plane probably went down about 1:30 Sunday afternoon," Ecker said, "and the Civil Air Patrol Mission Control Center in Virginia called me at about 5:10 p.m. to report that they had picked up a signal from the plane's emergency transmitter locator and that their planes had already been in the air searching the area."
But as was the case Sunday, adverse weather conditions hampered air and ground teams Monday and Tuesday.
Mineral County Sheriff Phil Leggitt said Wednesday, that the crew of one of the two Colorado Air National Guard helicopters that assisted in the operation spotted the snow-covered wreckage at about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.
"They had arrived Monday afternoon but were only able to search the mountainside for about 20 minutes before the weather forced them to return to the Archuleta County Airport," Leggitt said. The scenario repeated itself early Tuesday with the helicopters again trying to determine a definite location for the emergency transmitter. But heavy clouds and driving snow moved in about 10 a.m. and again forced the aircraft back to Stevens Field.
Utilizing Wolf Creek Ski Area's radio transmitters, Civil Air Patrol Capt. Warren Holland of Durango radioed Wolf Creek employee Neal Smith at Stevens Field Tuesday afternoon to notify the Air National Guard crews that a safe "window" had opened in the cloud coverage on the Pass.
After returning to the general area of the emergency transmission signal, the outline of the snow-covered wreckage was spotted among the trees by one of the helicopter crews at about 5:15 p.m.
Mineral County Coroner Charles Downing said a ground team from Rio Grande Search and Rescue used snow shoes to climb the steep face of the slide area to locate and secure the crash victims. Downing said the ground team reached the crash site at about 7:15 p.m. The search team reported that the plane's canopy had been torn loose during the crash and that the victims had been ejected from the cockpit, Downing said.
The snow was about 4-feet deep at the crash site and "I'm sure that death occurred at impact," Downing said.
At the request of Sheriff Leggitt, three members of San Juan Search and Rescue, Sean Curtis, Carl Macht and John Hager, climbed to the crash site Wednesday morning to assist the helicopter crew in recovering the victims.
The three men had performed a similar task following a March 27 plane crash in southeast Archuleta County that claimed the lives of Richard and Deborah Miller of Perry, Iowa, and their 14-year-old son, Ryan. Following that accident, Curtis, Macht and Hager had assisted a helicopter crew using winch lines to transfer the bodies to an awaiting ambulance.
After being retrieved from the crash site, the victims were airlifted to the highway and an awaiting ambulance. Downing said Wednesday afternoon that the victims had been taken to a funeral home in Monte Vista, then transported to El Paso County where a pathologist was to conduct an autopsy.
Ecker expressed nothing but praise for the efforts of the Civil Air Patrol, Wolf Creek Ski Area personnel and the law enforcement and rescue groups of Archuleta, Mineral and Rio Grande counties.
Ecker specifically complimented the efforts of Sheriff Leggitt and the numerous responders from the San Luis Valley. "Sheriff Leggitt and his people have done everything that could have been done throughout this entire operation," Ecker said.
"And I can't say enough about Davey Pitcher (Wolf Creek Ski Area general manager)," Ecker said. "He put his people and snowcats and their radios at our disposal as soon as he learned about it. He's paying them for their time and the cost of operating the equipment. He went in on snowshoes himself Sunday evening and searched the area because he thought there could be survivors. He finally came out at about 4 a.m. Monday. He probably was on those rocks right above them, but there was no way he could have spotted anything after all that snow."
County says no to subdivision roads
By John M. Motter
A discussion of county road maintenance attracted about 75 people to the county extension building Tuesday night for an informational meeting conducted by county road officials.
Those in attendance learned what they already knew. The county plans to stop maintaining roads within subdivisions. The scope of those whose roads will not be maintained by the county expanded when the county reiterated a plan to maintain only collector and arterial roads and abandon the maintenance of all other roads.
Included in "the all other roads," in addition to subdivision roads, are all roads within the county not designated as collector or arterial roads and not within subdivisions. In addition to dropping maintenance on non-collector or arterial roads, the county also plans to stop plowing snow from all roads dropped from county maintenance.
"I want you to know now," said County Manager Dennis Hunt, the emcee of the meeting, "that this is the first of many meetings. What we talk about tonight is not set in concrete, it is subject to change."
"We are spending 75 percent of what we should be spending on roads," said Kevin Walters, the county road administrator. "We don't have any more money. We have two choices. We can either raise more money, or we can cut down the number of miles of roads we maintain. Since voters refused a proposed 6-1/2 mill tax increase for road maintenance last fall, we're looking at the other option. We'll maintain fewer roads, but do a better job on the roads we maintain."
The county is suggesting that subdivisions select from among a variety of road maintenance options, all of which require the property owners in the subdivisions to finance their own road maintenance. Those options include formation of one of a variety of special district structures or formation of property owner associations to represent people living in a particular area. The individual organization could then hire and develop its own road maintenance organization or contract with other individuals, firms or the county to perform the maintenance. Under any form of organization, the local entity would determine and levy some form of tax in order to pay for the level of road quality desired. Small subdivisions or areas without subdivisions might band together to form a single district, thus combining their purchasing power.
At the same time, the county will continue taxing at approximately the existing rate. County funds will be focused on main collector or arterial roads, those roads with a higher volume of traffic connecting subdivisions and communities within the county. A listing of roads proposed as collectors or arterials is contained at the bottom of this article.
"We (the county) will help with the startup of individual districts, both by providing information and, in some instances, with funds to help overcome the burden of heavy startup costs," Hunt said. "We are not going to leave anyone dangling. This changeover will be a gradual process."
Audience response to the county proposal seemed antagonistic at first, but seemed to soften following talks by representatives of the three existing road districts. Members of the audience also insisted that everyone be treated fairly; that if one or more subdivisions does not receive maintenance, then none should receive maintenance.
The county currently shares Highway User Tax Funds with the three existing road districts and will presumably share those funds with any newly formed districts. HUTF funds are collected by the state from the sale of gasoline and some other products.
Archuleta County received about $1.2 million in HUTF funds for 1999. That total was divided in the following fashion: treasurer's fees - $12,103; Pagosa Springs - $20,000; Alpha/Rockridge Metropolitan District - $18,211; San Juan River Resort Metropolitan District - $8,625; Aspen Springs Metropolitan District - $8,625 and county roads - a little more than $1 million. Apportionment within the county is determined by a formula established by the number of miles of roads within the individual districts.
Representatives from each of the existing districts explained how their respective district was formed, what services they provide and the costs. Each said they are happy with the present arrangement and would not return to county-maintained roads. Leroy Oldham spoke on behalf of the Aspen Springs Metropolitan District, Ralph Gould on behalf of the Alpha/Rockridge Metropolitan District and Carl Lungstrum on behalf of the San Juan River Resort Metropolitan District.
The county receives HUTF money for 561 miles of roads. Main county arterials total 165.12 miles and county maintained forest service roads total 179 miles. Subdivision roads total 216.88 miles. Subtracting the road mileage contained in the three metropolitan districts leaves 139.58 miles within county subdivisions. Subtracting proposed metropolitan district roads totaling 115.23 miles from the subdivision total leaves 24.24 miles of proposed county subdivision roads.
The estimated road mileage within subdivisions is :
- Aspen Springs Metro District - 65 miles
- Alpha/Rockridge Metro District - 8.4 miles
- San Juan River Resort - 3.9 miles
- Continental Estates - 1.15 miles
- Pagosa Pines - 3.76 miles
- Holiday Acres (less county maintained) - 2.12 miles
- Teyuakan I and II - 8.1 miles; Pagosa Hills (less county maintained) 1.01 miles
- Piedra Park - 5.27 miles
- Miscellaneous roads (Gallegos, Hartong, etc.) 5 miles
- Fairfield Pagosa (less county maintained) - 87.37 miles.
Average road maintenance costs estimated by the county are blading - $5,325 per mile per year; chip and seal with a six-year replacement cycle - $10,590 per mile per year; and paving with a 20-year replacement cycle - $13,910 per mile per year.
The county estimates construction costs for gravel roads built to county specifications at $104,695 per mile. The county estimated cost of asphalt paving is $133,340 per mile and for double penetration chip and seal at $41,015 per mile.
In 1999, the road and bridge operating budget totals $2,133,275 for 468.7 miles of road, an average of $4,550 per mile. The county estimates that $2,792,065 should be spent on road maintenance, amounting to $5,960 per mile. Current spending is, therefore, about 76 percent of what it should be.
"If we decrease the current subdivision road mileage by the proposed amount of 115.35 miles," a county report says, "pass the HUTF dollars on to the newly formed metro districts or property owner associations, we increase road and bridge maintenance spending levels without the need of additional funding."
The following roads are proposed for arterial or collector status: Eight Mile Mesa Road; Fawn Gulch (CR 113); Light Plant (CR 119); Nutria (CR 139); Turkey Springs (CR 146); First Fork (CR 166); Lower Piedra (CR 175); Snowball (CR 200); Mill Creek (CR 302); Blanco Basin (CR 326); Lower Blanco (CR 335); Blanco River (CR 337); Blanco River (CR 337A); Blanco River (CR 339); Coyote Park (CR 359); Upper Navajo (CR 382); Edith Road (CR 391); Four Mile (CR 400); Cemetery Road (CR 411); Trujillo Road (CR 500); Montezuma (CR 542); Lower Navajo (CR 551); Carracas (CR 557); Piedra Road (CR 600); Cat Creek (CR 700): Cat Creek, Dyke, (CR 700); Cabezon Canyon (CR 917); Arboles (CR 973); Arboles (CR 975); Arboles (CR 977); Arboles (CR 982); Arboles (CR 988).
Subdivision roads proposed for county maintenance as major collectors are Aspenglow, Buttress, Cascade, Meadows, Mission, North and South Pagosa Boulevard.
Subdivision roads proposed for county maintenance as minor collectors are Holiday/Shenandoah, Rainbow/Pike, Trails, and Vista.
Accident seriously injures local resident
By Karl Isberg
A local resident remained in serious condition yesterday in the intensive care unit of a Farmington, N.M., hospital due to injuries sustained during a two-vehicle crash on May 4 near the junction of U.S. 160 and Piedra Road.
According to Pagosa Springs Police Officer Tony Kop, the accident occurred on U.S. 160 just east of Piedra Road at approximately 6:50 a.m.
Kop said a 1981 Camaro driven by Juan Garcia, 54, of Pagosa Springs was eastbound on U.S. 160 when the car crossed the center line of the roadway and was struck broadside by an eastbound 1990 GMC pickup truck driven by Robert Powe, an Archuleta County resident.
A Quick Response Vehicle driven by Bill Bright of Emergency Medical Services was first at the scene and was soon joined by an ambulance, a fire truck and crew from Pagosa Fire Protection District, members of the Colorado State Patrol and by Kop.
Bright said Powe and a passenger were standing next to the truck and had told him they were not injured. Bright then moved to the Camaro where he found Garcia bleeding heavily from a severed temporal artery. Garcia was alone in his vehicle.
According to Bright, Garcia was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown across the front seat and into the windshield on the passenger side. He said the right front area of Garcia's skull struck the glass.
An Air Care One medical helicopter transported Garcia to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington. Garcia underwent examination and treatment including CAT scans which Bright said revealed a temporal artery laceration, multiple skull fractures and bleeding in the brain.
Kop said Wednesday that road conditions at the site of the accident were icy but said the cause of the accident had not been determined.
Snow takes aim at stray dog problem
By John M. Motter
Stray dogs have torn up the pen and killed the pet rabbits his stepdaughter is raising as a 4-H project, Aspen Springs resident Danny Snow told the county commissioners Tuesday.
Six dogs took part in the late-night attack, according to Snow.
"My wife got (shot) one of them, but the rest got away," Snow said. "I'm not allowed to shoot anymore or I'm sure I would have got them all. To give you an idea of how fast the sheriff's department responds, that dead dog lay there two days after I called in before a deputy showed up."
The problem has been going on for at least five years, Snow said. Roaming dogs kill his rabbits, chase his horses and nearly attacked his stepdaughter. Compounding the problem is the mobility of the dogs and difficulty in identifying them. When challenged, an owner will often deny ownership, Snow said.
Snow's response has been to shoot the dogs, but "I've never shot a dog wearing a collar in my yard. I will shoot the dogs and everyone knows it, but it doesn't make any difference. If I shoot a dog today, the owner will go out to the Humane Society, get two dogs, and they will be running loose tomorrow."
Not only do the dogs attack Snow's personal livestock, they kill baby deer and elk and destroy wild turkey nests, Snow said.
Snow's zealousness in pursuing stray dogs has led to fines and jail time. He's learned his lesson, he said, but wants the county to do something.
The county has no ordinances concerning stray dogs, according to Larry Holthus, the county attorney. Licensing is not required. Enforcement of stray dog issues rests in the sheriff's department. The county has a contract with Pagosa Springs to use the Pagosa Springs dog catcher under certain circumstances. Any use of the Pagosa Springs dog catcher must be initiated by the sheriff's department.
Pagosa Springs and the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association each require licenses and shots, have stray dog ordinances and dog catchers, and arrangements with the Upper San Juan Humane Society for impounding dogs. Both entities ban the discharge of firearms within their respective boundaries.
No restraints are placed on discharging guns by the county.
"I believe a citizen is entitled to shoot a dog invading his property," said Commissioner Bill Downey. "There is always a safety issue and anyone discharging a weapon can be held accountable for the safety of his actions," Downey said.
Stray dogs are a concern for wildlife officials, according to Glen Eyre, wildlife conservation officer in the Pagosa Springs area.
"They are a problem, especially in the winter and spring when the deer and elk are weaker," Eyre said. "They form in packs and chase deer and elk. What concerns me even more is that when they get into the habit of hunting, they might turn on small children.
"If we, or anyone, catches them in the act of chasing wildlife or domestic stock, nothing in the law prevents us from shooting them," Eyre said. "If we catch them in the act we can write the owner a ticket, but identification (of the owner) is often difficult."
Board acts to limit roadside concessionaires
By Karl Isberg
Pagosa Springs trustees met on May 4, took an action that reaffirmed an intent to limit the number of roadside concessionaires within town limits, committed to an important study of downtown growth and heard updates on several proposed capital improvement projects.
In February, trustees denied a request for a conditional-use permit by an individual who wanted to open a food stand next to U.S. 160 at the east end of town. A conditional-use permit allows the concessionaire to keep a trailer or temporary building at the site of business.
At the February meeting, the trustees said they had received complaints from property and business owners in the east end of town and, in denying the request for the permit, said they intend to be consistent in the way they deal with conditional-use permit requests in similar situations.
On May 4, a request for a conditional-use permit to allow a food vending trailer on the east end of town near the San Juan Motel was denied. Town Administrator Jay Harrington reminded the trustees the vendor can still apply for a peddler's license, which requires that the structure used for sale of items be removed each night from the roadside site, or that the vendor can secure land and construct a permanent facility.
Trustees granted a one-year conditional-use permit to a vendor selling jerky from a stand on U.S. 160 at Pike Drive, on Put Hill. The vendor leases the property and has liability insurance. A town planning commission report indicated no negative comments by adjacent property and business owners.
Hot Springs Boulevard
Harrington secured approval from the trustees to work with a local architect and planner to develop a corridor and "streetscape" plan for Hot Springs Boulevard.
At the May 4 meeting, the trustees approved a conditional-use permit allowing Bank of the San Juans to locate a temporary bank building on property across Hot Springs Boulevard from the U.S. Post Office. The temporary unit will be in place, said bank officials, sometime in late June or early July, with construction on a permanent facility due to be finished near the first of the year.
Harrington highlighted the arrival of the bank, the sale of various properties along Hot Springs Boulevard, development proposals for businesses and a new town hall and community center, and the construction of the Apache Street Bridge, as examples of why a plan must be put in place for the corridor.
"With the increased development, we need this plan" said Harrington. "We need a design to ensure cohesiveness along the corridor. The architect will look at a streetscape, sidewalk layout and the positioning of buildings. We want to avoid a strip mall approach. Most of the property from Apache Street to the highway is under contract and we have an opportunity here to create a new downtown. It is happening faster than anyone imagined."
Harrington and other town staff members are reviewing an urban design proposal submitted by Albert Moore and Partners. The company established a Pagosa office in 1997 and has extensive experience in urban planning.
If negotiations with the company are successful, work will include an analysis of the corridor in terms of a variety of physical, cultural and economic factors and production of graphic illustrations for two alternate streetscape designs. Based on the town's acceptance of a conceptual direction, a final schematic design plan will be produced. That plan will include dedicated public open space, sidewalks, trees, lighting, parking, signage, connections to the River Walk and suggested guidelines for future private development.
The proposal from Albert Moore and Partners sets a project schedule that will end in September 1999.
Streets and sidewalks
Harrington also told the trustees that construction of sidewalks along sections of select streets in South Pagosa will begin this week. Sidewalks will be installed on the west side of South 7th Street from the Pagosa Plaza to Durango Street. A sidewalk will run along Durango Street to South 8th Street and down the west side of South 8th Street from Durango to the high school.
An intergovernmental agreement between the town and the Colorado Department of Transportation is forthcoming, said Harrington, and once in hand will lead to reconstruction of the intersection of U.S. 160, 5th Street and Lewis Street. The project will involve a cost-sharing relationship with CDOT, with the town administrating the work. A traffic signal will be placed at the intersection once 5th Street is realigned where it intersects with Lewis Street. Harrington said he anticipates work will begin on the project in late summer or early fall.
Whether or not scheduled street paving happens in Pagosa Springs this year depends on the results of a bid opening scheduled for today (May 6).
If the work goes ahead as planned, crews will pave South 6th Street, a section of South 5th Street near Golden Peaks Stadium and the Sports Complex, Durango Street and a small section of Pike Drive at the intersection with U.S. 160.
Gray skies give way to blue
By John M. Motter
After surviving an April filled with lots of wind, the county's first official tornado, 35.6 inches of snow through April 27, and 4.03 inches of precipitation by the same date, Pagosa folks were greeted yesterday morning by clear skies and a smiling sun. More sunny weather is on the way.
"Pagosa weather should be sunny and warmer though Sunday," said Gary Chancy, a National Weather Service forecaster from Grand Junction. "Temperatures could reach the upper 60s today and climb into the high 70s over the weekend," Chancy added. "Lows will be in the mid- to upper 30s."
April snowfall this year, by April 27, far exceeded the long-time average of 5.5 inches, and even topped the 27 inches reported for April of 1975, the maximum ever previously reported for April in 47 years of record keeping.
Earlier fears of a downstream water shortage in the San Juan Basin were drowned by the April accumulations of snow in the San Juan Mountains. The snow/water equivalent for the San Juan River Basin was 92 percent of average Monday, based on a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Water and Climate Center in Portland, Ore. Precipitation for the basin was 110 percent of average on the same date. The basin-wide average includes 15 "Snotel" sites in the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan River basins. Some of the those sites covered in the western portion of the area did not report the most recent storms.
Closer to home, the Wolf Creek Summit site located at 11,000 feet on Wolf Creek Pass, reported a snow/water equivalent of 103 percent of average Monday, with a precipitation reading of 99 percent of average. At the Upper San Juan Snotel site, located at an elevation of 10,200 feet, the snow/water equivalent amounted to 110 percent of average Monday, the precipitation 112 percent of normal. Additional snow and precipitation have fallen since Monday, adding to the total.
Snow/water equivalent describes the water equivalent of a given amount of snow. Under normal circumstances, the ratio of snow to water is about eleven to one. That means 11 inches of snow, when melted, produces one inch of water. Because spring snows are often much heavier, the ratio of snow to water might approach 5 or even 3 to 1.
April temperatures have varied wildly. A high of 75 degrees was reported April 20 and a low of 11 degrees April 5 and again April 16. Temperatures topped 70 degrees three times, 60 degrees 11 times, 50 degrees 19 times and at least 40 degrees every day of the month. On the low end, temperatures dropped below 20 degrees eight times, and below freezing on all but three nights.
Snow is almost rare during May with a monthly average snowfall of 1.0 inch over the past 51 years. The maximum snowfall ever recorded in May, 14 inches, happened in 1978. Average precipitation for May is 1.21 inches. The most precipitation ever recorded is the 4.25 inches which fell in 1992.
Temperature averages climb about 10 degrees during May. The average May maximum temperature is 68.3 degrees, while the average May mean minimum temperature is 30.6 degrees. The extreme May maximum temperature occurred during 1956 when the thermometer reached 87 degrees on the last day of the month.
Don't put your winter coat where you can't find it, however. The extreme May minimum temperature was 8 degrees recorded May 1, 1967. In fact, temperatures have fallen below freezing during every May of the last 53 years, and below 20 degrees during 28 years.
The warming trend is good news for ranchers because the combination of warmer days and plenty of moisture in the ground should cause the grass to grow. Gardeners need to remain cautious, however. During the night, the thermometer will continue to drop below freezing again and again.
Service tomorrow for Janice Tully
A memorial service for Janice Tully of Pagosa Springs will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow, May 7, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Pagosa Springs.
Mrs. Janice Mary Tully, 47, passed away on May 2, 1999, after her struggle with leukemia. Mrs. Tully was born on Jan. 31, 1952, to Francis and Willard Higgs in Rocky Ford.
A resident of Pagosa Springs for the past 25 years, Mrs. Tully grew up in Ulysses, Kan. She met Mark Tully while they both were living in Ulysses. The couple were married in Ulysses on March 11, 1972. Two years later they moved to Pagosa Springs where they raised their four children, Johanna, Ashley, Nicabe and Kindolyn.
Having attended Fort Lewis College, Mrs. Tully was involved for a number of years with the geothermal system in Pagosa. She also conducted research on the sources of the geothermal aquifers in the area of Archuleta County. A devoted mother and housewife, she enjoyed bathing in the healing waters of Pagosa, as well as hiking and camping in the mountains.
Mrs. Tully is survived by her husband, Mark Tully of Pagosa Springs and her children, Johanna, Ashley, Nicabe and Kindolyn, all of Pagosa Springs. She also is survived her parents Francis and Willard Higgs of Blackwell, Okla.; her brothers and sisters, Carl Higgs of Ulysses, Lou Ann Summers of Blackwell, Kan., Darla Weyno of Crowley, David Higgs of Ulysses and Tracie Lamberson of Kennewick, Wash. She was preceded in death by her brother, Curt Higgs.
Interment will be conducted at Hilltop Cemetery Friday following the memorial service.
Donations may be made to the Janice Tully Memorial Fund at Norwest Bank in Pagosa Springs.
Pagosa's 'Hidden Hero' has 'unique compassion'
By Roy Starling
Julie Moore, recognized as a "Hidden Hero" by the Archuleta County Victim Advocate Program, was among those recognized by the Violence Prevention Coalition of Southwest Colorado at a "Survivor Tree" planting in Durango last week.
The tree planting, which took place in Gateway Park, was a part of the coalition's recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Moore, a nurse practitioner at Pagosa Springs Family Medicine Center, was nominated for the honor by Carmen Hubbs, head of the local Victim Advocate Program.
"Choosing a 'Hidden Hero' was our way of recognizing people in our community who work with child abuse prevention and sexual assault awareness," Hubbs said. "Julie does a very good job of doing that, of making herself available both to law enforcement and to my office."
Hubbs said Moore was "the only medical staff (person) trained to perform sexual assault examinations for victims." Moore said she had to perform only four exams over the past two years, "but it's nice that the victims no longer have to be dragged to the emergency room in Durango. That can be a lot more threatening than being in an office with one or two people."
Hubbs said Moore has "a unique compassion for victims and that her good heartedness is contagious to those she comes in contact with."
"I think one reason I'm good at what I do," Moore said, "is that I like people and like helping them, and I think they perceive me as empathetic and understanding. I also value open-mindedness, which is important as a health care provider. It's important not to come across as judgmental."
Moore said she also believed it was important "to make a connection with patients. If a patient likes and trusts me, and I can encourage them to make healthier choices, I feel like I've done my job."
A native of Texas, Moore received a B.S. in nursing from University of Texas in 1970. She was certified as a family nurse practitioner in 1980 from University of Colorado Denver's nursing school.
Odyssey teams place at state
d," OM coach Shari Pierce said.
Pierce, who shared coBy Roy Starling
Two teams from Pagosa schools fared well at the April 24 state Odyssey of the Mind competition in Denver.
The junior high team, now in its second year together, finished sixth. "They announced the top six teams, so our kids got to stand up and be recognizeaching duties with Kelli Fisher, said there were about 20 teams competing in their classification. "I was tickled to death with the sixth-place finish," she said.
Competing on the junior high team were Melissa Diller, Drew Fisher, Sierra Fleenor, David Houle, Danny McGinnis, Clint McKnight and Randi Pierce.
The intermediate school team, making their first trip to state, still wound up with a respectable 16th-place finish. The team, coached by Lisa Morales and Sharlene Huang, was comprised of Sara Baum, Amanda Huang, Christena Lungstrum, Marlena Lungstrum, Cassidy Rottman and Jesse Weddle.
Who will fund Fairfield culvert replacement?
By John M. Motter
A question mark has entered one facet of the road restoration and construction project being conducted at Fairfield Pagosa and paid for with funds from the Fairfield Communities Inc. bankruptcy settlement.
In some instances, driveway culverts may need to be replaced or culvert approaches rebuilt. The cost of culvert replacement and culvert approach reconstruction was not specifically addressed in the bankruptcy settlement agreement. Nor was it addressed in the contract accepted by Weeminuche Construction to do the work. Nevertheless, accomplishing those tasks could involve a considerable number of dollars.
Who will pay, individual property owners, the county, or will funds from the settlement agreement cover this expense? Normally, the county issues an access permit to individual property owners who then pay for the culvert approach and culvert needed for accessing their particular piece of property. At Fairfield Pagosa, however, it is unclear if records exist proving that an access permit was obtained.
After a discussion of the problem at Tuesday's meeting of county commissioners, County Attorney Larry Holthus was charged with learning if the culvert and approach work costs are included in the bankruptcy agreement as an "implicit part of the work."
Even if Holthus' findings are negative, the project cost is estimated at more than $1 million below available funds. The county might use the surplus to pay for the surprise costs.
In general, the county has decided that if the approaches already have a county permit, the cost of rebuilding the approaches should be borne by the settlement funds. If a permit has not been issued, the individual property owner might have to pay. A decision on this issue will not be made until Holthus competes his study and reports back to the commissioners.
In other business Tuesday the commissioners:
- Appointed Gene Tautges to the San Juan Basin Health board of directors
- Approved a 3.2 beer license renewal for Chromo Mercantile.
Trustees establish Historical Preservation Board
By Karl Isberg
With passage of an ordinance on May 4, the Pagosa Springs Trustees established an Historical Preservation Board for the town.
According to the ordinance, the board was created "to ensure the preservation of Pagosa Springs' historic character as a timber and logging town and regional economic and cultural center." The new board will work to "recognize, protect and promote retention and use of landmarks and landmark districts in the city and to promote educational opportunities and awareness of Pagosa Springs' unique heritage."
At least four members of the five-person board to be appointed by the trustees must be qualified electors in Pagosa Springs and residents of the town for two years prior to appointment. The remaining member of the board can reside outside town limits.
There will be no limitation on the number of terms a member of the board can serve, but an application must be submitted for review for each term and be approved by the trustees.
In order to stagger membership on the Historical Preservation Board the original membership will consist of one member with a one-year term, two members with two-year terms and two members with three-year terms.
The Historical Preservation Board will consist of professional and lay members, each of whom demonstrates interest, knowledge and training in fields closely-related to historic preservation. Two members will be professionals in preservation-related disciplines such as architecture, archaeology, history or planning. If such persons are not available and a good-faith effort has been made to locate them, the requirement can be waived. In that case, the board will seek additional expertise when considering National Historic Register nominations.
Once appointed by the trustees, board members will make recommendations to the trustees concerning historic district and historic landmark guidelines. Members of the board will review resources nominated for designation as an historic district or historic landmark, then approve or disapprove nominations in a recommendation to the town trustees who will make the final decisions concerning designation.
The board will adopt criteria for review of historical resources and of proposals to alter, demolish or move those resources; advise and assist owners of historic properties on matters of preservation, renovation, rehabilitations and reuse of the resources; assist in public education programs; and assess, with recommendation to the trustees, demolition, partial demolition and various types of relocation of historic structures.
Members of the board will provide advice to the trustees concerning matters related to preserving the historic character of the town and will make recommendations to the trustees to initiate amendments to the municipal code involving historic districts and historic landmarks.
Town planning staff will serve as the professional staff for the board. A representative of the town planning office and a representative of the building department will attend all board meetings. The board will meet at least twice annually.
Within 30 days after the date of a referral by the board for designation of an historical landmark or district, the town trustees will hold a public hearing on the proposal and, following the hearing, will approve or deny the designation. Owners of properties designated by ordinance can appeal to the trustees any of the decisions of the Historical Preservation Board relating to alteration, demolition or moving of designated properties. Those owners can also petition the trustees for revocation of historic designation.
An advertisement will be placed in the May 13 and May 20 editions of the SUN seeking letters of qualification from people wanting to serve on the newly-formed board. The deadline for submittal of letters is May 28. Trustees will make selections at the June 1 monthly meeting of the town board.
Town grants Pagosa Vision new franchise
By Karl Isberg
Following several months of negotiation between officials of the town of Pagosa Springs and representatives of Pagosa Vision Inc., town trustees granted the company a new franchise and the right to continue to furnish cable television services within town boundaries.
With the vote of the trustees on May 4, Pagosa Vision now has a non-exclusive right to provide the cable television service to town residents and businesses. Any other company seeking to provide cable television service has the right to make proposals to the trustees and, if those proposals are accepted, to compete in the market.
As with a previous franchise agreement, Pagosa Vision will pay the town a franchise fee equal to five percent of the company's annual gross revenues collected within town boundaries. The company also provides service to residents living outside the town but fees and restrictions in the franchise do not pertain to those customers.
Pagosa Vision agreed to provide a system with a capacity of 62 channels, capable of distributing video and associated audio on each channel that is programmed, and a commitment to "meet the current industry standards" and to upgrade its facilities and service "with the technology as compared to other companies serving communities of similar size to the Town."
If and when the need arises, a public access channel is to be provided by the cable company. Programming on such a channel would be controlled by the "Town through its appointed designee."
With a new town hall and a community center in the planning stages, town officials sought and obtained a commitment from Pagosa Vision to provide free cable service to three public facility locations, to be determined by the town staff. If at any time Pagosa Vision provides Internet services via the cable system, the company will provide free installation to the community center and town hall and charge a monthly rate for that service equal to what the company incurs.
The franchise agreement sets forth stipulations concerning construction, installation and operation of company facilities similar to those in the previous franchise and sets a $10,000 franchise bond to insure faithful performance by the company of all provisions of the agreement.
The new franchise agreement becomes effective on June 12, 1999, and remains in effect for 10 years.
A pastor's thoughts on Columbine
This last week I had the privilege of serving on a National Lutheran School Accreditation team visiting Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School in Littleton. All of us are aware of the tragic shootings that took place in that community and for five days I had the privilege of being there as our sister school and church coped with families trying very hard to deal with the terror that had been inflicted on their community.
After my duties were complete on Wednesday evening, I drove by Columbine High School and the huge park that surrounds it. It was an amazing experience. What you can't see on your TVs is the size of the memorial "park" that has sprung up at the corner of Bowles and Pierce Street. What you can't see is the huge numbers of people quietly visiting that memorial area. When I was there about 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, I would estimate conservatively that about 800 people were looking at the 500 to 600 yards of flower memorials and the notes, letters and cards that came with them. I don't believe that I've ever witnessed that many people being so quiet.
As I walked along the area the audible sound of weeping could be heard. Here and there young people and adults clung to each other mourning their losses. I believe that America has a chance to learn something from all this pain.
First, I believe that we can begin to understand the true nature of sin and evil. The eternal fate of the shooters is for God to decide. We are not qualified to make such a judgment. What we can see is that sin inevitably leads to hatred and then to death. It was true of those whose sin led them to a hatred of our Lord and finally to his execution, and it seems to be true as well for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Sin is corrosive and irrational and it inevitably leads to irrational acts from which issue pain and death.
Second, I believe we can learn that life is always stronger than death. Even to the casual observer in Littleton, it was very clear that God can use such evil to bring about blessing. The national debate going on over why this could happen and what should be done to stop it is mostly healthy. Rarely before have I seen commentators on our TV sets asking profound questions like, "Is there really such a thing as evil?" and coming to the obvious conclusion that there is. I am hopeful that we can stay clear of simplistic solutions to what is a profound circumstance. Those who simply say, "It's the guns!" or "It's the parents!" or "It's society!" have overlooked the obvious: It's a combination of everything. It is partly the guns, it may be partly the parenting of today's parents who rarely have sufficient time for one another any more. It is partly the decline of a common understanding of what is moral and immoral, right and wrong. It is partly the pervasive view that everything must be tolerated and nothing can be limited. It is partly the loss of our media's willingness to make money on our love of violence, and music which seeks to satisfy our lowest desires rather than use such media to lift us up and to inspire us. In short, it is everything.
Third, faith is always stronger than hate. The faith of those families and friends who lost their lives has been a shining light in the midst of all the darkness. The funeral services we've seen on our TVs signal a victory of life, not death. Faith in a resurrected Lord Jesus Christ resounds against the backdrop of caskets and grave sites. The Christian faith has always remembered its martyrs with honor and esteem. Now, in Colorado, we also have martyrs for the faith. With a gun held to her head, Cassie Bernall knew that her life was on the line with the next words that came out of her mouth. When challenged with, "Do you believe in God?" her response was a certain and heroic: "Yes." With the utterance of that word, her life on this earth ended.
Let us finally hope and pray that out of this slaughter will come a new consensus that freedom is not merely doing whatever we please. Rather, freedom is the gracious gift of almighty God which permits us to do what pleases him. It is freedom to do the right thing, the moral thing, the helpful thing, the uplifting thing. Without that understanding of freedom, the words which God used to describe the condition of the world just prior to the righteous judgment of the Flood will apply to us as well: "Everyone did what was right in their own eyes." If that is what we believe freedom to be, we have not seen the last of tragedies like Columbine High School and many more sounds of weeping will be heard in our own neighborhoods and not merely at the corner of Bowles Avenue and Pierce Street.
Rev. Richard A. Bolland
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Innovative way to earm a degree
Since It's always nice to start the week with a bit of dumb luck.
Most of Monday's mail ends up in the waste basket.
This week was no different, except for a manila envelope from: "College Relations Fort Lewis College." For some reason it made it back out of the basket.
After opening the envelope, and briefly eying the cover and table of contents of the enclosed brochure, I trashed it.
Then the dumb luck, started taking effect.
I retrieved the brochure out of the trash and started glancing over the pages. Titled "Innovation", the publication was the "first-ever President's Report from Fort Lewis College."
Just as I had guessed, it had been written and designed by Deborah Uroda.
I met Deborah Uroda Jackson when I first went to work at the SUN. She was an aspiring reporter at the Durango Herald in the early '80s. One of her more memorable articles was one in which she described Pagosa Springs as being a sleepy little town - much like a dog she had seen snoozing on Pagosa's dusty downtown sidewalk.
Naturally, Mayor Aragon and a number of other folks in Pagosa took offense with her article.
So I started glancing through Debby's latest public relation venture.
The layout was clean and the photos did a good job of complementing the copy.
I was about ready to return it to the trash when a headline for a side bar on page 13 caught my attention: "Degree Out of Reach for Pagosa Woman Until She Found Teacher Education on the Internet."
I know that newspaper people are supposed to report the news, not make the news. So bear with me while I use this space to recognize one of our employees.
The side bar in the "School of Education" coverage on page 13 of the brochure tells of how "Pagosa Springs resident Shari Pierce always knew she'd finish her college degree and obtain her teaching license, but she thought she would have to wait until her own children were in college to do so.
"Now, thanks to communication technologies and the Fort Lewis College Teacher Licensure Program, Pierce expects to complete her teacher licensure requirements by summer 1999. . . ."
Shari is one of 50 students in this corner of the state who are enrolled in Fort Lewis' "Early Childhood and Elementary Education Teacher Licensure programs on the World Wide Web." She "attends" classes by logging onto the Fort Lewis web site during her spare time. She communicates with her professors via e-mail, faxes and telephone. She fulfilled her teacher aide practicum requirements last spring by spending three hours a week at Pagosa Springs Elementary School working as a teacher's aide.
I'm amazed she's able to juggle this schedule while putting in 40 hours a week at the SUN, leading a Girl's Scout troop, coaching the junior high's state-finalist Odyssey of the Mind team, and helping her husband, Buck, raise two active teenagers.
The cameo coverage of Shari's academic pursuits gives an interesting account of how a Pagosa Springs resident can take advantage of the opportunities offered through the innovative education programs at Fort Lewis College without leaving home.
It also describes how Fort Lewis College is taking advantage of modern technology to better serve the folks in southwest Colorado.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers. David
Days before subdivisons, condos and fast food
In the days before subdivisions, condominiums and fast food restaurants, Archuleta County was known for its quality ranches and farms. Many cattle and sheep were shipped to market via the railroad that ran through the town.
Land prices were good. Thomas Mee, who called himself "The Land Man," had for sale many farms and ranches. For $3,000, two-thirds of that in cash, a family could buy a 160-acre farm complete with a two-room house, barn and hay barns, granary, blacksmith shop and other out buildings. The property was entirely fenced, had two streams running through it and included water rights. It was also only one mile from school.
Some of Mee's other listings included a 480-acre property with 160 acres fenced, a stream, four-room house, barn and outbuildings for $3,600. Or, a 160-acre farm with a six-room house, barn, four head of horses, 100 head of cattle for $5,000.
Once you were settled into your farm or ranch, times would be good according to an article in the Pagosa Springs New Era of December 3, 1909. This article ran first in the Kansas City Drovers' Telegram in November of the same year. Mark Todd of Pagosa Springs was quoted as saying that "the cattlemen as well as sheepmen of that section of the state have had a very successful season. Twelve years ago Mr. Todd went to that country and engaged in the cattle business, which he still follows. 'We have no complaints whatever to make this fall,' said Mr. Todd. 'We had plenty of rain all through the summer and there was plenty of grass. The good feature about cattle ranching in that part of the state is that the cattle do not have to travel about so much. This is a saving of time in handling the cattle, and at the same time it benefits the cattle, as they put on faster when they do not have to travel much.' "
Todd was also quoted about the sheep market in the county. "So far as the general cattle supply goes; I believe we have just about the same number we had a year ago. We have sold at good prices and are well pleased. But the country is full of sheep. Sheepmen have made money, even to a greater extent than we. Besides making big money this season, they stand a good show to make money next season. There is sure to be a good wool market next spring, and that will give them a big start."
The New Era of November 19, predicted that not less than 5,000 head of cattle, and probably more, would be shipped out of Archuleta County during the 1909 shipping season with an average price of $40 per head. Reports like these should have made The Land Man's job a bit easier.
Developers must guarantee roads
Two developers met with the county commissioners Monday regarding final approval of land developments. In both cases the developers were told that some type of guarantee of completion of roads within the subdivisions must be made before final approval could be granted.
One of the shockers of Monday night's town board meeting was a notice from the federal government that Federal Revenue Sharing Funds had been overpaid and that the town would be required to make a $5,170 refund. The repayment was to be in addition to a withholding of part of the regular payment due soon.
Patty Lynch and Pam Formwalt were winners in the district track meet last weekend and earned the right to participate in the Colorado State High School Track Meet on May 18. Formwalt won the high jump event with a jump of 4 feet, 10 inches. Lynch won third place in the girl's shot put competition with a toss of 31 feet, 6 inches. This is the first time that girl athletes have represented Pagosa Springs High School at a state track meet.
The Community Blood Bank drive held in Pagosa Springs Tuesday was a huge success with 73 people being able to donate blood. Many more offered, but due to various reasons, were unable to donate.
EMS simulates school bus disaster;
another 'golden' party at Max's place
Saturday was a busy day. It was all make believe, but it could have been real.
Bill Bright and the people at Emergency Medical Services designed a mock casualty incident incorporating 25 students - members of Mrs. Plantiko's junior high school drama class, who acted as "victims" - the fire department, the police department, ambulances and the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Clinic staff. What wasn't in the plan, but added a real-life quality, was the blizzard that hit in the middle of the drill.
The action started at the elementary school. The call went out at 12:45 p.m. It was a matter of seeing how fast people would respond to an emergency, for some didn't know that it was planned.
The scenario was that a student was trying to commit suicide and stepped in front of a school bus. In order to avoid hitting him, the driver swerved and the bus turned on its side.
The bus used for this drill had been taken out of service by the school system. Cody Ross, who has Buckskin Towing Services, rolled the bus (and afterwards returned and righted it). After the bus was rolled, the kids were placed in the bus, getting in by climbing a ladder and going in through the door.
In order to extricate the kids from the bus, the firemen broke the windshields to make a passageway. They used the "jaws of life," a hydrology-operated heavy metal separator, to pry open the rear door - making another passageway. And then they used an air chisel to cut a big hole in the top of the bus. All the while the fire department's ladder truck was there, with a fireman perched to put out any fire that might occur.
The kids were extricated through the front windshield and the rear door. Supplies such as bandages and backboards were passed through the hole in the top of the bus.
After triage (the process of sorting patients to determine severity of injury and priority of treatment), the action moved onto the Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center where victims were "treated" by Drs. Mark Wienpahl, Bob Brown and Steve and Nancy Kitson. Once again, the patients were triaged.
There were so many patients that the staff was overwhelmed. Some patients were "so injured" that they were scheduled to be "flown out to Durango."
A few of the Red Cross disaster class observers were assigned to do victim advocacy, helping with the victims.
All agreed it was a success. Everyone took their rolls seriously. The kids were wonderful. Some of the participants were relatively new to the community and some were like Fire Chief Warren Grams and Tom Fletcher, who was involved as an EMT. Together, the two have 40 hours in emergency rescues.
Immediately following the drill a debriefing was held to evaluate this mock casualty incident, to determine weaknesses and basically tighten the program.
Many communities throughout the United States do yearly disaster drills. They can make a difference.
It's party time again at Max's house. This will be the third year beautiful golden retrievers from the same litter will be celebrating their birthday together. Max and "Mamma" Shirley Mateer will again be hosting this Sunday. Last year the SUN called it the "canine social event of the year."
The Emergency Service Building expansion living quarters to house on-duty EMTs and paramedics, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is nearly completed.
The indoor community rummage sale the Lutheran School will be having in its school gymnasium May 15 is the way the school helps fund itself. Table space is only $15. Space is limited. Call Jana, 264-6548 or Rhonda, 264-2332 to reserve a table.
The New Mexico Game and Fish Department is allowing unlimited day and night killings of elk on ranch and farm property. The first "kill permit" has been given in Tierra Amarilla. These elk are our elk summer through fall. They winter in New Mexico. Dick Ray has produced petitions against the slaughter of our wildlife, placing them in the local sporting goods shops. Please think about signing one.
There will be a Cinco de Mayo dance tonight at 8 p.m. at the Parish Hall, sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Spanish Fiesta Club. The new royalty will be crowned before the dance. Entertainment will be Trina Mestas and Toni Gallegos doing folklorico dances.
Fun on the Run
A hole was found in a nudist colony wall. Police said they are looking into it.
Over 90 businesses appreciate locals
How sweet it is to welcome back Lisa Flaugh with Holy Smokes Stoves and Fireplaces located at 104 Goldmine Drive behind Circle T Lumber. I have a mighty fine natural gas stove in my home thanks to Lisa and Darwin and am eternally grateful on those cold, winter mornings (when will those mornings disappear?). Pagosa's professionals offer both sales and service on wood, gas and pellet stoves and fireplaces. Even though the cold season is waning, you may want to contact Lisa and Darwin for information at 264-4441.
We are doubly delighted to welcome our new Associate Members, Doug and Morna Trowbridge because Morna is not only a new member, but also our new office manager here at the Chamber. Please come in to introduce yourself to and welcome our charming new addition. Morna's husband, Doug, is the Humane Society shelter manager so these two are obvious contributors to the quality of life in Pagosa Springs. Many thanks to Holy Smokes and Morna and Doug for joining our merry band of members.
Elizabeth, our local hair therapist and proprietor of Exclusively Elizabeth, is moving and expanding her services and staff and wants to let everyone to know. She's moving to 286 Pagosa Street and adding three members to her staff. Sharon Jones, who trained in England, joins Elizabeth to handle the skin care department with facials and waxing. Kendra Lalman will be the resident massage therapist, and Kathy Stymal, with twelve years in the cosmetic industry, will be the salon coordinator. A nail technician will soon join the staff, so look for that announcement in the coming attractions. Congratulations to Elizabeth and staff for their expansion and continued success.
Five Minutes of Fame
We continue to have a lot of fun with this latest Chamber "thing" and want to congratulate the winners of the latest drawing held at Burly's Grill at our monthly SunDowner. The lucky devils include Paige Gordon of Betty Johann Realty, Bob Sprague of Acres Green RV Park, Lee Riley of Jim Smith Realty and John Widmer of Echo Manor Inn and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. These gentlemen will be guests on the weekly "Good Morning, Pagosa!" show on KWUF Radio, 1400 AM, at 8:05 in the ayem.
I particularly enjoy this five-minute segment because it gives us a chance to get to know our members a bit better both personally and professionally. It gives the guest an opportunity to share something about their businesses and therefore becomes a very valuable marketing and advertising opportunity. Everyone wins - especially the listeners. Tune in and have a few laughs with us each week. Be sure to enter to win your Five Minutes of Fame by stopping by the Chamber with a business card and five spot or by attending our next SunDowner at ALLTEL to sign up.
It's fast approaching now, and I can tell you that this year's prizes will be nothing short of spectacular. Sandra Million, Local Appreciation Week organizer, has informed us that there will be over 90 participating businesses this year which have all donated gifts to be awarded at the end of the week. You would be silly, silly not to register as many times as there are businesses involved for a chance to win some of these prizes. In case you're not familiar with this event, it is simple as pie to explain. During the week of May 14 to May 22, over 90 local businesses will show their appreciation for your loyal business throughout the year by offering you special bargains, snacks and a chance to win big prizes at the end of the week. Each participating business will have registration forms, and the more of these you fill out, the greater your chances are of becoming one of the winning names drawn at week's end. Look for hot pink balloons and hot pink posters to identify the participants and go in and register.
You will soon receive your invitation to attend this year's "Great Service=Great Success" workshops at the Visitor Center. This will be the eighth year for these very affordable sessions, which concentrate on training employees to be great service providers. You, as a customer and consumer, know that you are far more likely to return to a business whose employees are friendly, accommodating and professional. These workshops are geared to give great tips on customer service and, subsequently, give your employees the gift of confidence in dealing with the public. Those of us who have been in the service industry for years and years know that working with people is one of the most difficult things we can be asked to do. There are those who are incredibly good at it and those who are incredibly bad at it - and we all have stories to tell about experiences with both ends of the spectrum. Your business can benefit greatly from employees who elicit rave reviews from your customers as opposed to those employees who are sure to bring complaint after complaint to your door.
These two-hour workshops have been scheduled to accommodate most businesses, even those with a number of employees who work different hours. You can schedule them for either Tuesday, May 25, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. or Thursday, May 27, from 1 to 3 p.m. or Tuesday, June 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The price remains $5 per person for Chamber members and $10 for non-members. This is a minimal investment with a maximum return, so please join us for one of these sessions.
Hizzoner Mayor Ross Aragon and Town Administrator Jay Harrington, have announced that the week of May 16 through May 22 are the official dates for this year's Clean-Up Week. Some folks have already picked up their orange garbage bags and are 'way ahead of the game, and we love it. We will send letters to the different organizations who "own" a piece of the highway and remind them about cleaning their particular strip, but we want to encourage everyone to do a bit toward making Pagosa as beautiful as it can be. You can pick up your bags at the Visitor Center any time and clean up your street or the parking lot of your business or whatever you like. I have known people to take a bag when they walk their dog and clean as they go. Just any little bit will do, and thank you to all who involve yourselves in this very worthwhile endeavor. I am always astonished at the accumulation of trash and whatnot over the winter.
Outdoor Club holds monthly meeting tonight
San Juan Outdoor Club will hold its monthly meeting tonight at 7 in the Parish Hall. Leslie Patterson from the American Cancer Society will be the guest speaker. Leslie will talk about Relay For Life, a team event to raise money for the American Cancer Society's program of research, education and service.
Walkers and runners will go around the clock in the battle against cancer during the American Cancer Society's first annual Relay For Life here in Pagosa Springs at the high school track on July 23 and 24. It is an overnight event lasting from 6 p.m. Friday until noon on Saturday. Relay For Life is a unique challenge and fun way to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Sixty percent of the money raised will stay in the Durango office to cover transportation and accommodation costs for needy cancer patients from Pagosa to access treatment in Durango. The rest of the money will be passed on to the national office for funding research and education.
The event consists of teams of 8-to-15 people where one member of the team has to be on the track at all times. While the Relay For Life is going on, a community party atmosphere is created by team members camping out, enjoying entertainment, food, games and camaraderie throughout the night. Participants are encouraged to bring family and friends out to enjoy and support the event. A special luminaria ceremony will be held on Friday evening just after sunset to remember those lost to cancer, to honor those who have survived and to support those who are still fighting. Local cancer survivors will do a victory lap to wrap up the closing ceremony.
Relay For Life is a new event to Pagosa, but the American Cancer Society puts on this event in over 2,500 communities every year. Relay is projected to raise over $112 million across the country in 1999, and Pagosa has the opportunity to raise money to enable the American Cancer Society to expand its services to cancer patients and their families in Archuleta County.
Anyone who wants to join in the fight can make a team - individuals, families, clubs, organizations, neighborhoods, businesses or any other group that you may want to put together. There is a $100 registration fee per team and Relay For Life organizers are encouraging each team member to raise $100. If you are excited about this event, please call Leslie Patterson at 731-4643. She will provide additional information, plus ideas that can help you raise money.
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will host its annual auction and dinner on Saturday, May 15, at 3:30 p.m. in Durango at the Iron Horse Inn. Proceeds from the auction will benefit elk, other wildlife and their habitat. Please call Ed, 731-9085 or Natalie, 264-6226, for ticket information.
A very happy and special Mother's Day to all mothers on Sunday.
Members urged to attend El Centro meeting
There were six celebrants at the birthday table last Friday.
There will be a board meeting at El Centro on May 14. All members urged to attend.
The "Senior's Choice" meal will be May 17, at the center. It consists of a potato, green beans, roast pork, hot rolls and cinnamon rolls. The kitchen crew works hard on that day.
Seniors will get a tour of the San Juan Historical Museum on May 19. A crew has worked very hard over there this spring.
There are some future plans for seniors at El Centro. More about that later.
We got through the Chili Supper April 24. Thanks again to everyone who helped.
April flew by here with lots of moisture. It can still rain, snow and hail here and the drought is broken.
Volunteers are needed at El Centro. The center can not operate without volunteers - so please pitch in. Volunteers are needed at the desk and dining room.
Lena Bowden is "Senior of the Week" over here at El Centro. Lena works the bus and helps deliver the meals. In fact, Lena helps in many places. We love Lena.
There was a very small crowd at El Centro today, Monday, May 3, because of the rain.
We are getting some beautiful birds at this time.
Can you believe we need more rain?
Literally and figuratively, we've got water at the library. Colorado's most precious resource is highlighted with a huge display from the Four Corners Water Information Program.
Jasper Welch, mayor of Durango, brought over many give-away brochures on all aspects of this important subject. There are items for all ages including a special section for children.
We are in Water Division Seven that covers the San Juan Basin. This division includes one of the few areas of the state in which major rivers are not fully appropriated. Our water laws impact us all, and if you'd like to learn more about the history and current situation, come in and view this excellent display. It will be here for two weeks only.
Jasper told us that even with this nice wet weather, we are only up to 75 percent of our annual amount of precipitation. We need more and we are supposed to have a dry summer. We thank the Southwestern Water Conservation District for sponsoring this project.
Our 1999 scout appeared at 11:21 a.m. on April 28. He or she is very late, no doubt because of our strange weather. But the feeder was up waiting. Many unusual species of birds are passing through this season so have your bird books ready for identification. Newcomers need to know several things about birds. One important piece of information is that those pesky woodpeckers are protected by law and there is a hefty fine for killing them, or even shooting at them. The other is that we have special directions for filling and cleaning hummingbird feeders. Come in and look over our books on the subject. We don't have any recommendation on how to foil the woodpeckers. If you do, please share with us.
The Colorado Department of Education just published the annual report on the status of education. It is available for checkout. It has a complete picture of our schools and K-12 Public Education including trends.
The Colorado Small Business Development Center, and the U.S. Small Business Administration among others put on this workshop. It will be in Durango on June 11. To register, call (888) 679-4333. There is a fee of $59 to attend. For more information, ask to copy the brochure at the desk.
The National Institute on Early Childhood Development and Education sent a handout: "Latino Families: Getting Involved in Your Children's Education." A free copy may be had at the desk.
The Library for the Blind sent us a new selection of large print books. We get to keep these for several months and then we send them back and get newer ones. These can be found near the new book section.
"Welcome to the World, Baby Girl," by Fannie Flagg is a funny, yet serious new novel about a heroine who is a rising star of 1970's television. Dena Norstrom's future is full of promise and her past is a dark mystery.
"The Serpent's Tongue," is a gorgeous book covering some prose, poetry and art of the New Mexico Pueblos. This compendium chronicles more than five hundred years of one of North America's oldest and most enduring native cultures. This is a very special book stretching from the sixteenth century until today, with more than one hundred writers speaking to us. It offers treasures for both the Southwestern scholar and the casual reader.
Financial help came from William and Ann Pongratz, The Pagosa Springs VFW Auxiliary No. 9696 in memory of Richard Girardin Jr., and Wagon Mound Public Schools in memory of Dorothy Schutz.
Materials came from: Shirley Snider, Jack Koppelman, Ron Graydon, Margaret Wilson, Mary Marugg, Sheila Hunkin, Georgia Balsinger, Cynthia Murphy, Trace Gross, Ann Van Fossen, Joan Young, Henry Rice, Patricia Harris, Carole Howard, Sandra and Don Walker, Linda and Wayne Crosby.
Gallery display features ceramics
Time to get out and catch up on your art culture. Gail Hershey goes on display today with her unique and outlandish works of ceramic sculpture. Don't miss out on an opportunity to witness Mrs. Hershey's exciting and not-so-common works in ceramics starting tonight and running through Tuesday, May 26. The opening for this occasion will be held tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Arts Center Gallery at Town Park. So hop on in the car with the family or drag a friend along to attend this fun exhibit.
Quite a Show
Pagosa Springs should be proud of their latest group of blooming artists participating in the Pagosa Springs High School "Art III" exhibit at the Arts Center Gallery. I witnessed, first-hand, the opening of this show last Thursday. Not only are these artists open, funny and friendly, they know how to spread out a lavish feast for their guests. From realistic pencil drawings to handsomely-sculpted pottery these kids were amazing in their creativity, with mesmerizing color, energy and vibrant personalities to match. Every student in the class should be proud, not only of the excellent work, but in the professional way it was presented. Nice job.
The Pagosa Springs Art Council's quarterly meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 11, at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street from 5 to 7 p.m. This meeting is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Entertainment and refreshments will be available. Everyone is welcome to join in so drop on by for a little business and fun.
Denny Rose and Virginia Bartlett (both accomplished artists in our community) are teaching adult watercolor classes. When I say "adult," I mean students from mature 11 year-olds and older. The class meets Monday and Wednesdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m. All materials are provided for the low cost of $25. Take the time to learn a worthwhile skill that could last a lifetime. For more information, call 731-8060.
The Chimney Rock Hikes and Lifestyles Workshops give participants an opportunity to experience the environment, culture and lifestyle of the early people of Chimney Rock. Some may say that hikes have nothing to do with art, but there are a number of workshops that can be considered art-oriented. For instance, a class on stone tools and fire-starting with instructor Wolf Brooks, a nature photography course with instructor Bruce Andersen or the very popular Anasazi pottery course with instructor Gregory Wood all fit the bill. Other workshops include hide tanning, spinning on a spindle and the creation of rope, baskets and sandals from native plants. There are a number of fun and exciting workshops to experience along with some amazing and breathtaking hikes. For more information on these events and workshops you can pick up a pamphlet for details and prices at the Arts Center Gallery in Town Park or e-mail at email@example.com.
Tracksters head to regionals
By John M. Motter
The Pirates track teams, boys and girls, travel to Alamosa Friday for the regional track meet. There are 17 schools competing in the Region 3 meet at Adams State College. The top four finishers in each event qualify for the state track meet scheduled the following Friday and Saturday at Fountain-Fort Carson near Colorado Springs.
Also at stake Friday is the Intermountain League championship. Last week's IML championship meet, scheduled on the all-weather track at Durango, was canceled because of weather &emdash; read that rain sleet, snow and freezing temperatures. Because there is no good time to reschedule the IML meet, times and distances from the Region 3 meet will be used to establish IML championships.
Favored in Friday's meet are La Junta and Lamar, according to Kyle Canty, the Pagosa Springs coach.
"La Junta is loaded, from what I hear," Canty said. "Lamar is not far behind. I know that some of the times and distances listed for the region are not the best the athletes have done this year. So we think we have a good chance in several events."
From the Pirates boys' squad, Canty expects Shane Prunty to qualify in the shot put and discuss, and Clint Shaw to qualify in the 100-meter dash and the triple jump.
Several Lady Pirates have a good chance of making the trip to the state meet, according to Canty. They include Julia Rolig in the 100- and 400-meter dashes, Sara Fredrickson in the shot put, Tiffanie Hamilton in the 200-meter dash, and Fredrickson and Sarah Huckins in the 300-meter hurdles. In addition, the girls 400-meter, 800-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams are likely to advance to the state meet. Running on the 400-meter relay team are Huckins, Fredrickson, Hamilton and Meigan Canty. Running on the 800-meter relay team are Meigan Canty, Fredrickson, Hamilton and Rolig. Running on the 1,600-meter relay team are Huckins, Rolig, Meigan Canty and Hamilton. Rolig runs anchor on each relay in which she is entered.
Lady Pirates fall in regional 'Snow Bowl'
By Roy Starling
Taken out of their game by a May snow storm, the Lady Pirates soccer team fell 2-1 to the Ouray Trojans Saturday in a regional game held at Pagosa's Golden Peaks Stadium. Had the Ladies managed to get by Ouray, they would've advanced to the state playoffs in their first year of varsity competition.
"All week we practiced a two-touch game, we were spreading it out, moving the ball out to the side," coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said. "It was impossible to do that in the snow. The ball just wouldn't go anywhere. You had to be next to the sidelines to kick it out of bounds."
Basically, Kurt-Mason said, the heavy snow "ruined our game. You can't pass much on a snowy field."
Snow or not, the Lady Pirates jumped out in front about midway through the first half when Lindsay Schmidt drilled a shot unassisted past the Trojan goalie. In fact, the Ladies seemed pretty much in control of the game until the waning minutes of the first period when the Trojans finally snuck one past freshman goalie Ashley Gronewoller to tie the score at 1-1.
"We had momentum in the first half," Kurt-Mason said, "but in the second Ouray was running more to the ball and winning more of the 50-50 balls. They just seemed to want the ball more."
Kurt-Mason said the Trojans resorted to a "chip-and-run" game to counter the snowy surface. "Their girls would kick the ball as far as they could and then run after it," he said.
In the second half, the Trojans made it extremely difficult for the Ladies to mount an offensive threat, keeping the ball in close proximity to the Pagosa goal and firing away at goalie Ashley Gronewoller and the Pagosa defense. Ouray finally broke through with about eight minutes left in the game, snowballing one in that even Gronewoller couldn't reach.
Coach Kurt-Mason had nothing but praise for his keeper. "That was outstanding goal-tending by Ashley," he said. "She was making saves I wasn't expecting, and her second efforts were remarkable. You could tell she really wanted to go to state. She was our chief motivator and team leader." Gronewoller finished the game with 14 saves.
The continued tenacious play of Cassie Pfeifle also caught the coach's eye. "Cassie never stops," Kurt-Mason said. "She's a very tough, aggressive player and she never gave up."
Unable to execute their usual game plan and hemmed in by a tough Ouray defensive back line, the Ladies could manage only four shots on goal after Schmidt's score. Jennifer Gross had three of these and Heather Beye the other.
Part of the problem with the sluggish offense &emdash; aside from the snow &emdash; was simply not enough time spent in the soccer trenches. "The one thing we really lacked was good decision making," Kurt-Mason said. "A game can change so much from second to second, and only experience can teach you how to respond to those changes."
The coach believes between a club season this spring and camps this summer, his freshman- and sophomore-laden team will acquire some of that valuable seasoning. "With their enthusiasm, these girls are only going to get better," he said. "There's no telling how far they can go."
Kurt-Mason found two other bright spots in an otherwise miserable gray day. "Our girls never complained about the snow and the cold," he said. "They just wanted to play. I was also impressed with the way our fans stuck with us. There were a lot of people out there in that mess who didn't have to be, and some of the parents brought hot chocolate for both teams."
Pirates find a time and a place to sweep Monte
By Roy Starling
The Pagosa Pirates' doubleheader with Monte Vista Tuesday was moved all over the map and the calendar before it was finally played, but it turned out to be well worth the wait.
The Pirates took both ends of the Intermountain League twin bill, winning 11-5 and 6-5, making them the IML regular season champions and sending them into Saturday's IML district tourney in Ignacio with a No. 1 seeding. The Pirates finished the season with a 9-1 IML mark and were 12-4 overall.
Their conference championship assures them a trip to regionals on Saturday, May 15, but coach Tony Scarpa says his team would still like to sweep in districts in order to improve their seedings for the following weekend. Finishing first in Ignacio would decrease the Pirates' chances of an early confrontation with Class 3A powers Eaton or Lamar.
The Pirates will open the district tourney in Ignacio by sending senior Ronnie Martinez to the mound against No. 4 seed Ignacio at 10 a.m. That game will be followed by a 1 p.m. battle between No. 2 Bayfield and No. 3 Monte Vista. The winner of that contest will be assured a spot in regionals, but will play Pagosa at approximately 4 p.m. for seeding purposes.
Another big first
Tuesday's game with Monte was originally scheduled as a home game for Pagosa on Saturday, May 1. When extended April showers, both snow and rain, turned the Pirates' Sports Complex into Goose Lake, the game was moved to Bayfield.
The May 1 snow storm washed that one out as well, so the game was rescheduled for Del Norte on Tuesday. But when the Tigers' field was still saturated Tuesday morning, Pagosa's home game with Monte Vista was moved to Monte.
The Pirates responded like true road warriors, taking out the San Luis Valley Pirates with a big 6-run first inning, then staging rallies in the third and fifth to nail down an 11-5 opening game win.
Center fielder Lonnie Lucero opened the Pirate first with a double off Monte hurler Joaquin Dupont, and Martinez followed with a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, then pitcher Jason Schofield brought home Lucero with a sacrifice fly to center.
Senior catcher Jeff Wood then chased Martinez in with a double. After Clinton Lister walked, a throwing error by catcher Nathan Boothe sent Wood home to make it 3-0, as Lister advanced to third.
Darin Lister drove in Clinton with a base hit, and then advanced on the base path thanks to another Boothe error. Brandon Thames brought him in with a single, moved to second on a throwing error by Monte's left fielder and scored on Lucero's second hit of the inning. At 6-0, the Pirates had exactly as many runs as Schofield would need for the win.
Schofield walked three of the four first batters he faced, but worked out of the jam by striking out Boothe and right fielder Brandon Meadows. The Pagosa senior's control problems would come back to haunt him in the following inning.
After getting the first Monte batter to ground to short in the second, Schofield walked Darin and Luis Montoya, struck out lead-off batter Ronnie Swartz, walked Dupont, then served up a grand slam to first baseman Trevor Stewart. Quickly, the Pagosa lead was cut to 6-4.
Coach Scarpa said some of Schofield's control problems could have been due to an unusually short Monte Vista line-up. "There guys were so short," he said, "the strike zone was almost nonexistent."
After Dupont shut down the Pirates in the second, Monte's Boothe greeted Schofield with a home run to open the third. After that, however, the hard-throwing senior struck out the side and then held Monte hitless the rest of the way.
The Pirates bounced back in the third when right fielder Keith Candelaria doubled in Thames, moved to third on an error and scored on a passed ball, building the lead to 8-5.
Pagosa gave Schofield a softer cushion in the fifth when Martinez drilled a triple to the gap in right center, driving in Rusty Nabors and Candelaria, both having reached on walks. Martinez raced home with the Pirates' final run on a throwing error by Swartz.
Schofield only allowed the "visiting" Pirates two hits, walking nine and striking out 11. He finished the regular season with a 7-0 won-loss record.
In the nightcap, the home team Pirates got clutch pitching from Martinez and put together a dramatic seventh-inning rally &emdash; highlighted by a Schofield double &emdash; to seal the sweep with a come-from-behind 6-5 victory.
While Martinez was shutting down Monte for the first three innings, the Pirates pecked away at Stewart with runs in the first and third. Wood drove in Martinez with a single in the first, then, in the third, Martinez doubled above the 385-foot sign on the center field fence to drive in Candelaria.
Monte began to get to Martinez in the fourth when they strung together two walks and two singles for two runs, tying the score at 2-2. The Pirates went back ahead with a run in the fourth, then moved ahead 4-2 when Nabors doubled, went to third on a passed ball, then scored on a Lucero fielder's choice.
Monte erupted for three runs in their half of the sixth, putting the Pirates in a 5-4 hole going into the final inning.
The inning started badly for Pagosa. Stewart struck out Nabors and Candelaria, but the third strike got past the Monte catcher, and Candelaria just beat his throw to first. Lucero turned the catcher's blunder into a rally by singling to left, sending Candelaria to second.
Stewart then jumped ahead of Schofield with an 0-2 count, but after staying alive with a foul ball, Schofield sent a line drive to the left field fence on one hop, and Candelaria scored easily. Lucero, streaking from first, rounded third and dove head first into home, just beating a good throw from Dupont in left, and ending the game with the winning run.
Martinez went the distance for the Pirates, giving up four hits, four earned runs, walking five and striking out 10. "Ronnie pitched a very good game," Scarpa said. "Monte Vista traditionally has problems with curve balls, and that's what Ronnie throws. He had good control of it against Monte, too."
Scarpa said that after Monte Vista's sixth-inning rally, Martinez got the heart of their lineup to go three up and three down in the seventh, keeping the Pirates within striking distance.
Scarpa also singled out the play of Lucero, who rapped out four hits on the day. "Lonnie had two good games," Scarpa said. "His speed on that last play (when he scored the winning run) was just amazing."
The coach was obviously pleased by his team's vast improvement in the field. While the Pirate defense couldn't find the handle on anything hit by Bayfield last week, they committed only three errors in Tuesday's doubleheader. "Darin and Clinton played especially well in the field, and Jeff had a good game as always," Scarpa said.
Fine film offers taste of the South
I finally found another film that does a pretty good job of depicting the pre-Civil Rights era in the South. I suspect you could count on one hand all of the films that even try to do such a thing. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is the only one that jumps immediately to mind. If you can think of others, I'd love to hear about them.
Anyway, this one is "Shadrach" (1998) and it stars Harvey Keitel and Andie MacDowell. It's based on a short story by William Styron and directed by Susanna Styron, who I assume is his daughter.
The older Styron, you may remember, also gave us "Sophie's Choice," a novel narrated by a Southerner about a Polish woman who had been in a concentration camp, and "The Confessions of Nat Turner," a book about a slave insurrection.
"Shadrach" is set in Styron's native Virginia in 1935 (although it is filmed in Wilmington, N.C.). One day the Dabneys, former plantation and slave owners who have degenerated into what can only be called white trash, are visited by the 99-year-old Shadrach, a former Dabney slave, who has returned to the plantation to die and to be buried with his family.
The Dabney plantation, however, is long gone with the wind, and in its place is a moonshine still, the only way the family can make ends meet during the Great Depression.
The story is told through the eyes of Paul, a preteen boy from a more fortunate family who is staying with the Dabneys while his parents attend a funeral in another town.
In its attempts to create a 1930s Southern atmosphere, this film does a lot of things right. Somehow, for instance, it manages to convey the place's unrelenting heat and humidity. The characters - even the lovely MacDowell - are always coated with a sheen of sweat (they wouldn't call it perspiration) and are always fanning themselves.
There are also such Southern landscape fixtures as those gigantic oaks that could shade an acre or so of land, that lush green undergrowth, and those dark rivers - perfect for skinny-dipping.
The Southern accents, which Hollywood almost always manages to butcher, sound pretty genuine, too. It's no surprise that MacDowell, a native of South Carolina, gets it right, but even the Brooklyn-born Keitel comes off sounding like many of the poor white Southerners I grew up around. Keitel first tried his hand at Southern-speak, by the way, when he played the one decent man in "Thelma and Louise."
This might be a good place to mention that the film makes no effort to sugar coat the language of a desperate, frustrated, impoverished, hardened family. The whole bunch uses language you may not want your young offspring to hear just yet. To protect their delicate ears, maybe you should lock them in another room with, say, Disney's "Song of the South" while you enjoy "Shadrach." Afterwards, you could all have some special family together time comparing notes on the two films.
"Shadrach" is beautifully filmed, nicely paced and well acted (Keitel and MacDowell both turn in memorable performances), but I'm not sure I can tell you what the main point is. Of course, that won't stop me from trying.
Since young Paul is telling the story, the film is partly about what he's learning from these very different people and from the last leg of Shadrach's long journey (the old man has just walked clear from Alabama). You can see that Paul cares very much for the old man and really wants to understand what his life was like and why he felt it necessary to return to the place of his enslavement.
The main character of the story, on the other hand, seems to be Vern Dabney (Keitel). Initially, Shadrach represents to him just one more pain in the posterior. He's got enough problems just feeding his kids and keeping his wife Trixie (MacDowell) supplied with beer (I'd say she goes through at least a half a case a day, but somehow manages to keep an appealing shape. How does she do that?).
Now he has to take care of the feeble Shadrach until he dies and then try to find a way to get him in the ground even though the sheriff has told him he's not allowed to bury anyone on private property. So maybe the film's about Vern's growing compassion for the old man and his reaching back for one more surge of family pride. We see him do that in a fine moment near the end of the film when he says, "This is still Dabney land, so kiss my (foot)!"
Or maybe the film's about the complicated (and often misrepresented) relationship between blacks and whites during that strange and strained time in the South. In one brief sequence, the film succinctly acknowledges that the two races lived in separate worlds: Vern is driving through the "black part" of town looking for an undertaker, and the camera seems to be strapped to his forehead as we see through his car window these people going about their lives, interrupted briefly by the appearance of a strange white man in his car. The looks between Vern and these folks speak volumes: there is fear, curiosity, distrust, but so much more.
The movie also shows us wonderful moments of tenderness and empathy between the two races. The Dabneys care for the dying Shadrach as if he were their own new-born baby, and Paul has no problem seeing that he and Shadrach had similar summers of innocence with similar kinds of pleasures.
Or maybe the movie is about just how tough some people - black or white - can be. Life for Shadrach and Vern has been a horrible struggle, filled with loss and degradation. Compared to what these people have been through, dying will be easy. In the words of Vern, "Death ain't much." People like Shadrach and Vern can be beaten, but never beaten down, never "whupped."
Coming of age, blacks and whites, compassion, grit - "Shadrach" is about all of these.
Here is a film with hardly a phony moment in it. Better hurry up and see it before it disappears from the shelves forever.
Keep your Lexux - I'll keep my pickup
Personally speaking, I'm a pickup man. I'm feeling down right regal when driving a pickup, a kind of "King of the Road," glow. There is no substitute, not even getting behind the wheel of a BMW or a Cadillac. The warm fuzzies come on so strong I almost itch.
Picture it, hat tilted back, one hand on the wheel, the radio churning out Don Strait at a sound level just below a climbing SST. Cimarron, the Australian shepherd, crouches in the back with one paw on the spare tire, the other on the side rail, barking at inferior mutts limited to the ground below. A passing neighbor acknowledges the tipped hat with a nod of his own. A passing stranger almost runs off of the road when he sees the waving hand.
The truth is, a pickup is a man's best friend, almost as important as his dog, his cowboy hat, his pocket knife, and even his wife. And like his hat, the pickup reveals a lot about the man.
Anyone can recognize a farmer by his pickup. Wisps of hay poke through closed doors and several pounds of mud encase the tires, fender wells, and often even the fenders. It may or may not have paint. You can never tell because of the layers of mud. Smart farmers even use the mud as clue to determine where the pickup owner's farm is located. More than once, I've seen a farmer scrape a handful of mud from a pickup, roll it around in his hands, smell it, then announce, "Yeah. He farms over on Grave Creek. Good barley country over there."
That same mud provides an obvious clue if the owner of the pickup also raises hogs. In this instance, the smell test is the deciding factor. Farmers and ranchers usually have a lot of paraphernalia in the back of their pickups, things like gas cans and shovels, and hypodermic needles wrapped up with copious bottles of Con-biotic.
Farm and ranch boys also drive pickups. You can't tell the colors of these, either, because they are usually in the process of being repainted. Farm boys visit farm girls, so they don't like muddy pickups. At the same time, they can't afford paint jobs. The result is, the hoods and fenders on their pickups usually feature a dull, gray prime coat. They'll finish the paint job someday.
City boys drive pickups, too, but they are bright and shiny with racing stripes, lots of chrome, and are usually chopped. By riding close to the ground, they appear to be moving at a great speed, even when they are parked. The difference between a city boy and farm boy is measured by the places they are willing to take their pickups. You'll never find the city pickup out in the north forty where it might high center or gather mud.
Hunters and fishermen, on the other hand take great pride in their ability to master mud. They drive huge, four-wheel-drive trucks with so much ground clearance a compact car can pass beneath. Winches on the front bumper and camper shells on the back are the normal accouterments for these outdoorsmen. The deeper the mud, the better they like it. These are the guys responsible for the saying, "The better the four-wheel drive, the further from the highway you get stuck."
Then, there are country gentlemen pickups and camping units for middle-aged travelers.
Country gentlemen often buy economy-sized pickups with lots of chrome. They don't intend to do any real work with the vehicles, so the size of the bed and the horsepower of the engine doesn't matter. These folks keep their pickups clean. You'll see a line of them backed up at the car wash every Saturday morning. They even wash the windows.
Camping unit drivers are the engineers of the highway. They drive an amazing variety of vehicles, from $400,000 motor homes to economy pickups with camper shells. They all have one thing in common, however, in addition to the tangle of wires always dangling from the rear bumper.
They all know how much horsepower they are steering, what the rear-end gear ratio is, and how many pounds they can pull or lift. Their conversations center around gross vehicle weight and tongue weight and center of gravity and turning ratios and such things.
The final class of pickup drivers, construction workers, fit the classical "Bubba" description. They modify their pickups to meet the needs of their jobs by welding on a variety of tool boxes, platforms, and rails. They drive in the mud or anywhere else and throw anything into the back of their rigs. A scratch, like the cheek scar of an old-time dueler, is a mark of honor. They run their trucks until the wheels fall off, fix them up, and do it again. Once they get the tool boxes, acetylene bottles, and work stuff arranged the way they want it, they never want to part with their "work shops on wheels."
Personally speaking, I like driving a pickup because it feels solid, like a good pair of boots, and the seat is high enough that I can see the road surface directly in front of me. I don't like to feel as if I'm lying down while driving a vehicle.
Finally, I feel honest in a pickup. Pickups are sure-enough work vehicles, designed to finish a job without showing off. I feel comfortable in a pickup the same way I feel comfortable in a house where I don't have to take my boots off to walk into the living room. If there is any choice of chariots in heaven, I'm sure the best of the saints will be driving pickups, even down streets of gold. From beginning to end, I'm a pickup man.
Vacation of food, folly, failure
I arrived here with big ideas.
Vacation ideas. Notions of ecstatic fun.
Noisy casinos, wild parties, sunny beaches, spontaneous fun, deep immersion in culture.
In a mere seven days, my big ideas are in the dumpster. I am in the doldrums of middle-age, nature is conspiring against me. I must chew and swallow the obvious: the thrills in life have become paper-thin - I will never swim in the deep end again.
A stop in Vegas was canceled. There have been no party invitations. The weather has been atrocious. I am too old to be spontaneous- uncertainty troubles me. It is too wet to go in search of culture.
I am ready to go home.
A bank of dark clouds hangs over the ocean, a thick shelf above the tips of the gray waves.
It is cold; a wet wind blows directly onshore. Drab sea birds wheel over the dismal surf making racket as they battle the elements in search of gelatinous sea creatures. The smell of rotting ocean life is in the wind.
I am in La Jolla. My shoes are wet.
After a week in Southern California I have abandoned all hope of having a raucous time. I've faced the truth and altered my vacation goals accordingly: instead of living on the edge, I have watched plenty of television and eaten myself into a stupor. I have a hunch this is all that is left for me, period.
I have come south from LA, from the base of the terse San Gabriels, ugly and dry rocky slopes shoved skyward by brutal geologic force. I traveled here from the land where the earth shakes and heaves like a tectonic amusement park ride, where gaping rifts will open in the earth to swallow all the bad little boys and girls, where you chew the thick air, where noise hangs in that thick air like the ugly sea birds over the colorless surf.
My wife Kathy and I decided to spend our spring vacation in search of fun, sand, sun and surf. We have instead experienced cold, clouds and rain.
The weather has been so miserable our cultural experiences are limited to staying in our room and watching cable television. Our entertainment consists of eating. I've eaten my way down the length of Southern California. I am topping 10,000 calories per day and I am ready to go home.
We watch Judge Judy each morning as we wait in vain for the telephone to ring, bringing us an invitation to a gala party. Kathy finds the judge a shrill but reassuring moralist, sternly holding the line against civil stupidity. I find Judy physically attractive, a paragon of discipline, a kitten with a whip.
Kathy and I are both pleased by Judy's harsh rebuke of an out-of-work semi driver who ran up a huge bill on his girlfriend's credit card and sought to avoid the debt. We are delighted when Judy slam-dunks an awkwardly-pierced exotic dancer who tried to rip off her grandmother on the sale of a nonfunctional steam carpet cleaner.
Following the verdicts and some sour grapes comments by the losers, it is time to turn off the television, trudge out in the rain, walk down Fay Street to The Cottage and enjoy breakfast.
Kathy loves The Cottage because she can order cake for breakfast.
While my precious gastronomic terrorist ties into a slab of dense banana cake slathered with whipped cream and bedded in raspberry sauce, I opt for a massive portion of "Aunt Millie's Meat Loaf Hash" with two eggs over easy and a toasted English muffin. I lubricate the hash with a liberal dose of Heinz ketchup (the only true ketchup) and Tabasco sauce and I am set for the morning. A garnish of honeydew melon and a strawberry go untouched.
With the rain showing no sign of abating, and no party invites on the horizon, I leave Kathy in our room at the Inn by the Sea and make my wet way across the street to one of La Jolla's many gyms and health clubs.
The fellows behind the front desk at the Inn regard me with trepidation as I pass. This is a hotel where patrons drive Mercedes, Lexus and BMW. Kathy and I arrived in a 1994 Chevy pickup. Since our luggage rode in the back of the truck, exposed to the elements, I put the suitcases and other bags in black trash sacks with bright red ties. It is rare that a patron lugs a batch of black trash sacks into the lobby of this establishment. I make a note to send a polite, but stern communique to the management concerning the unbusinesslike aspects of employee contempt.
At the gym, I attempt to outlift several burly college boys. I set out to intimidate the ill-mannered wretches with a brilliant set of big-tonnage decline presses on the Smith machine. I succeed, but the physical cost of victory is enormous. With a supraspinitus singing an agonizing aria, and no party invitations forthcoming, it is again time to eat.
I find the perfect snack at a frowsy-looking diner off the main drag: a roasted chicken and pesto quesadilla, made with buffalo mozzarella and a smidgen of Asiago. A freshly-made salsa cruda is a perfect companion, lightly touched with cilantro, flecked with finely chopped shallot and garlic. It is so tasty, I briefly forget the searing pain in my left shoulder.
Kathy has a piece of cake.
Following lunch, an inspection of the shoreline at the cove shows no change. Dark, cold, wet, stinky. No sun, no bikinis.
I eat a handful of Ibuprofen, and kick back with Kathy to watch an episode of Change of Heart - a television show that takes a young couple and forces each partner to go on a date with another person.
Seated before the studio audience, the members of the coosome twosome lob castigating comments at each other, then the two blind dates (each ferociously good looking) are brought out and the humiliation continues with detailed descriptions of the dating action and of the original partner's shortcomings. At the end of the debacle, each partner is given the choice of whether to stay with the initial relationship or jump ship in favor of the deep ties knotted on a blind date.
Bunny and her greasy-haired boyfriend Lance choose to desert each other to pursue their new romantic interests. Bunny is an ex-Lakers cheerleader with poorly-seated implants and Lance wants to work in the film industry. Bunny complains that Lance picks his nose then puts his hands in his pockets. Lance accuses Bunny of smelling like old bananas. Bunny and Lance are fascinating people - beings ready for the new millennium.
I ponder what the show tells us about interpersonal commitment and love - what it says about a society in which children are reared and educated in light of their "self-esteem."
My insights fatigue me.
The rain falls harder. Our lanai is flooded.
A bit of a nap and it is off to the Taste of Paris - a restaurant that fits Kathy's needs.
I love my wife for many things: Kathy is beautiful, intelligent and talented. She has a remarkable sense of humor, is worldly, multi-lingual and literate. She does not, however, have the slightest sense of adventure when it comes to food. Dining out with Kathy is like dining out with a picky child. A picky child with an ear infection. A picky child with an ear infection who has consumed four cans of Mountain Dew and a pound of refined white sugar. A picky child with. . .
With Kathy in tow, I must be very careful when choosing a restaurant. I go by one rule: If the food is interesting, avoid it. If the food is served at nine out of ten homes in Oklahoma, buy it.
This rule was reinforced in Pasadena several days ago when we visited our youngest daughter, Ivy. Kathy kayoed our initial suggestion, a favorite of Ivy's and mine - Edokko, an all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet. So, in search of food and fun, we traveled to Old Town.
I felt safe. The party included Ivy, her Pagosa friend Sara and her schoolmate Mark. I took a bold step, selecting an upscale Korean joint just north of Colorado Boulevard and we prepared for an enlightening repast.
I should have known better. I violated the rule. As you get older, rules become more important. And party invitations become more scarce.
The whining began immediately. It was unremitting. "Oh no," moaned Kathy, "you mean they bring raw stuff to the table? And you have to cook it yourself? Oh no, I hate raw meat. Ick. This place smells wrong. Do they serve cat here? Do you smell cat pee? Do they have cake?"
As Sara and Mark grilled some marinated beef and lamb and sampled the pickles and sauces served in little bowls, Ivy and I tied into a steaming cauldron of braised kimchee with heavy dumplings.
I will attempt to reproduce this Asian miracle soon. I will take a jar of kimchee and simmer it for an hour in chicken broth, filling the house with the tantalizing odor of fermented cabbage, hot red pepper and garlic. (Quite often, when rural Koreans bury their kimchee crocks in the backyard, the concoction explodes, showering the hut with vegetables, dirt and shattered pottery). Fifteen minutes before I eat my tangy medley, I'll plop in some gyoza-like dumplings. To construct my dumplings, I'll make a heavy Chinese dumpling dough, roll it , cut out three-inch circles and plop a wad of filling on each circle. I'll make the filling with ground chicken, shoyu, minced garlic and ginger, minced green onion, a bit of beaten egg, a touch of sesame oil and some ground black pepper. I'll fold the dough over into half moons, seal the edges with an egg wash then gently lower the dumplings into the barely bubbling, aggressively fragrant broth. When the dumplings are cooked, hand me a big spoon and change my last name to Park!
While we gorged ourselves on delights from the Korean peninsula, Kathy pouted, nibbled at a few grains of rice with ginseng and lichee, then gave up, crossing her arms and sulking. She ordered the Korean equivalent of cake.
I made a mental note not to step out of line again.
The weather continues wet and ugly in La Jolla.
After a sloppy walk down to Pearl Street and the Taste of Paris, Kathy has a couple of glasses of wine that pave the way for a perfectly grilled piece of salmon with bernaise. I chow down on a hefty portion of Boeuf Bourguignon with a pleasant gratinée.
Kathy enjoys her fish, then has cake for dessert.
I check for messages when we return to the hotel.
With no prospects for a lively evening, I recline on the bed and switch on the cable. I tune to a Los Angeles station just in time for the number-one television attraction in all of the "Southland" - a televised high-speed chase. This one lasts for two hours and I am riveted to the screen. Sixteen LAPD black and whites follow a guy in a smoking Camaro south on the 405 at speeds reaching 100 mph. The fugitive doubles back when he gets to the Laguna Niguel exit and heads north toward the city. He swerves across four lanes and dodges up a ramp to the 605. When he gets to the 210 he again hits speeds of 100 mph. There are six helicopters following the chase and every Southern California channel carries the action with no commercial interruptions.
The jerk speeds to the 101 and gets off in a semi-industrial area. The guy is depressed about increased alimony payments and has had one too many hits of MD 20/20. He tries to ram a cop car and gets shot. He is rushed to a nearby trauma unit and the stations replay chase highlights for another hour.
I check with the front desk. Still no calls. The weather forecast predicts more rain.
After the drama of the chase, I am hungry again. The problem is resolved at a fish house in Pacific Beach. A crab cake sandwich is constructed on a fresh, sliced baguette, with two meaty crabcakes, some thinly-sliced red onion and a zippy chipotle mayonnaise. A mound of well-executed French fries completes the plate and an Amstel or two complements the solid food.
Kathy orders a piece of chocolate fudge cake.
This is the way the vacation goes. Food, folly, failure, food, folly, failure. Until tomorrow, when we pack the suitcases in the black plastic trash sacks and leave for home, two feeble excuses for vacationers, two bumps on the horizon of fun.
I make a note to order a large jar of kimchee. When you open a jar of kimchee, the cabbage erupts from the bottle, pushed out of its container like a living being by fearsome fermentation.
This is what life has come to: watching fermented vegetables. I am looking forward to it.
And to the fact that Change of Heart is now playing on one of our local cable channels.
If you can't have fun...
How Deadman got its name
Deadman Creek. Somehow the name's lethal implications didn't seem to fit as I watched a golden aspen leaf drift across the mirror-like surface of the crystalline stream. I made a mental note that at the first opportunity, I'd ask one of the old timers back in town, "Where did Deadman Creek get its name?" Surely there was a good, maybe even morbid, reason for the naming.
For folks who don't know, Deadman Creek is in one of those forgotten niches in the San Juan Mountains, kind of between "You can't get there" and "What am I doing here?" It carries a sparkling cascade of water from the back side of the pass behind Upper Four Mile Lake down to the East Fork of the Piedra.
Anyhow, after completing my fishing trip, I wandered into Earl Mullins' barbershop where Earl, Emmett Martinez, and Bill Warr were polishing quarters, getting ready for the daily "let's see who buys the coffee game." As usual, my quarter was furthest from the wall, so it was my turn to buy. That happened a lot. We'd scarcely settled into a booth at the Elkhorn when Earl answered my earlier question with a question of his own.
"So you want to know how Deadman got its name, do you?"
"Well, yes," I answered. "Does the price of a cup of coffee cover the cost of the story? I mean the real story, not some tale you dreamed up after overdosing on green chili."
"You know I've lived here since they dug the Pagosa Hot Springs and used the dirt to make Pagosa Peak," Earl said. "I'll give you a year's free haircuts if you can find anybody who'll say I ever told anything but the unvarnished truth. And that's a fact."
"Anyway," Earl launched the story, "there used to be a family here by the name of Parr. Now one of the brothers, I believe his name was Sully, was running a band of sheep north of town in the Four Mile Lake area. His camp was between the two lakes.
"Grub was getting low in the camp, so Sully rode to town for supplies. James Hatcher added the purchases to Sully's tab at Hatcher Mercantile and threw in a bag of green apples for good measure. After packing enough provisions to hold out for a few more weeks, Sully lined up his string of mules and headed back up Four Mile Creek.
"Along the way he stopped off at Ma Cade's cabin in Cade Flats. She, in the true spirit of the Old West, offered to feed Sully. Being as Sully was a man who really hated to insult a lady by saying no, and because several hours of hard riding would be needed to reach his camp, Sully sat down to eat and drink the tin cup full of fresh milk, kept cool in a special hole dug under a nearby spruce tree. Then he peeled one of the green apples with his pocket knife and downed the tasty morsel, slice by slice.
" 'You know they say you shouldn't eat green apples after drinking milk,' Sully said. 'They say it'll kill you. I think it's one of those old wives' tales. I feel fine.'
" 'Personally, just to be on the safe side, I follow that kind of advice,' Ma said. 'Where there's smoke, there's fire. I've never eaten green apples at the same time as drinking milk. Why take a chance?'
" 'I guess I better be on my way,' Parr said and reached for his hat. 'I'm much obliged for the vittles. See you on the way down.'
"With that, he put a foot in the stirrup, hoisted himself into the saddle, and with a loud hiyyah, started up the mountain. Maybe it was the swaying back and forth in the saddle, or maybe it was the hanging onto the saddle horn when the horses scrambled up the steep grade past Four Mile Falls, or maybe it was the green apples and milk. Whatever the cause, by the time the trail leveled out at Lower Four Mile Lake, Sully wasn't feeling well. In fact, his complexion resembled the apples he'd recently eaten and he had to hold his stomach with one hand, so bad were the cramps.
"Willing hands helped the sick man slide from the saddle and onto the pad of blankets in the tent that was home for a sheepherder while in the mountains.
" 'Maybe I should get him a cup of coffee,' said Manuel, one of the sheepherders. A man of action, Manuel already had a tin cup in hand and was headed for the blackened pot teetering on a rock in the coals of the campfire.
" 'No, you idiot,' " replied Pres, another of the herders. 'The man is sick. Do you want to kill him? Your coffee would make a healthy man sick.'
"Sully moaned, rolled over, and moaned some more, both hands now clutching his stomach.
" 'Maybe I better get help,' Manuel said, saddled his horse and plunged down the trail. Onward he scrambled for hours, finally arriving at the home of Dr. Mary Winter. Would she come? Sure she would and landsakes, would Manuel help hitch up the team?
"She left the wagon at Ma Cade's because that was as far as you could go on wheels. From there, Dr. Mary shifted some supplies to a saddle bag and, following Manuel's lead, rode off into the fading sunlight.
"The sun had dropped behind Pagosa Peak. The tired frontier doctor arrived at the lakefront camp after riding buggy and horseback for most of the day. Sadly, she was too late. Sully Parr was dead.
" 'I thought he would be dead," said the good doctor. 'Still, there was a chance, so I made the trip.'
"Local folks always blamed his death on green apples and milk," Earl said. "Who can say different?" And from that day on, the creek on the other side of Upper Four Mile Lake has been known as Deadman's Creek."
M.M. Parr, better known throughout this section as "Sully," died at his sheep camp on the east slope of Pagosa Peak, about 20 miles from Pagosa, after suffering a hemorrhage of the stomach, reported the Pagosa Springs New Era of Aug. 4, 1911.
"Mr. Parr had not been feeling well for some time, but anticipated no danger when he left for his sheep camp a day or two before his death," the New Era reported. "On the way out, however, he stopped at the Cade ranch and drank a glass of milk and ate an apple or two he happened to have with him, thus, perhaps, contracting the muscles of his stomach causing a blood leakage that ended in his death. About the time the camp was reached, Mr. Parr began to suffer, but thinking he had an attack of colic that would soon wear off, he did not become alarmed.
"Monday morning, however, Mr. Parr grew rapidly worse and lapsed into unconsciousness, or at least was unable to talk. The Mexican herders had done all they could for Mr. Parr and when he grew so ill, one of them, Marquez, started to town for a doctor, stopping en route at the Parr Ranch to change horses. He had barely left camp when Mr. Parr passed away, his death occurring about 10 o'clock in the morning.
"As soon as they could get away, Dr. Mary, Mr. Parr, Estie Parr, Johnnie Johnson, Jule Macht, and young Marquez started for camp. They drove to the Cade ranch and from that point rode horseback 10 or 12 miles over bad trails or no trails to their destination, arriving shortly after 9 o'clock in the evening. Early Tuesday morning they started on the return trip with Mr. Parr's body to Pagosa, arriving here in the afternoon."
The Parr brothers, Estie M., Lee L., and Melvin M. "Sully" Parr were natives of Wisconsin who moved to Colorado in 1880. They returned to Iowa, moved to Kansas, and located in Archuleta County in 1889. Sully was active in public and business activities. He was a successful stockman, once owning the ranch owned today by R.D. Hott. He was twice elected country treasurer.
Brother Estie was a businessman, lumberman, and rancher in Pagosa Springs who died Feb. 7, 1946, in Portland, Ore. Lee Parr passed away in February of 1934.
An early newspaper item reported that the Parr brothers were driving a herd of cattle overland from Arizona to Pagosa Springs. Typical frontiersmen and cowboys, the Parr brothers were tough as nails. Still, if local beliefs are true, Sully was brought down by green apples and milk. And that is how Deadman Creek got its name.
Error in judgement
Would you publish the following letter we sent to the school board:
We are writing you this letter to inform you of your error in judgment and decision in firing Coach Paul Roskelley. Although we live in a democratic system, we the team, had no part and no way of defending our coach. We felt that your judgment was inaccurate and weak in compassion. Knowing his resignation you not only made an unnecessary decision; you have hurt the future of this man and also the future of many of his players and your students. We the players all know what happened between coach Roskelley, on and off the field, you don't. He did nothing more than any other coach has said or done to their players in this school's sports programs. Taking him away from us you have not only given us little respect for the system, you have taken away our right to defend him. Not one member on the team wanted coach Roskelley to be fired. Although we all had our disagreements, we all respected and followed him as a coach.
Coach Roskelley put in more time on and off the field and in the off season than any other coach in this school. He not only was there in support of baseball, but also was a friend to all of us. Always willing to help with any problem, even when he put himself on the line. His door was always open and he showed us how much he really cared in how he listened and what advice he gave. He has single-handedly brought this program to league champions and state contenders.
He is not only the most qualified to be the varsity coach; he is also the most wanted. Although what we want and care about might not make a difference to you, it certainly does to us. We would forever hate ourselves for letting you think that what you had done was right. We will play, but we will never forget that we had a coach that let us be ourselves around him, and the moment he put his trust in us, you took it away. We are willing to do whatever it takes to get him back. Not just for us, but for Paul Roskelley as well. Although it doesn't matter to you, we want to thank coach Roskelley and no matter what you do we will always call him coach.
From the Pagosa Springs
Varsity Baseball Team of '99:
Jason Schofield, Jeff Wood,
Rusty Nabors, Ronnie Janowsky, Lonnie Lucero, Nathan Stretton, Ronnie Martinez and
Erica Rader, Robin Curvey
and Shannon Bishop
Day of learning
Saturday was a day full of learning for the EMTs of our county. We had a MCI (Mass Casualty Incident) drill that was as realistic as you can make it. The weather was perfect for the drill. Cold rain and snow. The drill is memorialized in Kate Terry's column this week. A training exercise of this magnitude cannot be completed without the help of many people.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those individuals that made it happen. Cody Ross and several of his employees were instrumental in moving and preparing the bus. Town Manager Jay Harrington, Mayor Ross Aragon and the town board, thanks for the bus. The local chapter of the American Red Cross played a large role in the success of the drill. The Pagosa Springs Police Department and the Mounted Rangers Troop F, thanks for your help. The Pagosa Fire Protection District and Chief Warren Grams, thanks for the use of your personnel and ladder truck. Lori Plantiko's junior high drama class, thanks for your fabulous acting abilities and for putting up with the cold. Thanks to Mike Delyria and Norm Vance for covering the event. The staff at the Mary Fisher Clinic performed well, thanks for your participation. Last but not least, thanks to all of the EMTs that participated. You did a great job.
Upper San Juan Hospital Dist.
I would like to thank the following people and businesses who helped make our production of "The Miracle Worker" a success: Day Lumber, Summer Phillips Goldsmith, Ken Purvis, Vickie Appenzeller, Crista Munro-Appenzeller, Teddy Finney, the Methodist Thrift Store, Ace Hardware and Herman Hageman. Thank you once again.
Pagosa Springs High School
The Pagosa Springs High School girls soccer team finished its first season with a great game on Saturday in the blowing snow. Even though the weather conditions weren't the best, the girls played hard and should be very proud of themselves. The have come a long way since their first practice this year and have improved greatly.
We wish to thank Lindsey Kurt-Mason for being such a great coach and for his encouragement and patience with the girls and also Dorman Diller for his help as assistant coach. Lindsey, along with his wife, Mary, have built up the soccer program in Pagosa Springs which is a wonderful asset for our children and schools.
We also wish to thank all the fans who came out to cheer on the team this season - no matter what the weather was.
How nice it is to live in a community where the principal, athletic director and school superintendent all show up on a snowy afternoon to show their support for Pagosa athletics.
Congratulations, girls high school soccer team on a great season.
John and Janna Ranson
Day of prayer
May 6 is America's National Day of Prayer. This was first proclaimed in 1863 by President Lincoln:
"Whereas the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National Prayer and humiliation; And whereas it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures, proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord; And insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals, are subject to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
"It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. . . ."
Honesty, loyalty, honor, trust and family . . . has our society lost complete touch with what is real? These are not just words, but, should be a way of life. What happened to morality?
I can only hope our children grow to have better values than what I see around us today.
It is ironic that the ACLU that Mr. John Feazel despises is the same ACLU that would come to his defense if he were ever censored or arrested for making his ludicrous and twisted statements. The ACLU is not a "hate group." That's ridiculous! It is a defender of Americans' civil liberty and a champion of the U.S. Constitution. They don't "sponsor" criminals, they fight for an individual's Constitutional rights.
Why is it that a lot of the people defending the Second Amendment turn around and trash the First Amendment? Probably because the First Amendment guarantees "liberal" freedom of expression. The more freedom of speech people of different beliefs have, the more paranoid the "Second Amenders" become (hence the need for guns to protect themselves). God help us.
Which brings me to this point. Just because one believes in God doesn't mean that he has a decent set of moral values. The prisons are full of God-fearing people. It is not one's beliefs that matters but his morals and principles.
As for the Second Amendment, I have no problem with people owning guns if they are not known felons or fruitcakes. The young men who shot up Columbine High School were definitely fruitcakes. They had no right to possess guns. Their parents should have instilled moral values in them and then kept an open line of communication.
What did the ACLU have to do with this? As a matter of fact, Mr. Feazel, the ACLU would actually defend your right to bear arms.
D. C. Duncan
Meigan Canty recently attended the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Seminar in Denver. A sophomore at Pagosa Springs High School, Canty was sponsored to attend the seminar by Kiwanis Club of Pagosa Springs. She joined more than 220 other young leaders representing as many high schools throughout Colorado on April 22 through 25.
"The HOBY seminar challenged me to think about the many issues affecting the world around me and helped me understand that as a leader, I have the power to make a positive impact in business, government and society," said Canty. "HOBY helped me see the leadership potential in myself and to understand that goals and dreams are important regardless of what profession I choose."
HOBY Leadership Seminars bring together a select group of high school sophomores to interact with distinguished leaders in business, government, education and the professions to discuss present and future issues. The goal is to provide them with a stimulating forum for learning about the American incentive system and the democratic process, while broadening their understanding of their leadership potential and quest for self-development. HOBY Ambassadors are also challenged to return to their communities to perform at least 100 hours of community service within 12 months following the seminar.
HOBY was established by veteran actor Hugh O'Brian following a visit to Africa where he was inspired by a meeting with Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
Forest Bramwell, a University of Wyoming exercise and fitness leadership senior from Pagosa Springs led the bareback riding competition in the Central Rocky Mountain Region through the sport's fall rodeo season.
He badly wants to win his first CRMR title after finishing in second place last school year while representing Laramie County Community College. He also took eighth in the nation at the College National Finals Rodeo for the 1997-98 season. Hoping to improve his chances for a Central Rocky Mountain Region title, Bramwell has been honing his skills by competing in professional rodeos during the five-month layoff between the fall and spring seasons.
"I decided to get some work in professional shows," Bramwell said. His first venture into the pro ranks proved to be a good choice as the Pagosa native shot up to No. 2 in earnings among the rookie cowboys.
"This is my last chance to win the CRMR bareback title," Bramwell said. "My goal at the beginning of the year was to go out and win this region. Everything has clicked and everything has come together."
But his goals were nearly derailed at the Calgary rodeo before the start of the spring season. Sitting on his bronc inside the chute, the horse suddenly reared up, banging Bramwell's left leg against the gate.
Though his leg swelled and he couldn't walk on it, the accident was not serious enough to sideline him for the year. But Bramwell said the accident left him with a high ankle sprain and "a bum knee."
"It really affected my riding this spring and it has been slow to heal," he said recently. The injury has cost Bramwell the CRMR lead and has dropped him 70 points behind the current leader.
Knowing that the results of just one rodeo can change a lot of things, Bramwell hoped to turn things around at last weekend's 50th annual Laramie River Rendezvous Rodeo.
Jessica Lloyd of Pagosa Springs made the Seattle University Winter Quarter Dean's List. Students on the Dean's List have completed at least 12 credits and attained a 3.50 or higher grade point average. Seattle Pacific University is located in Seattle, Wash.
Jessica is the daughter of Joshua and Sherry Lloyd of Pagosa Springs.
Gretchen L. Pearson received her degree as a doctor of veterinary medicine last month from the Ross School of Veterinary Medicine, located on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.
A 1994 graduate of Colorado State University in Fort Collins where she majored in zoology and biology, her specialty is large animal medicine and surgery. She is currently working for Animal Health Associates in Brookville, Fla.
Gretchen is the daughter of Sharon and Gerard Pearson of Pagosa Springs.
Norbert Thissen of Pagosa Springs died Friday, April 30, 1999, at age 66.
Mr. Thissen was born to Cornel and Clara Thissen in 1932 in Kingman, Kan. He was one of 13 children.
He married Elizabeth Soens in Grand Junction in 1951. To this marriage were born two sons, Mark L. Thissen of Austin, Texas; and Thomas L. Thissen of Overland Park, Kan.; and one daughter, Susan Harris of Fountain, Fla.
Mr. Thissen served in the Korean War. He later received a bachelor's degree in business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He worked as an accountant and comptroller for American Standard of Ohio and later Hy Vie Grocery Stores of Iowa. After retiring in 1994 and moving to Pagosa Springs, he worked part-time at Subway.
Mr. Thissen is preceded in death by his parents, Cornel and Clara Thissen, as well as one brother and one sister. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Elizabeth Thissen, of Pagosa Springs; his sons, Mark L. Thissen and Thomas L. Thissen; his daughter, Susan Harris; four grandchildren; three sisters; seven brothers and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mr. Thissen was greatly loved and will be missed by his family, friends and co-workers.
A memorial service will be held on May 7, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Kingman. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the American Diabetes Foundation.
See front page.
Trevor Edward Lepke
Todd and Nicole Lepke would like to announce the birth of their son, Trevor Edward Lepke.
Trevor was born on Saturday, April 3, 1999, at Mercy Medical Center in Durango. He weighed 7 pounds, 11.4 ounces and was 19 1/2-inches long.
His maternal grandparents are Tom and Linda Reiley of Golden. His paternal grandparents are Terry and Anna Lepke of Pagosa Springs.