HOME on the RANGE ly Inside this Issue: Mind Your Own Business A Word from the Times County Characters History Mystery Hogwarts Community Calendar From the Farmstead
w w w. H O M E o n t h e RA N G E LY. c o m
L i fe
N o v e m b e r 2016 ,
W i ld W est volume
From the President...
Set yourself apart.
Colorado Northwestern Community College is proud to be a Supporting Advertiser for Home on the Rangely magazine. We believe this will be a great way for the community, the college, and the businesses in Rangely to learn more about what is happening throughout our area. One of the most important things I have learned in my years in education, especially at community colleges, is that communicating our stories, our interest, and our goals to as many people as possible is vital to the success of the college. At CNCC we want everyone to know the great things we are doing and the challenges we are facing. Home on the Rangely gives us another opportunity and another venue to increase that communication and to provide the people of Rangely and the area with information about the college. Do you know what classes we offer? Do you know what awards we have received in the last few months? Do you know what faculty and staff have received recognition for their great contributions to education? These are just a few of the things we want people to know about CNCC. Home on the Rangely magazine will give us the opportunity to answer these questions and many more that our great community may have. Thank you Beth for putting this together and providing all of us with a new way to learn about our community, our college, and our people. Ron Granger, President Colorado Northwestern Community College
Spring Registration. Get the classes you want this spring. Registration begins November 14th. Come See Us to get the classes you want and need before they are FULL
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about the COVER
This month’s cover photo, as well as the photo on the left, was taken by Jim VanWagoner, a Chevron employee who has worked in the oilfields for 20 years. He says, “I have lived in Rangely, Colorado for 8 years and the scenery is what I love here. Photography is my hobby and with the perfect lighting, the oilfield can be scenery as beautiful as any other!”
“This well currently sports a modern pump manufactured by the Lufkin Corporation, sometimes called a “Grasshopper.” It makes a funny squatting motion to pump the oil to the surface. The well it is working goes back to the late 1940s. It once had a much older pump, moving up and down beneath a tower called a “derrick” that was part of many wells’ equipment in Rangely. By the mid-2000s, most of the older styles of pumps – and all the “derrick” towers -- had worn out and been removed. Even the pumping machines beneath them had largely been replaced by newer, underground, ways of moving the oil. The one in our photo is one of the few survivors. (Note: “derrick” is NOT a word to describe an oil pump – it is, rather, a tower which served as a lifting device over the well and was used to service it when it broke down. Towers over wells became obsolete when a way was found to put a collapsing tower on top of a big truck that could drive to wells that needed servicing. A pumping unit, seen beneath the tower in the old days, exists to suck oil out of the ground -- by pulling a long heavy string of rods up and down – each “up” movement coaxed a little bit of oil a few feet up the hole at a time to the surface). The up and down motion of the main part of a pump – the horizontal beam – is called “walking,” so it is a “walking beam” pump. It works something like a see-saw, using balancing weights or air cylinders to counteract the weight of the rods they must pull out of the ground to suck the oil to the surface. Modern electric pumps, in contrast, can fit down the well hole into the underground oil area and pump the oil to the surface electrically, which is why “walking beam” pumps on the surface have become less common in Rangely (at one time, there were hundreds). The photo above shows an example of what many wells looked like from the late forties until the late sixties -- a complete derrick tower standing over a bobbing, bird-like “walking beam” style pump and a tin house over the pump’s motor. The motor-houses disappeared the same time as the towers did, by the late 1960s” Ken Bailey, 1960s Rangely resident and Rangely Oilfield History Buff.
Table of Contents Mind Your Own Business.................................7 A Word from the Times................................. 10 County Characters........................................... 12 History Mystery................................................. 16 Hogwarts............................................................. 19 Community Calendar...................................... 24 From the Farmstead........................................ 26
HOME on the RANGE ly Home on the Rangely is a magazine dedicated to the culture, events, businesses and history of a certain tiny town situated on the high desert range in the northwest corner of Colorado--and life in the wild and remote west. We are Rangely’s first monthly magazine & advertising venue created by, for, and about our community, businesses, and citizens. We aim to keep our community informed, offer a community calendar, display beautiful art & photography by local photographers, and present engaging content about events, businesses, local lore, and history. Please give us grace as we stumble through these first issues; we are learning as we go, and I invite you on the journey....We’d love your contributions, photos, ideas, stories, anything you have to offer! Please correct us, gently, when we’re wrong, and we’ll gladly make corrections and bring to light other perspectives. We want to tell all of our stories--the old and the new. Our only aim is to celebrate and honor our humble, yet marvelous, Home on the Range...ly. Owned, edited and published by Elizabeth Robinson Studio Llc., working with a dedicated team of local business owners and community contributors, the magazine aims to be beautiful, original, entertaining, celebratory, and informative. Elizabeth Robinson Wiley, Owner / Editor firstname.lastname@example.org www.elizabethrobinsonstudio.com
Thank You ly
Home on the Range has been a dream and a project in the making for quite some time. It would not be possible to print this first issue without a significant group of people believing in the project and lending support. Some major VIPs responsible for this first printing are the elite group of Founding Advertisers whose commitment to a year of advertising, before the first issue was even published, made the creation of the magazine possible. Please take some time to read their names on the back cover, thank them, and most importantly, avail yourselves of their services. There is something important that everyone on this list has in common- the ability to embrace a vision and contribute to its realization. This ability is a vital quality for entrepreneurs. All businesses on the list have weathered the storms and remained committed to serving this community year after year. All are independent business owners; most of them are startups. Their commitment and resilience make it possible to live here, year in and year out, good times and bad. Please choose to utilize their services whenever you can. This ability is also vital to educators and students. Our two Supporting Advertisers--CNCC and the Rangely School District--embody what education is about: equipping us to meet the challenges of the world with knowledge, adaptability, innovation, and resilience. Qualities that defined those that pioneered the Western front and still define the people that live here. It is commendable that their administrators recognized this opportunity and were committed to becoming part of the creation of this community resource. I especially want to thank Bud Striegel. He is someone I wish I had met sooner. You can’t live in Rangely long without learning about Striegel Pipeline and his passion for advancing this community and the hard working people who make it home; but he’s also a fantastic and creative personality full of ideas and stories. As the first person to sign on to the project, and our first Sponsoring Advertiser, his support gave me the confidence to know this was both a good fit and a good time to launch this project. I also want to thank my many contributors, supporters, and collaborators: Rene Harden, Mary Meinan, Margaret Slaugh, Bill Mitchem, Ken Bailey, and Cherise Cardin for freely sharing their photography and knowledge. Also Sam Tolley, Matt Scoggins, Brian MacKenzie, Ron Granger, Heather Zadra, Janet Miller, Jasmine DeFreitas, Niki Turner, Samantha Wade, the Rangely Outdoor Museum, and Lisa Hatch and all the out of town folks who have already subscribed online! There are many more to thank- my long suffering husband and kids not least among them! For anyone tragically overlooked this final exhausted hour before going to print- know that I appreciate you beyond my meager words can convey. And for the those who haven’t had the chance to participate yet- we’d love to have you! This is just the beginning. I welcome your contributions, critiques and involvement in whatever way you can offer! Page 6
mind your own Business Hume Family Delivers: A Half Century by Heather Zadra
Nichols Store and Hume Distributing owner Bill Hume still remembers when Ringsby Truck Lines, the company that bought his grandfather’s longtime freight business, went out of business itself in the late 1960s, just a couple of years after its purchase of Ray Hume Trucking. “Ringsby thought they’d shut the little people down and make the big hauls,” Hume recalls. “And they went broke because the little people’s what makes it work. You need the little people. Nobody understands that yet today.”
“You need the little people. Nobody understands that yet today.”
Hume might understand a thing or two about the little people. They’re the ones on whom he and his family have staked their livelihoods for the last 50 years. Ever since Ray and Teresa “Tracy” Hume came to the area in the late 1940s, the Humes have been a backbone of supply to Rangely and surrounding communities, offering products and services ranging from groceries to hardware, beer and ice to bar and grill.
Hume “grew up for 16 years on the back of freight trucks,” unloading goods for his grandfather, Ray Hume, Sr. and father Ray “Junior” Hume, on a dock set back from Main Street adjacent to the Rangely Liquor Store. The dock, dismantled years ago, served as more than a platform for moving sides of beef and bins of coffee. The steady rhythm of work made for companionable conversation as men bantered about oil prices, considered the weather, and shared family news. Junior might, between loads, have smoked the occasional cigar with the local priest or other drop-ins for whom a bit of a talk was a natural a part of the day as the sun’s rising and setting. The dock was also a proving ground for the young and hardy, among whom were Bill and his younger brother, John. “Dad didn’t let you sit,” Bill says. “Me and John, we always worked. That was just how it was. You work ‘til you get it done, and then you take a break. If you don’t get it done, you don’t take a break.” Junior’s wife, Bea, was the adhesive that brought concepts of work and family together in the Hume businesses. She helped keep books for Ray Hume Trucking while raising five children stair-stepped two years apart, relying on the eldest daughter, Fern, to help care for the four younger kids. When the family later owned the Headquarters Bar and Café, Bea tended bar and made food while Fern waited tables, the women balancing family and work with seeming ease. Still, an even higher tenet drove the Hume family businesses than the A photo of young Bill in the local newspaper, work ethic that’s saturated their business dealings for half a century: date unknown. Courtesy of Nichols Store customers and the community took priority over making an extra dollar. That was another way to serve the little people. “My grandma was a pretty loyal customer,” Kayla Rose recalls of longtime local resident Ila Powell and Nichols Store after the Humes bought the business. “I remember when she was in her 70s, Bill would bring groceries to her front door.” Never mind that her place was miles from town or that getting food there could mean blinding snow, rutted roads, or nearly impassable mud. Rose’s husband, Claude, adds, “I don’t
Bill Hume today at his desk near the entrance to Nichols Store. Photo by Cherise Cardin Photography
know a man who works harder than Bill Hume.” Hume knew early on he’d have some role supplying goods to people, more than likely in his hometown and surrounding areas. He just wasn’t sure how the details would play out. Throughout high school, he’d worked off and on for Bernie Stevenson’s Nichols Store stocking groceries, hauling feed in from Grand Junction and opening or closing the place when Stevenson needed the help. While it was a good part-time job, Hume’s real passion was getting products where they needed to go. “I got to drive the delivery truck when I was ten, and that’s when I got a taste for it,” says Hume. “I loved it then and I’ve loved it ever since.” When Ray and Tracy Hume landed in Rangely after a grocery and gas business in Glendale, Ariz. buckled after the Depression and a stint in the Canadian oilfields ran its course, Hume, along with sons Jim and Junior, launched Ray Hume Trucking. The business initially hauled produce from Salt Lake City, but it wasn’t long before trucks brought whatever the little people needed, from bakery items to meat to oilfield equipment and tools. On occasion, people’s household goods found their way onto a freight truck as families transferred in and out of small, transient oil and farming towns. Ray Hume concurrently owned Hume Distributing, a Budweiser beer distributing business, while his trucks ran shipments three times per week out of Denver or Grand Junction to locations all over the Western Slope and northeastern Utah, including Vernal, Craig, Bonanza and Red Wash. “There was no FedEx, no UPS, refrigerated trucks or overnight delivery,” Bill Hume says. “We were all of those. If it didn’t come in a truck, it took forever to get here….And the roads were worse than they are now.” Among the businesses Ray Hume Trucking helped supply were Rangely’s two grocers, Nichols Store and Bestway. Fred Nichols, born in Walden, Colo. in 1884, had come to Rangely as a young man, working for Colthorp’s Rangely Stores and eventually becoming a partner in the grocery store. Nichols later bought
out Colthorp, changed the store’s name and, in the 1940s, moved the store’s location from the presentday Morning Star Automotive building to a new building across the street, where Nichols Store still stands today. By 1964, Fred Nichols was ready to retire and sold out to Meeker’s Bernie Stevenson and butcher Merle Lasley. Hume worked part-time for Nichols until graduating from Rangely High School in 1970, after which he faced uncertainty whether to pursue a college degree or keep working. He tried out college for a month before taking jobs with local oil companies, among them Ponka Drilling and Colorado Well Service. In 1971, he was drafted into the United States Army, suiting up for Cambodia three times and nearly choosing to go airborne or become a sergeant before the time extensions tagged onto those options convinced him otherwise. In 1973, when Hume returned home from his two-year military stint, he faced a career choice. He’d picked up butchering skills in Hawaii in an Army program called Project Transition, which aimed to give soldiers leaving the service a usable civilian trade. His family’s established role in the freight and grocery business made a fit in one of these fields even more practical. “My dad asked me what I wanted to do, and I said I’d like to be in a private trucking business or run a grocery store,” Hume says. “So he helped me make the decision.” By the late 1960s, Junior and Bea, along with sister and brother-in-law Bea and Dean Cady, owned Rangely’s Headquarters Bar and Café, located in the present-day Main Street Pub. Ray, Sr. and Tracy Hume had semi-retired to Dinosaur, then called Artesia, to run Peon Liquors, with Tracy keeping the store another year or two after Ray, Sr. passed away in 1970. In the meantime, Stevenson, who had bought out Lasley’s share of Nichols Store some years before, was ready to move on, so on January 1, 1974, Junior, Bill and John bought the business. While Junior and John stocked fresh produce from Grand Junction along with frozen food and other groceries, Bill took over butchering, cutting full- and half-slabs of beef, pork and sheep, providing fresh cuts of meat to customers and processing hunters’ deer and elk. They didn’t know it then, but the three men’s stories wouldn’t span decades of working together at Nichols Store. Each followed a path designed to fill different community needs and play to his individual strengths. And while Bill enjoyed butchering, he still harbored a private hope to live out his love for delivering services and goods to the little people who needed them. In many ways, not all of them easy, that hope would be realized. “What’s made it work the last 41 years?” he says. “We delivered. We went out and found the customers. If you’d sat here and waited, you’d never have made it.”
Hume family patriarch Ray Hume Sr. and his wife Tracy at their 50th wedding anniversary. Left to right: Jim, Junior (Bill and John’s dad,) Ray, Tracy, Fern Tipton and Bea Cady. Photo provided by Bill Hume.
Celebrating 132 Years
A Word from the Times. . by Niki Turner
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First, I’d like to offer my congratulations and best wishes to Elizabeth Wiley on the inaugural issue of this new magazine. Second, we at the Herald Times look forward to collaborating in the future. Why, you might ask, would the county’s sole newspaper want to work together with a magazine that’s going to be competing for the same advertising dollars from local businesses? The answer is simple: a newspaper is not a magazine and a magazine is not a newspaper. These are two different entities with two separate purposes. We have different distribution plans, different target markets for readers, different printing schedules, and different content. What we have in common is a desire to help our local businesses increase their potential to reach new customers and to hold on to existing ones. In the months to come, we hope to offer some enticing advertising packages for businesses who haven’t been advertising in the newspaper but would like to, or businesses who regularly advertise in the newspaper and
want to get into the magazine. Now for a little bit of history… One of the responsibilities of the newspaper office is to maintain annual bindery copies of all the issues. We have these archived here in Meeker, and copies are also kept at the Rangely Public Library and the library at Colorado Northwestern Community College. I went downstairs and pulled out the oldest bindery copy we have from Rangely. The Rangely Driller debuted on Sept. 29, 1949, published by Mort Lahman and Chuck Baker. The weekly paper covered Artesia (now Dinosaur), Rangely and the Rangely Oil Basin and came with a policy statement: “To cover all the news of our circulation area without bias; to advance the common interests of the Rangely Oil Basin communities; to inform, to entertain and when possible, to amuse; to publish a crackin’ good newspaper by anybody’s standards.”
“To cover all the news of our circulation area without bias; to advance the common interests of the Rangely Oil Basin communities; to inform, to entertain and when possible, to amuse; to publish a crackin’ good newspaper by anybody’s standards.”
I’d say those early publishers of the Driller had much the same vision for their publication as we have here at the Herald Times, and what Elizabeth foresees for Home on the Rangely. Page 11
County Characters Pat & Cecil Lollar
by Jasmine DeFreitas
“It’s been an interesting life to get this old,” says Pat Lollar, who only stands 4’10 ½” tall, yet she makes an impression as she and her husband Cecil share the story of their long life in Rangely. That story begins in humid, southern Oklahoma, where both grew up. Both arrived in Pat and Cecil today. Photo by Cherise Cardin Photography Rangely with other spouses, and they met for the first time in Rangely despite many overlapping connections in the Midwest. Born in Grandeville, Pat graduated from Comanche High School in 1957. She was just out of high school when she applied for positions at two banks in Duncan, Oklahoma; it was the only time she ever applied for a job in her long career. “I got my job in Duncan. There were two banks in Duncan, Oklahoma. I went to both and applied on the same day. There was one bank where I really wanted to go to work-- one that I liked better than the other one,” Pat explained. Her mother received the news that Pat had been hired, but she didn’t know which of the banks Pat was to report to. On Monday morning, Pat went to the bank she preferred and worked the entire day, as the man who hired her had the day off. While at work, the other bank called her home, wondering why she hadn’t reported to work. When the man who’d hired her returned to work the next day, “he said I could keep my job there because they’d liked me. So I went to work at the wrong bank, but I got the job.” One of the most memorable experiences in Pat’s life occurred at another Oklahoma bank. In 1964, at Farmers and Merchants Bank in Tulsa, she was robbed at gunpoint. The burglar demanded big bills only. “I put everything I had in his bag,” she recalls, including--unbeknown-st to robber--mutilated money that was meant to be destroyed. The burglar was caught in Houston, Texas, bragging about his wealth while talking up a girl at a bar. Something seemed off about the man, and she had called the police, who found bags of money with mutilated, ink-covered bills in his hotel room. In court, both Pat and her supervisor identified the man, and he left her with a haunting warning. “I will get you,” he said. He later escaped after biting an officer’s ear and fleeing to Mexico, where he committed other crimes that blocked his extradition to the U.S. when he was ultimately apprehended. Meanwhile, Cecil Lollar graduated from Adam’s State in Alamosa, Colorado, where he came to pursue a Lifetime Teaching Certificate. He built houses while in school and for several years afterwards. “In 1964, everything went to hell in our economy, and I decided it was time to get out of building houses. I always wanted to go to law school. When I look back, I should have gone to law school in Colorado because I wanted to live in Colorado,” says Cecil about returning to Oklahoma to study law at the University of Tulsa. It was in Tulsa, while working at the Bank of Turley, that he met Bob White, the Bank’s
Vice President--also Pat’s first husband. Cecil returned to Colorado to finish law school at Adams State but could not take the Colorado bar exam until the following February. During that wait period, Cecil and his first wife were offered teaching positions in the Rangely schools. They arrived in 1967 toting three children under seven years of age, a dog, and a cat--all piled in a 1963 Cadillac. Cecil taught History and English prior to passing the bar, as well as a nighttime law class at CNCC. He had his students watching the newspaper to see if he passed the bar exam, which, of course, he did. He then bought an office on Main Street across from the Bank of Rangely. With the ink was barely dry on his law degree, Cecil returned to Alamosa that summer to finish two Master’s degrees, one in Psychology, the other in Secondary Education. Cecil laughs telling the story: each degree required 30 credit hours plus 15 additional credits. Cecil proposed to the college that the additional 15 hours should count for both degrees, which the college rejected. Gathering his law friends, he filed suit and was awarded both degrees. Shortly thereafter, that loophole was closed, which for awhile was called the Lollar Rule. The original Bank of Rangely was founded in 1963 in the building that is now Main Street Cafe. In 1968, Cecil was asked by Russell Baskett to put a group together to buy out the bank. After successfully doing so, Cecil turned to his old Tulsa colleague Bob White to take on the job. About their conversation Cecil remembers, “I asked--cause it was always a question you asked--‘Do you think your wife will be happy here?’ And Bob said, ‘Oh, yes...She does what I tell her to.’” Pat playfully reminds Cecil that this is her story too. Cecil smiles and continues: “Bob said, ‘I want the job. How are we going to do this?’” Bob sold Pat on the fact that Rangely’s schools were excellent, and the town had a lot of potential.
“It’s been an interesting life to get this old.”
Pat, who had stayed in Tulsa after Bob left for Rangely, recalls her trip across Colorado to their new home: “When I got to Rifle, I thought, ‘Well, Rangely must look like this. This is okay, this will be nice.’ By the time we drove through Meeker and then into Rangely, I was beginning to think, ‘What have we done?’” As she reached the top of the hill where Kennedy Drive intersects Main Street, she thought, “Oh my gosh,” and pulling up to the Bank
of Rangely, “I had left a beautiful bank facility in Tulsa…pulled up in front of this little ol’ building, which I had no idea that the bank was in that building, the bank safe was kinda just hooked onto the back of the bank, a good storm coulda knocked over the place where they kept the safe at.” She walked into the bank, turned to Bob and said, “Tell me you didn’t buy any stock in this bank.”
“I asked--‘cause it was always a question you asked-‘do you think your wife will be happy here?’” In 1972, Cecil was elected Mayor of Rangely. While Mayor, Cecil appointed three people to visit Vail and look at a pool that had a dome cover. They returned with a recommendation that the town build a full recreation center, not just a covered pool. The Western Rio Blanco Parks and Recreation District Center was drawn up and created not too long after. Cecil ran a law office while mayor, and in 1963 he offered Pat a position as a legal secretary for $300 a month. When mentioning the low salary, Cecil defended the amount, stating he was taught to start low. In 1974, Cecil added to his growing list of occupations. Recalling people bringing keys into the law office and asking him to list his phone number for selling their houses, he decided it was a good idea to make a business of it. And so Cecil started Rio Blanco Realty, which stayed in business until 2010. Cecil and Pat’s relationship began as friendship and gradually grew, as Cecil encouraged Pat to take steps toward her real estate license. After receiving her first commission, she bought a brand-new washer and dryer; after her second, a table and six chairs, which she still proudly displays in their home.
The bank safe Pat refers to is still jutting out of the wall in the original The pair married in building, now Main St. Cafe. Photo by Beth Wiley 1979, on July 4, so--
Cecil jokes--“I couldn’t forget our anniversary.” Over the next ten years, Pat and Cecil moved 12 times in 10 years, three times within the Pinyon Circle subdivision alone. They would move in, improve the property, and sell it. In one of the Pinyon houses, they didn’t even have time to hang a family photo before it was time to switch homes. By 1986 Rio Blanco Realty was doing well, and Cecil was growing tired of practicing small-town law. As the Town’s only attorney and judge, he could barely walk the tightrope between confidentiality and conflict of interest. “I can’t keep doing this,” he admitted, and began to phase out his law practice and closed it in 1988. Pat, reflecting on her own career, says, “I thoroughly enjoyed real estate. I don’t know if I could have made it in the city.” As real estate investors, Cecil and Pat owned duplexes, 4-plexes and more, including building Sagewood Apartments, which turned to be one of the Lollar’s biggest financial obstacles They built the units in the early 1980s. “Our payments were $18,000 a month, and our income was only $14,000, and we only had 30-32 units rented out. I was $4,000 in the hole before I even went to work!” Cecil said. Pat added, “I didn’t know how we were going to get through that, financially, emotionally, but Cecil talked to the bank.” Eventually, the Lollars released their ties to Sagewood to their partner, who wished to keep the complex, and Pat and Cecil got out from under it. They have both impacted the town in their own ways. Pat served on the boards of Moon Lake Electric, American Western Mortgage, and the Rangely School District; she also taught Sunday School and volunteered at Giant Step. She recalls a Sunday School lesson where Andrew Morton (now grown) turned to her and politely said, “Miss Pat, I don’t think that’s exactly right. I don’t think that’s exactly the way this story is.” She went home and checked and found she had indeed messed up a small detail in the Bible story. For a time Pat regularly volunteered at Giant Step Child Care Center and read to the children often. As so often happens, a small thing often means more than we realize; one evening a knock at the door revealed a young man with a high school graduation invitation. She didn’t recognize the young man off-hand, but he said, “Miss Pat, you’re the one who taught me hokey pokey!” Perhaps a lifetime in a small community is best summed up in this recent story. A few years ago, the Lollar’s’ air conditioning suddenly broke. Local service contractor Rick Brenton was already in the house and yelled, “There’s going to be water coming! Get into the bedroom, Pat,” she recalls. By the time Rick turned off the water, the carpets were soaked and the furniture needed to be removed immediately. Cecil hollered out the front door to the neighbors, “Gary, we have a problem!” Gary’s daughter immediately brought a ShopVac. Soon Pat yelled out the back door and another neighbor arrived. A minute later, a neighbor opening her front door was recruited. “We had a house full of people, and Gary’s in there sucking up water,” she said. “Where else could you live where people show up like that?” During winter, they don’t have to worry about snow in the driveway, because one of three neighbors will step in to make sure they are able to get about, whether it’s shoveling or plowing the snow away. Cecil sums up his life in Rangely this way: At one time, when his kids were still young, he had the opportunity to move to Meeker for a job. “All three of my kids said, ‘I’m going to find somebody I can stay here with!’ That was how I felt. The people make the difference.” Pat and Cecil during a cruise photo-op, early 1980’s Photo courtesy of the Lollars
Pat admits she would like to be closer to family in Oklahoma, but when she married Cecil, he refused to leave. She laughs, “I guess we’re here until they scatter his ashes or bury me.”
Photos Courtesy of the
Rangely Outdoor History Museum These photos are thought to be around 1946.Do you know who these two old time sheriffs are? Do you have any stories about law enforcement during this time? Help us find more pieces of the puzzle!
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Hogwarts Spells Success for 4 Years Running
by Jasmine DeFreitas
Smoke billows from an enormous purple and black dragon guarding the entrance to Hogwarts. Packages pile up in front of Platform 9 ¾, and the great wizard Dumbledore greets the Muggles and wizards entering the portal to the magic within. Welcome to Parkview Elementary School’s annual A Night at Hogwarts.
Administrative Assistant Cheri Smith, posing as a Goblin, takes Muggle money in exchange for Galleons at Gringott’s Bank. Photo by Beth Wiley
Towering just beyond the entrance is Hagrid, performed each year by Rodger Polley, owner of Rangely True Value. Polley chuckles, “All of the little Harry Potters and little Hermiones recognize me from 30 feet away. I’m practicing for my retirement on the New York Strip.” Smaller than Hagrid but just as conspicuous are the goblins who guard the galleons, the currency of this world.
Once you are surrounded by the magic, it is imperative to enter Diagon Alley, where uproarious laughter comes from the direction of the Weasleys’ Joke Shop, and happy noises come from those sporting creamy mustaches from the Butterbeer served by Mad-Eye Moody (retired teacher and current school board member Kurt Douglas) at The Three Broomsticks. Children crowd for their turn at The Sorting Hat, which figures out which of the four Hogwarts houses shall best suit them, and hungry wizards grab a bite at The Leaky Cauldron. “I like the potions class, as the looks on the faces of children as they touch and hold the bubbles are priceless,” says Rangely School Superintendent Matt Scoggins, whose own junior and senior high schoolage children were in attendance. There is no age limit to magic, it seems. Young and old are transformed, their imaginations ignited while making Veritaserum, Felix Felicis, or Polyjuice Potions. A Night at Hogwarts, coordinated and run by Parkview’s teachers and staff, has quickly become a beloved community event, which many community groups volunteer and support. The 4-H Program Coordinator for Meeker, Tera Shults, was McGonagall for the evening, teaching Advanced Potions and concocting a purple mixture made of bone dust, beetle eyes, troll snot, water from the Black Lake, and drops of dragon’s blood that transformed into the Veritaserum, a famous potion in Harry Potter’s world, as whoever consumes it will tell the truth. “I am a Harry Potter fanatic. I think this is an amazing idea,” said Shults, a first-year volunteer at the event.
“We have a lot of fun, but it’s education,” she said of the class. “I hope they [the students] will enjoy tonight and that science and magic are fascinating,” she added. A Night at Hogwarts is an unmistakable hit with all ages, and every year since its 2013 inception the event has grown, this year taking over the entire school building rather than just a few hallways. “We were sold out of prepackaged galleons before the doors opened,” second grade teacher Vicki Douglas observed. She originally presented the idea of A Night at Hogwarts to the faculty and staff at Parkview Elementary after visiting her grandchildren, where their school hosted a similar event. The total pre-packaged galleons—which sell for $1 apiece—numbered around 1,500, and many more sold throughout the night—so many, in fact, that the school began to use hexagon pieces in place of galleons. The second floor became the Forbidden Forest, included many fascinating creatures, some from previous years, but also some startling new ones—including one huge Albino Burmese Python named Zep brought by Chelsey Keel and Dave Parker from Vernal. Keel and Parker were invited by Katelyn Carlson, who also brought her albino corn snake and a ball python. “We were all crammed in that little corner; it was a lot of fun to show the kids that snakes aren’t a bad thing,” Carlson said. Administrative Assistant Cheri Smith told Carlson that the school was having trouble procuring reptiles for the event, so Carlson handily solved that problem.
Mad-Eye Moody (retired teacher and current School Board member Kurt Douglas) serves up Butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks. Photo by Beth Wiley
“We like to educate people not to be scared of them (the snakes),” Keel said. Zep was touched and petted, and handler Dave Parker fielded a barrage of questions with ease. Zep was continuously surrounded by children, yet he handled himself like a pro, basking in all of the attention. Keel and Parker also brought Miya, a Luecistic Texas Rat Snake who fascinated several attendees, and whose temperament was phenomenal, as she was toted around the small area by numerous individuals. Next to Keel and Parker were another pair of snake owners, Alley Boren and Paige Holmes, who each sported a unique reptile. Boren “wore” her Redtail Boa Constrictor, while Holmes sported the Coral Glow Ball Python that nestled around her hand. “I like how many people have interacted with us,” Holmes said. Third-grade teacher Becky Bertoch and her husband offered up much smaller corn snakes for examination. She inherited classroom snakes from Mr. Moeller when he retired from teaching, and since then has continued to have snakes as class pets.
Returning to run Weasleys’ Joke shop was former Parkview Elementary teacher Stephanie Storey, who left Parkview to pursue her Master’s degree. “I promised I would come back to support them,” she said. “The Joke Shop is my favorite part. It’s the only time I can sell squirting toilets.” Her eyes twinkled as she watched another young victim approach the toy. Laughter abounded immediately as the toilet squirted at the child, who let out a good natured “Ewwww” and laughed, then continued perusing with galleons in hand. One of Storey’s favorite parts of the evening is unpacking everything with her assistants: family members and Parkview students. Her booth needs at least five helpers. “You have to try everything—otherwise, how are you going to sell it?” she says of the various items. Each of the students tries the items and, over the course of experimenting, will typically pick one item to “promote” throughout the night. Rangely High School junior Brynn Buckles’s enjoys seeing the kids’ reactions and “how much they love it.” Her item to promote was the magic ink. “They would totally freak out, and then you could say, ‘What?’ because it [the ink] disappears.” Storey anticipates that Hogwarts will be popular for years to come. “Rangely needs more things like this.” This year Storey recruited her sister-in-law, Kayna Storey, who volunteered for Olivander’s Wand Shop. “I love working with the kids and I love Hogwarts, so it seemed like a good idea,” she said.
Zane Wiley adds a new accessory--Miya, a Luecistic Texas rat snake--to his costume. Photo by Beth Wiley
Colorado Northwestern Community College student Ruth Stalcup volunteered at a Beginners Potions class. “It’s fun and exciting, and you get to do stuff with your family.” It was her first year volunteering and attending the event. CNCC Sociology and Psychology Instructor Jessica Kruger, for the third year, offered her students extra credit to encourage them to participate as volunteers. “It’s a learning opportunity for my students,” she said. “They genuinely have fun, playing Quidditch, making Butterbeer, helping with potions. Some are Harry Potter fans, so it’s a dream come true. I think that the college athletes don’t realize how much energy these kids have,” she said of her volunteers playing Quidditch with the students. “To see them get tuckered is amusing.” Kruger said she hoped her students will learn the value of community service through volunteering for the event, and gain a desire to be involved in their communities. “I want to see them as compassionate citizens,” she explained, adding that the extra credit is a minor perk, as it is only five points weighed against an average of 400 each semester. Kruger also hopes that the partnership between CNCC and Parkview will continue to grow stronger, as she feels it is good for both sets of students. “The children love my students. The little ones get to be around these ‘cool’ college students,” she said.
Dumbledore, most days known as Mike Kruger, Parkview Elementary Principal, poses with Josie and Corbin Hamblin. Photo by Hannah Hamblin
Another obvious benefit of Hogwarts is the money raised, the proceeds of which go directly into the classrooms. This year’s Hogwarts raised over $600 more than last year’s. “We are just happy to provide a community event where people are able to see how much
effort our teachers give to our kids and hope it will help the community support our school,” Smith said. Parkview Principal Mike Kruger, dressed as Dumbledore, explained that the funds help teachers and staff extend their classroom budgets, build their classroom libraries, and add fun learning activities. Second-grade teacher Brooke Lohse knows how she wants to use the funds in her classroom. “I’m really hoping to buy a white board easel, and the kids have requested more cushions as well.” Lohse ran the Creature Menagerie, which was completely sold out by the end of the evening. Last year the Menagerie offered only owls, but “we decided to expand it to other animals,” she said, most notably four dozen dragons. By the end of the night, not a single Hedwig or Horntail Dragon was to be seen that was not already lovingly attached to a person. One thing is for sure: Parkview’s A Night at Hogwarts will continue and expand Daryn Shepard, barely recognizable as himself, for as long showed up ready to discover his inner wizard. as it remains Photo by Matt Scoggins popular, and if the attendees who now regularly come from Craig, Meeker, Vernal, and Grand Junction are any indication, the annual event will be around for many years to come. “It is not just thrown together. There is a lot of thought and time that goes into the event, and the community can see that,” Superintendent Matt Scoggins summed up. “Many people, both local and outside of the community, have reached out to help. This in turn, makes the event better, and the kids really buy into the event. Who knows? Maybe this will spark a flame in a student who starts to enjoy reading and writing.”
Beginning in our next issue we will have a 1-2 month COMMUNITY CALENDAR in every issue! Please send us any or all of your REGIONAL event, meeting, or activity info! That’s right, we’re not looking just for Rangely, as our audience and interests lie beyond the town limits. If cows once grazed on the open range where you are, we want to know about it! firstname.lastname@example.org There is limited space on the page, so we will choose highlights to feature if there is more than can fit in a single day. You can always find an up to date info, with more details, on our website. Please check the website to confirm an event, or better yet, the organization’s website- we may not be able to keep up with all schedule changes.
CNCC Mens Basketball 5:00 p.m.
RBC Historical 29 Society at 5:45 PM Meeker Museum Quilting Group from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at Kilowatt Korner in Meeker Story Time at Rangely Library at 10:00
Adult Open Gym,30 Rangely High School 1 7-9 PM at Parkview Girls Basketball Elem 16 and older, Meeker Shootout free event! Call 970675-8211 for more information. Open Raquetball Club, 5:30-9:00 Pm, Rangely Rec Center
Open Raquetball 5 3rd Gr Music Program6 Adult Open Gym, 7 7-9 PM at Parkview Club, 5:30-9:00 Pm, 6:30 p.m Parkview Elem 16 and older, Rangely Rec Center Heritage Culture Committee1:30 p.m. at free event! the Old West Heritage Center Quilting Group Open Raquetball Club, 5:30-9:00 Pm, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Rangely Rec Center at Kilowatt Korner in Meeker Story Time Rangely Library at 10:00
Open Raquetball12 Club, 5:30-9:00 Pm, Rangely Rec Rangely Library board meeting 5PM at the library Parkview PTO 6:00 p.m. Parkview Elementary Rec District board meeting at 7p.m.
Open Raquetball Club, 5:30-9:00 Pm, Rangely Rec Rangely
Outdoor Museum at 6 p.m. 5th Grade and Choir Program at 6:30 p.m. at Parkview
Town Council 13 Meeting 7 PM at Rangely’s Town Hall Quilting Group from 6:9 p.m. at Kilowatt Korner in Meeker Story Time at Rangely Library at 10:00 am
Lego Club 6:00-6:30 p.m. at Parkview Quilting Group 6:9:p.m. Kilowatt Korner Meeker Rangely Jr/Sr High Band & Choir Concert 7PM Story Time Rangely Library 10am RE4 Board of Education 6:15 EEC Board Room
Adult Open Gym,14 7-9 PM at Parkview Elem 16 and older, free event! Open Raquetball Club, 5:30-9:00 Pm, Rangely Rec Center Meeker Chamber of Commerce 7-9am at Kilowatt Korner
Adult Open Gym, 7-9 PM at Parkview Elem 16 and older, free event! Open Raquetball Club, 5:30-9:00 Pm, Rangely Rec Center
Rangely High School 2 Girls Basketball Meeker Shootout CNCC Womens Basketball vs. Caspar College at 1:00 p.m.
Giant Step board 8 meeting at 6:00 p.m. ESA meeting at 7 p.m. at the Radino Center, Rangely High School Boys Basketball Meeker Shootout Christmasfest, Parade of Lights
CNCC Mens 9 Basketball vs. Impact Academy at 7:00 p.m. ChristmasfestSleigh Rides 5-8 Rangely High School Boys Basketball Meeker Shootout
Christmasfest- 10 Breakfast with Santa, Elfland Carnival from 11:002:00 at Rangely Junior/Senior High Christmas Parade Rangely High School Boys Basketball Meeker Shootout
Rangely Chamber of Commerce board meeting 12:00-1:00 pm at Chamber Office, Main St.
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FROM ’ . let s talk soil
by Janet Miller
I’ve heard it too many times to count since moving from Idaho to Rangely four years ago: “It’s this darn Rangely soil,” or “You can’t really garden in Rangely. The soil is just too bad.” Working in the field of horticulture, I have visited with gardeners from all walks of life--and from now two very different states. I have helped many discouraged people understand soil better and ultimately become successful gardeners. So let’s talk soil. Many people hear about alkaline soils vs. acidic soils but don’t really understand what the phrase pH really means. Soil pH is measured on a scale from 1-14, with right around 7 being neutral. The higher you go, the more alkaline it gets. Rangely soils have a pretty high pH. A high pH doesn’t always mean that the nutrients aren’t in the soil; they are just unavailable to many plants. The best and long term solution to this problem is to add organic material such as hay, grass clippings, straw, wood-chips, composted manure, or saw dust.
In order to feed your plants, you must feed the soil. Inside the soil there is a hidden world, and even though we can’t see most of it, an entire food web that must be not only protected but also fed. When I see healthy earthworms in my soil, I get excited because I know that living beside them are bacteria, mites, and beneficial fungi. These organisms are what break down the organic materials making nutrients available for the plants. They also help to prevent disease and fend off some insects. The plants and mycorrhizal fungi actually live in symbiosis with each other. In fact, part of the plants’ carbohydrates is actually released into the soil through its roots, which helps to feed the fungi. It’s really amazing to think of the hidden life in healthy soil. In order to build soil naturally, there are several things we can do. It doesn’t happen over night or even in one growing season, but is an ongoing ritual that gardeners do. Once you have a basic understanding of this intricate world and how to protect and nurture it, your “Rangely soil” will be teeming with life and growing beautiful plants in no time. Fall is a wonderful time to begin the process of enriching your soil. To start, add about 1/3 compost (horse manure from the fairgrounds is a great choice as long as it is well composted), 1/3 co-co peat, and 1/3 good old Rangely soil. Till them together well. Ideally, this will be the last time you will ever need to till this soil.
Permanent no-till beds
“Fall is a wonderful time to begin the process of enriching your soil.”
Every time you rototill your soil, you are destroying the life and ruining the soil texture. This is devastating to the food web. It also introduces too much oxygen, which causes the organic material to break down and decay too fast. You can prevent this by creating permanent beds. Soil should have about 50% pore space, which fills up with water, and then when the water is absorbed by plant roots, fills with oxygen. Roots need oxygen to survive. Whenever someone walks on soil, the soil is compacted, which reduces the pore space, thus causing problems with your plants. Creating 4’ wide beds that can be worked from either side without ever walking on them will help keep those pore spaces open. At the end of the growing season pull your plants. If planning to grow a cover crop, this is when to start it. I will talk about cover crops at a later date. If not, add a thick (3-6 inches!) layer of compost, rabbit manure, or leaves. The worms will pull the organics down into the soil. Cover this layer of organic material with mulch. Janet grew up on a small ranch in Idaho and has a degree in Horticulture from Boise State Univ. and is a trained Arborist. She and her husband homestead on ten acres in Skull Creek at Fossil Ridge Farmstead. She also runs a Personal Gardening and Landscaping service. She is a mother of four and a grandmother of three. Find out more about Janet on our website where she blogs about all things related to growing food.
Addition of rabbit and pig manure
Adding moldy grass hay. Note the flakes of hay are left intact.
Bed is ready for winter.
The importance of mulch
Mother Nature hates bare ground. Go out into nature and look at the ground. It is almost never bare. Organic mulching is one of the most important things you can do to not only build up the soil, but to protect it. The obvious benefits are that mulch helps to suppress weeds, helps to maintain an even soil temperature, and helps to hold moisture in and decreases run off. It’s super important to have a layer of mulch all winter long because it helps to protect the top layer of soil from the beating rain and wind, which causes a crust to form on the surface and compacts the air spaces that are so critical to the soil bacteria and fungi. If cover crops are not grown, mulching also helps to feed the worms and other life during the winter months. I always add a very thick (3-6 inches!) layer of hay on top of the compost. If you are worried about possible weed seeds in the hay, purchase certified weed free hay. It’s more expensive, but some people prefer to pay the extra to not have weed seeds introduced. I always just use old moldy left over grass hay. If done correctly, early spring planting is a breeze. Just pull the hay back and plant your seeds or starts, being careful to only disturb the soil that is necessary in order to do so. Replenish your mulch at planting time, again making sure that there is no bare soil. You can also add a layer of compost under the mulch, if necessary, at this time.
Ornamental flower beds in the yard This concept is easy to use for flower beds. Just remember to keep foot traffic through any bed to a minimum. Large flat rocks or pavers can be made into a path if it is necessary to walk in a bed in order to get to a water spigot. Remember to feed the life in your soil at least yearly with a thick layer of organics and to keep your soil covered with a thick (at least 3”) layer of mulch. Ornamental bark is the typical home-owner’s choice for flowerbeds. The best choice is a natural medium size chunk bark with no coloring added to it. This bark will naturally break down over time, adding to the organics in the soil and helping to feed all of those beneficial organisms that make nutrients available for your trees, shrubs, and flowers.
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