Front Page

February 10, 2000

One arrest made in store burglary

By Karl Isberg

A Pagosa Springs Police Department investigation of the Jan. 21 burglary of the Ponderosa Do-It-Best store resulted in one arrest and the imminent filing of a petition against a juvenile suspect.

On Feb. 2, Charles Christopher Martinez, 18, of Pagosa Springs turned himself in at the Archuleta County Jail after a warrant was issued for his arrest on charges of second-degree burglary and theft. According to assistant district attorney Paul Schmidt, the second-degree burglary charge was changed to first-degree burglary on Feb. 8. That charge entails a bond of as much as $25,000.

According to Pagosa Springs Police Captain Chuck Allen, Martinez, along with a 17-year-old Pagosa Springs resident, is suspected of burglarizing the store, located on U.S. 160 at the top of Put Hill.

On Jan. 21, at approximately 2 a.m. a gate at the rear of the store property was knocked to the ground. The thieves entered the building through a back door, smashed glass cases inside the store and stole four shotguns and four handguns.

An alarm system at the store notified a Denver burglar alarm company of the break-in. That company called Archuleta County Central Dispatch which, in turn, put out the call to local law enforcement officers. Officer Tony Kop of the town police department and Archuleta County deputy Tim Evans arrived at the scene within a minute of the call, but the thieves had fled the area.

In his role as the police department's investigator, Allen pursued the case. An incident that occurred in downtown Pagosa Springs shortly before the Ponderosa burglary provided some of the clues that led Allen to his suspects.

Allen reported an attempt was made to kick down the front door of a pawn shop located in the 400 block of Lewis Street. Witnesses were able to identify a van used by the persons attempting to gain entry to the shop. Allen determined that the van was the same vehicle used to knock down the rear gate at the Ponderosa property and was able to associate the suspects to the van.

Allen said Tuesday that his investigation is continuing.

"We have not been able to locate the stolen weapons yet," said Allen. "We are conducting an active investigation concerning other persons involved in this incident after the fact of the burglary and to determine the whereabouts of the guns stolen from the store."


Private property debate sparked by conviction

By John M. Motter

A property rights question festering in western Colorado and across the West is focusing on an issue that sprouted in Archuleta County.

The question at issue is, can the U.S. Forest Service abrogate private property rights that existed prior to the existence of the Forest Service?

A group of citizens who believe that the Forest Service cannot violate those old private property rights has visited with the Archuleta County commissioners twice during the past two weeks. They want the commissioners to take a stand backing the older rights and opposing the Forest Service position. That stand could include county assertion that the roads are county roads, thereby removing them from Forest Service jurisdiction.

A local focal point of the issue is the criminal conviction of Dianna R. Luppi, an Archuleta County resident who owns property on Turkey Springs Road patented by the U.S. Government under the 1882 Homestead Act.

Luppi and her supporters argue that tenets of the Homestead Act, plus other legislation connected with creation of the Forest Service in the early 1900s and other laws, guarantee her access to her property. The homestead patent on her property was granted before the Forest Service was created.

The Forest Service contends that forest development roads such as a portion of the Turkey Springs Road and other roads in the county on Forest Service property belong to the Forest Service and therefore to the people of the United States. As stewards for the people of the United States, the Forest Service assumes responsibility for the condition of those roads. That responsibility is manifested through the issuance of leases with road maintenance stipulations.

"We are required to issue a lease to these private enclaves, but we can stipulate road maintenance conditions," said Sonja Hoie, Forest Service land specialist with the Pagosa Ranger District. "That is because it is our responsibility to prevent damage to public property and because of safety concerns."

Hoie agrees with the assertion made by several people in the audience that the county can take over many of these roads.

"If the county wished to take jurisdiction they could," Hoie said, "but the roads would become public and the county would be responsible to maintain the roads and keep them open all year."

The Forest Service also has a process for transferring roads to the county, according to Hoie.

Luppi's property is surrounded by Forest Service property. The Forest Service insisted that Luppi sign a lease allowing her to use the road across Forest Service property to reach her own property. Luppi refused.

The Forest Service then brought criminal charges against Luppi in federal court, District of Colorado. On Dec. 1, 1998, Luppi was convicted on two counts amounting to a charge of using national forest roads without authorization, fined $5,000, ordered to sign a lease contract, and placed on probation for one year.

Since her conviction, Luppi has retained an attorney and is appealing the lease requirement, challenging the conviction, and suing the government for violating certain rights.

"I was coerced into signing the lease by the court order," Luppi said. "That is wrong."

Luppi's case is not the first or only case establishing precedent for the Forest Service's actions, according to Hoie.

At least one local resident, J.R. Ford, is concerned that the Forest Service "power grab" will adversely affect a number of private property rights. In addition to road right of ways, irrigation ditch right of ways are threatened, according to Ford.

"I'd like to see the county protect easements that existed before the Forest Service was created," Ford said.

"We need to take this to our attorney and get some information so we can deal with this intelligently," said Commissioner Gene Crabtree.

Meanwhile, a number of citizens from Montezuma County have asked the Archuleta County commissioners to take action. They assert that the issue is gaining momentum across the West.


Local infant tests positive for pertussis

By Roy Starling

A Pagosa Springs infant has tested positive for pertussis, an extremely serious disease also known as whooping cough, according to Susie Kleckner, San Juan Basin Health Department nurse manager.

School district nurse Maureen Margiotta said the infant's 5-year-old brother had exhibited symptoms of the disease, but tests taken at Southwest Pediatric Center in Durango came out negative. Margiotta told the SUN that since the infant tested positive, the older brother "almost had to have pertussis."

Kleckner said that despite the child's test results "he's being treated as if he had it." She said both children are doing fine and that "the infant didn't get as sick as the older brother, and that's a little unusual." The disease is most likely to attack children under 5.

Symptoms for pertussis include sudden fits of coughing and vomiting after the coughing, according to Kleckner. The cough, which can last for weeks, can also cause choking, making it difficult for a young child to breathe, drink or eat. Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death.

The vast majority of Archuleta County's young people have nothing to fear from the disease, Kleckner said. "Most kids are immunized for it. If they've gotten their DPT series, which is given from birth to age 5, they're in no danger." DPT vaccines are available at the San Juan Basin Health Department.

Kleckner said that the 25 students in Pagosa Springs Elementary School who are exempted from vaccinations need to "watch for the symptoms. If the symptoms exist, they should see a physician as soon as possible. Pertussis is treatable with antibiotics."


Smith service planned for Reservoir Hill

Taken before her time, Terri Estep Smith died in her sleep during the early morning hours of Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2000.

Family and friends remember Terri as a calm country girl who beautifully blended big-city savvy and worldly knowledge.

She was respected for being a person who gave unselfishly to her community and to people of all colors, races, religions and of all thoughtful determinations.

A devoted wife, tireless mother and avid mountain biker who loved the outdoors, Terri lived the joys of each day with fervor. Her husband, Terrence Scott Smith, and their children, Grace, Max and Quinn, will live her course.

Terri Lynn Estep Smith was born Feb. 3, 1954, in La Junta.

She came to Pagosa Springs in 1982 after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder and from Columbia University in New York City.

In addition to her husband and children, she is survived by her parents, Ray and Joyce Estep of Cuchara; her three brothers and sisters-in-law Scott and Donna Estep of Wheatland, Wyo.; Pete and Shari Estep of Crested Butte; and Steve and Sherri Estep of Seattle, Wash.

A memorial service for Terri will be held atop Reservoir Hill Friday, Feb. 11, 2000, at 11 a.m.

Persons who plan to attend the memorial service are asked to dress appropriately for the winter conditions of the trails and terrain of Reservoir Hill. Shuttle transportation will be provided from the Bank of the San Juans parking lot for persons who are not riding in four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Following the memorial service, a potluck reception will be held in the Archuleta County Fair Building on U.S. 84 about a quarter mile south of its junction with U.S. 160. Side dishes are being requested.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made at Citizens Bank of Pagosa Springs in the name of Terri Lynn Estep Smith. The funds will be used to benefit Hospice of Mercy, Helping Hands Adoption Agency, the children's programs of the Unitarian/Universalist fellowship and other programs reflecting Terri's interests.


Community remembers Wedemeyer

Ronald A. Wedemeyer, well known and respected member of the Pagosa Springs community, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2000, at the age of 60. He was born to Ernest and Lucille Wedemeyer on July 28, 1939, in Denver.

Loved by many, Mr. Wedemeyer dedicated a large part of his life to encouraging young men and women in attaining their life's dreams, often through the pursuit of athletics. He had a mineral-Chemistry engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, and was formerly enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent the last 33 years of his life as a real estate broker.

Mr. Wedemeyer is survived by his two daughters, Lisa O'Nell of Albuquerque, N.M., and Erika Wedemeyer of San Diego, Calif.; his three sons and two daughters-in-law Ron and Connie Wedemeyer II of Bakersfield, Calif., Michael and Shelley Wedemeyer of Pagosa Springs, and Roger Wedemeyer Baxter of Albuquerque; his mother Mrs. Lucille Wedemeyer of Littleton; his sister and brother-in-law Sue and Ron Ross of Aurora; his aunt Mrs. Odessa Dietrich of Denver; and six grandchildren Sydne, Lexie, Brannan, Lexa, Savannah and Summer.

A memorial service for Mr. Wedemeyer was held on Feb. 5, 2000, at Community Bible Church with Pastor Al DeBoer presiding. Attending ushers were Jerry Dermody, Lou Poma, Dennis Yerton, Danny Wood, Junior Lister, Don Ford, Steve Heboian and David Lynch.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Pagosa Springs Wrestling Foundation, c/o Jody Martinez, Pagosa Springs High School, Box 1498, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


Citizens invited to discuss phone problems

CenturyTel officials will host a town meeting Thursday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Archuleta County commissioners meeting room to discuss telecommunications with the citizens of Pagosa Springs. Everyone is invited to attend.

Michael Hudson, the company's public relations manager, said CenturyTel management and local personnel will be available to answer questions and respond to community concerns. The meeting will feature a short presentation and plenty of time for questions from the audience. All subjects brought up at the meeting will be addressed.

According to Hudson, to accommodate the tremendous growth in the community and exploding Internet usage, additional calling capacity has been added to the extended area service trunk groups to Durango as well as the CenturyTel local trunk groups between the 731 and 264 prefixes in Pagosa Springs. These additional trunks will provide greater capacity for calls between Pagosa West and downtown as well as into Durango, Hudson said.

"Since increasing the capacity on January 26 and 27, we have been monitoring these trunk groups regularly looking for calls that didn't go through," according to Pagosa Springs district manager Chris Valdez. "We are not seeing any blockages in CenturyTel's network at this time. However, we believe there are still some blockages occurring once the telephone traffic leaves CenturyTel's network. We are unable to see or monitor these blockages in another provider's facilities."

Customers making calls that are not completed should contact the CenturyTel repair department and report the trouble. The CenturyTel repair department can be reached toll-free at (800) 754-5251.

For customers who are reporting trouble with their phone service, Hudson said the following information is very important in order for service personnel to investigate the trouble report and to find a solution:

- Time and date of the call as well as the number dialed

- The identifying code at the end of the recording (most but not all recordings will have an ID tag at the end)

- What exactly happened when the call did not go through?

- Has there been trouble reaching this number in the past?

Refreshments will be served at the Feb. 17 public meeting.


Caucus registration deadline Friday

Tomorrow is deadline to register for caucus.

Feb. 11 is the last day for voters to register with the party of their choice in order to participate in voting precinct caucuses April 11, according to June Madrid, the county clerk and election official.

Feb. 10 was the last day for residents to register to vote or change party affiliation for the March 10 Presidential Primary election. Local residents 18 years old or older may register in the Archuleta County clerk's office in the county courthouse between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Persons registered as unaffiliated may affiliate with either political party the day of the election at their polling place. Voters registered with a party affiliation may not change from one party to another on the day of the election, according to Madrid.

For more information, call 264-5633 or 264-2950.


Inside The Sun  

Pagosa's Coach Cope steps aside

By Karl Isberg

If there are two terms that are synonymous in Pagosa Country they are "coach," and "Cope."

As in Glen Cope.

With his resignation as a coach at Pagosa Springs High School in late January, Cope put the official seal on a legendary record.

That record, as it concerns Pagosa Springs High School, includes Cope's services as a coach in several sports, but it is for his work as head cross country coach - for a team and program he founded 16 years ago - that Cope will be best remembered. He started a program, he developed the athletes and, as the team's only head coach, built it into one of Colorado's best.

If the PSHS cross country program is Cope's crowNing jewel, the foundation of his work began in other places, at other times - starting with his work as a graduate assistant at Adams State College, in Alamosa, where he worked with the football, basketball and baseball teams following his athletic career at the school.

Cope then moved on to begin his work as a high school coach, leading boys and girls teams in five different sports, at a number of schools. Cope's teams played their games on the Eastern Plains at Cheraw; in the central Rockies, at Steamboat Springs; in inner-city Denver at St Joe's; in the San Luis Valley at Saguache and Centauri (near Cope's boyhood home of Antonito); and on the Western Slope at Pagosa Springs.

Cope was a head football coach for nine total years at Cheraw, Centauri and Saguache, compiling a 37-28 record. He coached baseball at St. Joe's and at Cheraw, his teams going 21-24.

One of Cope's favorite experiences was to work as a head basketball coach, for boys and girls squads. At St. Joe's, his teams averaged 89 points per game for three years. He coached boys at Steamboat Springs and Cheraw. He was head girls basketball coach at Centauri, then coached the Lady Pirates at PSHS. Overall, Cope's basketball record was 275-148. For his success, the Colorado High School Coaches' Association awarded Cope a plaque honoring 200-plus wins as a prep coach.

For 28 years, Cope was a head track coach, working at times with boys teams, at other times with girls teams, and with some combined squads. Six regional team championships resulted from his efforts over the years.

For 11 years, Cope served as athletic director at Centauri High School in La Jara. He served in the same capacity at St. Joe's and in Saguache.

Over the years, Cope was nominated by the Colorado High School Track and Cross Country Coaches' Association for the Colorado Coach of the Year award and for the National Track Coach of the Year. He served four years as the area representative on the Colorado Athletic Directors' Association. Cope was a league representative for 10 years to the Colorado High School Track and Cross Country Coaches' Association and served as the association president in 1998-99.

With that foundation, Cope's work as a cross country coach at Pagosa Springs brought together his experience, his talent, his energy, and his love of the young athletes he worked with for 16 years.

With his assistant coach - and wife - Shirley Cope (who retired prior to the 1999 season ), Cope developed one of the finest cross country programs in the state, in any classification. His record as head coach at Pagosa Springs High School (he served two years as an assistant coach at Centauri) speaks clearly of his talent and dedication.

As head coach of the boys cross country team, Cope guided squads to three regional championships and four second-place regional finishes. His Pirate teams qualified for the Colorado state meet 13 times. At the state meet, the Pirates, under Cope's tutelage, finished 10th place or better 11 times, with six finishes in the top five. Pirate teams finished second in the state Class 3A classification in 1988 and 1993.

Lady Pirate teams finished second in regional competition on two occasions and won three regional championships. The Ladies qualified for state eight times and placed second in Class 3A in 1999.

Looking back over his years as head coach of the Pirates, Cope can pick out many excellent athletes. Pressed to highlight 10 runners he thinks performed at peak levels for their team, he began with the selection of four runners who were with his program the first year it began and who took third place at the state meet during that inaugural season: Mick Cope (1984), Jamie Lowrey ('84-'85), Wade Walden ('84-'85) and Mike Werner ('84-'87). Todd Shelton ('86-'88) and Shadd Rohwer ('88-'90) join the list, as do Lennie Ecker, Frank O'Cana and Tommy Hardin who ran from 1990 to 1993. Tobi Rohwer ('91-'94) rounds out Cope's top-10 Pirates.

Cope's pick for his best boys team during his tenure is the 1993 Pirates. That team included Ecker, O'Cana, Hardin, Tobi Rohwer, Jesse Rowell, Shane Lucero and Jeromi Kummel. The team placed second in Colorado Class 3A.

Asked to pick his top-10 Lady Pirates, Cope begins with two runners who competed with the original Ladies: Cheyella Nielson ('84) and Yolanda Martinez ('84-'86). Cope adds Lisa Lucero ('85-'86), Tressa Webb ('87-'88), Vanessa O'Cana ('87-'88) and Julie Eyre ('88-'90) to his list. Rounding out the top-10 list are Laurel Henderson ('96-'97), Sarah Huckins ('96-'99), Amber Mesker ('97 to present) and Aubrey Volger ('98 to present).

Cope's pick for his best-ever Lady Pirates team is the last team he coached. The 1999 Ladies were Aubrey Volger, Sarah Huckins, Amber Mesker, Chelsea Volger, Makina Gill and Annah Rolig.

"I came here as the head basketball coach and the track coach," said Cope. "Our first year here in Pagosa, we started a running club. There were runners of all ages in that club. Our second year here, we started the high school cross country program. And, what do you know, our boys take third in the state that first season."

By 1993, the Pagosa program had placed more teams in the top five at the 3A state meet than any other program except Lake County

"I think my most exciting experience with this program was a year after our boys had finished second in the state," said Cope. "We came back and as the 1994 season progressed, I told our kids that they really had to work, and they did. I told them I thought we could beat Centauri at the next meet - the regionals. They went out and beat Centauri and Rocky Ford both. It was a year when you had realistic expectations, but those kids worked as hard as they could and they exceeded the expectations."

Cope also remembers the state meet in 1988. "Going into that meet," said the coach, "at regionals, our girls placed fifth. We had been running pretty well. And when they got to state they ran well, but I wasn't sure how well they did. I was waiting for the boys to run their race and I looked up and a bunch of our girls were doing cartwheels across the grass. We had hoped to place in the top 10 and they had finished third. Every year you go to state is special and to be second and third in 1988 was great."

When he reflects on the type of athlete he has coached and befriended over the years, Cope is reminded of some of the slogans printed on the T-shirts worn by the runners at practice or before meets. "On one of my favorite shirts, they printed: 'Pain is Temporary. Pride is Forever.' On another shirt, they printed: 'Pain is Expected, Suffering is Optional'."

Cope singles out the youngsters he has worked with as the key to his experience.

"I think I've been really fortunate," he said. "I've had great kids in this program, starting a tradition from the very first year that is still in place today. I've seen a lot in terms of sports, and I see more self-confidence developed in cross country than in most other sports. Even a lesser athlete develops across a season as long as he or she works as hard as possible. And the others on the team will be there for them. If you are working hard, you are part of the team. A kid works his tail off, and the other kids appreciate him. We've created a tradition of accepting all kids - accepting them for who they are and supporting them. That is what this program is all about. I've found, in this atmosphere, when kids are ready, they'll ask you to run more. I've watched the program grow and I've watched the kids grow. On the average, between our high school and junior high programs, we've had 16 to 40 kids out every year. We've served a lot of youngsters - kids who might not have performed in other fall sports. I had Shirley to help for 15 years; she's a jewel and she knows a lot about running. This last year, I had Melinda Volger as my assistant and she did a great job for us. And, over the years, we've had support from people outside the program and from parents who have helped their kids be what they need to be."

Even though he won't be at the helm next season, ever the coach, Cope is always looking ahead, assessing the team and the competition.

"I'm not leaving an empty well," he said. "The girls could have another shot next year and the boys could be real tough. You don't leave when the tank is empty - you leave when there's something left to keep things going."

According to Cope, his tenure with the program he created "has been an E Ride at Disneyland. It's been wonderful . . . the whole thing."


No fooling: April 1 is Census Day

By John M. Motter

April 1 will be Census Day, according to John Ribal, the local census office manager from Pueblo. Ribal is responsible for supervising 10-year census activities in 24 southern Colorado counties plus the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian reservations.

Ribal appealed to the Archuleta County commissioners at their regular meeting Tuesday to encourage everyone to cooperate with census efforts by completing and returning census data forms.

The census benefits counties and their citizens in several ways, according to Ribal. Among the benefits likely in Colorado is the addition of a seventh congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Census data is also used to reapportion legislative districts at the state level and commissioner districts within counties, Ribal said.

In addition, funding for many government programs is tied to accurate census data.

"Diligence in completing and returning the forms we pass out will greatly benefit the citizens of Archuleta County," Ribal said.

"I've targeted Archuleta County for special attention for two reasons," Ribal said. "First we had more than ordinary inaccuracies here in the 1990 census, an error of about 3.5 percent. Second, between 1990 and 1998, Archuleta County had about a 70 percent growth rate. It is extremely important to get it right the first time. There are no recounts."

Three census methods will be used in southern Colorado, according to Ribal.

In Pueblo, Cortez, Trinidad and Canyon City, census forms will be delivered through the mail. In the remainder of the area including Pagosa Springs but excepting the two Indian reservations, the forms will be hand delivered to residential doors. On the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute Indian reservations, census takers will carry the forms door to door and fill in the blanks themselves.

In the absence of returned forms, repeated mailings will be made until at least six attempts have been made to reach those needing to be counted.

Concerning the large proportion of Archuleta County residents absent during the winter, Ribal suggested that county officials work with census officials to develop a method for ensuring those individuals are included in the Archuleta County total. As much as 25 percent of Archuleta County's population may be snowbirds - gone during the winter- according to Commissioner Ken Fox. Living in an area more than one-half a year establishes residence in that area.

Everything on the census forms is confidential, according to Ribal, so people don't have to worry that the information they divulge on the form will reach the eyes of others.

Data gathering is scheduled to begin in mid-March and be completed by mid-June.

County hears courthouse expansion plan

By John M. Motter

A $13.4 million, four-phase, 20-year courthouse expansion plan was presented to the Archuleta County commissioners Tuesday.

Making the presentation was Nick Kollios, project manager for Daniel C. Smith and Associates of Golden. The firm has been hired by the county to develop a space needs master plan for county government.

The expansion alternative contemplated by the county involves construction of a new building on property purchased by the county along Hot Springs Boulevard, plus reworking the existing courthouse.

Kollios has divided the project into four phases scattered over 20 years.

"This plan allows you to meet current needs without spending all of your money up front," Kollios said. "At the same time, by the time 20 years pass you will have met all of your needs without moving people around two or three times."

Phase 1 envisions construction of a 27,036-square-foot, two-story building on the Hot Springs Boulevard property in the period between 2000 and 2003. Cost of the first phase is estimated at about $7 million. When the new building is ready, several departments will move to the new site from the existing courthouse.

In general, all offices in the existing courthouse will be transferred excepting those connected with the courts, jail, law enforcement, social services, and Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles. An effort will be made to keep interdependent offices together.

Phase 2 involves renovating and occupying the space vacated by those offices that moved to the new facility. The time frame estimate for Phase 2 is from 2002 to 2004. About 8,345 square feet are involved at a cost estimated at $970,700.

During Phase 3, 2005 to 2010, 7,600 square feet will be added to the new facility at a cost of $1.6 million. When completed, the new building will meet year 2020 requirements. Moving into the newly-created space will be Archuleta County Department of Social Services and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Phase 4 takes place between 2008 and 2015. The old courthouse will be expanded by the addition of 7,250 square feet. An additional 13,350 square feet of the old building will be renovated. The cost is estimated to be $3.55 million.

The county has not taken any action to adopt the plan or to begin construction on the proposal. Daniel C. Smith and Associates expects to complete a final document and an executive summary of the proposal by the end of February. Smith and Associates does not prepare construction plans.


Thanks to the entire town

Dear Editor,

This is a letter of thanks to the entire town of Pagosa Springs. On Jan. 24, we lost our home and everything inside of it to a fire. My little brother had been asleep in the home the morning that it started. I was at work and, it being a Monday, I was not functioning at my peak yet. I needed a phone number that I had written down and posted to the kitchen bulletin board. It was a number I'd called several times over the past week, and I was frustrated with myself for not remembering the number off the top of my head. I called home and woke up my brother, asking him to read the number to me. That's when he smelled the smoke coming from the back of the house. If it hadn't been for that phone call that I'd debated even making, my brother may not have made it out of the fire. I thank God every day for watching over him, even if it is through my absentmindedness.

Standing there watching all of our hard work and memories burn to the ground, I could only wonder what we were going to do now. I looked around at the three of us - myself, my fiance, and my little brother - and realized that what we were wearing was all that we had left. It was all I could do to keep myself from breaking down.

But God was looking after all of us that day. Help from all kinds of people began pouring in immediately. Both our families immediately jumped in with clean-up, food, clothing and warm beds, but most importantly with support, love and encouragement. La Plata Electric Association had passed a donation plate around the offices, both in Pagosa and Durango, and by that afternoon, they had nearly $300 collected for us from each office. Mike Alley, an employee there and a friend of ours just keeps calling with items he's gathered to help us get started again. Sharon Walter, also an LPEA employee, dropped off a huge load of groceries. Mr. and Mrs. Artis as well and Mr. and Mrs. Cecka opened their home to us, while Maggie Caruso helped us into a condo almost immediately. Clothing, household items and donations poured in from Assembly of God Church, Kiwanis, The Office Supply Store, Wild Women of the Southwest, The Adult Education Center, Mr. and Mrs. Tillerson, Russ Lee and family, Randy and Judy Denny, Steve Denny, Kristen and Neil Wilkerson, Todd Loewen and family, Laura and Darin Rome, Kira Staggs, not to mention Mr. and Mrs. Waples, who generously gave us so many of their unneeded "Y2K Supplies."

We know that there have been so many more of you whom we don't even know or know about, but we certainly have not forgotten your kindness. And last but certainly not least, I am indebted to the Fire Department for their incredibly fast response to my 911 call, and for working so hard to try to save our home. We just want to express to everyone that you have not only helped us to get a head start at getting back on our feet, but you have touched our hearts and restored a faith in us that this community can and does pull together for those in need. The kind words and the helping hands of so many people in Pagosa Springs was an unexpected surprise that moved us more deeply than you may ever understand. We will never again look the other way when somebody else in this town needs a hand. And words cannot express our gratefulness for your benevolence.

Amie Bass, Cody Bass and Brian Escude

Planning meetings

Dear David,

Hopefully, everyone is aware of the meetings that are to be held in various parts of Archuleta County. These meetings will be held between February 15 and February 28, and are for the purpose of getting everyone's opinion as to what they want in the way of planning for growth and development in our county. You can get more information by calling Archuleta County Planning Office.

Because these meetings are part of the development of major steps forward in planning for the future and a new Archuleta County Plan, it is time for us to share our ideas. I would like to share with you the main ideas that I will speak about when I go to the meeting for the part of the county where I live (upper Cemetery Road area.)

I would like for the county to put the preservation of open space, wildlife habitat, and prime agricultural lands as number one on their agenda, so that we will work toward protecting as much of these valuable assets as we possibly can.

I think one of the best ways to accomplish these preservations is through various incentive programs, which will cause growth and development to choose to protect valuable lands because they will benefit from these preservation practices.

Responsible growth and development should pay its own way, through impact fees and surcharges that will actually cover all of the developments' immediate and future costs to our community, including infrastructure, services, and the losses of open space and wildlife habitat.

Everyone's voice is important. My ideas are only part of what is needed. If we all go to the meetings and express our opinions, we can end up with a planing process that truly represents the people of this county.


Ron Chacey

Missing Pagosa

Dear David,

My brother and I have returned to our old home in California.

I cannot tell you how much we miss the good people of Pagosa Springs. However, my being able to function without toting oxygen around with me is a consolation and we certainly have plans to visit Pagosa as often as possible. We have, in fact, returned once already - a very quick trip without the time for visiting at all.

I still find the SUN my favorite reading material. We find it interesting even though we receive it late each week.


Winnie Covey and Fred Martin

St. Ramona, Calif.


Dear Editor,

I greatly appreciated the letter which ridiculed the use of a corporate name, Fairfield, in lieu of the actual place name, Pagosa Lakes. I am, however, befuddled by your response: the Fairfield Corporation did not originate this development.

Also, you ran a piece on the benefits of steel in house construction. Pieces like this need a little box with the notation "advertisement." This was not impartial journalism. Wood framing emits "volatile organic compounds" - that sounds like a Reaganism - I guess we better chop down all the trees. The article completely failed to mention steel's inferiority against fire. There's a great video showing a steel beam and a wood beam exposed to fire. The steel beam sags and collapses long before the wood beam is burned through. The article also fails to mention the "unhealthy" aspects of using steel as a finish material: reflective glare and electromagnetic pollution.

A steel room would be about the worst possible environment for our mental health. In the future, I hope you'll label such one-sided articles as an advertisement.


Neil B. Doherty

Editor's note: The article that appeared in the Jan. 20 PREVIEW section cited the Environmental Protection Agency and American Lung Association as sources.

Envision future

Dear Dave,

This is such an exciting time for our county. We are going to create a plan for the development of our beautiful area. Next Tuesday, Step 2 of creating the Archuleta County Community Plan begins.

Step 2, "Envisioning the Future," is the visioning phase of planning. The important thing about envisioning our future is to get everyone to voice their opinions now. The more people who participate in this process, the better the eventual plan will represent our collective desires.

We must plan today what we want to see develop tomorrow. If we can create a collective community vision, we will be in a good place to move forward while protecting what we value most about our area.

Thank you so much for publishing the previous letters to the editor, informing everyone of this opportunity to be heard. We are trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. Unfortunately, in one of the publications that we have placed articles in, Connections, the days of the meetings suffered typographic misalignment. The dates are correct in that publication, but the days of the week are not.

Please, if you will, note the following corrections: the first meeting will be at the Old Chromo School Building on Tuesday, Feb. 15; the fourth meeting will be at Chimney Rock Restaurant on Tuesday, Feb. 22; the fifth meeting will be at Community United Methodist Church on Wednesday, Feb. 23; the sixth meeting will be at the Arboles Catholic Church on Thursday, Feb. 24; and the last meeting at the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Monday, Feb. 28. All meetings are at 7 p.m. The complete schedule can be seen on posters and advertisements elsewhere. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at these meetings.

Thank you,

Julia Anne Donoho, member Archuleta County Planning Commission, member Community Vision Committee, member Community Plan Selection and Steering committees

Spring in February

Dear David,

I have something interesting to share about global warming. I subscribe to the Ravalli Republic newspaper from Hamilton, Montana, my favorite place in the world outside of Pagosa Springs.

In a recent issue, under the heading, "Headlines from the past," under the subheading "100 years ago," was this news item: "While other cities are talking of the flowers raised in their houses, Hamilton people are enjoying nature's flowers grown out of doors in the middle of January in the fame Bitter Root Valley. For the past week buttercups have been gathered from the hillsides, and even strawberry plants in the open air have budded and started the green berries, F.J. Morris having received samples of both buttercups and strawberries from rural friends in that time."

I'm sure no one was talking about global warming 100 years ago, and Hamilton probably got their winter in the spring of that year, for all we know. But that gives me hope for the future of Pagosa Springs' winter seasons. Maybe if we're patient we'll see a return of real winter with lots of snow. Hamilton, Montana did, I can assure you. Who can really say if global warming and La Niña are a permanent fixture or just a hundred year cyclical phenomenon for a brief duration. I'm finding relief from my panic.

Claire Goldrick

Hidden agendas

Dear Editor,

Ballots were mailed in August 1999 to all 262 property owners in Meadows IV, Pagosa Lakes, asking for their cooperation in returning a yes or no vote regarding nine amendments to the Meadows IV Declarations of Restrictions. This project was undertaken in full accordance with the policies and procedures as established by the PLPOA board and in the declarations. To amend any of the nine proposed changes required at least 132 yes votes on the individual changes. The balloting has been concluded and the majority of those responding were in favor of the amendments; however, they did not constitute a majority (51 percent) of the property owners. Therefore, the amendments failed.

To the 109 Meadows IV property owners who did not return their ballots, you may rest assured that the 1971 Declarations of Restrictions are still in effect. You can still have 10 horses and/or 10 cows per 5 acres; you can still build a 1,500-square-foot home; and you can have a farm, ranch, or dude ranch as stated in the current declarations. Would you believe that, in accordance with current convents, your property could be surrounded by 30 horses and 30 cows in addition to a dude ranch across from your driveway? Understand, I have no problem with horses and cows, but to have 10 horses and 10 cows allowed on 5 acres in a residential subdivision is bordering on the ridiculous. The dust, odors, and insects would probably force you to return to wherever you came from.

There were 10 proactive, thoughtful property owners involved in the project to beneficially amend the declarations. Their only agenda was to update the antiquated 28-year old restrictions with the intent to maintain livability and property values. There were no "hidden agendas," as suggested by the writer(s) of the anonymous letter mailed to Meadows IV property owners. I challenge the parties who mailed the anonymous letter to identify themselves and state their agendas.

Jim Rains

Getting involved

Dear David,

I am heartened to see the coverage given to the upcoming public meetings on planning for the future of our county. As a relatively new resident I have been looking for ways to become more involved in the community and welcomed the opportunity to serve on the Vision Committee, which is helping to facilitate the planning process. I feel that this is a very important issue for this area, and look forward to an all-inclusive dialog that is productive without being divisive. I encourage all my neighbors in the outer Piedra area to attend the meeting at the county fairgrounds on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. Don't miss your chance to be included.

Lynda Van Patter



Sweet memories

Dear Dave,

What a great story about the "Crafty Cats" that "cruise" the "Cruse yard." Thanks, Katherine, for bringing back sweet memories. How fondly we recollect the strolls we used to take in that friendly and sociable neighborhood.


Carroll Carruth


Ronald A. Wedemeyer

Ronald A. Wedemeyer, well known and respected member of the Pagosa Springs community, died Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2000, at the age of 60. He was born to Ernest and Lucille Wedemeyer on July 28, 1939, in Denver.

Loved by many, Mr. Wedemeyer dedicated a large part of his life to encouraging young men and women in attaining their life's dreams, often through the pursuit of athletics. He had a mineral-Chemistry engineering degree from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, and was formerly enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent the last 33 years of his life as a real estate broker.

Mr. Wedemeyer is survived by his two daughters, Lisa O'Nell of Albuquerque, N.M., and Erika Wedemeyer of San Diego, Calif.; his three sons and two daughters-in-law Ron and Connie Wedemeyer II of Bakersfield, Calif., Michael and Shelley Wedemeyer of Pagosa Springs, and Roger Wedemeyer Baxter of Albuquerque; his mother Mrs. Lucille Wedemeyer of Littleton; his sister and brother-in-law Sue and Ron Ross of Aurora; his aunt Mrs. Odessa Dietrich of Denver; and six grandchildren Sydne, Lexie, Brannan, Lexa, Savannah and Summer.

A memorial service for Mr. Wedemeyer was held on Feb. 5, 2000, at Community Bible Church with Pastor Al DeBoer presiding. Attending ushers were Jerry Dermody, Lou Poma, Dennis Yerton, Danny Wood, Junior Lister, Don Ford, Steve Heboian and David Lynch.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Pagosa Springs Wrestling Foundation, c/o Jody Martinez, Pagosa Springs High School, Box 1498, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.


Arnold Girls

Shaun and Christie Arnold, with our families, proudly announce the adoption of Kelsi Danielle Brose, now Arnold, on Jan. 7, 2000. From the left is Kelsi Danielle Arnold with little sister, Caitlinn.

Brandi Timmerman

Brandi Timmerman, a senior at Pagosa Springs High School, has been awarded two scholarships to Valparaiso University (Valpariso, Ind.) where she will enroll in the fall.

Timmerman, who plans to major in civil engineering in the college of engineering, is the recipient of a one-half tuition Presidential Scholarship and a $1,000 Alumni Heritage Award. The Presidential scholarship is renewable for three additional years if appropriate academic standards are maintained.

Brandi is the daughter of E. Blair and Lee Anne Timmerman. She is a member of National Honor Society and has been an honor roll student all four years of high school. As a member of Future Business Leaders of America, she held the offices of parliamentarian, secretary and treasurer. She is a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs.


Tiffany Wiggers of Pagosa Springs earned a place on the Dean's List of Western State College in Gunnison for the 1999 fall semester.

Western State officials said Wiggers, a sociology major, earned a grade-point average of 3.7 or higher for at least 12 credit hours during the fall semester.

A 1998 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School, Tiffany is the daughter of Curt and Lynell Wiggers.



Army Pvt. Jason L. Davies has entered basic military training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During his eight weeks of training, Davies will study the Army mission and receive instruction in drill, Army history and traditions, and special training in human relations.

Davies is the son of Dana L. Anderson of Pagosa Springs.


50th Anniversary

Friday, February 11 marks the 50th wedding anniversary for Paul and Lorrie Carpino. Paul and Lorrie were married in Hartford, Conn., in 1950. They immediately moved "out west" to eventually raise five children in Montana. The couple moved to Pagosa Springs in 1992. All five of their children will share the weekend with them along with 12 of their 20 grandchildren.


Sports Page

Bayfield rally falls short; Pagosa stays perfect

By John M. Motter

Pagosa's Pirates slipped into the Bayfield gym Friday night concerned that the always dangerous Wolverines might hand them their first league loss. Just 32 minutes of playing time later and paced by Tyrel Ross' season-high 21 points, the Pirates plopped their sneakers under the team bus seats on their way home still perfect in the IML. Despite a determined fourth-period Bayfield rally, Pagosa returned across Yellowjacket Pass with a 60-53 win and 7-0 record in the IML.

Saturday night, Pagosa took the three-hour bus trip to Monticello, Utah, for a non-league encounter with the Buckaroos, a team they topped by two points in the season-opening Cortez Tournament.

This time Monticello featured a triple-post offense with three players 6-foot-4 or taller and guards capable of throwing pinpoint alley-oop passes over the heads of Pirate defenders. When the final buzzer sounded, Pagosa trailed 60-56.

The coming weekend

Even though the loss to Monticello ended a seven-game winning streak, Pirate coach Kyle Canty is more concerned about two IML games this coming weekend.

Pirate fans should see two barn burners in their hometown gym. Monte Vista comes to Pagosa Springs tomorrow. Game time is 8 p.m. The San Luis Valley Pirates have lost only one game in the IML this season and are in second place with a 6-1 record. That loss was to Pagosa Springs in front of the Monte hometown fans. Monte was the pre-season favorite to capture the IML title. They'll be looking to avenge the 69-52 pasting Pagosa gave them during that first encounter.

Saturday, Del Norte comes to Pagosa Springs. Games start at 5 p.m. The Tigers, led by 6-foot-8 Jake Evig, are another team that enjoyed high hopes when the season started. Pagosa bombed them 61-42 on the Del Norte court during their first game. Including the loss to Pagosa, Del Norte is 3-4 in the IML and out of the regular-season title chase. That makes the Tigers double-dangerous, according to Canty, because they have nothing to lose.

From the Pirates' perspective, they'd like to win both games and capture the IML title outright. If they do, they are guaranteed one of two IML regional playoff positions. If they lose a game or two and end IML play tied for the league lead or worse, then they have to qualify for the regional playoffs through the district tournament Feb. 25 and Feb. 26 at Centauri.

Pagosa 60-Bayfield 53

"I was very concerned going into Bayfield," Canty said. "They have a fine ball club and execute well. They are growing stronger and will be a force in the district tournament, if not before."

The Pirates turned in a typical performance, dominating the Wolverines with a smothering defense. Lonnie Lucero slipped past Bayfield's defenders for two quick layups to open scoring. Then the Wolverines rallied to take a 9-6 lead before Pagosa's defense took charge. Meanwhile, Daniel Crenshaw connected with a trey and a field goal, Charles Rand hit a field goal, David Goodenberger hit a field goal, and Ross gave a hint of what was to come by hitting a two-pointer. By the end of the first period, Pagosa was in charge 15-9.

Ross threw in two more field goals, Rand sank a trey, and Goodenberger hit another field goal to boost the Pirates' halftime total to 24 points. Bayfield only managed six points during the quarter and trailed at the half 24-15.

Ross picked up his scoring tempo during the third period with two field goals and a trey, Rand hit a second trey and a second field goal, Goodenberger hit a field goal, and Clinton Lister converted the first of a 1 and 1 opportunity at the free-throw line. By the end of the quarter, Pagosa had stretched its lead to 39-27.

Bayfield began to trap the ball up court in the final stanza in a desperate effort to force Pagosa turnovers and get back into the game. The closest they came was with 2:33 remaining. They'd chopped the Pirates lead to 50-45. Bayfield scored 26 fourth quarter points, but Pagosa added 21 points of their own to cement the victory.

Ross continued to pace the Pirates scoring by connecting for a pair of treys and a free throw during the final period. Crenshaw added a pair of field goals and Rand converted 4 of 6 free throw attempts.

"What I like is the unselfishness of our play," Canty said. "When the boys recognize that someone has a hot hand, they get the ball to him. Against Bayfield, Ross had a hot hand. In fact, he didn't miss a field goal attempt."

Ross's 21 points topped the Pirates scoring. He was 6 for 6 on 2-pointers, 2 for 3 on 3-pointers, and didn't get a free throw opportunity. Also scoring for Pagosa were Rand with 14 points, Crenshaw with 9 points, Goodenberger with 8 points, Lucero with 7 points, and Clinton Lister with 1 point. Pagosa converted 18 of 35 2-pointers for a 51.4 shooting percentage, 6 of 19 on 3-point attempts for a 31.6 shooting percentage, and 6 of 11 from the free-throw line for a 54.5 shooting percentage.

Goodenberger pulled down 15 rebounds to lead in that department. Rand's four assists were tops and he tied with Goodenberger to lead Pagosa in steals with three. Pagosa committed nine turnovers.

Monticello 60-Pagosa 56

"I probably should take the blame for losing to Monticello," Canty said. "I didn't prepare the guys for the game because we were concentrating on Bayfield. We ran into some things we haven't seen all year."

One of the things they ran into were players at 6-foot-6, 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-4 heights. The big boys threw in 14 first-quarter points. The Buckaroo total for the quarter was 22, and their lead 22-17. A 3-pointer at the buzzer helped pad Monticello's total.

Micah Maberry's 11 points kept Pagosa from being completely buried.

To start the second period, Canty made some adjustments and the Pirates tightened their defense. By the half they trailed 39-31. The Buckaroo big guys continued to score and ball handler Preston Bunker hit two more treys, another one at the buzzer.

Crenshaw's six points and Rand's four free throws paced the Pirates.

During the third period, Pagosa launched a pressing defense designed to keep the Monticello guards off balance so they couldn't pass inside to the big men. Pagosa started the quarter with 11 unanswered points and led 42-39 with about six minutes left in the quarter. The quarter ended with Monticello on top 45-44. Of Pagosa's 13 third-quarter points, nine came from beyond the 3-point arc.

A dog fight followed throughout the final period with first one team, then the other taking the lead. With 1:06 remaining in the game, Crenshaw's 2-pointer gave the Pirates a 56-54 lead. Monticello matched that, then successfully converted four free throws during the final minute to capture the victory.

Crenshaw was the top Pagosa scorer with 13 points, followed by Goodenberger and Rand with 12 points each, Maberry with 11 points, Clinton Lister with 4 points, and Lucero and Carlos Martinez with 2 points each. Pagosa hit 14 of 39 two-pointers for a 35.9 shooting percentage, 6 of 20 three-pointers for a 30 shooting percentage, and 10 of 11 from the foul line for a 90.9 shooting percentage.

Goodenberger had 10 rebounds, Rand and Lucero five assists, Crenshaw three steals, and Goodenberger one blocked shot. Pagosa committed eight turnovers.


This weekend is crunch time for Pagosa wrestlers

By Karl Isberg

It's crunch time in the world of high school wrestling.

Following the regional wrestling tournament at Centauri on Feb. 11 and 12, each member of the Pirates wrestling team will know whether he will compete on the mats at the Pepsi Center in Denver on Feb. 17 or watch the action at the Colorado State Tournament from the stands.

The top four finishers in each weight class at the regional Class 3A tourney will qualify for the state tournament. Many of the Pirates should be in contention for one of those spots but, following a less-than-stellar overall performance at the Feb. 5 Intermountain League tournament, the Pirates will need to take their efforts to a higher level to extend their season to Feb. 17.

IML action

The six Intermountain League teams gathered at the Pagosa Springs High School gym on Feb. 5 to decide a league champ for the 1999-2000 season. For the first time, the tournament pitted the teams in a dual-meet format. By day's end, the Pirates had beaten two of their league opponents and lost to three of the teams.

Senior Josh Trujillo continued to win in emphatic fashion at the IML tourney. Trujillo fought three matches during the day, winning each with a pin and emerging as the IML champ at 145 pounds.

Trujillo drew byes against Ignacio and Monte Vista, and defeated opponents from Del Norte, Centauri and Bayfield.

Against Devin Haynie of Del Norte, the Pirate took a 2-0 lead with a first-period takedown. In the second period, Trujillo scored a point with an escape and two more points with a takedown before he pinned Haynie less than a minute into the period.

Centauri's Ted Valdez was next on the agenda for the Pirate. Trujillo took Valdez down, scored a three-point near-fall, gave Valdez an escape, took him down again, then pinned the Falcon with 1 minute 31 seconds elapsed in the match.

Trujillo took an 8-0 first-period lead against John Williams of Bayfield, with a takedown and two three-point near-falls. Williams scored his sole point with an escape at the start of the second period, but Trujillo hammered the Wolverine with a takedown and three back points to lead 13-1 after two periods. The end came when Trujillo pinned Williams with 10 seconds gone in the final period.

Several Pirates won three matches at the IML tournament.

Daniel Martinez logged three victories at 140 pounds - two of them with pins.

Martinez made short work of Brandon Rosenhoover of Centauri, pinning the Falcon at 1:17. The Pirate took less time to pin Bayfield's 140-pounder, putting the Wolverine's shoulders down at the 34-second mark of the first period. A 10-2 decision over Chad Thompson of Monte Vista gave Martinez his third victory.

Kraig Candelaria scored three victories at 160 pounds. The Pirate forged a 14-4 major decision over Ethan Morrison of Bayfield. He pinned Jarrod Biggs of Monte Vista at 1:46 of their match. Doug Consaul of Del Norte was the Pirate senior's third victim. Candelaria took the Tiger down in the first period, then pinned him at 1:10.

Josh Richardson scored three victories at the IML event at 171 pounds. The junior pinned Leon Martinez of Del Norte 36 seconds into the third period. Richardson overwhelmed Nathan Samora of Monte Vista, 14-0, getting six points in the first period. Richardson was ahead of Luke Harrington of Bayfield 4-0 when he pinned the Wolverine at 3:54.

Clint Shaw had three victories at 189 pounds. Shaw gave A.J. Atencio of Centauri little time to ponder strategy, pinning the Falcon 31 seconds into the first period. Adam Seibel of Ignacio lasted even less time against Shaw as the Pirate won by a fall at the 28-second mark. Speed was of the essence in each of Shaw's victories: Gabe Salinas of Del Norte met Mr. Pin 42 seconds after the match began.

Mike Maestas, Keith Candelaria and George Kyriacou each won two matches at the league tournament.

Maestas earned his wins at 112 pounds. The freshman beat Del Norte's Blake Haynie 5-2, then pinned Sam Mallet of Bayfield at 1:43.

Keith Candelaria won two decisions during the day. He beat Centauri's Bobby Lopez 17-4, scoring seven points in the second period, then whipped Nick Wolfe of Monte Vista 16-2 with a 7-point first period.

Kyriacou put together two wins at 215 pounds. The senior Pirate took a decisive 9-1 decision from Matt Steinhart of Monte Vista and pinned Carl Atencio of Centauri after 39 seconds of action.

Several Pirates won a single match at the IML.

Jesse Trujillo won at 103 pounds when he pinned Kyle Bahr of Centauri in the first period of their match.

Anthony Maestas got a victory at 119 pounds when he pinned Nick Anderson of Ignacio at 2:56.

Cliff Hockett pinned Peter Justensen of Ignacio at 2:45 to win at 125 pounds.

Shane Prunty pinned Ryan Peskuski of Ignacio in 30 seconds to score points in the heavyweight division.

Other Pirates competing at the IML include Zeb Gill and Ross Wagle at 130 pounds, and Clayton Mastin at 135 pounds.

"I thought we were in a position to win the tournament," said Pirates coach Dan Janowsky, "but matchups make all the difference. You want your inexperienced guys to match up with their inexperienced guys. It turns out our better kids were matched up against their better kids, and in that case, we had to win some swing matches. We didn't win enough of them. Against Ignacio (the eventual tourney champion) we were in position to win that dual. I knew Centauri would be trouble; they have good lower weights and good enough kids at their upper weights. They piled up the points with their lighter kids and we had to have every single one from there up and we couldn't pull it off. It was the same situation against Monte: They had a better lineup than when we last saw them. They had moved some kids around and they had better kids at 125 and 130 pounds. I thought we could make up for it in the upper weights, but we didn't"

That his team did not win the IML this season was a disappointment to Janowsky but not a surprise. "I saw us as underdogs at the tournament," he said. "But, I saw us winning. At one point during the day, I was sure we were going to pull it off."

Janowsky said he is not the only one who is disappointed. "The kids felt bad," he said. "And they've been talking about what they need to do. Skill-wise, they're ready to go. It's a head game from now on, and that's a tough hurdle to cross. What I really like is our guys are still confident. They were disappointed with the IML, but they haven't lost their belief in themselves."

Year in and year out some wrestler or some wrestling team proves that belief in oneself can make a huge difference in the outcome of a match or meet. No one knows this better than Janowsky, and it is a point he is making again and again to his athletes. "Things can swing so quickly. A couple of upsets in the early rounds of a tournament like the regionals and your guys catch fire and no one can catch up with them. It doesn't matter who our opponents are - all that matters is who we are, what our state of mind is when we get on the mat."

Regional tourney

Fourteen teams will compete at La Jara on Feb. 11 and 12. Pagosa, Centauri, Monte Vista and Del Norte will represent the IML. They will be joined by teams from Lamar, La Junta, John Mall, Trinidad, Rye, Las Animas, Rocky Ford, Pueblo West, Salida and Buena Vista.

Matches begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and action resumes at the Centauri High School gym at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

At the end of the day on Saturday, only four wrestlers in each weight class will look forward to one more week of wrestling.


Ladies demolish Bayfield, keep pace with Centauri

By Roy Starling

In Bayfield Friday night, the Lady Pirates broke out of a first-quarter slump, rattled the Lady Wolverines with a second-period surge, then blew them out of their own gym with an explosive 22-6 third quarter, en route to a 61-34 win.

The victory allowed the Ladies to keep pace with the Centauri Lady Falcons who trounced Monte Vista 63-30 and got by Ignacio 49-38 last week. Pagosa and Centauri both stand at 6-1 in the Intermountain League. The Ladies are 12-4 overall.

Bayfield coach Jeff Misener had seen enough of the Lady Pirates this season to know that most of their scoring comes in the paint, so he concocted a defense that allowed his girls to alternately double team Mandy Forrest and Ashley Gronewoller.

Consequently, the Ladies' duchess of dish Katie Lancing found her passing lanes clogged, but the road to the basket wide open. The sophomore riddled Misener's scheme with 12 points in the second quarter alone, finishing the game with a varsity career high of 26.

"They were running a box-and-one, first on Mandy, then on Ashley," Pagosa coach Karen Wells said of the Bayfield defense. "Since Katie's our assist leader, I had her flashing up to the high post. They (the Wolverines) were so intent on stopping Mandy and Ashley that they didn't come after Katie."

And Lancing made them pay, either shooting from the outside or beating them to the basket.

While Lancing was taking care of the lion's share of Pagosa's offense, Forrest was busy turning in a defensive gem on the other end of the floor. The lithe senior terrorized Bayfield ball handlers with eight steals and rejected two Wolverine shots. She also dominated the boards, spearing 14 rebounds.

In the early going, the underdog Wolverines were definitely in the hunt and were understandably excited about it. The main reason for the hosts' early success was that the Ladies' shooters were so cold they couldn't throw it in the ocean, as the saying goes.

After beginning the game with a series of missed shots and opportunities, the Lady Pirates broke into the scoring column with a lefthanded layup by Lancing two minutes into the first quarter. Two Pagosa misses later, Bayfield guard Becky Evers had a shot slapped back into her hands by Gronewoller, but she reloaded and hit her target, tying the game at 2-2.

The Lady Pirates followed Evers' basket with two turnovers, after which Wolverine sophomore Sara Beck put her team in front with two free throws. The Ladies continued to shoot blanks in their next three possessions, but at 2:42 Lancing took her spot on the high post, in the neighborhood of the free-throw line, took a pass from Bonnie O'Brien, and took a shot that tied the score at 4-4.

Twenty seconds later, Bayfield answered with a breakaway bucket by Andrea Cusick. The two teams then tossed up bricks until Gronewoller finally found the mark with a putback with :50 remaining in the period. The Bayfield faithful were on their feet as the lowly Wolverines were locked in a 6-6 tie with Pagosa at the end of the first.

The hosts went up 7-6 when Amy Guy hit a free throw to open the second quarter, then 9-6 when Guy connected from the corner. An O'Brien three from a Lancing assist tied it back up at 6:55, but the Wolverines came right back with a basket underneath by Xochitl Garcia.

The Lady Pirates then stopped the bleeding and went on a run of their own, silencing the Bayfield crowd and baffling their bench. Lancing created a basket for herself in the lane at 6:22, and then the Wolverines turned the ball over in the face of a ferocious Pagosa press. The Lady Pirates took the lead when Lancing took a pass from Forrest and, with her toe on the 3-point arc, nailed down a jumper.

Forrest swiped the ball on Bayfield's next possession, and the Ladies brought the ball down, put up a shot, missed, and Gronewoller was hacked trying to go back up with an offensive rebound. The sophomore post made both shots from the stripe to give Pagosa a 14-11 lead with five minutes remaining in the half.

When the Wolverines tried to set up their offense, Lancing stole the ball and drove in for another score. Bayfield tried again only to have Esterbrook disarm them with a steal, and that led to a 5-foot jumper by Lancing, giving the Ladies a 19-11 lead.

The Wolverines retaliated with two quick baskets, but were then silenced until intermission. With about two minutes remaining, Forrest rejected an attempted layup, then Lancing squeezed through two Wolverine defenders for a basket on the other end. Next, an O'Brien steal led to yet another Lancing deuce, this time on a putback with 1:12 showing on the clock.

Finally, with 30 seconds remaining, Esterbrook stole the ball, fired it to Forrest streaking to the basket, who dropped it in for a 25-15 halftime lead.

No 3rd-quarter blues

In their previous two third quarters, the Lady Pirates' offense had sputtered, putting a paltry total of four points on the scoreboard. In the locker room at halftime during the Bayfield game, coach Wells reminded them of this alarming trend, urging them to "go out and get rid of those third-quarter blues."

The Ladies responded, and with a vengeance. They quickly robbed the game of any lingering suspense, outscoring the Wolverines 12-2 in the first four minutes and 22-6 for the period.

At 6:42, Evers attempted to start a Bayfield comeback with a basket in the lane, but Forrest answered with a bank shot from close range. When the Wolverines missed on their next attempt, Lancing snagged the rebound, and Gronewoller scored for the Ladies on a putback with just under six minutes remaining in the period.

Bayfield misfired again, and Lancing made the hosts pay on the other end, putting a nice fake on her defender and blowing past her for an easy two. Lancing's bucket made it 33-17, then she and Forrest added free throws to push it to 35-17. Another Lancing deuce, this time from a Meigan Canty assist, made it 37-17, and the Wolverines drifted off into dreams of beating the Ladies some other time. When the quarter finally ended, Pagosa had a lopsided 47-21 lead.

In the final period, the officials, like the Wolverines, were in a hurry for the game to end, so they put their whistles on mute and "let 'em play ball," allowing the game to deteriorate into an indoor rugby match. During the slugfest, Esterbrook managed two baskets; reserve Carlena Lungstrum hit on a three from far, far away; Lancing racked up three more points for good measure; and O'Brien and Andrea Ash added a field goal each. At game's end, every Lady Pirate had scored.

Lancing's 26 points led the Wolverine waxing, and she got support from Forrest with nine, Gronewoller with eight and O'Brien with five. Helping Forrest on the boards were Gronewoller with nine and Lancing with six. Lancing had five steals, O'Brien four and Canty three.

Bouncing back from their icy first quarter, the girls shot 40.6 percent (24 of 59) from the floor and an even 50 percent (7 of 14) from the line.

Evers and Michelle Miller paced the Wolverines with six points each. The Ladies held Ginny Flippen, Bayfield's leading scorer, to five.

The Lady Pirates wrap up the home portion of their schedule this weekend, hosting Monte Vista tomorrow night at about 6:30, then the Del Norte Tigers Saturday afternoon at approximately 3:30. Earlier this season, Pagosa roughed up both of these teams, smacking Monte 49-20 and routing Del Norte 57-24.

Saturday afternoon's game will be the last time seniors Esterbrook, Forrest and O'Brien play a regular season in front of their hometown fans.

Next Thursday, the Lady Pirates will travel to Ignacio to take on the Lady Cats. Winning that contest will give the girls a No. 1 seed for the IML District tournament to be held in La Jara Feb. 25 and 26.

Community News
Local Chatter

By Kate Terry

Workshops focus on county's growth

A series of public workshops having to do with Archuleta County's future growth and development will be held in February. The County has been divided into seven areas. A meeting is scheduled for each area. They will start promptly at 7 p.m. and should be over by 9 p.m. It is suggested that people attend the workshop for their specific part of the county.

These are public workshops. For the public's benefit here are some questions to think about. What kind of place should Archuleta County become? What should be preserved? What should change? What is the appropriate balance between making room for newcomers and tourists and maintaining the quality of life and culture that has been a part of Archuleta County's heritage for over a century?

In simple words, our opinions are important.

If you are unable to attend one of these workshops, you can fix your written responses to these questions at 264-4896, or e-mail to If you have questions contact Mike Mollica, Director of County Development at 264-5851.

Please see Kate's Calendar for a list of meeting dates and sites.

'There I Was'

If you are a World War II veteran, a devotee of WWII, or even lived during those times, then Pagosa resident's Wes Huckins' newly published "There I Was" is a must read. It's a recollection of his experiences as a combat bomber pilot, and a German prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III (located in Sagan, near Leipzig). The story moves straight through flight training, crossing the ocean to England, and flying a silver-colored plane the Germans spotted real quick as something "new and different" and so zeroed in to down it. Wes was befriended by a French farmer who was afraid of the Germans and turned him in, and so be became a prisoner of war.

His descriptions of life as a POW, particularly the food, are graphic. And the part when the war is coming to an end, the Germans scattering, and the POWs trying to make a connection with the American Army, is very interesting. The story is told with room for the reader to vicariously interact with Wes. "There I Was" is 52 pages of good reading. Sisson Library has a copy that can be checked out.


The Pagosa Piecemakers Quilt Guild will hold its board meeting on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 9 a.m. Meetings are held at the Mountain Heights Baptist Church at 1044 Park Avenue. There will be a sewing bee following the meeting to benefit the community. Everyone is welcome.

Fun on the run

From the "Anglican Digest."

The story is told of Abraham Lincoln attending a revival meeting in 1846. The evangelist Peter Cartwright asked all who believed they were going to heaven to stand up. A small group stood. He then exhorted, "All who do not wish to go to hell will stand." All stood - except Lincoln. "May I inquire of you, Mr. Lincoln, if you know where you are going?" Lincoln responded, "I came here as a respectful listener. I did not know that I was to be singled out by Brother Cartwright. But he asks where I am going. I desire to reply with equal directness. I am going to Congress." He went.


Chamber News

By Sally Hameister

Meeting focuses on telecommunications

There's a very nice symmetry to our new member/renewals this week - three of each, and we're happy to share them with you.

Welcome to Rosemarie Feirn who brings us Bodo Quality Cleaners Inc. located locally in the downtown City Market at 755 San Juan Street. Their main offices are in Durango at 303 Sawyer, and they have two locations in Durango. These folks can handle both your regular dry cleaning and laundry needs, or they also offer commercial services to hospitals, restaurants and hotels. They do a beautiful job on silk, (and I know this personally because I had a stain I thought I would live with forever, and Bodo performed a miracle on said blouse), leather, suede and fur. If you would like to give Rosemarie a call, you can do so at (970) 385-7761.

New member number two this week is Steve Scearce with VIN Marketing Communications located at 835 East Second Avenue, Suite 202, in Durango. VIN Marketing is a full-service advertising agency specializing in growing small businesses. From the World Wide Web to the local newspaper, their focus is your success. I'm sure that Steve wouldn't mind if I shared that he is also known as "The Voice" around these parts. He is the official narrator for the new Pagosa Springs video, in production as we speak, by Bachhus Video and TV Production Inc. Jean Poitras is at the helm of this project, and I will let you know when we are closer to distribution of the video, because I assure you that you will want to own one and send several to everyone you know. You can reach Steve, The Voice, at 385-4248.

Our next new member will be a familiar name to most of you and a more than interesting name to add to our books. The Ghost Ranch/Conference Center joins us all the way from Abiquiu, New Mexico, with Jean Richardson as our contact. The Ghost Ranch/Conference Center offers year-round educational seminars and opportunities for independent study, R & R, conference sties for non-profit organizations and church groups and out recreational activities. You are invited to visit and make Ghost Ranch your destination for their programs or your contractual conferences and meetings. Ghost Ranch is the site that Georgia O'Keefe called "the magic place." You can reach them at (505) 685-4333.


Our renewals this week include Bob Scott with Edward Jones Investments; David and Carolyn Hamilton with Juicy Jerky and Charlotte Overley with the San Juan Outdoor Club. Thank you, new and renewals, for your support.


Congratulations to all the folks who worked so hard this past weekend to create a terrific WinterFest with no help whatsoever from the snow gods. Thanks to all the Rotarians who brought us yet another year of hilarious Follies - "Shout" never fails to create a party mood, and the 8:30 crowd was definitely in the mood for a party. Togas and laughs aplenty.

Liz and Mike Marchand of Rocky Mountain Balloon Adventures brought us two wonderful ascensions at Pagosa Lodge on Saturday and Sunday mornings and a glorious glow on Saturday night. It was quite the sight to behold while enjoying dinner with friends. We hope our balloonists will become a permanent piece of WinterFest weekend. Thanks Liz and Mike.

The Lions Club outdid themselves once again with a delicious breakfast at Parish Hall. They always can be counted upon to provide really tasty pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits and gravy to die for. Truly enjoyed the company and the fare.

Dick and Kathey Fitz had a gorgeous spread prepared for all who attended their open house at the High Country Lodge on Sunday. Unfortunately, the once-white hill was brown, so we were forced to cancel the sled race, but the Fitzs didn't let that dampen their hospitality. Who knows, we may actually have a WinterFest in our future that includes snow. John Steinert at Juan's Mountain Sports was forced to cancel the snowboard jumping contest as well, so let's hope we can try that one again next year.


I've been remiss in thanking some folks who have helped us out in recent weeks, and I would like to correct that right now and beg forgiveness from these good people. Jean Sanft, Joan Cortright, Phyllis Alspach and Ron and Sheila Hunkin have all been kind enough to come in and host the Visitor Center so the staff could decorate for Mardi Gras one day and attend the board retreat the following week for a day. Thank you all for being there for us - again and always, it seems.

Thanks again to those wonderful guys at La Plata Electric for trading out our flags again. We truly do appreciate your efforts every time you come with that trusty cherry picker and risk life and limb to make us look better. We're in your debt.


Don't forget to bring us those newsletter inserts by Friday, Feb. 25. Morna has already received a few, and you don't want to be left out. The quarterly newsletter, The Chamber Communiqué, is scheduled to come out some time the first week of March, and offers an extremely economic advertising opportunity to you and your business. You just bring us 700 flyers with your information (grand opening, new address, specials, etc.) and a check for $30, and we do the rest. It's a sure-fire way to get the word out to just about every business owner in town - and the entire Chamber membership. Please call Morna with any questions at 264-2360.

Fibber and Charlie

Tonight's the night for the wacky Thursday Night Live crowd to bring you material from the Fibber McGee and Molly radio shows and, new this month, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. I grew up with all these radio personalities, so now you know the sordid truth about my age - I'm old. For information, call John Porter at 731-3671.

Town meeting

CenturyTel will be hosting a Town Meeting on Thursday evening, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in the county commissioners meeting room at 486 San Juan Street. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss telecommunications with the citizens of Pagosa Springs, and everyone is invited to attend. There will be a short presentation and a question and answer period to address all subjects. Refreshments will be served.


Pagosa Lakes

By Ming Steen

Huge crowds tax Rec Center parking lot

Weekday evenings at the Recreation Center are seeing huge crowds and a shortage of parking spaces. Through the generosity of Mountain Heights Baptist Church, Recreation Center members may park their vehicles in the church's parking lot. The short walk over to the Recreation Center counts as part of the pre-exercise warm-up. Because usage at the Recreation Center during the evening hours involve many families with young children, both parents of these children and drivers of auto-vehicles are reminded to exercise extreme caution when backing vehicles out of the parking spaces. Please do not allow children to dash around in the parking lot.

The quad chair lift at Wolf Creek Ski Area opened on Jan. 30, adding 581 acres of fabulous ungroomed back-country terrain for skiers and snow boarders. This new chair lift adds a whole fresh dimension to the skiing or boarding at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

Pagosa Springs Health Partnership will present "A Healthy Heart" on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Dr. Jim Pruitt will talk on steps to take (both medical and alternative) to maintain a healthy heart and options for treating heart problems. The public is invited to attend these free medical educational clinics which are offered the third Thursday of each month. Our thanks to Pagosa Springs Health Partnership, Upper San Juan Hospital District and Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center for sponsoring the clinics. But it was through the vision and initiative of Dr. Bill Sayre that the Pagosa Springs Health Partnership was first formed. Thank you Bill.

The community is saddened by the passing of Terri Estep Smith. Her death Tuesday morning came unexpectedly, leaving family and friends disturbed and over-whelmed with grief. I will miss her presence but the essence of her beautiful personality will go on. Terri shared her beliefs with others through a quiet, gentle and unassuming personality. Even in the most trying of circumstances, she chose silence over angry words. To her husband Terry and children Grace, Max and Quinn, please accept our heart-felt condolences and know that we all share in the loss.

The PLPOA monthly board meeting will be held tonight at 7 in the Pagosa Lakes Community Center. Members and observers are encouraged to attend. Public comments are heard at the beginning of the meeting.

The following agenda for tonight's meeting was provided by the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association:

- Call to Order

- Approval of agenda

- Approval of board meeting minutes

- General manager's report: Employment Contract; 3G property; audit proposal

- Public comments

- Committee reports

- Old business: Turk Trail easement.

- New business:

A. Appointment of director to PLPOA board

B. Request for clubhouse rental and deposit waiver for community function, Tim Horning

C. Request for associate membership, Robert Goodman

D. Request for waiver of legal fee on past-due account, Gary Bohn

E. Extension for combining lots.


Education News

By Tom Steen

Center needs friends for 2000

The Education Center is inviting local families and businesses to become supporting members of the "Friends of the Education Center" for the year 2000. Thank you to the following earlybirds who have already become supporting members for this year.

Silver Members ($1,000 to $4,999): Town of Pagosa Springs.

Bronze Members ($100 to $999): Archuleta County, Dave and Carol Brown, Teresa and John Huft, Bud and Barbara Brashar, Jim and Jean Carson, Pam Barsanti, Gary and Nan Rowe, Jack and Tamara Searle, Bob and Lisa Scott, Ray and JoAnn Laird, Don and Mary McKeehan, Michael Alley, Henry and Wilma Espoy, Paige and Jean Gordon, Emmet and Beverly Showalter, Cecil and Barbara Tackett, Lee and Laurie Riley, Doug and Jamie Sharp, Ron and Cindy Gustafson, Steven and Ellen Rolig, Jack and Katie Threet, Dan Aupperle, Tom and Susan Wellborn, Willie and Christen Spears, Don and Dianna Stubbs, Gene and Joan Cortwright, Chris and Summer Phillips-Pierce, Ken and Kathryn Perry, Ray and Teddy Finney, Reid and Debra Kelly, Jon and Fran Jenkins, Stu and Marti Capling, Bonnie Masters and Dick Babillis, Barbara Sanborn and Ranza Boggess, Jr., James and Debra Brown, Stan and Beverly Haynes, Sidney and Phyllis Martin, and Roy and Betsy Gill.

Family and Single Members ($35 to $25): Windsor and Ron Chacey, Jere and Lois Hill, Jim and Vanessa Sutherland, John and Linda DiMuccio, Dhian Lauren, Sue Gast, William D. "Pops" Kimble, David and Mary Helen Cammack, Rice Reavis and Ben Lynch, Elizabeth Allen, Scott Allen, Sharon L. and Ray A. Pack, Howard Zacher, Charles Hubbard, Jane and Dr. J.R. Cook, Gene and Jackie Schick, Bob and Patty Tillerson, Bill and Marguerite Flick, Ralph and Lois Gibson, Jan and Ken Brookshier, Jack and Mary Madore, James Pruitt, M.D., Gil and Lenore Bright, Kathy Mymern, Frank and Charlsie Reardon, and Zack Nelson.

Business Members ($50): Blood of the Lamb Counseling, Bootjack Ranch, Citizens Bank, Colorado Dream Homes, Cool Water Plumbing, J.E. Sutherland Construction, Jackisch Drug Store, Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, LaPlata Electric Association, Mountain Snapshots, Pagosa Players and King's Men, Sunset Ranch, and United Oil Company.

The Archuleta County Education Center, Inc. (the Education Center) is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation. We have offered a wide range of children, youth and adults education opportunities in Pagosa Springs for more than ten years. Please send tax-deductible contributions to the Education Center at P.O. 1079, Pagosa Springs, 81147.

Mission and offerings

Our mission is to offer programs and support to meet literacy, educational, and vocational needs in our community. This mission is based on the belief that learning is beneficial and valuable to everyone throughout life and that individuals living in small communities should not be deprived of educational opportunities.

Education Center offerings include;

1. An alternative high school diploma program.

2. Access to high school classes through distance learning options.

3. Literacy tutoring.

4. Assessment and training to pass the GED (high school equivalency) test.

5. Classes for speakers of other languages (ESL).

6. Youth job skills training and placement (Pagosa Youth Force).

7. After-school tutoring and homework help (first through eighth grades).

8. After-school enrichment programs (arts, dance, drama, music).

9. CPR/First aid certification and training classes.

10. Computer classes.

11. Various general interest community education classes.

12. Access to Pueblo Community College classes taught locally.

13. Access to degree programs available through various distance learning and telecommunication options.

New class offerings

"Microsoft Word for Realtors," meets Monday and Wednesday Jan. 17 through Feb. 3, 6 to 8 p.m.

"First Aid/CPR for Infants and Children," meets Saturday, Jan. 15, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"After-School Tutoring (fifth to eighth grade)" takes place Monday and Wednesday, 3:45 to 5 p.m. or Tuesday and Thursday, 3:45 to 5 p.m.

"Family Night - computers for kids and parents," Thursday, Jan. 13, 6 to 8 p.m.

"Family Night - from the sheep to the coat," Tuesday, Jan. 25, 6 to 8 p.m.

"Good Credit Made Easy" will be held Saturday, Jan. 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"After-School Tutoring (first to fourth grade)" meets Monday through Thursday, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. or 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

"Kids Klubroom (first to fourth grade)" meets Monday through Thursday, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. or 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

"Storytelling Fun (first to fourth grade)" takes place on Jan. 10 and Jan. 17, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

"Computer Club (first to fourth grade) will meet Tuesdays, Jan. 11 to Jan.25, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

"Art with Tessie (first to fourth grade)" will be held Jan. 12 to Jan. 26, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

"Drawing and Painting (first to fourth grade)" meets Thursdays, Jan 13 to Jan. 27, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

For more information or to register, please stop by or call the Education Center at 264-2835.


Library News

by Lenore Bright

Farrow's reading project gets support

Joyce Farrow has a special reading program at the Elementary School. The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation and the Friends of the Library recently gave a donation to help Mrs. Farrow's project. Warren Grams presented the check on behalf of the Friends and the Hersheys. Reading is critical and we applaud all of the programs that support literacy here in Archuleta County. We also applaud the many citizens who give of their time to read to students. A number of our library volunteers also help out at the elementary school, and we're very proud of them.

Friends of the Library

This organization is preparing for its big fundraising activities in the next few months. The first one will be the Indoor Garage Sale coming up in the middle of March. We'll tell you more about that in the coming weeks. In April we are planning a very special activity - a special cookbook sale. If you like to collect cookbooks, let us know and get on our invitation list. More to come on this activity too.

New books

The list is growing. I will take requests through next week. After that, you can still request but we won't be buying for awhile.

Tax preparation

The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is a free tax counseling and preparation service. This year we are fortunate to have a volunteer program here in Pagosa. Teresa Ann Huft will provide sessions on February 11,18 and 25. More may be held in March.

You may qualify for the Colorado sales tax refund, which provides a minimum return this year of $159 for an individual and $318 for a couple.

This year's program is assisting low- and moderate-income individuals with particular attention to seniors over 60.

The sessions will be held at the Senior Center. Call 264-2250 for more information or see our poster on the subject.

More tax stuff

We still don't have Colorado tax forms. We suggest you may want to talk to an accountant if the forms don't come soon. The state is pushing for electronic filing at or by touch-tone phone at (303) 238-3453. The library computers are not available for downloading tax forms. Anyone wishing to do this must make arrangements some place else. This may be the last year we can provide any tax forms as the governments move to electronic filing.

We do have tax forms in the book that may be copied at 15 cents a page.

This is becoming quite an inconvenience for all concerned, and we have complained to both governments to no avail. The Federal forms are late because Congress didn't act soon enough. The state has offered no excuse.

Colorado business

The subject of growth and planning will be on everyone's list for years to come. With staggering projections of population growth of 73 percent on our western slope, your opinions are important. No matter your viewpoint, the issue comes down to economic vitality and the quality-of-life balances with water being the great equalizer. Go to the planning meetings scheduled throughout the county in the next few weeks. And ask for a copy of the "Colorado Business Review" here at the library. What are your issues? Let your voice be heard.

Park seminars

Each year, the Rocky Mountain National Park puts on field seminars that have grown from two summer courses in 1962 to almost 140 courses in 2000. Most include field trips and academic credit is available through CSU for teacher recertification and other approved longer courses.

Imagine a college on the crest of the continent with a campus of meadows, alpine tundra, and glacier carved valleys. We have a limited number of brochures if you're interested.


Financial help came from Ann Van Fossen. Materials came from Wesley Vandercook, Jim and Margaret Wilson, Ann Graves, Joan Cortright, April Matthews, Darla McLean, Arthur Sattva, Ramona Crosby, Bill Downey, Mary Nichels, Madeline Finney, Dr. Dohner, Elizabeth Mollica, Mary Weiss, Shirley Snider, Al Moore, Carol Hakala, Virginia Decker, Thelma Ceradsky and Lisa Hauger.


Arts Line

By Trisha Blankenship

Results in for photo contest

The results of the very successful 12th annual Pagosa Springs Arts Council are in!

Many participants showed off their incredible photos for all our eyes to see, and what a delight they are. Numerous categories made for a very interesting array of photographic splendor. Here are the results of very creative efforts:

Black and White: first - Sara O'Brien, "Minnesota River"; second - Jonesy, "The Awakening"; third - Denise Mudroch, (small child and man).

Up-Close: first - Christie Calderwood, (cactus flower); second, John J. Taylor, "Alpine Pride"; third - Shirley Cope (bright red flower).

Special Technique: first - Josh Kurz, "There's One in Every Crow"; second - Clare Burns, (woman); third - Jeff Laydon "Gallery in the Park."

Autumn Scenic: first - Bob Morriss, "Cottonwoods Along the San Juan River"; second - Jean Y. Poitras, "View from the Top"; third - Doug Trowbridge, (aspens looking up).

Winter Scenic: first - Lili Pearson, "Beautiful Pagosa"; second - Pat Carey, "Afterglow"; third -James LaRue, "Winter at the Hot Springs."

Open: first - Steve Lackey, "Queen is Wild"; second - Christie Calderwood, "Buffalo Boy Tram"; third - Patricia Francis, "Call to Ride."

People: first - Clare Burns, "Mattaia"; second - Jonesy, "Jazmine St. Claire-Volcano Goddess"; third - Denise Mudroch, (man's portrait).

Patterns: first - Josh Kurz, "Newhance Rapid, Grand Canyon"; second - Patricia Francis, "Patterns in the Rain"; third -Shirley Cope, (sand dune); honorable mention - Chris Mills.

Animal: first - Christie Calderwood, (deer velvet); second - Steve Hammond, "Ea Aloha, Hawksbill Turtle"; third - Blair Timmerman, "Cassie"; honorable mentions - Doug Trowbridge, Shirley Cope, Patricia Francis.

Architecture: first - Jennifer Rosta, "Church in Shadow"; second - Steve Lackey, "Bales School"; third - Sam Snyder, (bridge abutments).

General Landscape: first- Sam Snyder, (cloud reflections in high mountain lake); second - Chris Mills, (b&w Taos Pueblo Cemetery); third - Josh Kurz, "Sangre de Cristo Sunset"; honorable mentions - John Taylor, Ken Brookshier, Jennifer Rosta, Jim Shugart.

Best of High School Student: Brandi Timmerman, " Up, Up, in the Air," patterns category.

And, finally . . .

Best of Show: Clare Burns, "Mattaia," people category.

Congratulations to everyone for putting on such a splendid display of variety and color! Remember, the photographs will be on display through the Feb. 26 at Moonlight Books and Gifts, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, so do not miss an opportunity to see some real clever photography.

Public service

If you enjoy the arts, get into what the Pagosa Springs Arts Council has to offer. Exhibits, workshops, musical and theatre performances, photo club and arts camp for kids. By encouraging local artistic talent, the Pagosa Springs Arts Council helps ensure a flourishing and diverse community by enriching lives through all the arts. Your membership is essential so that the PSAC can continue to provide meaningful educational and cultural programs for our community and its visitors. Check out the Pagosa Springs Arts Council at Town Park and see for yourself the wonderful talent we have right here in Pagosa Springs! If you would like to become a member, it's easy. Give us a call at 264-5020.

Exhibit applications

Y2K exhibit applications are now available at the PSAC Gallery and Moonlight Books. Pick one up soon - time slots are being filled quickly. We do still have an open time slot in March, if you hurry and reserve your spot as a displaying artist. The Pagosa Springs Gallery and gift shop will be closed through the month of February. Anyone interested in renting the gallery space during this month please call 264-5020 and leave your name, number, and a message.


Senior News

By Janet Copeland

Seniors get ready to dance on Valentine's Day

We offer special thanks to Aila Waldow, who honored us on Monday by telling us about Finland. Her presentation was very informative and interesting - now we would love to be able to spend six months in Finland, as she did (she was sponsored by the 4H).

Get on your dancing shoes, folks. There will be a Valentine's Dance at the Parish Hall on Feb. 12 from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Seniors will be admitted free by presenting their membership cards. Also, don't forget to bring your Valentine cards and enjoy the party at the Senior Center on Feb. 14.

The staff here at the Senior Center is working very diligently to plan some interesting trips for the seniors this spring. Present plans are for a trip to Laughlin, Nev., which will leave Pagosa on March 23 and return on March 27. Helen Schoonover is handling the arrangements so persons interested in taking this trip contact Helen or Cynthia Mitchell (at the Senior Center) for more information. There is a trip to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M., planned for late April. We will tell you more about these trips as plans are firmed up. Also, the bus will be available to transport seniors to the movie theater on Tuesday nights - please let Cynthia know if you wish to take advantage of this service.

For those using the medical shuttles, special trips on Tuesdays and Thursdays will have a minimum charge of $2 per trip.

Six of our seniors attended the play in Durango Friday night. We wish to thank Kurt Killion for driving the bus - we had a good time.

Bruce Muirhead is our Senior of the Week. Bruce and his lovely wife, Mary, are mainstays of our organization and we are pleased to honor him this week.

It was good to have Andy Martinez back visiting us on Wednesday, and Ted Archuleta on Monday.


Skiing with Cruse

By Katherine Cruse

Cruse hits the slopes again

I've been skiing again. Second time. More snow than January, which is good.

"Do not mention skiing," writes a Spanish friend who grew up skiing, but now lives in Florida. "My teeth grow of envy." Hotshot and I had just parked our car at Wolf Creek Ski Area last week and were clumping up the stairs, when a friendly young woman stopped us. "I just want to tell you how much I admire you," she started. We hadn't put the skis on yet, so it couldn't be our flawless form on the slopes. You could tell by the accent that she was from Texas, so she wasn't commenting on this column.

"Skiing at your age," she continued. Oh.

"I can't get my mother to ski," she went on. "She says she's too old." Being one of the younger Gray Wolves, all of whom can ski rings around me, many of whom only lately learned to ski, I wasn't quite sure how to respond. I hadn't thought we were old.

"You're an inspiration," she finished up. Well, that's pretty nice, being called an inspiration. But hardly justified. I've met a couple of skiers who started over 50 years ago. Back then they hiked - yes, HIKED - up the mountain and skied down. Sometimes they had to trim low-hanging branches to clear a path. Four of these trips were a day's worth of skiing.

Bit by bit we're accumulating the gear. I now have goggles. And black pants. I look like lots of other people there, sartorially speaking. I still want to get those neat little après ski booties, like a lot of my friends and acquaintances put on at day's end, because, lemme tell you, walking back down to the parking lot at the end of the day turned out to be pretty exhausting. I felt like the gal wearing the radiation suit in a movie we saw recently. Talk about awkward!

Since four weeks had passed since the first lesson, I signed up for another one. I can do snowplow turns and slow myself down. I'm learning parallel turns and get them right about half the time. I can even turn and stop. Hotshot's progressing a lot faster than I am. He spent most of his time on the Blue runs last week, while I stuck to the Green Dot (Baby Beginner) runs. I felt like I was doing pretty well. Until some 8-year-old kid came zooming past me, all alone, perfect posture, not even holding poles in his little hands.

But, I can't get off the chair lift. Without falling, that is. It's not a pretty sight. I've had lots of advice on how to overcome this beached-whale aspect. As a result, in a roundabout way, I think we can add a new criterion of what distinguishes humans from the lower mammals. We are the ones who give advice.

Think about it. Do you see other animals go around giving advice? Not at all. The cats don't say to each other, "Here's a better way to climb a tree," or, "You'll sleep better if you lie on your right side." The dogs don't say, "Bark like I do." The horses don't say, "I suggest you eat this, it'll polish your teeth while you chew." Nope, the animals just do their own thing. And the babies learn by watching their parents, or by trying things out for themselves. In fact, when we hike around a bend in the high country and surprise some elk, the cows are likely to run off and leave the poor little calves staggering along behind. I submit, again, that we're the only species that gives instruction and advice. And we keep on giving it, as long as we have someone to listen.

Witness my day on the slopes last week. I fell three times, getting off the Nova lift. Hotshot, who was with me, gave advice. "Put your hand here, and now just stand up." It's true that the Nova lift is really designed for people who are altitudinally challenged, and it's pretty low to the ground, so maybe it's not the best lift to try and exit from. I felt like a woman in an advanced state of pregnancy trying to heave herself up out of an easy chair. So I moved up to the Dickey lift. And I continued to fall.

At lunch time I sat with a group of people who were eager to instruct me in the mysteries of chair lift exit strategy. Five people, five voices going at once, five different bits (or bytes) of info. I'm grateful for their concern. But I think I have to work this out on my own.

I have concluded that it's related to a fear of speed. I want to be in control. I love the feeling that I can stop, going down the hill. Lou, my instructor, keeps urging me to go a little faster, relax, have fun, don't be afraid of speed. "It's easier to turn if you're moving faster," he tells me. "Speed is your friend." Part of getting off the lift, I think, apart from that interminable half-second between sitting perched on the edge of the chair and actually being up over your skis and moving down the slope, is letting yourself go.

Now that I think about it, that little run down from the chair lift exit point is one of the steeper slopes I've been on. So I'm going to work on letting speed be my friend. For me that's a novel concept. And when I finally do master getting off the chair lift, I'll be sure and explain my method to anyone who'll listen.



Pogo knows Pagosans

This has been an unusual winter. For the most part Pagosa has had very little snow. But based on the number and nature of the e-mails and letters to the editor the past few weeks, some folks are experiencing severe cases of cabin fever.

However, there were some encouraging notes this week.

One, Judy Kleckner called Friday to report her Jan. 27 letter to the editor regarding her lost Corgi dog had produced positive results. Folks started calling Thursday afternoon to tell Judy they had noticed a Corgi wandering around with other dogs in their area. Friday, a good Samaritan phoned to say the Corgi was at his home and provided Judy directions for an eventual reunion. So thanks to the readers, the Corgi is back home.

Two, the comments Glen Bergmann and D.C. Duncan offered this week regarding a Jan. 27 letter about our county judge.

Since neither addressed the comment, "What has he (Judge Jim Denvir) and his kind done in their past . . ." to assists those in need, I'll do so.

In his "past," Judge Denvir volunteered his services as a legal aide for persons who lived in the Long Beach, Calif., area and who were unable to afford legal assistance. Also in his past, after earning his law degree, he served as a legal service lawyer with the California Rural Legal Assistance program in Gilroy and Yuba City, Calif. The program provided legal aid for migrant farm workers and other low-income persons of that region.

Personal attacks of public figures usually say more about the person making the attack than about the target. Consider the source. To be attacked by a bull is much different that to be annoyed by a noisy bull frog. The same is true of being attacked by a swarm of hornets as opposed to a swarm of gnats.

Still, being sprayed by a skunk - an attack that is void of any significant harm - it is bothersome and disturbing.

Oh, lest I forget, Friday a reader asked for a clarification on my concluding comment in last Thursday's Dear Folks that said ". . . the future (of Archuleta County) will become worthless if the persons elected to implement and enforce the (Archuleta County Community Plan) are controlled by the real estate-related interests within the county."

It was an attempt to politely say that while it's incidental for a salesman to boast, "I sell Pagosa," I hope the day never comes when a land speculator or anyone in a related industry can claim, "I bought the courthouse."

Rather than a seasonal winter malady, my comment is an election-year concern. David C. Mitchell


Dear Folks

By David C. Mitchell

Pagosa is made up of memories

Dear Folks,

This is another tremendously tough week for Pagosa.

Last week Ron Wedemeyer.

This week Terri Estep Smith.

Living in Pagosa has taught me that the good don't die young.

No. The good never live long enough. So it is with Terri.

Living in Pagosa has also taught me the value of memories.

It's easy for folks to miss the mark when they try to make the non-issue of old-timers versus newcomers an issue. The issue isn't longevity. The top priority of living in Pagosa is the folks you're able to meet. The acquaintances you have. The friendships that develop. The experiences and interests you share.

I'm painfully learning that the true value of residing in Pagosa for many years is that your greater number of years provides you with a greater number of personal encounters and experiences with a greater number of folks who live, or who once lived, in Pagosa.

The beauty of Pagosa is its surroundings. The beauty of Pagosa is its people. The beauty of Pagosa is the memories it produces.

I love the view - please forgive me for thinking of it as "my view" - from my home on Fourmile Road.

I love skiing at Wolf Creek when the snow depth is measured in feet rather than inches.

I love seeing the Chromo Valley when returning from Albuquerque on U.S. 84. Or the Upper Piedra Valley when heading to Williams Creek. Or the Weminuche Valley from the bluffs above the Ice Caves or the up the road to Sand Bench.

I love the cool shade of the aspen when hiking along the banks of Fourmile Ditch.

But none of these aspects of "Most Wonderful Colorado" match the memories of the wonderful folks that unconsciously become stored away in your mind's eye while living in Pagosa.

I've already hiked up the draw to the water tank atop Reservoir Hill once this winter. The walk to the picnic table offers an impressive view of the valley between Fourmile and Snowball roads as a reward.

The paths and trails beneath the trees on Reservoir Hill were snow covered the morning of November 22 when I snapped a photo of the snow-capped Pagosa Peak.

Cynthia and I hiked the Reservoir Hill trails during the Thanksgiving holidays.

It's unreal how you can be almost within a stone's throw distance from the post office, yet feel soothingly isolated when walking the switch-back trails on Reservoir Hill.

It's easy to understand Terri's attachment with Reservoir Hill.

Her attachment involved numerous sweaty hours of working on developing trails on the hill and on protecting its slopes and gullies from erosion. It also involved her mountain bike.

It was never easy for me to understand how she effortlessly raced her mountain bike up these trails.

Aware of her keen intellect, it was even harder to understand how she recklessly, but skillfully, raced her bike down the steep embankment's slippery, rooted, rocky trails.

It matters not how long you have called Pagosa home or how well you knew Terri and her Terry, and their youngsters; be thankful for your memories.

Until tomorrow morning, folks won't know what the road or trail conditions are on Reservoir Hill, or the depth of the snow beneath the trees or what the view will be towards Pagosa Peak. It doesn't matter. The moment will add to the kaleidoscope of memories that folks who call Pagosa home are privileged to treasure.

Usually folks don't pick Reservoir Hill as the spot they want to be on a Friday morning in February. But tomorrow morning won't be usual. It will be special for a lot folks - just as Terri was special.

Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.


25 years ago


Taken from SUN files

of Feb. 13, 1975

Recent elk counts made from a helicopter by a Colorado Game and Fish Department biologist from Montrose indicate about as many elk are in this area as were at the same time last year. The count was below the five-year average. More coyotes were sighted this year than in the past and 69 wild turkeys were reported. Last month, due to weather conditions, many of the elk herds moved into New Mexico during the heavy snow storms.

New snow on Wolf Creek Pass totaled 87 inches last week. The six-foot marker at the East Side (snowplow) Camp is buried so there is no accurate snow depth available. The heaviest snowfall during the week came between the night of Feb. 9 and early morning of Feb. 10. when 33 inches of snow fell. Twenty-nine inches of snow fell on Feb. 11.

The contract of Superintendent Abner Hahn was renewed by the school board at its regular meeting Tuesday night of this week. In addition two teachers' resignations were accepted, effective next month. The two men are leaving the community, they said, for personal reasons.

A meeting of the proposed Archuleta County Building Contractors Association will be held Monday in the Pagosa Lodge conference room. The meeting is being called to elect officers and to set up rules for the association. All local contractors are urged to attend.


By Shari Pierce

'Well, there's that Flaugh chin.'

Last week I referred to a 1931 news article about Bill Flaugh's visit to Mr. and Mrs. Fred Harman's home in St. Paul, Minn. This was Flaugh's first visit to a "big city," but he took it in stride. The St. Paul Dispatch reporter informed readers of the reason behind Flaugh's celebrity: "Bill is rather famous for two things - the Flaugh chin and his bronco riding ability. The chin, one of those typical Western jaws that the collar ad boys do not have, has been depicted in thousands of drawings by Mr. Harman, who is an artist.

"Mr. Harman, who grew up with Bill among the mountains in the San Juan Range, always is drawing cowboys and cow ponies. The cowpuncher invariably has a chin like Bill's.

"It has got so that whenever I do a Western drawing with a cowpuncher in it someone is always saying 'Well, there's the Flaugh chin.' (Harman said)."

Flaugh commented on the uncertainty of his birthplace to the writer, who reported, "The pride of Pagosa Springs is a real cowboy. He was born - well, Bill never has found out exactly where.

" 'I was born in Edith, Colorado,' he explained, 'which at that time was in New Mexico, according to some, and in Colorado, according to others. I don't know what that makes me, a Coloradan or a New Mexican. It don't make much difference now, seeing as how I am already born.' "

Flaugh's comments had some semblance of truth to them. He was born in 1899 in Edith. Over a period of several years, beginning before his birth, there were many disputes over the exact location of the Colorado-New Mexico border in that area of the county. Elections were disputed, crops and land fought over, and two men lost their lives because of the establishment, or non-establishment, of the border. It would be over 25 years after Flaugh's birth before the exact location of the state line would be determined. The location of the border was officially established by an 1867 act of Congress commissioning U.S. Surveyor E.N. Darling to locate the 37th parallel of north latitude. Over following years, different surveyors located the line in different places. But ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Darling Survey of 1868 would stand regardless of where any later survey might have established the 37th parallel.

Flaugh returned safely to good ol' Pagosa Springs where he resided until his death in 1965.



Video Review

By Roy Starling

Two takes on nature of humanity

As Valentine's Day approaches, I thought it might be appropriate to review some airy, shallow, mindless flick featuring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks focusing on the blissful blossoming of romantic love, that enduring emotion that lasts on the average of, say, six months.

Unfortunately, I'm getting old, and my stomach can no longer tolerate that much undiluted sugar at one time. Still, I felt obligated to honor the season with either a "chick flick" or a "date flick." "Silence of the Lambs"? No, that one's better suited for Karl's "Food for Thought." "Misery"? Probably not, as it could hurt the tourist trade, the way it casts a bad light on the back roads of snowy Colorado.

Despairing of satisfying my romantic readers' lust for sentimentality, I turned to Stone, to Oliver Stone's "Platoon" (1986), which received an Academy Award for Best Picture. As you probably know, the Paranoid One is in town this week in the form of his latest film "Any Given Sunday."

But as I squirmed and wept my way through "Platoon," I realized that neither the film nor the war it was based on was fit for a smart-alecky column. The Vietnam War must surely rank among history's greatest nightmares, which is saying something since history itself is pretty much one bad dream. Stone, a veteran of that war, does nothing to candy coat or romanticize it, refusing to give us civilians a warm fuzzy patriotism about "our boys over there."

Even without Stone's trademark heavy-handedness, war movies always serve as a reminder that the failure of politics can lead nations to sacrifice their children, send their lambs off to slaughter - young people in the prime of their youth - and douse the fields of fire with blood in order to win their point.

But "Platoon" goes even further than this. According to Stone, Nam wasn't just a case of Us vs. Them. It was more like Us vs. Us and Them. There were, it seems, ongoing battles between the social classes, there being a disproportionate number of poor folks and minorities in combat; between "new guys" (with their assortment of colorful nicknames too crude to include here) and "short-timers"; between officers and enlisted men (a conflict that could result in "fragging," i.e., the wasting of a fellow American soldier, usually an officer); and between blacks and whites.

Depressed? It gets worse. In "Platoon," "our" guys have a hard time determining which of the Vietnamese are the "bad" guys. Could it be that some are "good" by day and "bad" by night, carrying out the wishes of first the South, then the North, doing essentially whatever it takes to survive? Are some of the enemy old women or young girls? If so, do you kill them anyway?

In this murky atmosphere, where ignorant armies clash by night, Stone still finds a way to oppose a good force against a bad one. There is Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe), who once believed in the cause, but now is beginning to doubt it. While still a warrior, he has a heart and a conscience, and he becomes a sort of father figure to the film's narrator, new guy Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen). Representing the dark side, we have Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger), who sees the war effort as a machine that must be kept running properly regardless of the cost. In the words of Taylor, he "makes up the rules as he goes along, and he'll never die."

Barnes, on the other hand, sees himself as "reality. There's the way it oughta be and there's the way it is. I'm the way it is."

From Stone's perspective, the brutal Barnes is reality. Stone's world is devoid of innocence, sanity or trust. He so overwhelms us with man's darker angels, with evil, misfortune, treachery, hatred, division, and just plain bad luck, that we are left to cry - as we have cried in this column many times before - "The horror! The horror!"

After every possible bad thing has happened, the movie ends with Taylor leaving "the Nam" and heading back to "the World." By voice-over, we hear him reflect: "Those of us who made it (through the war) have an obligation to spend what's left of our lives finding a goodness, a meaning in our lives."

This statement made me think of some of Stone's other films: "Nixon," "JFK," "Natural Born Killers," "Born on the Fourth of July" and "Heaven and Earth." Stone's own search for goodness and meaning has led him to meditate on Watergate, the JFK assassination, serial killers, a maimed Vietnam vet and a raped Vietnamese girl. But given what Stone has been through, I'm reluctant to judge his fascination with the morbid side of life.

Anyway, after watching "Platoon," and realizing that I really couldn't make it a part of my Valentine's Day video review, I rode into town looking for something a little more hopeful, something sweet, something in black and white. I settled on "Lilies of the Field," nominated for a Best Picture Oscar back in 1963.

"Lilies of the Field" begins with Homer Smith (Sidney Poitier), a black vagrant carpenter who lives in the back of his station wagon, pulling into a small convent in what I take to be southern Arizona to refill his leaking radiator with water. There he is greeted by five German nuns, headed by the Reverend Mother Maria.

By some wild stretch of her imagination, Mother Maria sees Homer as being sent by God to help the sisters build a chapel. The only Mass currently available to the sisters is a long hot walk down the highway where Father Murphy and a handful of peasants gather around an altar set up on the rear end of a small camper.

Mother Maria begins by convincing Homer to repair the convent's leaky roof, then, through a little food and a little coercion, she persuades him to clear some ground for her and, finally, to begin work on her chapel. Homer keeps waiting to get paid, but the sisters have no money to give him.

Stone's "Platoon" kicked me into the slough of despair, but "Lilies" threw me a rope and helped me pull myself back out. Here are some reasons I found it inspiring:

- The sisters have risked their lives for their faith, climbing the wall in Berlin and somehow traveling 8,000 miles to this remote piece of desert in Arizona, a barren, arid, harsh piece of the rock called Earth that for them is still the Kingdom of God.

- The Reverend Mother simply will not be denied. She won't stop praying and, believing that God helps those who help themselves, she uses whatever or whomever she needs to build God's house, because, hey, it's His will. She won't thank Homer for his work because, she believes, he can't help himself, he isn't responsible for his actions, he has no choice in the matter.

- At one point, with the chapel scarcely begun, Homer runs out of bricks, and no one knows how they'll get more bricks. When he complains about the situation, Mother Maria snaps at him that "this is God's will!" "Which is God's will?" Homer asks. "That we will get more bricks or we won't get more bricks?" "Whatever," she replies. Who knew that the favorite word of the so-called slackers of Generation X was in fact a succinct, mustard-seed-sized proclamation of faith?

- Homer, understandably, is at first a reluctant messiah, but when he finally accepts the call, as it were, he becomes greedy for complete ownership of the project. His pride insists that this is his chapel; he refuses the help of the local peasantry because only he has been called to build it. Apparently, it doesn't work that way. A chapel is a place for communal worship and thus can be (and should be?) constructed by a communal effort.

- Finally, I find it inspiring that a black man in pre-Civil Rights America, a marginalized citizen with not much more power than a little child, a homeless man with no place to lay his head, should be seized upon by the sisters as a gift from God. It doesn't hurt, of course, that Homer is also a carpenter, a vocation that the sisters' religion associates with God Himself.

After watching "Platoon" and "Lilies of the Field" last weekend, I concluded, in the words of Jonathan Swift, that human beings are "the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth." And I concluded, in the words of Alexander Pope, that man was "Created half to rise, and half to fall." And I concluded, with the poet William Blake, that life is comprised of Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, both telling only part of the story.

Clearly, we are a race eager to destroy, but also ready to build, and to believe.


Food for Thought

By Karl Isberg

Make your own funeral arrangements

It's all over.

I'm running a high fever.

My body aches. When I move, bones creak and connective tissue grinds.

Something like battery acid leaches from my head into the back of my throat. My lungs are filling with fluid and I cough constantly.

Worst of all, I'm not hungry.

My father was a physician, so I know what is wrong.

I'm dying.

The Big Train is heading for the Station.

Lock the door, we're out of business.

Who knows what happened: maybe I ate a Central American banana and contracted a weird hemmoraghic virus loosed by the burning of rain forests; a microbe crashed to earth inside a meteorite and I am the unlucky soul who inhaled the deadly aerosol; I was abducted as I slept then taken to the lab beneath Archuleta Mesa where an insidious pathogen was introduced to my body via an undetectable time-release implant.

Whatever the reason, I'm slipping away.

I crawl from my bed and struggle to the front room to bid Kathy adieu.

"You've got the flu," she says, looking up from her latest copy of the Pottery Barn catalog. She has her eye on a snazzy Mission-style side table. "Go back to bed and I'll bring you a cup of tea."

Poor, naive sweetheart, I think: she's in denial. I'm a mere breath or two from my demise and yet she bravely clings to the illusion I will soon be well. It's touching.

I lumber down the hallway to the bedroom. I get into bed and crawl under the covers. I am wearing wool socks, sweatpants and a Pagosa Pirate wrestling sweatshirt and I am shivering.

What to do in these last few moments?

Feel sorry for myself? Watch TV? Put my affairs in order?

I opt for all three.

Pouting all the while, I watch seven hours of daytime TV and I learn some very important things. I am thankful I can spend my last few hours on earth still excited about knowledge, still eager to absorb information.

Allow me to summarize what I learned during my last moments on earth.

- The Rip Curl Surf Championships proved once again those darned Aussies are nearly unbeatable. The residents of that giant island continent know their way around the H2O.

- Don't try to escape from angry terrorists if you're driving a 1964 VW bus.

- There is a see-through plastic shoe rack that fits on the back of any conventional-sized door!

- What happened to the Partridge Family can happen to anyone.

- There is an 800 number where you can obtain trouble-shooting tips for your riding lawnmower. Four out of five America homeowners mow their own lawns, you know.

- Asian women are on the verge of dominating professional billiards. Is this right?

- The Winter X Games are just as boring as the Summer X Games.

- Polar bears often appear to be asleep when they are not.

- Bugs Bunny is a personal friend of Michael Jordan.

- Manchester United and Arsenal are at it again in the FA Cup. One of the United strikers is described by the British commentator as "a cunning little devil."

- Very few applicants go qualify to be a member of the L.A. SWAT Team.

- The collective IQ of the finalists in the NPC National Bodybuilding Championships is 6.

- It's so natural, no one can tell.

With fever-wracked brain full of new and vital info, and the Reaper knocking on the door, I set to the task of putting my affairs in order.

Since I have no assets, I was able to skip directly to the most important consideration prior to cashing the Ultimate Ticket: planning the funeral.

How many of us really take time to plan our own funeral? More often than not the job is left to grieving family members and friends (if we have any). Sometimes the plans are made by a detached funeral director or, worse yet, by a junior member of the staff at some cheeseball funeral home.

If family members do the work, they usually pick the wrong stuff for the ceremony. They tend toward music and memories that coincide with their sense of loss - they focus on details that reflect their frame of reference.

I'm selfish. I want to control the flow of emotion. I want to dominate the perception of me, the deceased. FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!

First up is the subject of flowers. I don't pretend to know much about flowers, so I turn this job over to Kathy. She brought me a cup of herbal tea and, in a weak voice befitting my critical state, I asked her what blooms she will select for the service.

"Petunias," she said as she quickly left the sick room. "They're cheap."

Hopefully, my bride will take this responsibility more seriously as the event approaches. On the other hand, any money she saves will help with the purchase of the Mission side table.

Next: Who will speak at the service?

I want the proceedings to drag on, like a speech by a Third World dictator- two to three hours minimum.

I've decided to have six speakers at my service - five of them recounting high points of my absolutely fascinating life. Each speaker will be allowed to embellish the facts as necessary. This is only fitting, since I am a chronic exaggerator - schooled as a child in the art of hyperbole by old Cornish storytellers.

The first speaker will be an acquaintance from my childhood. This person will recall how adorable I was, despite severe myopia and a ferocious case of ADD. They will regale those in attendance with a description of the homemade ringmaster's suit I wore on Halloween at age seven.

Second to the podium will be a friend to recall how a series of concussions led to a misspent but amusing adolescence.

Third on the bill will be an associate who remembers my misspent late adolescence. This should be interesting, since I can't remember anything from this period of my life. I wish I could be alive to hear the stories.

Another peer will recall my misspent early adulthood. The incident on the train from Manhattan to Philadelphia is off limits!

Finally, someone from Pagosa will wrap things up with anecdotes concerning the years I squandered while in residence in the Upper San Juan Basin.

Since I've contracted an unbeatable malady (I feel my strength waning as I write this) I am once again an Episcopalian. As a result, I want the service to finish with a dry and vaguely inspirational Anglican message. As insurance, I want a Muslim cleric and a Buddhist priest to second the sentiment.

Music will play a big role at my funeral.

If possible, I want the Youth Choir Permonik to provide the music at my service. If the gals are unable to travel from Czechoslovakia for the occasion, a CD player will suffice. My musical selections are intended to produce maximum emotional impact - moving helter-skelter from the sacred to the profane - while revealing something of my aesthetic sensibility.

My selections:

"Loverman" by Thelonius Monk, from the London Collection

"I Don't Feel No Way Tired" by the Barrett Sisters. (I once had the honor to hear the Barrett Sisters perform. It is the only time I ever cried at a concert.)

Jiracek's "Kyrie Eleison" by Youth Choir Permonik.

"Hammering in My Head," by Garbage.

What service would be complete without Nasrat Fateh Ali Khan's "Man Atkeia Beparwah De Naal?" The dervishes in the crowd will be allowed to spin to their hearts' content.

Throw in "The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix and "My Love, She Comes in Colors," by Arthur Lee and Love.

Segué to the prelude to the third act of Verdi's "La Traviata."

Finally, for a superb effect, the music program terminates with Samuel Barber's "Adagio." I prefer the version by the Kronos Quartet; there is a weird edge to it.

Okay, the preliminaries complete, everyone is appropriately moved and it's time to adjourn for the most important part of the event.


I've selected some faves that can be prepared in bulk, ahead of time, so the kitchen staff can attend the service and emote with the rest of the guests.

I've chosen dishes featured in Craig Claiborne's "New York Times Cookbook." Claiborne died last month, so this is a nice touch.

First on the menu is Chicken Marengo: chicken, white wine, tarragon, mushrooms, tomato, garlic, butter, parsley, garnished with fried eggs and crawfish. Legend has it the dish was invented for Napoleon after he won the battle of Marengo, using ingredients scavenged from local sources. (Of course, the French believe the Little General won all his battles. According to what I saw at Hotel des Invalides, Waterloo never really happened. Viva la France!)

Spanning the culinary globe, diners will also enjoy Moussaka a la Greque, the dish brimming with lamb and eggplant, embellished with tomato, cheesy white sauce and cinnamon.

As a gesture to my heritage, the buffet will include Swedish meatballs - beef, veal and pork delicately seasoned with onion, salt and pepper, bathed in a velvety cream sauce.

Lastly, a bay scallop quiche kissed with nutmeg and sherry, and linguine with a heady anchovy sauce. Throw in some baguettes and butter, forget any and all extraneous vegetable matter, and you have a perfect funeral repast.

To spite my friend Russell Hebert, I want a cheap pinot grigio available for the white wine drinkers. (Hebert has hinted he will arrange for an appearance by the Denver Police bagpipe band at my service. Should anyone dressed in kilts arrive at the hall, they are to be stopped at the door!) On the red side of the spectrum, something chewy and foreign: a Rosemount Coonawara Reserve cabernet. I always wanted to travel to Australia to watch the surf championships and to visit the Rosemount Estates winery. Pity.

I am composing a list of nine individuals who will be allowed to join my brother Kurt and enjoy a bottle of Mondavi Napa Valley Reserve '96, which will be kept in a back room, under guard. If you want to be considered for the Mondavi list, contact me before I die. You'd best hurry.

For dessert, a salute to good old American down-home cooking. Coconut cream pie made by my sister-in-law, Jo.

When the meal ends, I want my ashen remains transported to Central City in a 1960 Mercedes 190 SL, cream with a red leather interior - the car in which my father taught me to drive. Once at the cemetery northwest of town, locate my great-grandfather Ike Welch's headstone - it's huge and probably toppled by a gang of drunken fraternity boys. Scatter me in the immediate area; other family members are there, so I'll be in good company.

Once you've dusted my residue off your pant legs, take out a bottle of '45 Dow Port and have a sip.

Someone propose a toast: To Karl, to the meteorite, to the best funeral ever.

Oh, go ahead, have another sip of the Port.

You have plans to make.


Old Timers

By John M. Motter

Fitzhugh's family roamed West

Chromo's Alvin Fitzhugh was born into one of those restless families that roamed the West during the latter half of the 1800s, looking for a home. Just check family birthplaces, generation by generation.

Alvin's grandfather, H.T. "Henry" Fitzhugh, was born in Henry County, Missouri, May 14, 1845. In 1852, the youthful Henry traveled with his parents to the California gold fields. They never struck it rich in California. Henry married Kate Gatlin in 1876. Kate had been born in Brighton, Iowa. The young Fitzhughs apparently moved to Nevada, because son Edward was born in Whitepine, Nev., during 1878. Before meeting Kate, Henry had been to Colorado where he served a short stint in the Army. By 1879, the couple was back in Colorado, living near Fort Collins.

Alvin's dad, Clarence Henry Fitzhugh, was born to Henry and Kate in La Porte, Colorado, May 30, 1884. La Porte is a little town in the mountains west of Fort Collins. In 1887, Henry got the urge to move to Cortez. A brother had decided to move to Wyoming, but traveled with Henry instead. Henry packed the family belongings on a pair of horse-drawn wagons, put the older boys in charge of driving the livestock, and hit the trail.

That trail wound down the Front Range through Denver, through Pueblo, over La Veta Pass and across the San Luis Valley, over Cumbres Pass, and into the Navajo River Valley where camp was made along the Navajo River just above today's Price Bridge.

"The story is," Alvin said, "he looked around his camp site, saw grass going to waste, fish in the stream, and deer crossing the fields. He decided it would be a good place to live."

Even in June, Cumbres Pass had a great deal of snow, and the passage by wagon required two weeks. That meant shoveling a lot of snow and camping out every night in the freezing temperatures.

Henry homesteaded on land now owned by Harold Schutz. The family built a home and raised cattle on the lush grass, grazing them on Uncle Roy's place during the summer. Uncle Roy homesteaded on land now known as the Hughes place. Beneath the current Schutz house are portions of the old adobe house Henry built. Several dairy cattle were milked, butter made from the cream, and the cream stored in the coolness of wells until it could be sold in Chama or Pagosa Springs.

Uncle Roy was fireman on one of the New Mexico Lumber Company logging trains. He and Ed Fitzhugh were killed when the train wrecked while making the big curve on the Blanco River.

Children born to Henry and Kate, in addition to Clarence, were sons Roy, Edward, Gordon, Mack, Harry, and Carrell, and daughter Mrs. Fay Havens. Henry and the boys performed what work they could to survive. At one time, Henry worked in the coal mines at Monero. The boys worked on the train and maybe in lumber mills and logging camps.

"Grandfather was a small man, but he was tough," Alvin said. "He and a neighbor got in a fuss over a fence. Grandpa told the man 'I'm going home to get my gun. If you want to live, you better be gone when I get back.' When grandpa returned, the man was gone."

Henry's method of negotiating with his neighbor seems to be typical of early day community affairs on the Navajo. The community presents a solid front to outsiders, but from within hard feelings festered for many years. Instead of using the courts to obtain justice, Chromoites preferred to take care of business themselves. An example was the treatment they gave a man charged with wife beating. The man was escorted to the State line with the suggestion he should ride away and not come back. According to local history, the last seen of the man was his back and his horse's tail as he disappeared in a southerly direction.

"There have been at least three murders down here, but no convictions," Alvin says.

Some of the hard feelings may have built up over the treatment of one of the girls attending the Chromo school, according to Alvin. The boys from one family gave the girl a hard time and generally harassed her, while the boys from another family defended her.

The U. S. Forest Service was formed in 1905. Not too many years later, probably 1908, Clarence crossed the San Juan Mountains to become one of the first forest rangers near Antonito. He stayed with the Forest Service about three years, then quit to open a butcher shop with a partner. The shop was located in Antonito.

During 1910, Clarence married Minnie Richerson, who had been born in Antonito in 1887. The couple had four children, all born in Antonito. The children are Evelyn, Elizabeth Jones, Alvin, and Ruth dePriest.

After a time, Clarence learned that his name was a better business asset than was the name of his partner and he bought the partner out. Slowly, the business grew into a general mercantile store. In 1929, the store burned. Then the Depression came. Since all of Clarence's business was on credit, he went belly up when his patrons couldn't pay their bills.

"They usually paid their bills maybe once a year when they sold their crops or cattle or sheep," Alvin said. "Dad only collected on one bill and it broke us."

The family moved to Albuquerque where they operated a motel, known as a camp in those days. When the state moved the highway, the family was broke again, so they moved back to Antonito. It was mid-depression and Clarence picked up what odd jobs he could find. Alvin had been born in Antonito, Jan. 14, 1916. He attended high school in Denver, graduating in 1934.

In 1935, the family moved back to Chromo on to 640 acres they had purchased while they owned the store in Antonito. The section of land was situated along the Navajo River Road just east of the Chromo Store. Meanwhile, Grandmother Kate and Uncle Doc tried to hang on to the old family homestead.

That first year irrigation water was brought to the new 640 acres and fences repaired. A loan secured enough money to buy a few heifers and the family started selling cream to the Browns in Pagosa Springs, making enough money to buy a few groceries. When the creamery shut down, the cream was sold to Swift Creamery of Durango. The Durango firm had established a truck route picking up cream from rural areas.

"Everybody got by selling cream, a few eggs, and a few steers," Alvin said. "We used the residue from the cream to feed a few hogs. We butchered for winter. We used to have to salt the pork. That was a bother because we had to get the salt out before we could eat it."

"Then I got the idea of keeping the pork in brine," Fitzhugh said. "We did that for years. It was easy to keep and easy to rinse. We usually butchered one steer and canned the meat so it would keep."

Electricity didn't reach the Navajo until the 1950s, although the Fitzhughs had a propane refrigerator. It didn't have a freezer.

"When electricity came, I got a deep freeze as soon as I could," Fitzhugh said.

Before electricity, the women had a tough life, according to Fitzhugh.

"For years they washed clothes with a rub-board, a stick, and a rock," Alvin said.

The first washing machine was a Maytag with a gasoline engine and a kick starter. Water was heated in a 55-gallon barrel attached to the wood cooking range. The water was lifted by bucket from a hand-dug well.

Alvin first married Eugena Ujick, who had come to Chromo to teach in the eight-grade school. They had a son named Louis before Eugena passed away. Later, Alvin married Lily Faye Hughes. She had a daughter, Sheila, when they married.

The Fitzhughs have piled up a mountain of history in Pagosa Country. Ed Fitzhugh had married Daisy Opdyke. She was the widow of Ed McIntire, another Chromo pioneer. Daisy had been a little girl in Pagosa Springs when Fort Lewis was part of the town. Her writings give us much of what we know about those first years of settlement.

Now, the land on both sides of the Navajo River is being taken up by homes belonging to people who live there because it's pretty. They don't ranch and they don't farm and they don't live off of the land.

"Back in the 1940s, we used to have community get-togethers," Alvin said. "We'd hold picnics at the same place my grandfather camped when he first came to this country. I guess times haven't changed that much. No long ago, I was invited to a party so we could all get to know each other. I don't know my neighbors any more."

Business News

U.P.H.M (United People Help Ministry)

Debi Hilsabeck, left, and Kendra Hilsabeck own and operate the U.P.H.M. (United People Help Ministry) Thrift and Gift Shop, located in the lower level of the River Center on the east end of Pagosa Springs. The store is accessed from the rear of the building.

Thrift and Gift offers a wide range of new, used and consignment goods, including clothing, furniture, books and kitchenware, and has a selection of family-oriented video rentals.

Proceeds from the Thrift and Gift go to charitable causes including work to assist needy families, single parents and the children of broken homes and teens.

Thrift and Gift is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The phone number is 264-8746.