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Wall Street can learn from cowboys

A beautiful photo essay book called “Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West” by James P. Owen has been donated to the library — and we’ll bet there are many people in Archuleta County who would love us to have enough copies to give one to everyone responsible for the ethical and financial meltdown on Wall Street that negatively affected so many Americans.

The author, who worked for 35 years in the financial industry, suggests that Wall Street firms should look back to a simpler time when a handshake was enough to seal a deal, and right and wrong were as clear as black and white. In words and images, this book explores the life and code of the working cowboy as a source of inspiration, pointing Wall Street to a way out of its current ethical morass.

“Cowboy Ethics” has been donated to the library by Windsor Chacey in honor of one of our most beloved local cowboy poets — long-time Pagosa resident Bob Huff, who passed away in December. This book is a wonderful tribute to Bob because it is about ethics and integrity.

During his 23 years living in our community with his wife, Mary Ann, Bob was active as a volunteer in many local organizations. He kept a few horses and grazed a few cows each summer on his Little Bit Ranch, and loved riding a good horse. Bob may best be remembered for his writing and reciting of cowboy poetry. Locals lucky enough to have heard him narrating by memory some of his verses around a campfire or at a community gathering will always remember their poignant messages that brought emotional reactions from laughter to tears — and always, understanding of the human condition.

The author of “Cowboy Ethics” says that “Rules can always be bent, but principles cannot.” He outlines 10 timeless principles that capture the essence of the Code of the West: Live each day with courage, take pride in your work, always finish what you start, do what has to be done, be tough but fair, keep your promises, ride for the brand, talk less and say more, remember that some things are not for sale, and know where to draw the line.

As the author put it: “Anybody can make money; it is much harder to make a difference.”

Bob Huff would agree with that.

Teen crafts today

Teens in the seventh to 12th grades can show off their craft skills and make cool Marble Magnets to stick on your locker or fridge today (Thursday, Feb.16) from 4:30 5:45 p.m. Keep them for yourself or share them with a friend. Supplies and snacks provided. This program was rescheduled from last month because of a staff illness.

Youth crafts tomorrow

Kids in the first to third grades are invited to Art Attack, hands-on crafts fun from 2–3:15 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 17).


New Advantage titles ordered just for our patrons include “Death Comes to Pemberley,” a mystery by P.D. James; “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer that inspired the Academy Award-nominated film; and “The Secret Speech,” an historical fiction thriller by Tom Rob Smith. If you are not aware of all the free e-book opportunities available for our patrons through your library, please read the Oct. 27, 2011, Library News column, which you can find on our website by clicking on the News & Events box in the left column of the home page.

Mysteries and thrillers

“All Necessary Force” by Special Forces veteran Brad Taylor is a thriller about two terrorist organizations being sought after by a top secret Taskforce. “Death Comes to Pemberley” by P.D. James draws the characters of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem written by one of the most admired mystery writers of our time. “Ghost on Black Mountain” by Ann Hite, told in the voices of five women when a murder takes place in rural Depression-era North Carolina, conjures the best of Southern folklore. “Cemetery Girl” by David Bell is a thriller about the return of a kidnapped girl who after four years won’t discuss where she was or what happened. “Wild Thing” by Josh Bazell is the sequel to the “Beat the Reaper” thriller. “The Silent Oligarch” by Chris Morgan Jones takes readers behind the scenes where the wealthy buy justice and silence. “Taken” by Robert Crais is the latest in the crime novel series featuring Elvis Cole and Joe Pike.

Other new novels

“Sweet Stuff” by Donna Kauffman is a romance set on a quiet Georgia island.


“A Nation of Moochers” by Charles J. Sykes explores the entitlements, tax breaks, benefits, bailouts and other forms of feeding at the public trough that are changing our nation’s character.

Books on CD

“Scarecrow Returns” by Matthew Reilly follows a mysterious terrorist group that seizes control of a remote and long-forgotten Soviet military base in the Arctic with a weapon of unimaginably destructive force. “Death of Kings” by Bernard Cornwell is the sixth volume in the bestselling Saxon Tales epic saga of England.

Thanks to our donors

For her generous donation, we thank Charlene Baumgardner. For books and materials this week, we thank Marty Margulies and Moonlight Books.

Quotable quote

“I expect to pass through this world just once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now … for I shall not pass this way again.” — Stephen Grellet (1773-1855), French Quaker missionary.


For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — please visit our website at

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