Where else but Pagosa?


Where else but Pagosa can you go to the dump and watch the bears? There are burgers on Monday, Taco Tuesdays, Family Night miniature golf on Wednesday, and softball every night of the week.

Yes, indeed, this little town is hopping this summer.

And then there is the biggest day of the year.

It’s the Fourth of July in Pagosa. We stood and cheered when the firefighters went by in the parade. I wept inside; did you? These hardy, young men and women put their lives on the line fighting the fires around us. They enthusiastically waved, and we responded. Thank you from our little town.

We stood when our country’s flag went by. We love this country. When members of the armed forces and the veterans went by, I had a sense of pride: these men and women belong to us. They have served our country well. Thank you for keeping us safe.

The week of events started with the annual wrestling club benefit dance and High Rollers concert in the park. Where else but Pagosa would the bandleader call out Ron Gustafson to lead the Electric Slide? The grass dance floor was filled with young and old who followed Ron to the music of the “Electric Boogie.”

Where else do granddads and grandmothers dance in the grass with their grandchildren? There are no lines drawn between generations when it comes to dancing in the town park.

At the banquet, guests were greeted as they arrived. Cindy Gustafson was escorted with tender love and care to a chair where she could watch the dancers and listen to the band. Cindy and Ron are Pagosa’s treasure. This couple supports every function in Pagosa. Every town needs a couple like the Gustafsons. Thank you for your encouragement.

Where else but Pagosa would Sweet Al and our daughter join the whole town for “Cotton Eyed Joe?”

Then I grabbed Al and said, “They’re playing our song.” Our song is any slow song. It’s the only time of the year we dance.

At the dance, the smoke cleared and the rains held back while Pagosa’s people came together for a few minutes of silence for the young boy and his family from Bayfield. It was a haunting moment when there was complete silence among five hundred people.  Thank you to the people of Pagosa who care and pray for each other.

The wrestling coaches, mothers and fathers of the wrestlers, and a generous family who donates smoked barbecue every year, all came together and worked hard to put on one of the best nights of the summer. Thank you for all the hard work you give to our kids and us. The town park was left clean for the next event, the yearly carnival.

The town was packed with visitors again this year. Our house, along with other houses and motels are always full of guests. People have discovered what we have. They flock to Pagosa for a taste of hometown fun at the Fourth of July celebration.

Where else but Pagosa will our young people carry the memory of walking down the Riverwalk after the parade, tubing down the river, listening to the orchestra tuning up on the other side of the river.

Our kids will say one day, “I remember every year I danced with my granddad and grandmother in the town park.”

Where else but in Pagosa could a wanna-be-writer write a weekly column for the town newspaper and people actually read it? Thank you for reading.

Final brushstroke: Ordinary people who care, and lots of hard work make us appreciate who we are and what we have in our little town.  Where else but in Pagosa? We love you.

Artist’s quote

“Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” Og Mandino, 1923-1996, author.


Send your comments to betty@bettyslade.com.

This story was posted on July 25, 2013.