Hot Spring sold
By Karl Isberg
The July 1 sale of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring property to a local business group is a signal that development of the 20-plus acre parcel could soon be an important part of the Hot Springs Boulevard corridor in downtown Pagosa Springs.
On July 1, documents were filed with the Archuleta County clerk indicating the property was purchased from a group consisting of 11 investors. The sale price was not disclosed.
The previous group of owners held the property for nearly 20 years. According to the documents filed with the clerk, that group includes the Ironstone Estate, Susan Angelo, Jim Angelo, Cynthia Barnes, Dick Bartholomew, Ron Trujillo, Richard Murray, Henry Trujillo, the Breedlove Family Trust, Don Brinks and Leslie Lister.
The purchaser is Pagosa Spring Inc., a corporation which includes Bill Dawson and Matt Mees, owners of the Spring Inn property adjacent to the Hot Spring site on Hot Springs Boulevard .
Mees said Wednesday that he and Dawson are ready to begin work on a master plan for their newly-acquired property. Until such a plan is complete, he said, no details concerning long-range use of the property are available.
What Mees can say for certain is there is a desire on the part of the new owners to be a part of the Hot Springs Boulevard corridor planning process which was instituted earlier in the summer by the town of Pagosa Springs. That process involves the use of an architect/planner to create a viable and aesthetically-pleasing plan for the stretch of road running from the intersection with U.S. 160 south to the site of the proposed town hall and community center near Hot Springs Boulevard's junction with Apache Street.
"Whatever we do, we want it to fit with that corridor plan," said Mees. "The architect hired by the town to do the study is real excited by the prospect of building a new adjunct to the existing downtown - not a strip mall, but a comfortable addition that fits the existing downtown - and we see our geothermal water resource as a central part of it."
While there are no specific development plans in hand, Mees said he and Dawson intend to allow for the construction of the San Juan Riverwalk across the back of the newly-acquired property, permitting the path to be extended along the San Juan River to the site of the proposed town hall and community center.
As for the Great Pagosa Hot Spring, Mees said the intent is "to try to make the spring look better. We would like to take down the barbed wire fence and do things to make it an actual attraction."
Resolution of dispute
One meaningful effect of the recent sale could be on the status of a geothermal water dispute underway since 1989.
When the town of Pagosa Springs applied to the state of Colorado in 1989 for a transfer of water rights from the Rumbaugh geothermal well to Pagosa Springs municipal wells 3 and 5, an objection was filed to the move by Giordano Inc., owners of The Spa Motel, by the corporation owning the Great Pagosa Hot Spring property, and by the state of Colorado.
The core of the objection was the contention that use of the Rumbaugh rights by the town geothermal heating system would significantly degrade the availability and quality of water for other geothermal users. That objection has been the subject of on-going settlement discussions between the parties.
According to Mees, he and Dawson have "dropped out of the objection against the town. We want to resolve the issues that have prevented development of this property to this point. We'll meet with the town and we are trying to assist in a resolution."
Pagosa Springs Town Administrator Jay Harrington said Wednesday he has not yet seen evidence that Pagosa Spring Inc. has been "officially removed from the case," but added he has "hope that a settlement can be reached for all parties involved."
Aside from the water-rights issue, Harrington said the purchase of the Hot Spring property by Mees and Dawson seems positive for the development picture along Hot Springs Boulevard. "With this latest transaction, the great majority of property on the west side of Hot Springs Boulevard is now under single ownership."
Mees sees the purchase as setting the stage for a range of positive activities, with the future of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring and surrounding land shaped by a knowledgeable local group. "Everyone has been waiting for a 'white knight' to ride into town and rescue this property," he said. "But, we actually have more and better resources within our community to guide its use." Mees said once a master plan for the area is devised, it will be made public.
Court postpones sales tax election
By John M. Motter
The Colorado Court of Appeals has allowed the Archuleta County commissioners to postpone placing a sales tax mandate on the ballot this fall in conjunction with a lawsuit brought against the county by the County Road Users Association, Earle Beasley and F. T. Havens.
The suit was filed during 1995 in an attempt to force the county commissioners to place on the November 1995 general election ballot a proposal to amend the proposed distribution of the 4 percent, county-wide sales tax. In its amended form and if approved by voters, the sales tax would have been split with 75 percent going to the county and 25 percent to Pagosa Springs. In addition, two-thirds of the portion going to the county would have been placed in the road capital improvement fund and the remaining one-third placed in the general fund.
The county currently levies a 4 percent sales tax which is divided equally with the town. One-half of the current 4 percent tax expires Jan. 1, 2003, according to County Manager Dennis Hunt. The remaining 2 percent does not have an expiration date, Hunt said. It is uncertain at this time what effect expiration of the 2 percent sales tax will have on the lawsuit. The town is already talking about adopting a town sales tax independent of the county when the 2 percent authorization expires. In the not too distant past, the town levied and retained a sales tax without coordinating the levy with the county.
Seeking a change in the proposed 1995 sales tax distribution, Beasley and Havens submitted a petition containing 463 signatures to the commissioners, demanding that the proposal be placed on the ballot. They cited a state law requiring that, if other considerations are met, items backed by a petition containing the signatures of more than 5 percent of the qualified voters must be placed on the ballot. The commissioners refused to place the issue on the ballot.
The original petitioners then asked the 6th Judicial District Court to order the commissioners to place the item on the ballot. The district court refused. Therefore the petitioners appealed to the Colorado Appellate Court. Last December, that court reversed the district court finding.
Subsequently, the county and town asked the appellate court to reconsider its decision. When the appellate court refused to reconsider, the county and town appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. Actions currently taking place are setting the stage for coming supreme court activity relative to the case.
One tenet of the order upheld by the appellate court would have required the county to hold the desired election at the next available general election date, in this case November 1999. The most recent appellate court action postpones any requirement that the county schedule the election until such time as the Colorado Supreme Court takes action.
A second issue in the transfer of the matter from the appellate court to the supreme court is the original petitioner's request that the supreme court award legal expenses to the decision winner. The county and town are asking the supreme court to not allow such an award.
"It is unheard of for the court to award legal fees in these kinds of cases," said County Attorney Larry Holthus.
In its December 1998 decision, the appellate court did not award costs to the original petitioners.
Holthus did not speculate about when the Colorado Supreme Court might consider the case and render a decision.
Community mourns passing of Lucy Cotton
By Marilyn Yeager
She wasn't rich, she wasn't famous and she certainly wasn't big, but "Little Lucy" (in the words of a friend) "epitomized everything that is good about Pagosa Springs." With a ready smile, and a bounce in her step, she tread softly through the hearts of many and left an indelible footprint. If wealth could be measured in friendship and love, there was no one richer.
Mrs. Lucy Cotton, the middle child and daughter of Frank and Haru Yamaguchi was born in Ignacio on May 7, 1918, and died on June 30, 1999. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bill Cotton; brothers, George, Fred and Ralph "Hoppo" Yamaguchi. She is survived by her youngest brother Earnest "Guch"; sisters-in-law, Millie Jean "Mac" Yamaguchi, Julia Schavey and Mary Jane Eaklor. She also is survived by her three children, Larry Cotton and his wife Mary, Darrel Cotton and his wife Peggy, and Marilyn Yeager; her two grandchildren, Drex and Laria Yeager; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Mrs. Cotton spent her younger years in Talian, a small town near Ignacio, then followed her two older brothers to "town," Pagosa Springs where she lived with a local family to attend high school, graduating with honors. She lived her adult life in Pagosa Springs, and for more than 50 years, she lived in her little house in "the park" on Hermosa Street where she and her husband reared their three children.
Mrs. Cotton was active for many years in the Baptist churches in Pagosa Springs and served as Sunday school secretary for almost 50 years. She was an indefatigable supporter of the Archuleta County Senior Center and served on the board for the Area Agency for Aging as well as the local board. She knew the value of an honest day's work, the meaning of the Golden Rule, honesty, moral values, kindness and caring.
She remained active even after her failing kidneys forced her to begin peritoneal dialysis. She joined her friends at the Senior Center for lunch three days a week. She still worked her crossword puzzles. And she still went for her walks. She probably walked thousands of miles in and round Pagosa Springs and though many a well-meaning friend stopped to give her a ride, Mrs. Cotton always said, "Thanks but I'd rather walk."
"Little Lucy" was still taking her walks in the hospital. She'll no longer walk the streets in Pagosa but is now walking her "streets of gold" and when offered her wings, you can surely believe that she said. "Thanks, but I'd rather walk."
County develops tentative recycling program
By John M. Motter
Recycling will be the subject of a public hearing scheduled for July 20 at 7 p.m. in the commissioners meeting room at the county courthouse.
The county shut down a former recycling program last December. Since then, the county has been negotiating with Waste Management to develop a new recycling program. Waste Management has the county contract to pick up trash and to operate the county landfill.
In a recent telephone survey of county residents, 43.25 percent of those called said they are dissatisfied with current recycling (there is none), 27.75 percent said they are very dissatisfied with current recycling, 10.25 percent said they don't know or don't care, 17.5 percent said they are satisfied, and 0.75 percent said they are very satisfied.
A major cause leading to closure of the former voluntary program was an inability to separate trash, such as disposable diapers and other non-recyclable materials, from materials being recycled. Consequently, materials intended for recycling, because they were contaminated, were hauled to the landfill. Money spent for recycling was wasted.
A tentative plan has been developed calling for individuals to deliver recyclable materials to the transfer station located at the old landfill on Trujillo Road. That station will be staffed during its regular hours operation. Individuals may separate recyclable materials before going to the landfill. If they don't, the person staffing the transfer station will sort through the refuse, place recyclable materials in an appropriate bin, and disposable trash in an appropriate bin. In any case, the attendant will ensure the cleanliness of recyclable materials.
A $1 per month charge will be levied at the transfer station. Books of $1 tickets or monthly window stickers will be available. In addition, the fee Waste Management pays the county for the privilege of operating the landfill will be increased by $1 per household per month. It is not known if Waste Management will pass the new cost on to users, but the prospect is likely.
The proposed new system is not likely to be directly cost effective, according to Gene Crabtree, the county commissioner who has pushed to reinstate recycling.
"There are some indirect benefits that are hard to place a dollar value on," Crabtree said. "For example, if we place less refuse in the landfill, it will last a lot longer before we need to develop a new landfill at a cost of several million dollars."
If used at the current rate, the current landfill might last 30 years, Crabtree said, but because growth is accelerating the useful life of the landfill could be much less.
"The important thing is," Crabtree said, "the less we put in it, the longer it will last."
Initially, materials acceptable for recycling will include aluminum cans, steel cans, newspapers, and cardboard, according to Crabtree. Glass, plastics, and other materials may be added to the list at a future date. Waste Management will haul the recyclable materials to Durango at a cost of $300 a load.
The county has $15,000 remaining from the former recycling budget, according to Crabtree.
Town sets hearing on proposed annexations
By Karl Isberg
Finding that 11 petitions by properties in the Pagosa Lakes area seeking annexation into the town of Pagosa Springs are in substantial compliance with Colorado law, town trustees Tuesday set a public hearing concerning the annexations for 5 p.m. on Aug. 24, at Town Hall.
Two of the proposed annexations would fill in gaps along the highway right of way on the south side of U.S. 160 between Alpha Drive and South Pagosa Boulevard. The two parcels are located across the highway from the Pagosa Springs Golf Club course and Pagosa Lodge.
Town Administrator Jay Harrington said the town is encouraging the owners of the two tracts on the south side of U.S. 160 to work out access issues with the Colorado Department of Transportation. One of the properties is owned by Fairfield Communities Inc. The other serves as the site of the sales office for the Timber Ridge development.
The remainder of the properties proposed for annexation are on the north side of U.S. 160, with the majority in the Fairfield Pagosa core commercial area. Fairfield Communities Inc. has petitioned for the annexation of the FCI sales office adjacent to Pagosa Lodge and the FCI activities complex, containing the activities center, tennis courts and miniature golf area, on the northwest corner of Village Drive and Piñon Causeway.
Properties proposed for annexation on Village Drive include those on both corners on the north side of the intersection of Village Drive and Talisman and the property north of the Pagosa Country Center occupied by Norwest Bank.
The remainder of the proposed annexations would include the Village Apartment complex north of Norwest Bank and three tracts between Village Drive and Park Avenue adjacent to Eaton Drive.
Annexation petitions began to arrive at Town Hall, said Harrington, after the trustees updated the town's annexation plan in June. "We did not circulate petitions," said Harrington. "These petitions were initiated by the land owners."
Harrington said that owners of several other properties in the vicinity of those proposed for annexation contacted town officials at the end of last week concerning the petition procedure. Harrington said he anticipates the town will receive more annexation requests by the end of summer.
PLPOA may tailor a new plan for sewing club
By Roy Starling
The Wednesday afternoon sewing group from the Pagosa Lakes area may want to hold off on its funeral arrangements.
In their regular monthly meeting tonight, the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners board of directors will be re-examining the policy, passed last month, that the sewing ladies feared would put an end to their group which has been meeting since 1974.
The policy concerned use of the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse on Port Avenue, defining sponsored groups and listing responsibilities of both sponsors and groups. Put together by the Recreational Amenities Committee, the policy was presented to the board by Director John Nelson, chairman of that committee.
PLPOA President Nan Rowe said she had been approached by several property owners asking her to have the board revisit the policy. "I opposed the policy to begin with," she said, "so I couldn't request a reconsideration."
Only a board member who "originally voted in favor of the policy could request the board to reconsider it," Rowe said.
Director Fred Ebeling, who supported the policy at the June meeting, believes it's time for the board to take another look at it. "I had it put on the agenda," Ebeling said, "but I'd rather not go into any more detail on the issue before the meeting."
The policy was approved by a 4-3 vote, with Rowe and directors Pat Curtis and Judy Esterly dissenting.
In a letter published in the July 1 SUN, members of the sewing group invited "everyone to a 'funeral' on Wednesday, June 30, when the PLPOA board will have successfully 'killed' the Wednesday afternoon sewing group." The new policy on sponsored groups went into effect the next day, July 1.
Members of the group seemed concerned about two issues in particular. The policy states that the sponsor will "accept any financial indebtedness created by the group due to damage to the facility" and that sponsored groups will leave the building "clean and ready for use by another group."
In their letter, group members worried that a board member might not be at the clubhouse "at 1:45 p.m. each Wednesday to ascertain the conditions of the building before we used it and also be there at 4 p.m. when our sewing group disbands to be sure it is left as we found it."
Since the building is left unlocked eight hours a day, group members feared they might be held responsible for damage done to the clubhouse "before our arrival or after our departure."
For the complete agenda of tonight's PLPOA board meeting, which begins at 7 in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, see Ming Steen's Pagosa Lakes News column in section 2, page 8, of the SUN.
Rodeos big part of Pagosa history
By John M. Motter
Fans taking in the 50th Red Ryder Roundup will witness a pageant of grins, grunts and groans as old as Pagosa Country. Pagosa Country was, and is, cowboy country.
In the beginning, there were no fences and cattle pretty much roamed at will. Consequently, a fall roundup was needed to gather the cattle, divide them among the proper owners and sell enough to cover a year's expenses. The money from an unbranded maverick could end up in anybody's pocket, so the range bosses took special pains to get a brand on every animal every spring.
Branding time was a rodeo all by itself, especially in the days before squeeze chutes. Typically, an open fire was built on the open range and the irons heated in the fire. Mounted cowboys cut a critter to be branded out of the herd, roped and threw the bawling beast on the ground, sizzled the tender hide with the owner's monogram, did the ear cutting and other obligations, then turned the branded critter loose and went after the next animal. Skills learned while herding, rounding up and branding cattle, and breaking horses were all foundational to today's rodeo.
Almost from the beginning of Pagosa Country, Fourth of July was celebrated in town. During the very early days, soldiers from Fort Lewis fired cannons, community leaders in top hats bored people with long, patriotic declamations in town park, and Utes, Apaches, and Navajos pitched tipis and tents near the Great Pagosa Hot Spring. Cash registers in the town's bars rang at a merry pace and cards shuffled and dipped through three-card Molly in the gambling rooms in back.
A favorite activity was horse racing near what is now Hot Springs Boulevard. Each tribe and each ranch entered a favorite horse, often in match races. Before the dust cleared, most of the betting money had left town, but not before moving from pocket to pocket.
Later, during the late 1920s, the 1930s, and the 1940s, rodeo events moved to town, located down 8th Street near today's senior center. Pickups backed up in a ring to create an arena. Local ranchers such as Pet Crowley or one of the Macht brothers supplied stock. Then the cowboys went to work. Pagosa Country was still cattle country and big ranches filled every river valley. Each rancher had a favorite cowboy and they all showed up in Pagosa Springs July 4 to see who had the most glue in his jeans. Often, an all-around cowboy was chosen. Some of those cowboys still live in Pagosa Country.
Following WW II, Pagosa Springs grew more sophisticated, along with the rest of the nation. In 1949, Leon Montroy donated 40 acres of land to be used for a rodeo grounds and county fair. By that time, Fred Harman's creation, Red Ryder, was known all over the world through comic books, Saturday afternoon matinees, and other promotions. Harman had worked as a Pagosa Country cowboy himself. Hero Red Ryder was modeled after Fred Flaugh, another Pagosa Country cowboy, and many of Harman's characters were thinly disguised caricatures of local folks.
In any case, Harman and Steve Slesinger, the agent who sold Red Ryder to the nation, joined with local folks to create the Red Ryder Roundup in 1949. Harman and Slesinger donated a $100 prize for that first all-around cowboy, Ken Ferrell of Alamosa. Harman was the first grand marshal and Jacqueline Eaklor the first rodeo queen.
In the beginning, the Fourth of July blowout served as a rallying point for local citizens and cowboys, sort of a continuation of the past. As time went by, however, the event's reputation spread across the west and purses grew. Cowboys and professional rodeo hands came from everywhere to test Buster Webb stock and Red Ryder Arena dirt.
Today's rodeo, after 50 years, spreads across three days and features almost every popular rodeo event from brahma bull riding to steer throwing to calf roping. Few local ranch hands enter the events. Most of the contestants are professional cowboys, fresh from college rodeo teams intent on lassoing a paycheck and hustling down the highway to the next rodeo.
Still, when the last speck of dust drifts down to arena floor, when the sun's last rays disappear from the top of Nipple Mountain, when the country bands strike up the Texas two-step across town, when the 50th Red Ryder celebration is over, it will mark just one more giant boot step in the pageant of Pagosa Country history. Pagosa Country is still cowboy country, podnah.
50th Red Ryder Roundup highlights this year's Fourth of July festivities
By Karl Isberg
Fourth of July holiday events in Pagosa Country will take place over four days, with activities each day for residents and visitors alike.
The premiere event of the holiday is the 50th anniversary of the Red Ryder Roundup Rodeo, at the Red Ryder Arena. The Red Ryder is a classic rodeo, cherished by its many fans as a classic example of the great western rodeo tradition.
Action at the Red Ryder Roundup begins at 2 p.m. on July 3, continues at 4 p.m. on July 4 and finishes up with a 1 p.m. performance on July 5.
The Park to Park arts and crafts festival opens at noon on July 2. This annual festival features vendors offering a wide array of arts and crafts, with more than 80 booths located in Town Park and in Centennial Park, behind the Archuleta County Courthouse. Food vendors will also have booths at both park locations.
The two parks are connected by the Riverwalk, making access to each venue a matter of an easy stroll. Park to Park is open from noon to 6 p.m. on July 2; from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 3; and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 4.
There will be special musical entertainment provided at Centennial Park on July 4. Ian Weestra entertains from noon to 1 p.m.; Rico and Cotton take the stage from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.; and a local band "One Way" plays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
What would the Fourth of July be without the prototypical small-town parade?
Pagosa has one of the best parades in the Four Corners, sponsored by the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club. This year's parade theme is "Honor the Past. . .Imagine the Future." Parade Grand Marshal will be Fred Harman III, son of Fred Harman, Pagosa resident and creator of the famed Red Ryder cartoon character.
The parade kicks off at 8th Street and U.S. 160 at 10 a.m. and wends its way through the downtown area on San Juan and Pagosa Streets, ending at 2nd and Hermosa streets.
Fireworks at the Pagosa Lodge end the celebration on July 4, following a concert by two of Pagosa's favorite musical groups.
The "Red, White, and Bluegrass" concert begins behind the Pagosa Lodge at 6:30 p.m. and features Badly Bent and the Pagosa Hot Strings. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the site or concert goers can bring their own picnic.
Fireworks will be shot off over Piñon Lake next to the Lodge at dusk. The fireworks display is sponsored by the Town of Pagosa Springs, Fairfield Communities Inc., the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association and the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District.
Parking at the Lodge on July 4 is reserved for hotel guests. Public parking is available nearby.
Lots at the Fairfield Pagosa sales and activities buildings are available, as are lots at Citizens Bank and the retail mall on the west side of Talisman Drive. The back lot and the east side of the front lot at Country Center City Market will be open for parking as will lots at Norwest Bank on Village Drive and at the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center on Park Avenue. Anyone parking on Davis Cup Drive is asked to leave their car on the west side of the street only. Motorists parking in designated lots are asked to respect the property of business owners allowing use of the lots during the event.
The final traditional Independence holiday event in Pagosa is the carnival, in full swing on the football field across Hermosa Street from Town Park. The carnival will be in operation throughout the holiday period.
Wood pleads guily to tire slashing
By Karl Isberg
Following a June 28 guilty plea to a charge of felony criminal mischief, Shaun Alan Wood, 30, of Pagosa Springs was scheduled to be sentenced for his part in a tire slashing incident that occurred in the downtown area on Dec. 20, 1998.
Wood's plea followed an investigation in which he was linked by local law enforcement authorities to three incidents of vandalism in the downtown area.
Wood was arrested on Jan. 15 by district attorney investigator Pete Gonzalez and Archuleta County Undersheriff Russell Hebert pursuant to a warrant issued by Pagosa Springs Police Chief Don Volger. The warrant, drawn up following a multi-agency effort, listed two charges: Class 3 felony criminal mischief and Class 4 felony criminal mischief.
Charges listed in the warrant stemmed from two incidents of vandalism other than the tire slashing.
The first incident occurred on Dec. 4, 1998, when telephone company equipment located in the alley in the 100 and 200 blocks of Hermosa Street was destroyed. The vandalism included damage to bundles of wires in phone company boxes. At least seven phone lines on buildings in the vicinity were cut. Volger's affidavit for the arrest warrant listed repair charges at $20,000.
A second act of vandalism took place downtown on Jan. 10, 1999, when vehicles and windows in the vicinity of the alley between the 400 blocks of Pagosa and Lewis streets were damaged. Seven windows at the Pagosa Springs Intermediate School building in the 300 block of Lewis Street were broken. A residence and vehicle at the corner of Lewis and 3rd streets were also involved in the destructive activity. Volger estimated the cost of the damage at $10,000.
A third charge was soon added to Wood's list.
Following review of the case by members of the district attorney's office, and prior to formal charges being filed at a hearing before Archuleta County Court Judge Jim Denvir, a charge of Class 3 felony criminal mischief was developed. That additional charge related to the tire slashing incident.
Wood was accused of puncturing tires on 92 vehicles in downtown Pagosa Springs on Dec. 20, 1998. Most of the vehicles were in parking lots of motels located on Hot Springs Boulevard, while several others were parked on San Juan Street, east of Hot Springs Boulevard. At least one car was marred with graffiti and damage was done to trees and lights at Town Park. Total cost for the spree was estimated at over $46,000.
Wood was scheduled to go to trial before 6th Judicial District Court Judge Greg Lyman at Pagosa Springs on June 28. The trial process had proceeded through the jury selection phase when Wood unexpectedly agreed to plead guilty. In return for his guilty plea to the tire slashing charge, the other two charges were dismissed.
According to Volger, the Class 3 felony conviction carries a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison. The chief said one stipulation of Wood's plea was that any jail time will be served in a community corrections facility (such as Hilltop, in Durango) rather than in a Colorado State Department of Corrections prison. Volger said Wood will also be required to pay restitution relating to all three incidents.
Lyman will determine the exact sentence during a district court hearing at Durango on Aug. 12.
Teen run over by truck; driver cited
By Karl Isberg
A freak early-morning accident on June 19 injured a local youngster and resulted in a citation being issued to a teenage motorist.
Robert L. Regester, 16, was injured when he was run over by a truck driven by a 16-year-old Archuleta County driver.
According to a Colorado State Patrol report filed by Trooper Nick Rivera, the accident occurred at approximately 1 a.m. on Forest Service Road 922, near Fawn Gulch Road east of Pagosa Springs.
Rivera's report stated that Regester was in a sleeping bag near a fire pit built next to the road. According to Rivera, the juvenile motorist backed his 1987 Ford pickup truck then pulled forward, running over Regester's midsection with both right-side wheels. The driver, reported Rivera, continued on to his residence.
According to Mike Patterson, of Upper San Juan Emergency Medical Services, Regester remained at the campsite through the remainder of the night. A call was placed to EMS later in the morning indicating Regester was being transported to Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center by a friend. The youngster was taken from the clinic to Mercy Medical Center at Durango by ambulance.
According to a Mercy spokesman, Regester was treated for "blunt abdominal trauma" and released on June 22.
The unidentified teenage driver of the truck was cited by the Colorado State Patrol for driving with ability impaired by alcohol.
Bus service begins in Pagosa Tuesday
By John M. Motter
A 16-passenger white bus will begin making its public transit rounds through Pagosa Springs and the neighboring communities at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6.
Operating under the direction of Archuleta County Social Services, Archuleta County Senior Citizens and the Archuleta County commissioners, the bus provides service for all citizens of the county. Seven 1 1/2 hour runs will be made each day with 12 stops.
Run 1 starts at the Ampride Station at 1st Street at 6:30 a.m. In succession, the bus proceeds to Archuleta Housing at 6th Street at 6:35 a.m., Rio Grande Savings & Loan at 6:40 a.m., Pagosa Springs City Market at 6:45 a.m., Lakeview Estates Apartments at 6:50 a.m., Vista Boulevard mailboxes at 6:55 a.m., Turkey Springs Trading Post at 7:05 a.m., Aspen Springs Realty at 7:10 a.m., Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Center at 7:20 a.m., Country Center City Market at 7:25 a.m., Durango and 7th streets at 7:35 a.m. and the county courthouse at 7:40 a.m. Stop sites will have signs displayed and when possible, marked curbs.
Run 2 starts at the Ampride Station at 1st Street at 8 a.m., Run 3 at 9:30 a.m., Run 4 at 11 a.m., Run 5 at 12:30 p.m., Run 6 at 2 p.m. and Run 7 at 3:30 p.m. Each run is identical so that the bus shows up at each stop seven times a day, with an interval of 1 1/2 hours between runs.
An additional bus driver is needed, according to transportation coordinator Cindy Archuleta. Any questions concerning the bus services should be directed to Archuleta at 264-2167. Schedules are available at the Senior Citizens Center, in the county commissioners office and the social services department in the county courthouse.
A future contest is planned to choose a logo for the transit system.
Obituary identifies Treasure Falls victim
By Karl Isberg
While Mineral County authorities confirm they have identified the woman whose body was found in a pool at the base of Treasure Falls on June 20, they said Wednesday it will be "a few days" before the identity is released by the Mineral County Sheriff Department.
Despite the pace at which the Mineral County authorities are moving, an obituary printed elsewhere in this edition of the SUN corroborates the fact the victim was Christine Douglas, a resident of Pagosa Springs since 1996.
A tourist discovered Douglas at Treasure Falls on June 20 and, since the popular tourist attraction on the west side of Wolf Creek Pass is in Mineral County, Sheriff Phil Leggit was notified and began an investigation.
Leggit reported that the woman's clothing was found near the top of the falls and that a car suspected of belonging to Douglas was discovered in the parking lot next to U.S. 160 near the base of the falls. While Leggit was certain the woman plummeted from the top of the falls to the pool below, he refused to speculate on what had happened to the victim or why.
Douglas was transported to Colorado Springs where an autopsy was conducted by members of the El Paso County Coroner's Office.
PAWS: Save water now, avoid rationing later
By John M. Motter
With Pagosa Country residents sweltering under a 90-degree July sun, officials at Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District are urging voluntary water savings measures.
"We don't have to ration water yet, but our water treatment plants are running at capacity," said Carrie Campbell, PAWS general manager. "A little voluntary effort by our water users could make it easier as the summer progresses and give us a chance to get by without rationing."
PAWS currently operates two water treatment plants for Fairfield Pagosa residents and a third plant for those living in the Pagosa Springs area.
Providing water for Fairfield Pagosa residents are treatment plants at Stephens Reservoir and at Hatcher Reservoir. Both plants have been treating water 24 hours a day, according to Campbell. The Stephens water treatment plant capacity is a half million gallons per day and the Hatcher water treatment plant capacity is 2 million gallons per day.
The plant serving the Pagosa Springs area has a capacity of about 2 million gallons per day and is not running at capacity so far this year. PAWS is currently connecting the Pagosa Springs system with the Fairfield Pagosa system to cover the possibility that the Fairfield Pagosa system might not be able to meet demands later this summer. Identical steps were taken during the fall of 1996 when the Pagosa area experienced drought conditions.
"Both districts benefit from the connection," said Gene Tautges, assistant general manager of PAWS. "Water availability from the Pagosa Springs system could help in the Fairfield Pagosa area. On the other hand, if the Pagosa Springs area is stressed, for example if the line crossing Jackson Mountain breaks, we could supply the town with water from the Fairfield Pagosa system."
The Pagosa Springs system takes water from the San Juan River several miles north of town in the West Fork Valley. That water is piped to a treatment plant on Snowball Road. The pipeline crosses Jackson Mountain near the northern side of U.S. 160, where the mountainside has been sliding downhill for several years. A potential exists for a sudden, massive slide which could sever the pipe.
Several years ago, the Pagosa Springs and Fairfield Pagosa systems were separate water districts and operated independently. In 1993, voters approved a merger of the districts.
Water storage levels appear to be adequate at the current time, according to Tautges. Both Stephens and Hatcher reservoirs are full.
Meanwhile, plans to increase the overall capacity of the system are in progress. The plans call for taking water from the San Juan River south of town and piping that water to the PAWS Vista complex where a new, 3-million gallons per day water treatment plant is to be built. The pipeline is currently under construction and has reached within one-half mile of U.S. 160 on Meadows Boulevard. Completion of the pipeline installation is anticipated in about one month.
Engineering for construction of the new water treatment plant and associated facilities is nearly completed. Advertising for bids for construction of the building is underway. Bids will also be sought for two booster stations, one on the San Juan River and the second where the pipeline crosses Trujillo Road south of town.
"We're about ready to install three-phase electrical power," Tautges said. "If I had to guess, I'd say the entire project will be completed during early spring of the year 2000."
Soon after the new water treatment plant is in production, PAWS plans to shut down the Stephens water treatment plant and enlarge Stephens Reservoir. In the more distant future, PAWS also has plans to construct a new reservoir on Martinez Creek in the north end of the Fairfield Pagosa area.
A list of water saving measures suggested by PAWS includes:
- Restrict all watering to between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. This is the best time to water as there are no evaporative losses at night to compare with those during the heat of the day.
- Make sure that timers on automatic sprinkler system are adjusted to conform with recommended watering hours. Make sure sprinkler patterns apply water to the desired areas only, and not to driveways and other undesirable areas.
- Water lawns only when the grass turns from normal bright green to a gray green.
- Do not cut lawn grass to less than two inches. Three inches is better.
- Fix any leaky fixtures such as faucets and toilets at your home or business. Small leaks can lead to huge water losses.
- Wash clothes and dishes only when a full load for the washing machine or dish washer is waiting.
Xeriscaping reduces water usage up to 60 percent
By John M. Motter
More than 50 percent of the water consumed by home owners is used to sustain landscaping, according to experts. It is therefore logical to assume, according to the same experts, that the best place for the average homeowner to save water is through wise landscaping.
A modern landscape water saving technique is called xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is a form of landscaping using plants already acclimated to a given area or plants which require no more water than is common for a given area. A mature, xeriscaped lawn and yard can reduce water bills by as much as 30 to 60 percent.
Local xeriscape gardens available for public viewing are in place at the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District office complex and at the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association administration office.
"We encourage people living in this area to visit our xeriscaped garden," said Carrie Campbell, the general manager of PAWS. "Xeriscaped gardens aren't entirely water free, but they significantly reduce the amount of water needed. In addition, they are generally low maintenance and over the long run, less expensive to maintain."
The district's xeriscape garden was planted last year after the organization's board of directors authorized the expenditure of $10,000 for the purpose. Landscaping and plant selection was done by Julie Bissell and Patti Renner of Crescent Moon Landscape Design Co. Wesley Buchholz of PAWS has been responsible for much of the work and for maintenance.
"All of the plants in this garden or the grass seed mixtures in the lawns are available at local nurseries," Bissell said. "They aren't all native plants, but they are plants that have been tested here and that require no more than the average rainfall for this area."
For example, locally developed lawn grass seed mixtures are available, each requiring no more than three-quarters of an inch of water a week, Renner said. By comparison, blue grass mixtures require at least an inch and a half of water a week.
People serious about conserving water should place an open-mouthed can or a rain gauge in the area being watered. The amount of water that accumulates in the can or the rain gauge while the sprinkler is on should be measured with a ruler. If the ruler reads one-half inch, that is the amount of water that has been applied. Rainfall can be measured the same way. Care must be taken to measure the accumulated water either after specific sprinkler application or, in the case or rainwater, for a specific period of time such as a day.
Placards are placed by each plant at the nearly one-acre xeriscaped garden at PAWS. The placards record the common and scientific name for each plant, and the amount of water each needs.
Recommended plantings include at least four grass seed mixtures, flowering plants, shrubs and bushes, and trees. Annuals and perennials are represented. Since the average annual rainfall in Pagosa Springs normally ranges between 20 and 30 inches, the plants selected all require water at or below that level.
"People can do xeriscape landscapes by themselves," Renner said. "Brochures are available at PAWS, plant examples are on display in the sample garden and the plants are available at local nurseries."
"People should realize that during the first year or two, they might not save water," Bissell said. "That's because it takes extra water to help the plants get established. Once they get established, that's when the savings start."
Basic principles for xeriscape landscaping were first developed in Colorado in 1981 by a task force consisting of members of the Denver Water Department, Colorado State University and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America.
Some of those rules are:
- Substitute wildflowers and native grasses for thirsty lawns.
- On slopes where water runs off, rely on terraces, low shrubs, perennial ground covers and rock gardens to direct the movement of water and prevent erosion.
- Don't plant grass under trees because frequent watering produces shallow tree roots.
- Add rich organic matter to soil to help it absorb larger amounts of water. Well-aerated, humus-rich soil also encourages deep roots which conserve water.
- Confine high water-use plants to areas near the house where they can be watered easily by hand.
- Use mulches, such as shredded bark or leaves, pine needles or similar materials to hold moisture, slow evaporation, keep roots cool and deter weeds.
- Instead of sprinklers, choose drip irrigation or water by hand.
- Water early in the morning when temperatures and winds are lower.
- Prune regularly, cut down on fertilizer to keep plant growth manageable, and eliminate weeds so that water reaches desirable plants. A water-wise landscape requires less care than a thirsty one.
- Build decks or patios in the landscape. They save water and add value to the landscape.
- Use rocks in the landscape. They help shade plants and prevent water from running off.
Name county transit system, win $500
By John M. Motter
A $500 prize is being offered for the best name and logo for the newly started county transit system. The contest starts today.
Participants in the contest are asked to submit entries to the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce before the office closes at 5 p.m. July 22. Applications may be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center on Hot Springs Boulevard or at the Senior Citizens center located at 475 8th and Zuni streets.
Entries will be judged by a select panel with final approval made by the county commissioners. Members of the select panel are Sally Hameister, Cindy Archuleta, Jay Harrington, Erlinda Gonzalez, and a yet to be named county commissioner.
Applications must be submitted on an 11-by-14-inch sheet of paper; a maximum of three colors may be used; the phone number, (970) 264-2250, must be painted on the bus with the logo; and the words Pagosa Springs and Hot Springs cannot be used.
It is suggested that a name with a local historical background be used. Initials, such as C.A.T. for County Access Transport, are acceptable.
For more information, call 264-2250.
School board to discuss goals for academic year
By Roy Starling
At their regular monthly meeting next week, the directors of Archuleta County School District 50 Joint will present ideas for their goals for the 1999-00 academic year.
The meeting, normally held on the second Tuesday of each month, has been moved to Wednesday, July 14, because several of the directors will be out of town Tuesday.
Superintendent Terry Alley said that during next week's meeting he will "make a progress report to the board on each of last year's goals, and we'll look at how much we accomplished in the last school year."
In general, Alley said, the district "made great progress on the goals we made last year. I feel good that we accomplished most of what we set out to do last year."
For 1998-99, the district's goals included:
- Establish reading and writing, in grades K-3, as the top district priority and provide the necessary resources and to conduct an evaluation of the Spalding program
- Create a district staff position to act as a liaison between the home and the school
- Increase the amount of student input into the decision-making process at the school and district levels and to develop a system to provide student input into teacher evaluations at the secondary level
- Investigate vocational offerings
- Update the District Technology Plan to provide for short-term and long-term needs
- Review the amount of information students and parents receive regarding student financial aid for post-secondary education
- Strive for excellence in all that we do and conduct a review of programs with this goal in mind.
Planning commission appointment postponed
By John M. Motter
Faced with six prospective names, the county commissioners delayed selection of a new member for the Upper San Juan Regional Planning Commission until they have time to interview the two most recent applicants.
Planning commission bylaws were recently changed increasing the number of members by one to a total of nine members. The proposed appointee will fill the newly-created position. Planning commission members are unpaid volunteers appointed by the county commissioners. They meet twice a month and review various land development applications governed by county and state laws.
Currently serving on the board are Linda Delyria, Bobra Schaeper, Julia Donoho, Lynn Constan, Bob Lynch, Betty Shahan, Judy James, and, from the Southern Ute Tribe, Ed Knight.
Names being considered for the final position are Michael J. Mitchell, David Durkee, Bob Moomaw, Todd Shelton, Nan Rowe and Claudia Smith.
The following additional business was conducted by the commissioners at their regular meeting Wednesday.
- Cindy Archuleta announced that seven people used the newly created county transit system on its first day of operation Tuesday. Archuleta is the transportation coordinator. She is scheduled to replace Leanne Deal as the head of Senior Services. Deal is resigning.
- An application for a grant of $35,000 through the remainder of this fiscal year and $93,800 for the total fiscal year was conditionally approved. The money is coming from the Federal Transit Administration. The condition is that Larry Holthus, the county attorney, read and approve the application. The money will be used for the recently started county transit system.
- Approval was granted to allocate $290 as Archuleta County's share of the cost of membership in a Telecommunications Consumer Consortium. The consortium's purpose is to facilitate the development of telecommunications technology in Region 9.
- Veterinarian Dr. David Baker was granted an exemption allowing him to construct veterinary facilities on Cemetery Road without complying with county PUD regulations. Baker will be required to obtain the usual building, electrical, plumbing, and other construction permits, but will not have to go through the county planning commission. Baker is moving because the town is buying his former facility. The town plans to remodel the building, then lease space to the county.
- The county is seeking four volunteers to serve on the advisory board for One Stop Career Centers in southwestern Colorado. The county prefers that the volunteers be businessmen. They cannot be government employees. Persons wishing to volunteer should contact the county commissioners at the county courthouse. One Stop Career Centers is part of the "from welfare to work" push being implemented by governments from the federal to county levels. Locally, the One Stop concept is still in the developmental stage. Citizens now serving on that board from Archuleta County are former county Commissioner Bob Formwalt and Mitch Koentofp.
Dogs at large in town will be 'chipped'
By Karl Isberg
Dog owners living within Pagosa Springs' municipal boundaries are no longer required to license their animals.
This is not, however, a signal that dogs can be allowed to run at large in Pagosa Springs.
A resolution passed Tuesday by Pagosa Springs trustees eliminated the dog license requirement, but created a new process designed to allow town officials to control problems with stray or at-large dogs.
While a license is no longer required, any dog impounded by the Pagosa Springs animal control officer will have an "identifying microchip" implanted in it by the Pagosa Springs Humane Society, with the dog's owner bearing the cost. The owner will also be assessed the costs of an impoundment fee and a daily board fee for the time the dog is kept at the Humane Society shelter.
"Our license requirement was not functioning," Town Administrator Jay Harrington told the trustees. "Now, if the dog is picked up running at large, it will be microchipped. This will allow us to keep track of the at-large animals in town." Owners of dogs running at large can be cited for the offense under the tenets of the town municipal code.
The ordinance passed Tuesday also recommends all persons in town owning a dog more than six months of age have an identifying microchip implanted in the animal.
Another addition to the existing town animal control ordinance requires all dogs over three months of age that are impounded by the town to have a rabies vaccination prior to their release.
Good news for town
It is good to have some good news on the front page of this week's edition of the SUN. One page 1 article relates to the Great Pagosa Hot Springs. Another deals with annexation petitions which have been presented to the town of Pagosa Springs.
Evidently more and more owners of commercial properties located along U.S. 160 west of town and in the central core area of Fairfield Pagosa are confident in the town government and its management. In time, it will not be a surprise if owners of residential properties in the Pagosa in the Pines subdivisions likewise file annexation petitions with the town of Pagosa Springs.
It was even more satisfying to learn that Bill Dawson and Matt Mees are the new owners of the Great Pagosa Hot Spring property and adjoining 20-acre parcel on the west side of Hot Springs Boulevard. They are a known and proven entity.
Through the years both men have demonstrated a willingness to consider what is best for the town of Pagosa Springs when making investment and business decisions. Both also have learned from experience about the unpredictable nature of the Pagosa Springs economy. They know the value of wise planning, patient development and public involvement with the overall development of downtown Pagosa Springs.
During the past 15 or so years, it has been interesting to watch Mees convert a vacant bank building into a professional building, turn a defunct roller skating rink into the two-story wing of a successful motel, remodel a building which once housed a laundry and dry cleaning business into a restaurant-office complex and develop a minimal motel and restaurant along a washed-out bend in the San Juan River into a destination resort spa.
It will be interesting to watch as they combine their talents and strengths to determine what is the best and wisest use of their newly acquired property. It will be no surprise if they maximize their investment while at the same time benefiting their neighboring businesses and the town of Pagosa Springs.
David C. Mitchell
Starting the week on a sweet roll
The 50th annual Red Ryder Roundup and Red Ryder parade upheld the tradition of being the "biggest and best ever." It's one of the few absolutes in Pagosa you can announce without fearing contradiction from one source or another.
Whereas someone always remembers a deeper snow, colder winter, hotter summer or drier drought, few folks argue about this year's rodeo and parade being "the best one ever."
It would be safe to also place this year's Fourth of July fireworks display in that category.
My highlight for the Independence Day weekend occurred Monday.
As mentioned in this space at this time last year, I enjoy the "candy scramble" competition of the Red Ryder parade. Especially when it involves Tootsie Rolls.
So you can bet I was disappointed Saturday morning when I learned restrictions were being imposed on folks tossing candy from their floats or parade vehicles.
Since the parades and crowds in fact do get bigger and better every year, it makes sense to impose precautions than might discourage a toddler from stepping in front of a vehicle or horse while pursuing a piece a tossed candy.
So I tried to act like a grown-up Saturday. Since there would be a limited amount of candy bouncing along the pavement, I refrained from knocking the toddlers and chocolate crazed vacationers out of the way - even for the Tootsie Rolls.
I contented myself with staying on the job and snapping photos of the parade entries in hopes of keeping my mind off the bite-size Tootsie Rolls. I got so into taking photos that I disregarded my better judgement that afternoon and tried to shoot the bull riding competition from inside the arena. Watching a Brahma bull through a view finder at close range can take your mind off all the uncontested Tootsie Rolls you let get away that morning.
So it was a real surprise Monday morning when our typesetter, Nina Avila, placed a package on my desk and said "some lady left this for you."
The package was accompanied by a brief letter from Ruth Blanchard, "aka Rod Blacker's daughter."
After I read the letter which appears elsewhere in this section, I remembered last year's parade. Evidently Ruth Blanchard of Tucson was the "lady from out of town" who beat me to just about every Tootsie Roll that rolled our way during last year's parade.
When I opened the box, which was wrapped in last week's front page of the SUN, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but 43 Tootsie Rolls tied on a string somewhat like fire crackers. Talk about make my day. I've got enough bite-size Tootsie Rolls to tide me over until Halloween.
Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.
Change in the Pagosa Hot Spring
A few weeks back when I was writing a little bit about the hot springs, Gene Schick was helping me out with some details. He said something about a time when the springs changed a little, it was thought in response to an earthquake in another part of the country. He remembered pieces of wood floating up out of the springs. It reminded me that Worthe Crouse had also mentioned this incident to me years earlier. So I started looking back.
I found, in a 1957 Pagosa Springs SUN, an article addressing the issue. Under the title of "Residents Uneasy As Hot Spring Starts Acting Up," the article was the first I have seen which indicates that the hot spring changed noticeably in a short time. Being a naturally occurring spring, it is reasonable to think that it has undergone natural changes as any geologic structure would over the years, but those changes would be so slowly occurring as to be virtually unnoticed.
Part of the article read, "Mysterious forces are at work underground this week and the world-famed Pagosa Hot Spring gives evidence of this. Over the weekend some kind of an eruption, blow-up, earthquake or plug-up caused this spring to act in a fashion that is very unusual.
"It first gave some violent heaves, then larger than usual gas bubbles appeared in the basin and then the water rose between one and two feet in the spring and settled back down. The spring then disgorged large quantities of mud, and Herschel Boyd reports that he even found pieces of driftwood floating on the surface.
"At this time the spring has settled back down between one and two inches below its previous water level and is still discharging quantities of mud, and what appears to be some type of grease or oil. This discharge gets less each day and it is clearing somewhat.
"Conjectures are that an underground cave-in or stream disrupted the flow of the mineral water for a short time and this resulted in a cave-in or plug in the spring flow. This is expected to be cleared out by natural action in a very short time.
"Some old timers state that this has happened before, but others cannot remember such an incident. At any rate it is certainly giving the appearance of some type of change in the spring itself. So far as can be determined none of the various hot water wells in town have been affected in any way."
Courthouse annex bid awarded
Taken from SUN files of July 11, 1974
Tardiff and Hessler were the low bidders ($63,723) on the Archuleta County Courthouse annex this week. The addition to the courthouse will be 24-feet wide, 84-feet deep, one-story-high, with a brick front and concrete block walls. It will house the commissioners meeting room, welfare department, and there is also room for future needs.
The school board Tuesday approved payment for work being done on the recreation complex being constructed south of town. The project will see the expenditure of about $20,000 for construction of access roads, parking area, and a ball diamond plus other needs for the first phase of the project.
Modesto Montoya, town water commissioner, that week stressed that a great deal of water is being wasted by homeowners. At times water is running into the streets for long periods of time. He also pointed out that town ordinances set watering and sprinkling hours as the daylight hours and that sprinklers should not be allowed to run at night.
There were a few small fires caused by lightning in this area the past week but all were quickly controlled by Forest Service firefighting crews. The largest one was in the Spiller Canyon-Coyote Park area. It was about five-acres in size.
More news from Kate's vacation
If you want to laugh and laugh and laugh some more then go see "Nunsense," the Music Boosters production being held at the Pagosa Springs High School July 8, 9 and 10 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday.) Starting time is 7:30.
It's hilarious and energy-filled. Five women portraying Catholic nuns. All are stars and every one of them has skits to perform and every skit is beautifully done. The talent is there and Andy Donovan and Steve Rogan have done an excellent job of directing.
On opening night when I went there was a standing ovation with cheers. A suggestion though - go early and don't talk to your neighbor (much, that is) and study the program for everyone is dressed alike and everything moves so fast it will help to know who is doing what. But do go see "Nunsense."
Last week I wrote about going to Richmond, Va., for a family association reunion. There's more to tell. We took an all-day bus tour to Gloucester County. Our guide was Cy Riley, a cousin and a native of Gloucester, as is his wife. They now live in Albuquerque. Cy knew his history.
This area is in the Virginia tidewater. Draw a line from Falls Church on the Potomac River west of Washington, D.C., to Fredericksburg on the Rappananock River to Richmond on the James River on down to New Bern, N.C. East of this line is the Tidewater.
The counties in the area are very small. If you do genealogy remember this: Your family could have moved 10 miles and crossed two counties. Also, know your county dates.
Gloucester is Pocahontas country. Her father was Powhatan, the head of the Powhatan Confederacy. The name is pronounced POW-uh-tan or pow-AH-tan - with a heavy accent on the middle syllable. So much for ignorance.
Our driver was black. When Cy was talking about the history of the slaves in the area, he used the term African-American. Our driver said he'd never been to Africa that he was a black-American. Interesting!
As for the expressions used, it is best to know (as they say) Tidewater. For instance if one says "I'm goin' to the court house" it means that the person is going to town to the grocery, the hairdresser or just on any errand. If one is actually going to the court house then one is going to court. Anyone who works with anything having to do with water is a waterman. You say "I'm going to the water" not "I'm going to the creek or the river." Jeans are called dungarees. A lumbergetta is a lumberman. If you don't know the answer say "It's in the Bible." Parents are muhma and daddy. And as in any place in the south, the three meals are breakfast, dinner and supper unless the biggest meal is in the evening, then it's dinner.
If the Shakers interest you, please make an effort to visit the South Union Shaker Museum located between Bowling Green and Auburn, Ky. It's a charming place with several buildings full of historic know-how. The South Union Shaker Quartet - ten years old - recently produced an excellent cassette. The big money-maker for ShakerTown is a summer benefit, a black tie dinner dance. And it was my good fortune to attend it this year.
An interesting bit of information is that Gloucester had a large slave population, yet in 1850, it had Virginia's largest percentage of free blacks. In fact, six of the 1850 slave holders were black. Also the county's first black lawyer, a former slave, was the law partner of a former Confederate Major General.
From Richmond I went to Bowling Green, Ky., just in time for the Duncan Hines Festival. Hines was from Bowling Green. He is given credit by the Smithsonian and other sources as doing the most for America's restaurants. Because he loved good food and because he traveled (in his work for a printing company), he kept a record of good places to eat. In 1936 he printed this information in a small handbook: "The Adventures of Good Eating." Being recommended by Duncan Hines could make a restaurant. People traveled with their Duncan Hines handbook. It was later that he formed a partnership with Roy Park lending his name to food products, the cake mix possibly being the most popular.
Then I went to Bowling Green, Kentucky, just in time for the W.C. Handy Blues Festival. Handy was from Henderson. The band played every night - blues, cajun (and some other stuff). It was a lively time.
I was ready to come home - and just in time for the opening of "Nunsense."
Fun on the run
A doctor examined a woman, took the husband aside, and said: "I don't like the looks of your wife at all."
"Me either, doc," said the husband. "But she's a great cook and really good with the kids."
Thanks to everyone for great 4th
It's obvious to me that the flurry of activities surrounding the July 4 celebration in Pagosa is good for business. We have six new members to introduce to you this week, which is cause for yet another celebration. We would love to do the fireworks for you, but we seem to be a little short on them after the fabulous display at the Lodge on Sunday night. A small drum roll in your head would suffice.
Member number one this week is Nick Toth who brings us Viking Construction located at 245 Lewis Street. Nick is the man to call for specialized custom-built homes, remodels and additions. Give him a call at 264-9042 for more information about his services.
We're doubly fortunate this week to welcome yet another Toth to our membership - Carrie Toth joins us with Mary Kay Cosmetics at the same location on Lewis Street. Carrie offers one-on-one facials, skin care classes and private makeovers. If you need to get out of the house and pamper yourself, just give Carrie a call at 264-9042. It's great to count both Toths among our membership roster.
We next welcome Tim Holt with United Campground located at 1322 Animas View Drive in Durango. United Campground offers a beautiful triple-terraced campground located on the Animas River four miles from the Durango Silverton Train Station. Full services are offered to include a heated pool, CATV and trolley service to the train. You can give these folks a call at 247-3853.
Dr. and Mrs. Dennis R. Spence join us next with Mountain Landing Guest Quarters located at 345 Piedra Road. Mountain Landing Guest Quarters offers two-bedroom, one-bath, full-kitchen accommodations with a two-day minimum rental. It offers as well a location near the airport, convenient to town, the golf course and the Upper Piedra Wilderness Area. Locally, you can reach them at 731-5345 and in Tyler, Texas, at 903-534-1645.
Elizabeth Young brings us the Navajo Trail Car Wash located at 67 Navajo Trail behind Burly's Shell station. These folks offer a 24-hour, self-service wash with an RV bay, covered vacuum and drying area, vending car care products and winter floor heat in all bays. If you would like to learn more about the Navajo Trail Car Wash, please call them at 731-6727.
We're delighted to welcome back Debra and Warron Big Eagle after their moving and relocation hiatus. The Soaring Eagle Mercantile and Bead Shoppe is now located at 117 Navajo Trail Drive behind the Silverado Shopping Center. Debra and Warron offer custom jewelry and repair as well as the largest selection of beads and the lowest prices in the area. The handcrafted work of 16 different artists is represented in this business, so you are assured a great selection. You can give them a call at their new phone number, 731-6868 or drop by to welcome them back.
As I write this on Monday morning, just a bit weary from a non-stop weekend, I acknowledge that we had so many activities on our agenda in Pagosa, it was almost humanly impossible to take advantage of them all. I'd like to thank all those responsible for organizing and maintaining said events beginning with Suellen who single-handedly orchestrated the biggest and best Arts and Crafts Festival yet. I hope you all were able to get down to Town and Centennial parks to see the eclectic offerings of all the artisans. I did some serious Christmas shopping and hope you did as well. Suellen was splendid once again dealing with all the inevitable wants and needs of ninety vendors. We had great responses from the vendors who found Pagosa Springs one of the most hospitable towns they have visited in their extensive travels. Thanks again, Suellen, for an outstanding show.
Thanks go out to the Colorado Mounted Rangers for their nightly vigilance making sure that all the booths were safe and secure. Phyllis Alspach again volunteered to check in all the vendors at Centennial Park, and handled it with her typical grace and style. Thanks to ALLTEL for the loan of a phone to allow us all to keep in touch with all the happenings in two different locations. As always, our gratitude to the Town Parks Department for managing to keep up with the amazing amounts of trash and traffic these events always seem to create. They always seem to be everywhere at once-thanks, guys.
To Don Volger and his staff and the Sheriff's department, our thanks for keeping it all under control during the parade and unprecedented traffic before and after the fireworks. This job just gets bigger and bigger every year. Kudos to the Rotary Club for a truly spectacular parade-again the best small town parade in the world. Thanks to Pagosa Lodge for hosting a fabulous party. I think they served about 500 delicious meals to the hungry revelers without a hitch.
The Pagosa Hot Strings and the gentlemen of Badly Bent gave us the best Red, White and Bluegrass Concert yet. The crowd loved them and was appropriately appreciative of their wonderful music. I think I might have convinced both groups to come back next year and work their magic again. Thanks to Dan Appenzeller as well for a great job as MC for the concert.
Special thanks to Shirley Eoff for creating our costumes for the parade. She did a remarkable job with bloomers, tops, hats and parasols despite the whining of those who felt the ensemble wasn't the most flattering they had ever worn. I must admit that bloomers are challenging.
Thanks again to Terry Smith, Rodney and the gang at Circle T Lumber/Ace Hardware for allowing us to use their brand-new flatbed truck for our parade float and stage for the concert. We basically took it out of commission for over two days and are indeed grateful to them.
Last but certainly not least, thanks to the folks at Waste Management for providing the dumpsters at Pagosa Lodge for the picnic and to "Spud" at Rocky Mt. Sanitation for those ever-lovin' portapotties at the Arts and Crafts Festival.
And thanks to all of you out there who supported and attended all the weekend's activities. You made it all a roaring success.
Nunsense = funsense
I attended the opening night of "Nunsense," and suggest that if you do nothing else this year, treat yourself to this production. You must see Reverend Mother (Mary McKeehan) Sister Mary Regina's absolutely show-stopping brush with "rush"; Joan Hageman as the clueless, irresistible and hilarious Sister Amnesia (and Loretta Lynn); Sister Mary Hubert (Kathy Isberg) bring the house down with her "Holier Than Thou" finale number; the mouthy Sister Robert Anne (Jennifer Alley) reduce you to tears with her poignant, beautiful rendition of "Growing Up Catholic"; and the lovely, graceful Sister Mary Leo (Stephanie Jones) going on point as "The Dying Nun", a playful poke at Sally Fields. Five stars shine so brightly throughout the evening that you, like I, will want them to start all over again when the last note is played. Lisa Hartley conducts the talented band on stage with music that provides the perfect accompaniment to the dancing, singing and constant antics in the wackiest convent on the continent. Kudos to co-directors, Andy Donlon and Steve Rogan for a perfectly delightful production of "Nunsense." Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce, Moonlight Books and The Wild Hare for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights of this week. I guarantee you will have the time of your life. Show time is at 7:30 p.m. each night.
With breezy days perfect for flying a kite and clear, warm nights ideal for star gazing, where the heck did the kite and telescope shop go? Glad you asked because we have the answer: Colorado Skies has moved to a new location upstairs in the River Center as of June 5. They are now open seven days a week and have new shipments of fun goodies arriving almost daily. Sam and April invite you all to stop by and say hello and check out their new digs. You can reach them by phone at 264-6197.
New member, Bank of the San Juans, invites you to join them for the Pagosa Springs Branch ground breaking on Wednesday, July 14, at 10:30 a.m. at 305 Hot Springs Boulevard across from the Post Office. The original bank opened its doors in Durango on September 4, 1998.
In June of this year, the bank received final regulatory approval from the FDIC to establish a branch in Pagosa Springs. Sue Gast will manage the branch as its Senior Vice President. A longtime Pagosa resident and former cashier at Bank of the Southwest, Gast brings with her 39 years of banking experience. Heading up the mortgage division is Rick Kimble with over 20 years of mortgage lending and managerial experience. Elsa Lucero and Jeannette Martinez, both longtime Pagosa Springs bankers, will also serve branch customers.
The Bank of the San Juans looks forward to serving the community of Pagosa Springs when the new branch opens in September 1999 and hopes to see you all at the groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, July 14.
Push yourself: Enter demanding 'High-Tri' triathlon
Wanted: Athletes for High-Tri. The Pagosa Lakes "High-Tri" triathlon is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 14. It includes a 7-mile run, 14-mile mountain bike ride and half-mile swim. The run will start at 8 a.m. from the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center and the final leg, the half-mile swim, will be in the pool.
Both the run and the bike segments of the triathlon will cover some gorgeous trails along Martinez Canyon. This is a fun event, on a user-friendly course, for the individual tri-athelete or team. Whether you are a weekend road warrior looking for endorphins, or an adrenaline-crazed, fanatic, hardbody, the triathlon has something for you; grueling, varied, thrilling and just plain fun.
For the many that participate, they have a personal goal. They train for that goal. On the day of the triathlon, they accomplish that goal. It's not about winning, it's about finishing. It's about doing. Inspire yourself to do something big that you never thought you could do. You, the participant, make it as competitive as you want.
If you wish to compete as a team in the "High-Tri" triathlon and need help in filling out the team, please call the Recreation Center at 731-2051. Teams can be coed or same sex with teams of two or three members; any combination will do. Why not put a team together with your coworkers or your family, your club or your church. And on that day, not only will you accomplish something truly remarkable, but you will become closer to your teammates in the process. That alone is worth it.
What will your sweat earn? In addition to providing an incentive to train and be disciplined into following a workout schedule, the triathlon participants will receive a specially designed "High-Tri" tank top, awards, lots of prize drawings and a complimentary one-day pass to the Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center. For more information and a copy of the trail map, please stop by the Recreation Center or call 731-2051 to have information mailed to you.
Here's something for you to think about: If you believe in the health benefits of working out, you likely will stick to your exercise program better than if you don't believe in the benefits, says a recent study at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.
The PLPOA monthly board meeting will be held tonight at 7 in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse. 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 - 7 p.m.
- Approval of agenda
- Approval of board meeting minutes
- Public comments
- Non-departmental committee reports
- Treasurer's report - Treasurer Judy Esterly
- Road maintenance and improvements - Director Fred Ebeling
- Rules Committee - Director Ebeling
- Ad Hoc Golf Course Committee - Director Nan Rowe
- Election Committee - Secretary Ebeling
- Public Safety Committee - Director Pat Curtis
- Lakes, Fisheries and Parks Committee - Larry Lynch
- Recreational Amenities Committee - Director John Nelson
- General Manager's Report - Waynette Nell
- New business:
A. Weed removal Lake Pagosa - Brock Taras
B. Golf course issues
C. Sponsored group policy - Director Ebeling
D. Resubmission of Amendments to the Declaration of Restrictions for Meadows IV Subdivision
E. Annual meeting agenda
F. Fee waiver requests
G. Insurance update
H. Resolution 99-35 access to association records.
July picnic offers 'good food and good fellowship'
The July Picnic in the Park is next Friday, July 16 - good food and good fellowship. Welcome.
Free swimming for seniors is being offered at Pagosa Lodge 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.
We buried our little Lucy Cotton last Friday. We miss Lucy terribly. Lucy was from the Yamaguchi family and had lived here for most of her life. She will suffer no more and is on the other side. She had three children, Larry and Darrell Cotton and Marylin Cotton Yeager. Her husband, Bill Cotton, died several years ago.
The bus travels to Durango each Tuesday at 8 a.m., returning in the late afternoon. There will be more bus service here in town.
We had a nice little shower Monday which cooled things off. We need more moisture.
The Fourth of July celebration was a big success. No serious injuries in a large crowd of people. There was plenty of bucking out at the rodeo.
I am sorry that the news is short this week and will try to do better next week.
Francis Rock Coffee and daughter will be visiting us in a few days.
Get ready for Friends book sale; interest grows for film society
Our most fun event is just two weeks away.
The Friends annual public book sale will be held Saturday, July 17, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. The sale is held at the Extension Building at the fair grounds on U.S. 84. New and used materials are offered at bargain prices.
You are invited to become a Friend of the library by joini
ng the organization and attending the annual meeting where refreshments are served, and members get first chance at the book sale.
This event will be at 6 p.m. on July 16, at the Extension Building. Annual dues can be paid at the door. A family membership is $10. Individual memberships cost $5. Student members ships are $2, and lifetime memberships are available for $100.
There is a short business meeting before the sale opens. Plan to attend and bring a friend who might wish to join. All proceeds are used to buy books for the Sisson Library also know as the Upper San Juan Library District. Please RSVP as soon as possible to 264-2209.
The John Graves film showing of "Picnic at Hanging Rock" drew a crowd of well over 100 viewers. We all want to discuss it. We will have the chance at the next film meeting.
John asked people to sign up and voice their interests in starting a group to view and discuss classic films. It would appear there were enough people to start such a group.
Now John needs help with the logistics - contacting people, choosing films, setting up showings, etc. Sounds like he needs a "committee." If you would like to help John get this off the ground, please call him at 731-9863, or drop your name off at the library.
The Friends also thank John for donating part of the proceeds to the library fund. We also thank John and David Bright for donating some books to the library on the subject of film making.
This column had to be in too early to list our weekly winners. We are very pleased with the work the children are doing. We have collages, three-dimensional animals, wind socks, treasure maps and pirate hats. Do come in and see the artwork on display. Our young people are especially crafty this year.
Dick Hillyer and Jack Ellis have been guest readers at our regular story time each Friday morning at 11 a.m. This preschool half-hour reading is fun to watch. Parents remain in the building. If you would like to help with story time, call Mary.
The latest distance learning opportunity is offered through the University of Colorado at Denver. The Graduate School of Public Affairs invites you to look at their masters degree program. Pick up a copy of their brochure at the desk.
Dr. Bill Lipe will be leading a week of "Laid-Back Hiking for the Leisurely Adventurous." Crow Canyon will present a week of hikes to seldom-visited sites Oct. 9 to Oct. 15. To request a detailed prospectus of the program, a catalog, or to register, call toll free 800-422-8975. Or visit www.crowcanyon.org.
We are fortunate to have our own famous archaeological area. The spire lends itself to many speculations. It may have been used for a calendrical station, festivals and pilgrimages. If you have visitors this summer, add a Chimney Rock hike to your list of activities. There are four tours every day until the end of September. Call 883-5359 for more information.
Thanks for materials from: Kerry Dermody, Nicholas Afaami, Rosa Layne, Linda Bernard, Scotty Gibson, Zellah Hoffman, Carol Fulenwider, Nancy Van Matre, Maureen Covell, Mindy Starling, Sheila Hunkin and Laren Trevor.
Reinhardt returns to local gallery
This is not the first time we've seen Bernard Reinhardt at the Pagosa Springs Art Council gallery in Town Park.
Reinhardt moved to Pagosa Springs in 1986 from the east coast. He received his degree in art from Fort Lewis College in 1992. Since graduating, Bernard has earned his living creating murals and faux finishes in residences and businesses around the Four Corners.
Reinhardt has shown his work around the Four Corners since 1992. His works are currently available through a gallery in Ojo Caliente, N.M., and at his studio at 689 Midiron Avenue.
Mr. Reinhardt's interest in fine art lies in exploring the obscure views that we all experience every day. He is currently working in oils, pastels, pencil and photographs and will include a short performance piece at the reception for his upcoming show. His opening reception is on July 8, from 5 to 7 p.m., and will kick off a two week display of all of Reinhardt's works. At about 6 p.m. the art performance will take place free of charge. Content will be appropriate for all ages so bring your friends young and old to see this local artist show his stuff. It's sure to be a blast.
We were all pleased and excited to see the first PSAC float in the Fourth of July Parade. The float was a beautiful sight to behold, due to all the people who contributed to its creation.
Design and construction were undertaken by Susan Garman and Soledad Estrada-Leo. The whole Garman family participated in the decoration including Mike, Susan, Brett and Alaina. The Leo family also worked on the float-decorating process.
Participants on the float were Sue Anderson, Toni Rogan and Erin Donlon as the nuns. Representing the past were Carol Fulenwider, Linda Di Muccio, and Ron Chacey as Sid Mountain. Child artists included Anna Ball, Seth Blackley, Steven Rogan and Jennifer Tothe. The walkers included Alaina Garman, Patrick Ford, Clara Barber, Kacey Tothe and Joanne Halliday. Also, special thanks to Fred Harman III (for the Red Ryder poster), and Marge Mountain and Jennifer Mountain for loan of Sid's clothing. Further thanks to Michelle White, Tessie Garcia, Jeff Laydon, Kristin Kissock, Lisa Hartley, Andy Donlon, Joanne Halliday, and Alan Leo for his truck and flatbed and for driving. Phew! Did we get everybody? I certainly hope so because so many contributions, and so much time and effort went into this float. And it sure did show. It was a beautiful spectacle. Great job guys!
Ever wonder what goes on in an artist's head? Ever wish to watch an artist in action or to see their work environment?
Well, coming soon, you may get the opportunity. The Pagosa Springs Arts Council will host a tantalizing and rare tour of our local artists' studios. Tickets will be available on Aug. 1, at $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the tour. They can be picked up at the PSAC gallery, the Chamber Visitors Center or at the Library. The tour will begin Aug. 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Some of the participating artists include Deborah Robinson (watercolors); Roberto and Ana Garcia (bronzes); Cappy and Monica White (woodworking and furniture); Emily Tholberg (mosaic artist); Linda Lerno (paintings); Kent Gordon (bronzes); Virginia Bartlett (oils); and Betty Slade (watercolors, oils and pastels). People to contact for this rare and exciting event are Clare Burns 731-9148, Joanne Halliday 264-5020, and Marti Capling 731-9770 (after July 21).
The PSAC is looking for a fax/copier combination for the gallery and gift shop office at Town Park. We are also in need of a fan or two to help beat the summer heat.
If you know of anyone willing to donate or deal for these items, please contact Joanne at 264-5020.
First, an enormous thanks again to everyone who participated in the Fourth of July float project. Another thank you must go out to Grey Baer Wilson for putting "Art Show" on the back of our large sign at the gallery building in the park.
'Rushmore' not what you expect
Before I get to this week's feature presentation, let me tease you with a blurb on a classic I watched this weekend.
"12 Angry Men" (1957), about a jury deliberating the fate of a young man accused of killing his father, gives you a good look at men behaving badly in the company of men, of men with big voices establishing dominance over men with little voices, of men who think trying to conduct mental warfare with men who don't.
Happily, the film also suggests that critical thinking, skepticism and serious inquiry can occasionally win the day against pigheadedness and prejudice.
Directed by Sidney Lumet - who's still working - "12 Angry Men" features great performances from Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Jack Klugman, Jack Ward and Ed Begley.
I don't recommend this one for claustrophobes: About 90 of the film's 92 minutes are shot in the same small hot room. There's a heat wave happening, and the fan doesn't work. That's the smell of justice in there, folks.
Although the movie isn't directly about recycling, I couldn't help thinking while I was watching it on television that enough energy is saved by recycling one aluminum can to power a TV for three hours.
And now, this week's feature presentation.
I believe "Rushmore" (1998) is a very good movie, but I'm not certain. I can tell you it's worth seeing just because of its freshness. It is not the same old thing. In fact, let me be the 322nd reviewer to say it: "Rushmore" is unpredictable and original.
If it were completely original, of course, you wouldn't know how to watch it, so young director/screenwriter Wes Anderson grounds the film in the "high school coming-of-age" genre.
Like those movies, "Rushmore" has a geek, a bully, a stern headmaster, a crush and a snappy soundtrack. But the resemblance pretty much stops there. Here are some variations Anderson plays on old stock characters and themes.
The geek, 15-year-old Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), has the look of a "Revenge of the Nerds" refugee, a real bookworm, but he is actually one of the worst students at Rushmore. One reason he's failing all his courses is that he spends so much time on extracurricular activities. Fencing, wrestling (the 112-pound division), beekeeping, skeet shooting, chess club, play directing - Fischer does it all.
Fischer is primarily a showman and an organizer, so he approaches "real life" as if it is one big play he's directing. To switch the metaphor, he shuffles people around like pieces on a chess board so he can get what he wants, what all of us want: attention, love, praise.
Since it's a coming-of-age movie, our young hero needs a love interest, but it's not the prom queen he's after. Instead, he falls hard for a teacher - a first-grade teacher, for crying out loud - lovely Miss Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams).
Since "Rushmore" is also a kind of romantic comedy, we need a love triangle. Got it. Fischer's friend and fellow adolescent Herman Blume, a steel tycoon played by Bill Murray, also has his heart set on Miss Cross.
But Blume is married and the father of two sons he can't stand. And Fischer is only 15, and he's being pursued by Margaret Yang (Sara Tanaka), someone his own age. And Cross is still in love with her husband who died many years ago. Here is a plot complication you wouldn't find in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" or "Porky's."
There's more. Fischer is the way he is partly because his mother died when he was 7. Blume is a troubled, somewhat detached, self-loathing creature who was "in the (bleep)" in Vietnam. These are rich characters struggling with a variety of competing impulses.
The bully in "Rushmore," incidentally, speaks with a Scottish brogue and, inexplicably, has a broken arm.
As Fischer takes the colorful journey towards maturity, honesty, acceptance and self-awareness, the movie doesn't exactly progress in a fluid flow. We're given an interesting scene, usually combining comedy and pathos, often shot with skewed, quirky but unobtrusive camera angles. When that scene ends, we're given another one, but one that doesn't necessarily spring directly from the previous one or lead directly to the next.
So you can't really say the movie is especially easy to follow.
In most movies of this kind, when a character becomes wiser or changes his way of thinking, we're shown a definite reason for that: He remembers something from his past or someone gives him a bloody nose or an old mentor helps him sort things out.
Not so in "Rushmore." The characters do change, but it's never revealed why. Maybe Anderson believes that's the way "real life" tends to work. Or maybe he didn't want to disrupt the playfulness of his film by waxing too analytical, going too deeply into cause and effect. Either way, I appreciate his decision to leave some things unspoken, unrevealed.
This movie has raked in some incredibly positive reviews, many folks calling it the best movie of the year. Murray's performance in particular has provoked a slew of kudos, and I'd like to be counted among those cheering his work. As he becomes grayer and balder, his acting become more polished, more subtle, more refined.
About the snappy soundtrack. The movie has a contemporary setting (late '90s), so you'd expect music by Goo Goo Dolls, Smashmouth, Ricky Martin, Pearl Jam, Blessed Union of Souls or Jewel. Wrong, grunge breath. While watching "Rushmore," you'll hear old Rolling Stones, Faces, Cat Stevens, John and Yoko, that sort of thing. And do you know why?
I have no idea. Probably to baffle your tired expectations.
If you'd like your expectations baffled this weekend and would like to see some adventures in film making from a fresh young director, take a look at "Rushmore."
Wedding planned for Squaretop summit
By John M. Motter
The year was 1918. Pagosa boys were still being drafted to fight the Kaiser during WW I. Johnny was not yet marching home. In Pagosa Country, Wolf Creek Pass had opened just two years sooner. Lumber, cattle, and sheep were still the glue holding together the local economy.
For Joseph Hager and Ada Tiernan, the world must have seemed a wonderful place. They were in love and planned to be married. Not just married in your everyday, ordinary church wedding. They planned to marry on the summit of Squaretop Mountain.
Now everyone who's lived any time at all in Pagosa Country recognizes Squaretop, the distinctive, 11,760-foot mountain on the southeastern skyline that separates the Little Blanco River drainage from the Upper Blanco Basin. What makes Squaretop distinctive is the cathedral-like dome perched on top, much the way European castles perch on non-scalable Rhine River monoliths. The dome is separated from the lower portions of the mountain by what appear to be unclimbable rock cliffs. It is said that four states are visible from the mountain top.
Adding to the challenge for the newlyweds was the locally accepted fact that, until that time, no one had ever climbed to the top of Squaretop Mountain.
The wedding was planned for July 4. Friends and acquaintances, at least those in good physical condition, joined the wedding party as it left the Blanco Basin and wound its way up the slopes to the appointed wedding site.
Supervising the entourage was forest ranger Floyd Runyan. The Rev. John Q. Vermillion agreed to conduct the wedding and make the legal pronouncements. Vermillion was a Methodist minister who had moved to Pagosa Springs in 1903 and alternately taught school and presided over the M.E. Church. He also served as county superintendent of schools and as county judge.
In 1918, Vermillion was 54 years old. Consequently, the editor of the Pagosa Springs SUN noted "They had regard for the age and clumsiness of the Rev. Judge Vermillion, and as well for that ponderous, good-natured and congenial Forest Service man, Floyd Runyan, who acted as guide and protector for the parson. The young couple had constructed a ladder for their especial accommodation."
"Old Square Top had in the past," according to the editor, resisted all efforts of mountain climbers to reach the summit. On this particular 4th of July, however, the young couple reached its highest pinnacle and planted "Old Glory" there. It was their desire to have the marriage ceremony performed at the summit beneath this flag.
When the ladder was reached by Runyan and his parson, however, "he looked at the thirty feet of perpendicular ladder and the continuation of almost perpendicular for another fifty feet and said, 'Nothing doing up there. If you wish to be married, come down here.' The bridal party descended the ladder to the mass of rock which gives the mountain its name, and there, overlooking the upper Blanco Basin, the ceremony was performed."
At the same location, a "bountiful wedding dinner" was served by the bride's mother and two sisters, who lived in Gardner, Kan. A large slab of granite that had fallen from the mountain top served as the banquet table.
Following the banquet, a bridal party consisting of the bride and groom and their attendants, Leon Montroy, and one of the sisters of the bride, again climbed to the mountain's highest pinnacle and again unfurled the U.S. flag.
The spectacular location apparently did not add stability to the wedding. Joseph Hager soon dropped out of the local history picture. In 1924, Ada married a second time. Rube E. Amyx became her husband, this time in a more conventional ceremony. The couple raised three children: Glen, Wanda, and Wayne. Glen was Hager's son. Ada taught school in Pagosa Springs, Pagosa Junction, and Tularosa, N.M., before passing away Oct. 27, 1977.
Ada was the aunt of current Pagosa Springs resident Virginia Bramwell. The Tiernan and Amyx families were early settlers in the Upper Blanco Basin.
'Nunsense': It's pure entertainment
I believe I had a religious experience Friday night.
I went to see the Music Boosters' production of "Nunsense," and I think I came face to face with the Divine Silliness. I might have experienced a little slice of heaven.
In my conversations with cast members and in mingling with them on the set while taking washed out pictures, I detected a lightheartedness, a joy, a kind of esprit de corps I've seldom seen behind the scenes of dramatic productions, large or small. Consequently, I went to "Nunsense" expecting it to be very good.
But it was much, much better than I thought it would or could be. And you don't have to take my word for it: Ask anyone who has seen it. The high school auditorium was filled with laughter and applause Friday night, and the cast and crew received a well deserved thunderous standing ovation at the play's conclusion.
What makes "Nunsense" so entertaining? Simple: Take great material from Dan Goggin (who wrote the book, music and lyrics), hand it over to five enormously talented cast members who seemed to have been born to play the five principal characters, and have that cast work under the able direction of theater veterans Andy Donlon and Steve Rogan. Stir.
Weave into these wonderful ingredients some fine music provided by an orchestra directed by Lisa Hartley and you have a masterpiece. Contributing to the play's music are Sue Anderson, keyboard; Bruce Andersen, alto sax; Melinda Baum, piano; Corri Patterson, flute and clarinet; and Cary Valentine, drums.
The "Nunsense" cast is comprised essentially of five leading ladies. A weak or shaky performance by any one of this starting five, and the play suffers, making the audience grow restless and fidgety. Thankfully, there are no weak sisters in this nunly ensemble. Let's take a look at them, in alphabetical order.
Jennifer Alley, appearing in her first Music Boosters production, is a puckish delight as the streetwise Sister Robert Anne. While all five actresses develop a warm rapport with the audience (they even mingle with the early arrivers, welcoming them to the show), Alley manages to get them in cahoots with her as she tries to convince the Reverend Mother to give her a number in the act.
Alley's relationship with the theater-goers gets so cozy that she actually seems to be flirting with some guy in the front row, some school super nintendo or something.
A natural as a class clown, transforming her character into such figures as Myra Gulch, Pocahontas and Pippi Longstockins, Alley is just as effective singing the nostalgic "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," a song that laments the fading of black and white into gray.
Joan Hageman, as the dizzy, childlike Sister Mary Amnesia, shows impressive range as both an actress and a singer. In once scene, she has the formidable task of effectively playing three characters almost simultaneously: She is the mousy Mary Amnesia, with a squeaky speaking voice; she is the harsh voice of her obnoxious and irreverent hand puppet (Hageman studied the art of ventriloquism just for this part); and she is a singer with a startlingly beautiful voice capable of reaching notes too high to see from here.
In "I Could've Gone to Nashville," Mary Amnesia sings of wanting to be in the Grand Ole Opry, but it's clear that Hageman's voice was trained for another kind of opry altogether. When you hear her this weekend, you'll know you're in the presence of greatness.
Kathleen Isberg is entertaining throughout as the Jersey-talkin' Sister Mary Hubert futilely trying to help the Reverend Mother control this band of flighty nuns. Her big moment, however, comes near the end, so don't even think about leaving early.
When she belts out the hilarious "Holier Than Thou" (the lyrics of which we'd all like to apply to someone else), it becomes pretty clear that this woman swallowed an amplifier sometime in her youth. Her voice combines the power and volume of a locomotive with the clarity of a mountain stream rushing over smooth stones. Isberg's rendition of this rocking black gospel puts the exclamation point on two hours of sisterly shenanigans.
Stephanie Jones, as novice Sister Mary Leo, nicely embodies the novitiate spirit. She's fresh, perky, a little naive and eager to please. At the same time, however, Jones conveys Mary Leo's stubborn streak, an insistence on serving God by doing what she does best - dancing. In fact, after we see her dance a few times, we're on her side: Come on, Reverend Mother, let her wear a tutu!
Jones, a former dancer with the Cecchetti and Cincinnati Ballet Company, is all grace and sweetness as she dances her way through morning prayers in her "Benedicite" number.
I'm still astounded by the fact that Mary McKeehan chose to make her stage debut in the demanding role of the Reverend Mother, Sister Mary Regina. This just makes no sense at all, not even nunsense. She could have easily fallen flat on her face. Actually, she does fall, but only because the script calls for it.
McKeehan's Reverend Mother is part straight (wo)man, part stand-up comic. Her finest moment comes after she holds an illegal inhalant a little too close to her nose and then sends the audience into hysterics as she does battle with gravity and an unruly rotating bar stool.
If McKeehan was afflicted by stage fright Friday night, she disguised it well. She looked perfectly at home under the bright lights, and it's my guess that she'll be back on stage again in the not too distant future.
At various points in the show, each member of the cast had the pressure of single-handedly keeping the audience under the "Nunsense" spell of enchantment, and each handled this demanding (and frightening) task as if it were nothing more than a stroll down the Riverwalk.
Maybe you've heard some talk about the humor in "Nunsense" being at times slightly irreverent or in questionable taste. You'll have to make that call for yourself, obviously. But if you believe humor is a gift from the Creator and that being able to laugh at yourself from time to time can be a real blessing, you're not likely to get your feelings hurt.
You have three more chances to get thee to "Nunsense": there will be 7:30 performances tonight, Friday and Saturday at the high school auditorium. Tickets are available at Moonlight Books, the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center, the Ruby Sisson Library and the Wild Hare on North Pagosa Blvd. Prices are $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for children 12 and under.
Doors will be open at 6:30 p.m. to give advance ticket holders a better chance to find good seats. Tickets will be sold at the door of each performance.
Fourth of July
It was a Third of July parade this year. And what a day it was. Water guns, big trucks and horns, and horses here and there.
But Tootsie Rolls were very scarce, and for that matter, Dave Mitchell was too.
Happy Fourth of July!
Editor's note: Thanks for the Tootsie Rolls
Let's name our new bus service "Pa-Go-Bus."
The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate our country's independence and honor the freedom we all hold so dear.
Many Americans only want to celebrate the freedoms which suit and serve themselves. To them, that freedom comes with a crucial exemption - the right not to be offended.
The premise seems to be that if what someone else is doing offends me, he shouldn't be allowed to do it. This is at the heart of most government action that I find most threatening to the Constitution.
The litany of positions on how we should govern ourselves, individually and collectively, is long and inherently controversial. Are we not really for or against Klan marches, gays in Christmas parades, pornography, strip joints, abortion on demand, legalizing marijuana, prayer in public schools, protecting the American flag, the display of the Ten Commandments in government buildings and the like? When we take a stand and want to make it the law of the land are we protecting our freedoms or protecting one another from what we feel is offensive to ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation?
Distinguishing the huge difference between being in favor of burning the American flag and being in favor of the right to burn the American flag is the absolute key to preserving the integrity of the Bill of Rights. Any meaningful celebration of true freedom necessarily means celebrating that freedom which may even make us angry or queasy or anxious.
Whenever someone does something unpopular - burns the flag, has an abortion, opens a strip joint or files a lawsuit to block organized prayer at a graduation ceremony - the cry goes up from the "community": "majority rules. Why should one person be able to assert his rights above those of the majority?"
The Bill of Rights was created to protect our freedoms from the tyranny of the majority. This is especially hard to discern if you are part of the tyranny. The right not to be offended is not found anywhere in the Constitution.
Students can pray in school, at graduation ceremonies or anywhere else they want. But the school must not give the appearance of endorsing and promoting it. Spontaneous acts of free speech must not be limited. If the class valedictorian mentions her devotion to Jesus or leads a prayer - she must be allowed to do so.
It is a very different matter if a school official leads the prayer or if a student "representative" is given "permission" to lead the majority in a prayer. In this case the school has endorsed the prayer. We are no longer preserving freedom but imposing doctrine. The same is true with the debate over posting the Ten Commandments in public buildings. But the freedom of any individual to promote the Ten Commandments must never be limited.
It is incumbent on us to discern what freedom is. Enjoy and celebrate the enormous freedoms we have granted us in this country. But is our duty to be vigilante of those who seek not to be offended?
Flipping through the June 28 issue of "Newsweek" magazine, I found myself staring into Sebehate Berisha's eyes and jerked abruptly back to reality. Sebehate was a young Albanian woman in Kosovo who had been gang raped by Serb men who had then continued their "war" by hacking off her arms and legs with knives while she was still alive. This, after they had surrounded and killed 50 other women and children who had tried to hide in a local restaurant.
My radio told of Albanian retaliation: a Serb woman had been raped by Albanian men in front of her mother and then had her throat slit. Sexual torture and murder of women and the killing of children supposedly is just a part of war.
What is going on in Kosovo is simply a magnification of what has always been happening and is happening now to women and children all over the world. And it is happening here. Every three minutes in this country a woman is raped. It has been estimated that one of every three girls is sexually abused, usually by a close relative, before she is 18 years old. Men are responsible for 90 percent of sex crimes, females being most often the victims. Domestic violence ruins the lives of thousands of women and children, and hundreds are maimed and killed every year.
Male violence against women and children is not really a war. It is more insidious and pervasive than war because there is no beginning, no end, no clear sides and no clear enemy. If the male of any other species of animal were to begin battering, raping and killing females, and if those males were to begin using the very young and even their own offspring for forced sex, we would declare the male of that species insane and lethally out of control. But within our own species this very behavior has been going on virtually forever, a highlight being the torture and burning of eight million women as witches just 400 years ago.
The male of the human species has killed millions of his own females and continues to batter, rape, sexually abuse and kill his own women and children in frightening numbers throughout the world. War simply takes the social controls off this insane male behavior and allows it to reach the intensity it has, this time, in Kosovo. Men make war and basically men fight in the wars they make. Unchecked sexual torture and murder of women and children are apparently just the fringe benefits of war.
It is not only wise but it is necessary to look directly at any monster and to call it by its real name: Male power, control and physical strength turned against rather than used for women and children of its own species is a sure sign of insanity and of egoism on a rampage.
Church and state
I would like to address the issue of allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed in our schools. Unfortunately, many argue that displaying the Ten Commandments on the wall of a school would be offensive and a violation of the separation of church and state. Does this amendment have a hope of someday being effective? I pray it does.
The two main opposing arguments that have arisen in this issue are the separation of church and state and violating religious freedoms. The entire first issue, I am afraid, has been sadly misinterpreted. Separation of church and state essentially means that the government cannot command the various aspects of the church: attendance requirement, tithe, what to teach, etc. This in no way states that the church should be completely taken out of the government. On the contrary, our nation's history is permeated with biblical principles and morals. It is a well-known fact that the Declaration of Independence rested its foundations on the Bible, and 52 of the 55 signers of the Constitution were Christians.
Also, many are concerned about violating religious freedoms. First, the reason for displaying the Ten Commandments is to show children what is morally right for our country; it is not meant to offend. Secondly, symbols of Christianity have only been banished from the schools for a short time; what did we do before then? Lastly, I find it interesting that Congress can pass laws dealing with issues that explicitly contradict our nation's history and morals without bias, but when it comes to the safety of our children and returning to the conservative Christian heritage our nation was founded on, Congress is concerned with offending those who don't believe. What about me? I don't believe homosexuality and abortion are morally correct, but Congress doesn't seem too concerned with my beliefs. By seeing the state of confusion that our country is in, we all need to reevaluate our morals and corporately help Congress, which supposedly represents what we believe, return to our nation's history of biblical principles.
Mandy McCormick, 17
I recently read where you have a monsoon season? Is there really a lot of rain in July and August? We are looking to possibly move there in about a year and a half and I really don't care for rain. Durango is supposed to have 300 sunny days a year; is Pagosa Springs that different?
Editor's note: It is not unusual for it to rain when the ranchers are mowing and bailing hay.
By Jerry Zepnick
Sue Weaver, a much loved and admired artist, not only here in Pagosa Springs, but all over the world, passed away at her home in Marana, Ariz., Monday evening, July 5, 1999, after a long battle with cancer.
Mrs. Weaver's paintings in water media on rice paper, have touched the lives of many people with their spiritual and even mystical qualities.
She and her husband, Dale, who preceded her into the next life, summered in Pagosa Springs for most of the '90s, and her followers in this area are many.
She was the co-founder and former co-owner of Lantern Dancer Gallery in Pagosa Springs where her works are still on display.
Following is one of her poems that accompanies her famous painting of the "Warrior Woman" - "Who is this Warrior Woman looking so strong,/ When did she go to battle and right the wrong?/ I see no gun nor arrow, no knife to cut or rope to bind,/ As a matter of fact, her look is kind./ When did she lead a charge up the hill/ To fight for a life maybe even to kill?/ When did she mount up as eagles for truth and for peace,/ With unwavering courage though her life might cease?/ Remember the cry of the newborn child through all the pain/ Remember she smiled./ And the fierce Mother shield she held for her young,/ Facing all foe, if they meant them wrong./ When illness came she straightened her back./ They thought through it all that she might crack./ But she mounted that eagle and soared to the heights,/ And touched the Great Spirit in rainbow lights,/ Clung to her roots with strength untold,/ Through stormy weather she remained bold./ Who is this Warrior Woman I see, it's every woman, it's me."
Sue Weaver was truly that Warrior Woman, she very much loved and will be dearly missed by all who knew her. Her wonderful works of art will be an inspiration for generations to come.
Those who wish may send donations in her memory to the Pagosa Springs Arts Council.
Nita Louise Post, 75, a resident of Albuquerque, N.M., for eight years, died Thursday, July 1, 1999.
Mrs. Post is survived by her children Cassandra Peck of Denver, Samuel Post of Albuquerque, Jacqueline West and husband, Denis, of Mustang, Okla., Stephen Post and wife Cindy and Glen Post and wife, Donna, of Albuquerque; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and her sisters Ruth Vess and Betty Whitlock, both of Denver. Mrs. Post was preceded in death by her son, Gregory Post, in 1997.
A previous resident of Pagosa Springs, where she served as county clerk, Mrs. Post also resided in Salida, where she was employed at Salida Gas Company for many years. Mrs. Post was a member of the Roman Catholic faith, and was a very loving and caring mother and grandmother who will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Saturday, July 3, at 9 a.m. at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Albuquerque, with Father Domingo Gumpal, celebrant. Interment followed at Sunset Memorial Park.
Local resident Catherine St. Laurent died June 30, 1999, in Denver's University Hospital.
Ms. St. Laurent was born in Boulder City, Nev., in 1970, and moved to Pagosa Springs in 1984. She enjoyed the outdoors, particularly camping and fishing. She enjoyed reading, horseback riding and ice skating. She also collected teddy bears.
Ms. St. Laurent is preceded in death by her parents, Alice Ann McKeough and Marion C. Gallegos.
She is survived by her son, Erik Jon St. Laurent II of Pagosa Springs; her husband, Erik J. St. Laurent of Pagosa Springs; her mother and father-in-law, Ingrid and Raymond St. Laurent of Pagosa Springs; her sister Deborah Gonzales of Henderson Nev.; her brother Randy allegos of South Lake, Utah; her brother, Kenny Gallegos of Las Vegas, Nev.; her sister Judy Hamer of Tellico Plains, Tenn.; her sister Laura Gallegos of Grand Junction; her sister Tammy Gallegos of Umitilla, Ore.; her step-father, Victor Montano of Pagosa Springs and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ms. St. Laurent was greatly loved and will be missed by many friends and family.
A memorial service was held Monday, July 5, 1999, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs.
A memorial service for Lorraine Cline, mother of Barbara Sansom, will be held at Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St. on July 17, 1999, at 11 a.m.
Rev. Don Strait will be the officiating clergyman. Dawn Hollenbeck will play the organ.
Mrs. Cline passed away in Roswell, N.M., on Jan. 30, 1999, and is greatly missed by family and friends.
Friends are asked to please feel welcome to attend and join the family in celebrating the life of this very special lady.
Jaden Daniel Wolfe
Kevin and Susan Wolfe of Fort Collins are proud to announce the birth of their son, Jaden Daniel Wolfe.
Jaden Daniel was born at 10:42 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5, 1999. He weighed 8 pounds, 7 1/2 ounces and was 21 3/4-inches long.
His maternal grandparents are Ken and Jean Fox of Pagosa Springs. His paternal grandmother is Pam Woodworth of Fort Collins.
Jaden Daniel's maternal great-grandparents are Jim and Robby Fox of Tucson, Ariz.
Charles Trevor Lamar Bryant
Nathan and Ann Bryant of Pagosa Springs are happy to announce the birth of their son, Charles Trevor Lamar Bryant, who was born Wednesday, May 26, 1999, in Mercy Medical Center of Durango. He weighed 5 pounds, 1 ounce and was 18 1/2-inches long.
Charles Trevor was welcomed home by his three big sisters, Megan, Briana and Emily.
Showers should keep Pagosa Country cool
By John M. Motter
Summer rains stopped Pagosa Country temperatures from climbing into the 90s this past week, a relief for most local residents who felt they were "too hot." Thunder clouds soaring above the local skyline most days threatened to wash away Fourth of July activities.
The threat did not materialize, however, and crowds enjoyed the four-day celebration with little interference from the weather. On Saturday a meager 0.05 inches of rain fell and another .02 inches fell Monday. As if waiting for the party to end, the skies opened and 0.43 inches of rain drenched the hillsides Tuesday after everyone had returned to work.
Total rainfall for July thus far is just one-half an inch. Temperatures for the past week topped out at an average of 82 degrees and averaged 50 degrees on the bottom end. The highest temperature was 88 degrees recorded last Thursday and 87 degrees recorded Monday.
More rain should fall today, according to weatherman Paul Frisbie of the National Weather Service Grand Junction office.
"Showers and thundershowers are likely Thursday," Frisbie said, "with highs somewhere between 80 and 85 degrees. A chance of thundershowers will continue through Sunday."
Controlling local weather is a high pressure system over western Colorado, according to Frisbie. At the same time, moisture crossing lower Mexico is being swept up the Rocky Mountain chain, then dumped on the Four Corners area. It is the classic Colorado monsoon system, Frisbie added.
The high pressure system is resting at about 18,000 feet. Further south, a subtropical easterly wave has slipped under the high pressure system enhancing the moisture content, according to Frisbie.
Meanwhile, when outside conditions are not dictating airflow and wind patterns, a local phenomena called the "mountain valley breeze" pattern takes over. During the day, the sun heats up slopes faster than the valley bottoms. Consequently, winds move up the valley.
At night a reversed pattern takes over. Mountain slopes cool more quickly than the valley bottoms. The winds, therefore, move down the valley at night.