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Summer in Pagosa - those who walk before us

You would think, come summer, it would be time for relaxing on the front porch and drinking ice tea.

We have been busy experiencing Pagosa and all the time and effort people spend to make our town what it is.

My heart is full of thankfulness to them.

We are blessed with the people around us. We have friends who visit us in the summer. Maynard and Gloria Doolittle come and work beside us. I laugh when I see them coming. Even their names bring a smile to my face. These two should be in a Norman Rockwell painting. They fit in wherever we go. Whatever we suggest, they are all for it. We have moved together in and out of all the events in Pagosa.

We all showed up for the wrestling banquet in the park and listened to the High Rollers. As usual, it was one of the highlights of our summer. We set up our chairs in the town park, ate pulled pork — the money from food sales donated every year to the wrestling team — and listened to the band. Their time is also donated every year to help the kids go to their meets.

It seemed the whole town came out and participated. Everyone was generous. They auctioned off cakes. Even a cake called “BTS” pulled in a hundred dollars. No one knew what kind it was, but apparently this cake is better than any other. Our 16-year-old grandson thought it was better, even though he had only heard it was. I sent up a prayer and thanked the Lord he was still innocent.

Sweet Al and I danced under the moon and fell in love again as our kids did the work. The kids collected the money, served the food and kept things going. Wow, things have changed over the years: the kids are working and we are enjoying the fruit of their labor. I didn’t think I would ever see that day coming.

Then there was “Cinderella”. It was a sensational show. We are always amazed at the talent in Pagosa. Also, the work involved. My heart goes out to all those who work so hard to keep the arts in Pagosa alive.

We sat and watched the parade come through town. My heart jumped when the flags passed first. Did yours?

Again, we were reminded of this wonderful country we live in and the freedom we have as the veterans passed by. We watched men who served our country walk before us.

Then the firefighters came down the street. I gave a silent prayer of thanks to our Lord for these who had been on the front lines just a few miles away from us. They kept our town safe.

There were the Visiting Angels who passed by. I remember the few friends who needed them in their last hours. They were there for them.

The leaders walked beside their Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops. I recognized some of them and knew they worked all year providing young people with ethics and principals.

The Red Rider Roundup was represented with staff and royalty. In the parade, even a donkey took center stage with its red rump. Gloria said she recognized the donkey. I told her when you recognize the donkey in the parade, you’ve been in a place too long.

This year’s parade included a lot of service people, not so many floats. I loved seeing all the service people passing before us. I was impressed with all those who give so much time to their passions and causes. They don’t just show up for a parade; they are giving all year through to make our town a better place to live.

Then we walked the Riverwalk. We stopped at the bench across from the hotel and enjoyed the band playing across the way and watched the kids and grownups dip in the water.

Final brushstroke: Summer has just begun. There is still plenty of fun ahead. I am amazed how people don’t just live here — they participate here. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Maybe I’m growing up or slowing down. I appreciate the people in our town. Thank you Pagosa for everything you do.

Artist’s quote

“Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you reach your destiny.” — Carl Schurz.

Readers’ comment

Send your comments to I love to hear from you. My latest work, “Spirit of the Red Candle, Journal of Mary Magdalene,” is now available in e-book, paperback and hard cover. Go to Lulu.Com. Type Betty Slade.

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