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Spring 2011

Kaye and Dan Hotsenpiller A philosophy of service

Events Columns Interviews

Celebrating Community Montrose · Telluride · Placer ville · Ouray Ridgway · Olathe · Delta · Delta County

Real, Real Estate Stats Eco-Briefs

Publisher’s Notes By Mavis Bennett

Did you choose where you're living or did it choose you? People develop a “sense of place” through experience and knowledge of a particular area. A sense of place emerges through knowledge of the history, geography and geology of an area, its flora and fauna, the legends of a place, and the growing sense of the land and its history after living there for a time. Dr. Thomas A Woods, president of Making Sense of Place, Inc.


wonder where I would be living now if I hadn’t moved to the Western Slope in 1970. A city girl, I found myself in Aspen because my former Minnesota-bred husband loved the hunting and fishing. Way back then the rivers and hunting spaces were fairly pristine. I was kind of along for the ride, looking for adventure, eyes wide open, seeing the Rockies for the first time. Which brings to mind Lael VanRiper’s thoughtful piece called “Topography of the Heart” on page 14. She asks “Did you choose the Uncompahgre Valley or did it choose you?” After 21 years in Telluride, when I moved to Montrose it was important to me to have as big a mountain view as I could have. But I grew up in a city near the ocean and the sound and smell of salt water waves never fails to move me. There is no question that I am of Colorado and very specifically western Colorado by choice and time, but as Lael says of her husband, a little time at the ocean wouldn't feel like a betrayal. Our excerpt (P.6-7) from Charlie Winger's book, "Two Shadows" shows two different kinds of places where life could be spent. Fortunately for Charlie, he was able to find his way from prison to the fresh air of mountain life. Peggy Carey left last fall for Seattle after living 30 years in Montrose. It's all new for her there but she can't help but compare her experiences with all the time spent in her place in Montrose.

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Read us online at: The Monitor Celebrating Community since 2003 Advertising Sales · 970-417-0909 Publisher and Managing Editor · Mavis Bennett 970-417-0909 · Graphic Design · John F. Trainor Scott’s Printing & Design Solutions Green Pages Editor/Writer · David Segal 970-424-1011 · Editor at Large · Phyllis Walker Cover Photo · by Mavis Bennett Contributors · Peggy Carey, Al Carmichael, Marty Durlin, Matthew Elliott, Betsy Marston, Carol McDermott, Paul Paladino, Dean Rolley, David Segal, Alicia Stark, Lael Van Riper, Lynn Vogel, Charlie Winger The Monitor Magazine is printed on recycled paper.

Buck 漏 2011 Dean Rolley,


Spring 2011

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Dan and Kaye Hotsenpiller A philosophy of service By Mavis Bennett

They lead full lives―four kids, two big jobs, volunteer board work. Twenty years ago, who could have predicted that two people a thousand miles apart might have followed a path to meet and share their lives. Dan Hotsenpiller was raised by educators in Elgin, Ill. While he chose to go to school at CU-Boulder, Kaye Wilcox, born and raised in Delta, Colo., attended Mesa State and would have been happy to stay in Grand Junction. After graduating, Dan spent three years bartending at a fancy supper club before going back to CU to earn a law degree. After working for a Denver law firm for several Top from left, Nic, Kaye, Dan;Bottom from left, Torunn, Grace, Conner. years, Dan and his first wife were looking for a different place to live. “Denver was half of the beer to shampoo her hair that morning. getting a little scary back then,“ he said. “There Proves that making plea agreements is like making were shootings going on. I had just ordered several legislation is like making sausage. By the way, bigamy thousand dollars of wrought iron bars for my doors is a felony.” and windows and I decided I didn’t want to live like Over the years, Greenacre went on to become that.” District Judge. He read about an opening in Charles Greenacre’s In 2005 Dan went into private practice, joining Jim law office in Montrose, applied and was hired. Delman’s law firm. He worked in criminal defense and However, within six months, Greenacre broke the family law. “The biggest difference between private news that he would be applying for the county practice and prosecuting is that you develop a personal judgeship that had just opened up. New to the relationship when you’re in criminal defense,” Dan community, it would have been difficult for Dan to said. “The goal of the job is really the same―to do the start his own law firm. But Greenacre introduced him right thing.” to District Attorney Mike Stern and, fortuitously, Stern Kaye Wilcox was a Delta County small-town girl needed a deputy district attorney in Telluride. “He whose mother grew up in Somerset. Her grandfather started me on a contract basis to see if it would work was a coalminer. Kaye’s dad’s father, Leonard Wilcox, out,” said Dan. “I never looked back from that point. It was one of the original Delta County sheriffs. “I just wasn’t an opportunity I would have sought except for never wanted to move away. I was never a big city girl. those set of circumstances. But once I started doing it, Grand Junction was great and I probably would have it was a great job.” stayed there if I hadn’t met Dan.” She attended Mesa When asked about some of his more unusual cases, State, graduating with a degree in psychology with Dan said, “I am reminded of the lady in Delta County an emphasis in adolescence. “I did an internship in who ended up pleading guilty to bigamy after showing probation,” she said, “and hated the punitive aspect up drunk for her jury trial in a theft case. Yes, pretty of being a probation officer.” She started working at convoluted, and probably the only bigamy conviction the Hilltop Agency while still in college and today is in Colorado in the last 50 years. She was on the way Hilltop’s Director of Regional Services. Hilltop is a to court for her trial when a state patrolman stopped non-profit human-service agency. her for weaving. She was quite intoxicated at 8:30 in In 2000, Dan was on the Juvenile Planning Board, the morning, and the beer that was half gone in her which works with juvenile justice issues. They were front seat was accounted for: she had used the other trying to get a detention facility and a shelter built

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in Montrose for kids so they didn’t have to take them to secure detention—lockdown detention—in Grand Junction. That was the only option. And other agencies in the community needed shelter facilities. So the board put out a request for a proposal for companies that wanted to run, or help run, a juvenile facility. Hilltop submitted an RFP and the person who came to talk to the board was Kaye. It ended up that Hilltop was the appropriate company, so they started the process of building the Brown Center. This meant more meetings with Kaye. Dan and Kaye were both single then, and within three years they were married. “The Brown Center and all my other programs kind of fell into place,” Kaye said. “My boss said, ‘We’d like to build a regional office, and if you’re going to move down there, we’ll build it so you can run it.’” Some 565 employees work for Hilltop overall. For the Montrose region, there are about 43. TriCounty Resources, covering Delta, Montrose and Ouray Counties, runs a safe house in Delta and one in Montrose to support women, men and children who have been in a domestic violence relationship or have been sexually assaulted. The Tandem Families program provides family-to-family support. The Robert A. Brown Center for Youth serves boys ages 12 to 18 who are either in Dept. of Health and Human Services custody or the Division of Youth Corrections because they have been charged with a crime or have been found guilty of a crime. Kaye supervises the staff that run these programs, as well as connecting with the Dept. of Health and Human Services, the Center for Mental Health, the schools, Partners and all of the other agencies to ensure services are being provided in a healthy manner. “Figuring out how we all put families first,” she said, “coordinating and communicating.” Dan was recently appointed District Attorney for the 7th Judicial District. He said he’s in the process of “full absorption.” “It’s like parenting,” he said. “Parenting is every adjective that there is, often all at the same time. And this is the same thing. It’s hard, exciting, fun, but every other adjective you can imagine, too, because of the circumstances of being appointed. The office hasn’t moved forward in a long time. It’s been in this limbo land since September. It’s a new challenge and that’s exciting.” Resources are the challenge for the District. Funding comes from the six counties that comprise the 7th Judicial District―Gunnison, Hinsdale, Delta, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel. “You have to have all six districts agree on your budget,” Dan explained, “so if one county says they can’t increase it this year

at all, you don’t get an increase. It’s kind of a difficult budget process, although we work hard with them and we’ve had support from the counties. They have limited resources and we understand that.” The size of the district provides a different set of challenges. “We cover 10,000 square miles; we have four separate offices an hour and 15 minutes away from each other. That’s different from the 21st District, Mesa County, which is one county, one office, and they all work in the same building. It’s almost impossible to balance workloads between offices, when at times one office might be busy and the other not.” Because of limited resources, they’re probably a decade behind in technology. “We still FAX,” Dan admitted. But they are beginning the process of modernizing the office. It’s kid central. They have a blended family―Nic, 16, Conner, 16, Torunn, 12, and Grace, 6. and a joint custody arrangement. Every week the children change houses. “It’s a lot of fun,” said Dan. “They’re all really different kids and they have friends who are over here a lot.” It’s kid central. The family has a mini-van and a pop-up camper and the six of them make long and short trips. They’ve made some trips for a week at the beach near San Diego and visits to Dan’s family, who live in such diverse towns as Kalamazoo and San Francisco. Service to the community is vital to both of them. Kaye is president of the Altrusa Service Club, and she will be on the Montrose Community Foundation Board in July. Dan has been on the Center for Mental Health’s board, serving as its president for the past two years. “There’s important work being done,” he said. “We need to break down the stigma that still remains about people having mental health issues so that it becomes as normal as physical medicine. That’s what a lot of health care reform is about. It’s really an exciting time to be on the board. We’re now delivering mental health services in schools. We have therapists in every grade in Montrose County schools, in pediatric doctors’ offices, in jails.” “It’s important to us to be part of the community,” said Kaye, “and for our kids to see that. We can sit here and complain about things that are happening or we can be a part of the solution.” “I really believe that choosing a life of service is one of the keys to happiness,” Dan said. “It doesn’t matter what you are―a salesperson, a reporter, a police officer, a manufacturer, or whatever. If you embrace that what you’re really doing is serving others, I think you’ll be successful.”


Spring 2011

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Charlie Winger

Charlie Winger, a prolific mountaineer with a passion for climbing the highest and most challenging of peaks, tells a tale of the two lives he’s lived. From the darkness of a six-foot by eight-foot cell in solitary confinement to the top of the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere, “Two Shadows” is the captivating story of one man’s struggle to recover from a troubled past.

Two Shadows


n the movies, the criminal is chased and captured and in the following scene is sentenced to prison as the judge bangs down his gavel. The next thing you see is the criminal walking into prison; there is a loud “clang” as the prison gate is slammed behind him. Then there are a few scenes of prison life before they “fast forward” from there. The inmate gets released to start a new life and everyone lives happily ever after. Not so fast. What was happening to me wasn’t the movies — this was the real deal and it wasn’t going to be over before you could finish that box of popcorn. Unless you’ve been there you probably can’t fully grasp the enormity of spending the next twelve years of your life incarcerated, especially when you’re a teenager. Let’s do the math: that’s 4,380 days; 105,120 hours; or 6,307,200 minutes and these numbers can seem like a lifetime. There was a common saying among the inmates, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” I should have thought of that before I left Wichita. It would be extremely difficult for me to succinctly express the range of emotions I was experiencing during those first days in prison. I was frightened about what the unknown years that lay ahead would hold. This wasn't like the correctional institution that I had been in before – this was prison where many of the inmates were doing life terms as habitual criminals or murderers. Those first few nights, I would wake up hoping this was just a dream and I would find myself somewhere else. I am sure I cried, but it was a little late for that. When you enter prison, you are placed in the “orientation” unit, away from the general prison population for at least a month. You’re referred to as a “fish.” You are given your prison number, prison clothes, and medical exams, and you’re evaluated to see what type of work assignment you’re capable of performing, as well as where in the general prison

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population you will reside. I was an anomaly since I was the youngest inmate in the prison by many years. With the exception of those inmates sentenced to a life term, they usually send someone my age to the state reformatory to keep them away from the “hardened” criminals. The judge probably thought I was a lost cause, so he decided to send me to the state prison instead of the reformatory. Those first few nights, I would wake up hoping this was just a dream and I would find myself somewhere else. Prison has its warden and deputy warden who run the institution. There is a court for prison offenders along with solitary confinement — the hole — and a unit named “seclusion”, which is something between solitary and being back in the general population. Inmates in the seclusion unit are locked up in their cells 24 hours a day. This Spartan existence comes along with one shower and one shave per week. An inmate disobeying the rules or getting caught with contraband, things specifically banned — could lose “good time,” go to solitary or to seclusion, or all of the above in sequence. During my incarceration, it was my unforgettable experience to make several “visits” to the hole. Life in the hole consisted of reduced food rations and a blanket for a bed, which was removed during the day. There was a single overhead light bulb which remained on 24 hours a day. You were not allowed to talk to the other inmates. One shower per week. Depending on the offense you could usually count on spending anywhere from ten to thirty days in the hole.


We managed to safely negotiate the scary traverse through the Valley of Death, a valley where a large climbing group disappeared after being caught in an avalanche just a few years ago, to establish a camp at 14,700 feet. Everyone was in high spirits and feeling good. It looked like we had a good chance at reaching the summit in another few days. Another series of carries saw us establish our “high camp” at 16,500 feet. Everything was going as planned as we readied our gear for a summit attempt. May 14: Finally, summit day! We start up the final reaches of the West Rib and reach an elevation of 19,200 feet. The climbing is steep here and the air is

thin at this elevation. We’re not moving as fast as we should be for the distance we need to cover. Michael, being the experienced guide that he is, decides that we don’t have sufficient time to reach the summit. A return to camp makes sense so we wisely abort our attempt. We arrive back in camp at 10 p.m. Time to rest and regroup. Everyone is exhausted; we’ve been climbing hard for 14 straight days.

May 15-19: Wind, snow, cold, blizzard conditions — just the norm for Denali weather but I’m really getting tired of sitting in this stinking tent — it’s depressing. Each day the time passes more slowly than the day before. We can hear the wind howling like crazy. It’s like lying on the railroad tracks and having several trains pass over us. I wonder if the tent will survive the night? We didn’t know it at the time, but the jet stream had descended down onto the mountain and we were in a fight for our lives. Are we having fun yet? May 20: We’re still alive, but the intensity of the storm has dramatically increased. Snow is starting to blast into the tent through rips which have developed

due to the severity of the wind. Time passes in a cacophony of extreme sound and mind-numbing cold. The tent is becoming a real mess as we aren’t able to move from our sitting positions, backs against the tent wall. Jim, Claudia and I sat in the tent with our arms linked together and hands braced against our knees as the roof of the tent literally molded itself to our bodies. Suddenly, the tent would explode to the point where we could see through openings, the threads barely holding the tent together at the seams. Bang! Just as suddenly, the tent would implode and tilt upward at a crazy angle as it strained to rip itself off the ground and hurl us thousands of feet down the side of the mountain. The sensation was like being on a small ship that is violently rocking back and forth while you're holding on to the mast. Eating, drinking and talking were impossible. My thoughts were mostly confined to listening to the noise, which was deafening, and anticipating the next major gust of wind. After hours of being battered by the wind and cold, fatigue began to set in. It became apparent that we were all experiencing the beginning stages of hypothermia. We needed help and we needed it soon. But help would have to come from one of the other tents of our group who were camped a short distance uphill. The question was how to let them know of our plight and were they possibly in worse shape than we were? Our four-season mountaineering tent had given us all it had and slowly started to rip apart at the triplesewn seams. I screamed to Jim and Claudia that I would try to go up to one of the other tents for help. I didn’t know it, but by then, the wind speed was estimated to be well in excess of 100 mph. Releasing my arm lock from whoever was next to me, I rolled over on hands and knees to crawl through a rip in the tent. Visibility was near zero from clouds and blowing snow. The wind literally sucked the air out of my lungs. I gasped and rolled backwards, clawing my way back in to the tent, struggling to catch my breath. It took a few minutes for me to regain my composure and breathe normally again. The looks on Jim and Claudia’s faces told me how scared we all were. The situation was getting desperate and the tent was losing more of its structural integrity. Charlie Winger lives in Montrose with his wife, Diane. His book can be purchased as a Kindle e-book from, in paperback from, other major booksellers and at


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American Cancer Society Relay for Life set for June 10-11


xcitement is building for the 2011 American Cancer Society Relay for Life. This is a community gathering where everyone can participate in the fight against cancer. Relay For Life is a fun-filled, overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of the American Cancer Society. Readers can join a team, participate in a fundraising event and attend the Relay. Set for June 10-11, at 6:30 p.m., teams of people will camp out at the Montrose High School track, taking turns walking or running around the track. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event because cancer never sleeps. Relay for Life is an overnight event up to 24 hours in length. The teams set a fundraising goal months in advance, organizing fundraisers and seeking donations.

Although every Relay For Life is different, there are certain traditions at all Relays, no matter where they are held. These traditions help participants celebrate, remember, and fight back.

Remember - The Luminaria Ceremony

After dark, during the Luminaria Ceremony, we honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence.

Fight Back - The Fight Back Ceremony

Last, there is a Fight Back Ceremony, where we make a personal commitment to save lives by taking up the fight against cancer. No matter where you are, there’s a place for you at Relay and you can make a difference today by signing up online to start your own team or by simply making a donation.Thanks to Relay participants, we are creating a world with more birthdays, a world where cancer can’t claim another year of anyone’s life. It seems that everyone is touched by cancer, whether personally, in their families or their friends. Someone close to you might be fighting this deadly disease thousands of miles away. The Relay raises money to help all types of cancer. “Often people think cancer is a disease of older people,” a volunteer said. “But last year I was amazed to see how many children were walking with the purple Survivor shirts on. There are 19-year-olds who think they are invincible, walking in doctor’s offices with skin cancer. We need an awareness that cancer doesn’t touch those over 50, it touches all ages.” To start a team, join a team, donate, or for more information on fundraising events, please visit, or Sue Held at or Lori Sharp, , 970-275-6965

Celebrate - The Survivors Lap

Relay starts with a Survivors Lap, an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories we’ve achieved over cancer. The Survivors Lap is an emotional example of how Relay participants are creating a world with more birthdays like those of each individual on the track.

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What do Relay Dollars Support? Your Relay Sponsorship dollars will support the work of the American Cancer Society in four key areas in the fight against cancer. Research: The Society is the largest source of nonprofit, non-governmental cancer research funding in the U.S., investing about $130 million each year. We also have a great track record, with 39 ACS funded researchers who later went on to win the Nobel Prize. Education: Following the Society's wellness and cancer detection guidelines can save your life and the lives of the people you love. We publish educational materials and promote programs for the early detection and prevention of cancer for the community, schools, physicians, and cancer patients. Advocacy: We fight for life-saving laws to increase federal research funding, reduce tobacco use, promote early detection of cancers, improve access to care and insurance coverage, and support cancer patients. Service: We provide many patient and family support services to help people with cancer during and after treatment. Anyone, anywhere can access cancer information and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800.ACS.2345 or at

American Cancer Society Programs Available in Montrose County Road to Recovery For patients needing rides to and from their cancer treatments, help is available. This is a free service provided by local volunteers and organized through the American Cancer Society to help patients get to all their treatments. Look Good...Feel Better A free, non-medical program helping cancer patients learn how to cope with skin changes and hair loss. Professional cosmetologists help cancer patients Look Good and Feel Better in this supportive group environment, by providing products, including head coverings, skin care and makeup. Sessions are held monthly in Montrose at the San Juan Cancer Center. Caregivers are welcome to join the patient at the session. Reach to Recovery Newly diagnosed breast cancer patients can connect with someone anytime to help find answers. As survivors, the Reach to Recovery volunteers serve as an inspiration and provide patients with accurate information and support.


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Spring 2011

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Library People of passion

By Paul Paladino, Montrose Regional Library Director arlier this year the Naturita Community gone on to be one of the key people, Library was chosen the best small library in the not just in winning this award, but in country by “Library Journal,” the oldest library changing her community. In making publication in the United States, and by the Bill and her community stronger and more Melinda Gates Foundation. Quite an honor and one tightly knit. I’m extremely proud of. Amy McBride, the District Now I’ve had some time to Development Officer, came to us People of passion show up think about it and one of the at our service clubs…our in a different way. At one time things I’ve been pondering is she was recruited to serve on the what was the thing, the one town councils and other Library District Board of Trustees. thing that had to be present to community boards, They She clearly had a passion for the attain such an achievement. My library and what it meant to her realization was it all comes down write letters to the editor. community. After a stint on the to people. People with passion. They get involved. Board, which included being The first time I met Susan President, I had an opportunity to Rice, now our Naturita Branch put her skills to work for the District as an employee. Supervisor, I was blown away. Here was this woman I jumped at the chance. Amy went on to raise over onitorbrimming Ad 2-11:Layout 1 2/4/11 PM Page brimming 1 with energy and 5:25 enthusiasm three quarters of the $1.2 million needed to build the with passion for the people of her community, Naturita Community Library. especially the children. I couldn’t not hire her. She has These two didn’t accomplish the project on their own, far from it. But they provided a great deal of the energy and drive necessary. I look around and feel fortunate to be surrounded by people of passion, Montrose Regional Library District people who care about their community and their fellow man. The library is full of them. There is no way I could have devoted the time and effort to the building of the Naturita Community Library without the passion, dedication and amazing ability of the staff of the Montrose Regional Library District. People of passion show up at our service clubs. Kiwanis, Altrusa, Rotary, Lions and organizations too numerous to mention are full of them. People with passion show up on our town councils and other community boards. They are business owners, school PAC members, mothers, fathers and grandparents. They write letters to the editor. They get involved. They all believe in community. They all have a passion to make our little corner of the world better. I contrast this with an experience I had on the Front Range. State Senator Ted Harvey was a speaker at a meeting I attended. He spent a great deal of time Games for Everyone explaining why government couldn’t and shouldn’t do Saturdays, March 12 & April 9 much of anything. After, in response to a question I 2:30-5:00 pm asked him, he stated that in his opinion there was no



at the library this winter!

Library continued on p. 11

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Library continued from p. 10 such thing as the “public good.” I have thought about that often since. I am really glad that I live in a community that obviously feels otherwise. I am honored to know and work with people who have a passion for the public good. People who make a commitment to furthering the public good. People who make a difference. At times things seem a little bleak. If ever you are feeling that way all you need to do is take a look around. In our area you are never too far from visible evidence of the hard work and care that have been put into our community our parks, paths, airport, hospital and all of the other bits of our infrastructure. You can even make a visit to our award-winning straw bale library. But really, all you have to do to really see the passion that runs through our community is talk to our people.

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Over 250 classic and antique cars will be exhibited in celebration of the anniversary of the Gateway Auto Museum. Tickets will include entry to the festival event grounds, Auto Museum and a charitable contribution. 24 Best of Class awards will be given along with: Best of Show, Best of Marque, Gateway Auto Museum Choice, Partners Choice and People’s Choice. Food and auto services will be on site. Enjoy 50/50 and numerous opportunity drawings, door prizes, and the opening ceremony. For more information, visit A portion of the proceeds benefit

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Spring 2011

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Edge of Inanity Distance

By Al Carmichael

“For time is the longest distance between two places.” Tennessee Williams


hen I was a kid, my understanding of a mile was that it took just over a minute to travel that far, figured after many torturously long trips on the New York State Thruway. If we made it from one mile marker to the next in 60 seconds or less, I would look at my dad incredulously, followed by a panicked look around for the thousands of N.Y. state patrolmen that tended to hang out on this busy stretch of road. On these trips I had hours with nothing to do. There were no iPods, Gameboys or portable movie players. I would spend these hours reading, counting the different license plates by state, or just zoning out. And while I am now a happily married father of three children under 11 years old, I confess to fantasizing about spending a lonely, boring day like that now. Back then, I understood long distances by car standards. Now my children understand our long trips to see Grandma and Grandpa by airplane standards. It would take our family three days to drive down the east coast from Buffalo to Florida by road and it now takes us one day to travel from Colorado to Georgia by air. I imagine my parents had different standards, as did my grandparents. Travel used to take some time, a lot of time. Now you can get just about anywhere in the world in a day or less. We do still travel by car, often putting a combined 30,000 miles on our vehicles per year, but we rarely have the time to take any extended automobile trips. Occasionally, on a longer trip, when the electronics have lost their charge or their attraction, distance and


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time are appreciated once again… “Are we there yet?” Not yet, but we’re getting closer, I tell my son cheerfully. “I’m bored.” At least we’re not going to Alpha Centauri, I say. “What?” Alpha Centauri is the closest star to our solar system besides our sun, I tell him. “How far is that?” Well, it’s about 4.3 light years away, which is about 24 trillion miles, and we only have 235 miles to go! (Silence.) “Are we there yet?” Not yet, but we’re getting closer, I say less cheerfully. “I’m really bored now.” At least we’re not going to visit your cousins in Galaxy M87, I say. “Why?” Because Galaxy M87 is about 50 million light years away or about 300 quintillion miles and it would take us about 120 billion years to get there if we were going 25,000 miles per hour. “How fast are we going?” We are going about 65 miles per hour, so at this speed it would take us about 4 and a half trillion years to get there. “We’d be dead, right?” Yeah, that’s why it’s good we’re not going there. (Silence.) “Are we there yet?” Not yet, but we’re getting closer, I say abruptly. “I am so, so, so, so bored. I have nothing to do!” Why don’t you go into cryogenic sleep for a while, then we’ll be there if we decide to wake you up. “If?” (Silence.) “Are we there yet?” Yes, we’re here! I say cheerfully. “No, we’re not!” You asked if we were here, which was back there and we were there, but now we’re here, I reply politely. “When are we going to get there?” I told you, we’re here. “When are we going to get to Gram’s house?” We have about 64 miles to go, so if my calculations are correct, we should arrive in about an hour. “I’m bored.” (Silence.) “Dad, we’re here! That wasn’t so bad. That wasn’t far at all!” No, not far in distance anyway…

Annual school district art show set for April Montrose County School District Re-1J art teachers have announced the date of the district’s annual student art show, which will be held at the Region 10 Enterprise Center April 19-29. The center is located at 300 N. Cascade. “We will feature artwork and ceramics by students from Cottonwood, Johnson, Oak Grove, Northside, Olathe and Pomona elementary schools,” organizer and Montrose High School Art Teacher Ann Marie Fleming said. “We will also have artwork by students from Centennial and Columbine middle schools, Olathe Middle/ High School, and Montrose High School.” You can reach Ms. Fleming at  The show is made possible through the cooperation of the Region 10 League for Economic Assistance & Planning, the City of Montrose and Montrose County School District Re-1J. Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning is a six-county (Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Ouray, Hinsdale and San Miguel) non-profit

organization that, in addition to the Enterprise center, operates the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), coordinates regional transportation planning, and operates a small business loan program. To learn more about Region 10, call 970-249-2436.

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Solar electricity is more affordable than ever before! Go to for details.


Spring 2011

· 13

From the North Forty Topography of the Heart

By Lael Van Riper

Yesterday I sat in a field of violets for a long time perfectly still, until I really sank into it—into the rhythm of the place, I mean—then when I got up to go home I couldn’t walk quickly or evenly because I was still in time with the field. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Bring Me a Unicorn (1971)


y husband’s heart home is sunshine and ocean. His childhood was shaped by the ocean. His spirit yearns toward the waves, but here his heart has grown in this soil, in flora and fauna he has nurtured, in friendship and in love. Would he move from this heartscape to sea and sunbeams? I don’t know, but a second home somewhere in surf and sand and sun would break open his joy. I am deeply rooted in cerulean skies and mountainous horizons, yet, because I was born and spent the first few years of my life in the Midwest, there is always a certain heart tug when I turn the car east from Denver, leaving mountains in the rear view mirror and heading into the level vastness of humid green stability. Would I move back there, or anywhere else? Not unless forced by love or circumstances. Mountains are in my blood. We live on a hilltop with unparalleled views of the Uncompahgre Valley and the ring of mountains around it. I cannot imagine living low with a restricted view, but my husband would happily settle in a hollow, cradled round about by the land, held in the hands of the hills. There are nomads for which there is no one landscape of the heart. They roam with joy throughout the world, and there are those who would never willingly leave home and hearth. For most of us there is a landscape to which we have given our heart and devotion, or, perhaps more accurately, which has twined itself through spirit, mind, and fiber. It is there we long to return after adventures elsewhere. Did you choose the Uncompahgre Valley, or did it choose you? Born here and would not leave, chose here and want to stay, or tossed up here and are looking for a way to leave? Our landscapes of the heart are more than just air and earth, flora and fauna, horizon and attitude. The color of the sky, the attitude of the people, the culture of family and friendship, the subtle interplay between community and freedom are weft of our lives. The color of the earth, humidity in the air, open welcome or reserved distance—these are

14 · Spring 2011


some of the warp threads. In the Ouray pool one summer I was thinking myself the luckiest person alive to be floating under the clear azure sky surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks, catching threads of conversation around me. Then I overheard two friends. “I swim in the Long Island Sound. It’s near my home, you know. I can’t stand this place. It’s like swimming in the bottom of a pit.” Space interacts with our lives. I see a map of the east filled with roads and rivers and cities, little spaces filled to capacity. I look at the map of the west, broad and spacious, and experience openness, freedom, possibility. Atlantic Coast, Midwest, Mountain West, Pacific Coast, each has its own culture, character, and values influenced by history, land, space. Land is the core of our being. Land and its history shape us fundamentally. Where our hearts soar and dive, rest and replenish, grow and flourish, these mold and form our lives just as our lives mold and form the land and culture, people and ideas around us. Seek no further for treasure than your landscape of the heart. Home, home, Stayed one's home, Rabbit to burrow, Fox to earth, Mouse to the wainscot, Rat to the barn, Cattle to the byre, Dog to the hearth, All beasts home! Kathleen Raine, “Spell to Bring Lost Creatures Home,” The Year One (1953) Lael is a longtime resident of the Uncompahgre Valley by chance, by choice, by love.


econd Sunday Cinema will be bringing the following films this Spring Season. Check for dates



Britney Creamer

By Matthew Elliott

hen this year’s National Junior Angus Showmanship Contest winner was announced, she raced over, grabbed the American Angus Auxiliary president and twirled her around several times in excitement. Maybe a little unconventional, but words could not explain the excitement Britney Creamer felt as she ran over to her mother, Auxiliary President Kathi Creamer, and gave her a giant hug after being named this year’s showmanship winner. The Creamers own the Lazy JB Angus Ranch in Montrose, south of Cobble Creek. “It really was icing on the cake having Mom present that award to me,” Britney says. “I still cannot put the words together to explain how excited I was when they announced my name.” Two weeks after the show, Kathi still gets goosebumps when talking about giving the Silver Revere Bowl, given each year by the Auxiliary to the top five showmen, to her daughter. “I started showing when I was 5,” Britney says. “I was showing in open shows and state fairs against adults because I loved it so much. I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a calf and into the ring. “I guess I’ve never been a very good spectator,” she jokes. “Even at 5, I didn’t like sitting on the sidelines; I wanted to show.” Showing cattle has become a Creamer family tradition. Britney says her grandfather received his first Angus heifer from his parents when he was 16 and has been working on building the family’s Lazy JB Angus herd ever since. Both her father, Jeff, and mother Kathi were active in the showring, and her brother, Brandon, was a National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) officer before she was. Britney quickly credits her family for all the help they have given her and for the time that they’ve spent

working and on the road with the show calves. “We practice with all of the calves that we show,” Britney says. “It takes all of us, as we have some ‘mock shows’ in our barn. Someone will be the judge, and everyone else grabs a calf, and we show. This not only lets me practice on my showmanship skills, but it also prepares my cattle for the showring.” Kathi has long been a part of the mock shows and agrees that they have been a big help in Britney’s becoming a better showman. “Since she started showing, Britney has always been very concerned about what makes her animal look the best,” Kathi says. “As a family, we work on this. Britney will take her calf and set it up, while Jeff, Brandon and I will offer a critique and feedback. Britney will then hand the halter to someone else and take a step back and look at what we were talking about.” Britney is currently a student at Oklahoma State University (OSU) pursuing a double major in agricultural economics international marketing and Spanish. At OSU she is involved in Block and Bridle, Collegiate Cattlewomen and Aggie-X. She is also a member of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Americorps volunteer program. Britney’s mother, Kathi wrote recently: “I just returned from the National Cattleman’s Convention in Denver and it is amazing how our family’s success has inspired others. I can’t begin to count the number of cattlemen who said they have thought about giving up, but after watching us over the years and our big win in Denver at the NWSS, they felt they could achieve success as well.” To see the show history of the ranch, visit Reprinted with permission from the Angus Journal


Spring 2011

· 15

Telluride Bluegrass Festival Lineup

Telluride All-Stars (l-r): Bela Fleck, Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush, Mark Schatz, Tony Rice, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan · credit: Benko Photographics

The 38th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival • June 16-19 • Robert Plant & Band of Joy • Telluride House Band featuring: Sam, Béla, Jerry, Edgar, Bryan & Stuart • Sarah McLachlan • Sam Bush Band • Emmylou Harris • Béla Fleck & the Original Flecktones • Yonder Mountain String Band • Mumford & Sons • The Decemberists • Steve Earle & the Dukes • Tim O’Brien Band • Old Crow Medicine Show

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Railroad Earth Edgar Meyer Punch Brothers Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band Emmitt-Nershi Band Tim O’Brien & Kevin Burke Abigail Washburn The Infamous Stringdusters Trampled by Turtles Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper Cornmeal The Head and The Heart Nora Jane Struthers & the Bootleggers And more still to be announced...

Telluride Bluegrass passes and camping are now on-sale at or 800-624-2422. Watch for additional lineup announcements in the coming weeks, leading up to the announcement of the complete single-day lineup (and release of single-day tickets) later this winter.

16 · Spring 2011


Magic Circle Players Community Theatre


…bringing live performances to Montrose for over 50 years

n 1959 a group of friends decided to put on a play, and “Green Grow the Lilacs” came to Montrose’s National Guard Armory, launching a commitment by hundreds of volunteers to bring live theatre to town. As the theatre’s 51st season winds down, local and regional audiences experience a taste of Broadway, without the traffic and the crowds. March 11 is opening night for one of the most decorated plays ever produced here, “Dancing at Lughnasa.” M.A. Smith directs his cast of eight through the “buried yearnings and grave disappointments that are the inescapable drama of every day life,” according to Frank Rich’s review in 1991. Playwright Brian Friel “uncovers that eternal drama in stolen glances, in bursts of unexpected laughter, in an idle fox trot to a big band tune on the radio,” Rich continued. “Dancing at Lughnasa” opened at the Abbey Theater in Dublin and garnered many awards during its run, including the 1991 “Olivier” Award for Best Play. It was also nominated for Best Director, Best Theatre Choreography, and Best Supporting Actress. On Broadway, the play received the 1992 “Tony Award” for Best Play, Best Featured Actress, and Best Direction, while being nominated for several others. Magic Circle Players will have a special performance on St. Patrick’s Day, as well as running Fridays and Saturdays from March 11-26, 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee March 13, 2 p.m. The final play of this season is “South Pacific”, the play which saved the theatre, according to news accounts from the late 1970s. “The rumors of the death of the Magic Circle Players have been greatly exaggerated,” said Dr. Richard Shannon in his review. Shannon, and co-director Pat Myers will lead “South Pacific’s” return to the stage. When “South Pacific” opened in 1949, it created an uproar with its themes of inter-racial love interwoven with wartime, and highlighting taboo topics of racism and prejudice. James Michener won Magic Circle Players veteran, the 1948 Pulitzer Prize Geree Nash, appeared in the first for Fiction upon which MCP production of Oklahoma! She also worked in costuming for the play is based. In years, and still designs costumes 1950, the play, written by Richard Rogers and Oscar for her doll collection.

By Carol McDermott

Hammerstein II, received four Tony Awards, and the 2008 Broadway revival claimed a number as well. The revival also received Drama Desk Outstanding Awards. “South Pacific” opens May 13, and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through June 4, with Sunday matinees May 15, May 29, and June 5, at 2 p.m. Reservations may be Everett Gregory, left, and made by calling 249Nathan McCay each portrayed 7838. Magic Circle Oliver Twist in the opening play Players Community of the 51st season, Oliver! Theatre is located at 420 Photos bv Carol McDermott South 12th St., Montrose. Drama Camp for school-age children opens June 13, and runs for two weeks. Check the website for details and registration, Coming up at the

Magic Circle Players Community Theatre


249-7838 for dates and times


Spring 2011

· 17

8th annual

Montrose Wine and Food Festival expands for 2011

Proceeds to Benefit Local Youth Charities Mark your calendars and save the date for the 2011 8th Annual Montrose Wine and Food Festival weekend, May 13, 14, and 15, 2011! This year the Montrose Wine Board is proud to announce the expansion of this year’s event to include food prepared by chefs from throughout the region in an open-air festival on Saturday, making the event bigger and tastier than ever. The Wine Festival will raise much-needed funds to support the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club, Voices for Children (CASA), and Kids Aid. · Friday, May 13, is the Art of the Cocktail and Private Reserve Dinner at the Pavilion. · Saturday, May 14, 1-4 pm is the Open-Air festival downtown on Main Street and open to all. · Sunday, May 15, is Bubbles, Beer and BBQ downtown at Centennial Plaza and open to all. The Wine Festival weekend is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Montrose, and will also host the Mission to Ride participants this year. Our goal for 2011 is to set a new record in donations to these important youth programs. You can support this popular memory-making event and its beneficiary organizations with your sponsorship or ticket purchase. Many levels of sponsorship, including a new Business Sponsorship, are available this year. Sponsorships available NOW, and tickets for one or both of the open events will be available soon. For more information, call Lynette Bean at 970-901-9993 or email

For Sale by Owner

Beautiful 15 acre horse property, $165,000 Under Appraisal! Home, barn, equipment shed, hay shed, arena, pasture & water rights. Cedaredge.

Montrose Campus

Owner financing · (970) 640-0000 · 18 · Spring 2011

THE 970.249.7009



– October - December 2010

Date of Sale Sale Price Property Address Type of Property Legal Description 10/4/2010 217,500 60640 HORIZON RD 1 STORY MH L7 PLEASURE RIDGE EST SUB 35-50-10 10/6/2010 60,000 3107 HOLLY DR VACANT L17 COLUMBINE POINTE SUB 4-1 25-49-9 10/18/2010 168,000 1713 KENT AVE 1 STORY L17 B2 HEATHERWOOD SUB 2 10/18/2010 100,000 567 W 5TH AVE 1 STORY TR SW4NW4 5-46-15 10/22/2010 28,000 CONGRESS ST VACANT L N-7 AMERICAN VILLAGE SUB 2-3 10/28/2010 105,000 15094 6165 RD SPLIT LEVEL PT L11 BEL-AIRE EST 36-49-10 11/2/2010 590,000 15183 6260 RD 1 STORY L9 QUAIL CREEK RANCH 1 31-49-9 11/3/2010 265,000 6300 RD VACANT TR 1 D & S BOUNDRY ADJUST REPLAT 7-48-9 11/3/2010 74,400 MCMASTERS PL VACANT L153 COBBLE CREEK SUB 2-3 5-48-9 11/12/2010 224,950 1669 WETTERHORN ST 1 STORY L19 B5 VISTA SAN JUAN VILL 7 4-48-9 1/16/2010 554,400 PAHGRE RD VACANT TR E2 23-48-9 11/24/2010 51,000 LAKEVIEW RD VACANT TR SE4 S23, TR SW4 S 24-51-7 12/1/2010 102,000 110 BROWN RD 1 STORY PT L12-13 B4 MOUNTAIN VIEW PARK SUB 12/9/2010 154,900 3333 MEADOWS PKWAY 1 STORY L67 RAVEN CREST SUB 2 36-49-9 12/13/2010 180,000 985 MARGO CT #A TOWNHOUSE #A BLDG 2 OF L22 SUNNYSIDE VILL SUB AMENDED 1 12/15/2010 189,000 2616 VIRGINIA LN 1 STORY L23 PEYTON SUB 35-49-9 12/15/2010 162,000 1405 STRATFORD DR 1 STORY L3 B10 ENGLISH GARDENS ADDN 3 12/17/2010 278,500 3129 SILVER FOX DR 2 STORY L9A-S FOX PARK SUB SOUTH 3 12/20/2010 122,000 1600 BRANDING IRON DR 2 STORY L24 HOMESTEAD ESTATES SUB 2 TOTAL SALES NUMBERS FOR 10-1-10 THRU 12-31-10 Single Family Sales - 85; Vacant Land/Acreage Sales - 26; Commercial Sales - 9; Other - 21: Total # Sales for Period - 141


– October - December 2010

Date of Sale Sale Price Property Address Type of Property Legal Description 10/1/2010 133,000 310 OAK AVE 1 STORY L15-16 B3 ORCHARD ADDN 10/1/2010 56,500 CEDAR MESA RD VACANT PAR A (NE4NE4) 35-13-94 10/4/2010 690,000 40845 D RD 1 STORY TR E2SE4 S31; TR SW4 S32 15-91 10/12/2010 185,000 792 ALBANY ST 1 STORY L113 STONE MOUNTAIN VILL 1 12-15-96 10/13/2010 440,000 12244 2165 RD 2 STORY L4 AMENDED RESUB L1 TUCK SUB 13-14-95 10/18/2010 350,000 252 SW 8TH CR SPLIT LEVEL PT SE4NE4, PT NE4SE4 30-13-94 10/18/2010 250,000 4400 OLD WAGON RD 1 STORY L2 PINE TREE FAMILY MINOR SUB 25-15-96 10/18/2010 152,500 21884 HAMILTON RD 1 STORY L1 LA VACA ROJO SUB AMEND 1-14-95 10/29/2010 218,600 36744 M50 RD MH W2NE4SE4 16-14-92 11/4/2010 170,000 14645 PEONY LN 1 STORY PAR A (TR W2) 6-14-91 11/19/2010 174,000 1080 W MAIN ST 1 STORY LOT D CEDAR ROCK SUB 19-13-94 12/1/2010 85,000 153 E MAIN ST 1 STORY L8-10 B9 HOTCHKISS 12/3/2010 144,900 1720 A ST BI LEVEL L6 VALLEY VIEW SUB 30-15-95 12/14/2010 158,500 401 GRAND AVE CONDO #F BLDG 2 DELTA COURTYARD CONDOS 1 12/15/2010 125,000 BLACK CANYON RD VACANT L2 MARTINGALE RANCH MINOR SUB 23-51-7 12/21/2010 125,000 1473 HWY 348 VACANT L2 ENOLA NO IMPACT MINOR SUB 16-51-11 1/10/2011 362,000 36429 SPURLIN MESA RD 1.5 STORY L1-2 BEVER MINOR SUB 33-14-92 1/31/2011 176,000 212 MINNESOTA AVE 1 STORY L5-7 B2 HAMMONDS ADDN 2/1/2011 215,000 175 E MAIN ST 1.5 STORY TR NW4NE4 29-13-94 TOTAL SALES NUMBERS FOR 10-1-10 THRU 12-31-10 Single Family Sales - 100; Vacant Land/Acreage Sales - 17; Commercial Sales - 8; Other - 14; Total # Sales for Period: 139


– October - December 2010

Date of Sale Sale Price Property Address Type of Property Legal Description 10/4/2010 60,000 GOVERNMENT SPGS RD VACANT NW4NE4 29-7-9 10/25/2010 425,000 653 MARMOT DR 1.5 STORY LOG L150 FAIRWAY PINES EST PUD 1 31-46-8 11/1/2010 232,500 1351 ASPEN DR 2 STORY L106 ELK MEADOES EST 1 5-44-8 11/19/2010 131,000 215 5TH AVE #11 CONDO #11 LOT B ALPENGLOW 2 12/1/2010 170,000 DEER CREEK RD VACANT PT SE4NE4 9-46-7 12/17/2010 270,000 98 CR 14 A FRAME PT L7 (SW4NE4) 24-44-8 12/27/2010 162,500 485 N LENA ST 1 STORY L13-15 B31 RIDGWAY 12/30/2010 275,000 250 S CHARLOTTE ST 2 STORY L6-7 B13 RIDGWAY TOTAL SALES NUMBERS FOR 10-1-10 THRU 12-31-10 Single Family Sales - 19; Vacant Land/Acreage Sales - 1; Commercial Sales - 3; Other - 5; Total # Sales for Period - 36


Spring 2011

· 19

High Rises and Blackberry Canes


riving through downtown Seattle I find myself remembering a time I came over the last hill by Morrison and started to descend into the Denver metro area. Looking at the sprawling lights below I thought, “This is no way to live.” Now, yea, though I drive through the valley of the shadow of giant high rises, I feel nothing but an electric excitement. Or maybe the trolley cables overhead are leaking. It’s not that I have never been in a city before. I spent a lot of my adolescence hanging out in San Francisco, and I’ve visited many, many cities on business. The difference, it seems to me, is that while I always journeyed through a sea of navy, brown and black as I navigated the crowds in other downtowns, here I spot women with bright pink leggings and hair to match, carrying briefcases and scurrying to their next meeting, coffee cup in hand. I actually live 20 miles north of Seattle, in a newly incorporated part of the city of Everett. The area is ruralish, at least as rural as a place can be where you live within sneeze-hearing distance of your neighbor. Rural seems to mean lacking curbs and sidewalks, sort of the like North 7th in Montrose.


.............. Professional

Montrose, CO Gunnison, CO

249-1113 641-4737

On the other hand, they take water quality very seriously here, and natural growth barriers are left throughout developments, so that an understory of blackberries, bracken fern, firs, and every moss known to man, crowned by enormous cedar trees, surrounds our neighborhood like a blanket. I often walk the dogs through these environmental investments, and laugh at the way they are crisscrossed by trails, like game trails in the mountains. These trails don’t lead to a grazing meadow or water source though, unless you’re on the way to the grocery to buy bottled water. The transition has not been without moments of panic, however. Four in the morning seems to be the time that I wake bolt upright, thinking, “What the hell am I doing?” At those times it feels as if my life in Montrose is in suspended animation and that I will return and waken the sleeping inhabitants like the prince wakes the castle in Sleeping Beauty. In the light of day, I know that life in Montrose rocks along without me, friendships ebb and flow, the seasons follow one after the other in orderly fashion, and the donkeys I left in the pasture with a caretaker grow long of tooth and winter coat without me. Seattle is infamous for ‘the Seattle freeze’, a way people have of looking right at you as if you don’t exist. I was intimidated by this at first, but I’ve quickly fallen back into the southwestern habit of saying hi to people as I pass in the grocery, or stand across an island of gas pumps. Most people react with a certain incredulity and either ignore me or grudgingly return the greeting. But occasionally someone reacts as if they too have been looking for someone to acknowledge them, and I get a warm and hearty reaction. It makes me wonder about the reaction to population pressure and the sense of insularity that people must need in order to preserve their sense of individuality. The Sound and I continue our love affair however, and I walk on the beach as often as possible. I finally had to make a rule for myself that I could only bring home a seashell if I didn’t already have one like it. It was amazing how quickly I learned that seashells, like people, are each distinct and unique and that no matter what the first appearance might be, I had never had one like the one I now held in my hand.

After 30 years practicing law in Montrose, Peggy Carey is trying out the great Northwest. Her novel, “The Rock Wren’s Song”, can be purchased at Hastings.

Ryan & Sally Fox

20 · Spring 2011

By Peggy Carey


Geodes, a poetry letter

Original poems from the Uncompahgre Valley and surrounding regions Spring Equinox

The Dance

Vonda Harris Suddenly I’ve joined the ranks of the wrinkled become a member of the ma’am club. Because of a dance? I went from singing lullabies to wide-eyed babies to singing songs that my wide-eyed children have never heard. They add eye-rolls. I once swayed with them in my arms, soon we danced dizzying circles. Now I spin myself silly to a song they like and my daughter tells me, “You know you don’t look cool, right?” I’m too old for cool. I care about fun. I continue my older than dirt dance as her head shakes and mouth mutters, while my son adds his voice, “And this is why I can’t invite my friends over.”

The Night Sky

Carol McDermott Persephone rises mid March morning Demeter smiles, land warms Zeus sends showers Apollo’s chariot races nearer Iris paints her arches across plowed fields Gaea prepares the earth for its rebirth


Greta Hemstrom Ceaseless, restless, carousing wind, Be still! You shake the house, mangle the forsythia, Stop that! Whistling, puffing, howling rascal, Hush! You pop the windows, thrash the jonquils, Go away! Be gone with your rowdy behavior. Let your sister Gentle May whisper secrets in my ear.


Sarah Griesedieck The night sky, in pre-full moon rising, as always, beautifies the earth. In varying light and shadow colors of eloquence and grace amazingly soften the polarity amid earth’s inhabitants.

Frank In every winter’s heart Lies a quivering spring, And behind the veil of each night Wait’s a smiling dawn.

The purpose of geodes is to showcase the work of local poets and connect them with each other and the community. It is published five times a year by the Montrose Regional Library. For the next submission deadline, email


Spring 2011

· 21

Writers on the Range Growing up political


he gray November morning was framed by the windows in my parents’ bedroom. They were still in bed – it must’ve been early – and they cut short my eager question: Did Daddy win? No. Daddy lost. People voted for the other guy – the Republican. I was 5 years old, shocked and crushed by the defeat. It was the first of several painful losses – not only for my father, but also for my mother, my younger sister and me. My father’s dream of becoming a Colorado state representative, and then governor and maybe even president, was shared by the entire family, whether we liked it or not. Despite his lofty ambitions, Daddy’s political career unfolded almost entirely in his hometown of Delta, a little burg near the western edge of the state. My greatgrandfather was one of the town’s founders, but my immediate family was considered weird: We had a wall of books, listened to jazz instead of country and ate a lot of salads. My father had liberal politics and a Harvard diploma. All of us tried hard to fit in, to become good campaigners. Despite her solitary bent, my mother played the loyal political wife almost flawlessly. My sister and I learned to smile and wave like beauty queens, which – with our home-sewn dresses, bad haircuts and various dental problems – we most certainly were not. Over 14 years and seven elections, we were portrayed in campaign brochures and trotted out for special events. It was initially flattering, then embarrassing, and finally, annoying. By my teens, I resented the façade I had to adopt, not only during election season, but year-

22 · Spring 2011


By Marty Durlin

round. We had a reputation to uphold. In 1952, when my father first ran for state office, Delta County was profoundly Republican, and – as the recent midterms just proved – it still is. But he thought his thirdgeneration status and love for the land would trump his political affiliation. He wasn’t a natural campaigner, though; he could come across as cold and formal, even to us. By the next election, in 1954, my father had adopted a folksier approach and worked hard to become better known. This time he won. Despite being in the minority party, he loved his new job as a state representative, and he made friends and a name for himself. When he was re-elected in 1956, the state Legislature was controlled by Democrats for the first time since 1937. My father, a dark horse, became speaker of the House at the age of 36. He ran unopposed in 1958 and was returned as speaker, but two years later, his political career skidded to a halt due to a mere 80 votes. This loss was far worse than his first one. He had been seen as a rising star, an important politician – considered a possible candidate for lieutenant governor. His success made us all feel important, and so we all suffered from his ignominious defeat. He spent the next six years trying to regain his seat. In 1962, he lost; in 1964, he won; in 1966, he lost. Even though he himself hesitated to run the last three times, no one in the family dreamed of suggesting he quit. During his 1964 run, a high school friend and I performed a campaign song I’d written:

Now all of us think it’s a great Western Slope If you think Denver knows it, the answer is nope We’re not represented, it must be confessed Charles Conklin, Charles Conklin will serve you the best! After the 1966 loss, one of his political mentors, Congressman Wayne Aspinall, offered him a job in Washington, D.C. My father directed the staff of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs while my mother taught first grade, and they eagerly soaked up the culture and excitement of the cosmopolitan city. My father never blamed the other party for his thwarted political career. He blamed himself – his ego, his failure to connect. The rest of us were less charitable. My mother’s revenge was to mute all the Republicans whenever she watched C-Span. My father worked on Capitol Hill for 15 years before he retired to Hawaii. In later years, he made a few trips back to Delta, hobnobbing with old friends and walking the familiar streets. Despite everything, he never lost his affection for his hometown. He and my mother both died near Waikiki. Our family gathered a few years ago at the Delta Cemetery, overlooking the valley, to commemorate my parents. On my mother’s side of the stone there’s a line of poetry. On my father’s side it says, simply, Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, 1957-60.

Marty Durlin is a contributor to Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News ( She writes in Paonia, Colorado, 30 miles from Delta.

Heard Around the West MONTANA

The moral of the story is: Don’t leave your elk out overnight. When two hunters who’d bagged an elk in a remote area near Hungry Horse, Mont., came back the next day to retrieve it, they found that other predators, mindful of the adage “Finders keepers,” now considered the carcass their own. A pack of wolves suddenly surrounded the men as they tried to load their elk onto two horses. Dropping the elk, the men later described how they fled on horseback with the wolves in pursuit, howling and barking and driving the horses berserk: “The horses were totally out of control, damn near dragging us away,” one of the hunters told the Hungry Horse News. The impromptu “rodeo” went on for an hour and a half, even though one of the hunters shot and killed one of the wolves. A second attempt at retrieving the elk didn’t work either; when the men rode back the next day, they found that a grizzly bear had pre-empted both wolves and men, claiming the carcass as its own.


Drivers along a section of Highway 22 near Jackson, Wyo., wondered why drug-sniffing dogs and squads of patrol officers, two or three abreast, were walking the road a few weeks ago. Then the story emerged: They were on the trail of a box of drugs. A dog handler from the sheriff’s department had placed a box containing 28 grams of methamphetamine on his car bumper after conducting a successful drug-detecting exercise with a dog. Then, after spending some time praising the dog for doing a fine job, the officer just drove off forgetting about the box. It was, as the Teton County sheriff diplomatically put it, “a mistake that should not have happened.” But happen it did, and all the drug-sniffing dogs and staff of the sheriff’s department could not find the box again. Whoever did pick it up is urged to contact the sheriff’s office. It should be easy to identify: It is clearly labeled “METH” in big white lettering on black.


Kids who show pigs, steers or lambs at county fairs learn how to groom their animals to sparkling perfection, so why shouldn’t chickens receive a similar sprucing up? Borah High School drama and English teacher Jerry Hensley tried to make chickenmanship easy and fun at the Western Idaho Fair in Boise, passing on helpful tips for chicken bathing. All you need is one person, three tubs of water, and about

By Betsy Marston 10 minutes, reports the First, Hensley said, bathe the chicken with liquid soap, since a shiny chicken makes all the difference between first and second place. Then add a few drops of bluing to bring out the white in the feathers. (Don’t use too much, however, because “the bird turns blue.”) Finally, add vinegar as an antibacterial and a little liquid glycerin to soften the feathers. “If the water is warm, (the chickens) love it,” Hensley promised. “They just really relax.”


Peevish is one of the milder words you might use to describe the tone of “gossip queen” Cindy Adams’ New York Post column about Santa Fe, after she visited the city for a week or so. Although Adams appreciated the general trend toward over-the-top outdoor fitness, she found much to mock, including the high-priced art and crafts she dubbed “handiwork,” a social scene so lacking in stimulation that denting a car gives everyone “something to talk about,” and in the unkindest cut of all, she found the women “chunky.” Humph.


John Daggett, one of the West’s iconic characters, died recently at age 82, though his amazing feat of body-surfing the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon 56 years ago will no doubt live forever. Back in April 1955, Daggett and his friend, Bill Beer, both 20-something Southern Californians, got the crazy idea of swimming 270 miles of the cold, pre-dam Colorado River with equipment so low-tech it’s almost unbelievable: wool long johns, $15 black rubber shirts and 89-cent rubber generator boxes filled with food and a movie camera. Only some 200 people had run the river before them — and that was by boat — yet for 26 days the two friends “floated, swam, clanked, banged and dragged themselves and their waterlogged river boxes downriver,” according to Tom Myer’s poignant farewell to John Daggett in the boatman’s quarterly review. The adventure remains one of the classic stories of the river, and what better time to read or reread Bill Beers’ cheerfully titled account: We Swam the Grand Canyon: The Story of a Cheap Vacation That Got a Little Out of Hand Betsy Marston is the editor of Writers on the Range, an op ed syndicate for High Country News ( Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column.


Spring 2011

· 23

The Green Pages An alliance for conservation of energy and money All Green Page articles compiled and edited by David Segal


ommunities and utilities in Montrose and Delta Counties have teamed up to help you save money and energy. They formed the Focus On Resource Efficiency (FORE) Alliance about a year and a half ago, and have watched it grow rapidly ever since. The FORE Alliance advises individuals, small businesses, towns, cities, and counties on how to save money and energy simultaneously, said Community Energy Coordinator Abbie Vanderwist. “We are a community-based committee for regional collaboration to promote the cost-effective use of energy and natural resources.”

The group includes representatives from Source Gas, the City of Montrose, the Cedaredge Chamber of Commerce, Delta Municipal Light and Power, the Delta Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), Montrose County, the Town of Olathe, the Town of Paonia, the City of Delta, Delta County, Orchard City, and the San Miguel Power Association. The organization is funded by a $200,000 grant from the Governor's Energy Office (G.E.O.). One of their first projects was to get the word out about a weatherization program. “The G.E.O. has a weatherization program for low-income individuals,” Vanderwist

explained. “This program will help you with insulation, airsealing, and things in your home. “This program has been with us for ages, since the '80's. But we saw that this weatherization program was not receiving enough marketing; people didn't really understand what was available. The utilities didn't understand where people needed to go to qualify and to make sure that lower income people signed up. So, we really tried to do outreach and education to community members, and DMEA staff.” They focused much

FORE Alliance Committee Members (left to right): Lynn Krebs, Source Gas, Virgil Turner, City of Montrose, Eileen Liles, Cedaredge Chamber of Commerce, Steve Glanmeyer, Delta Municipal Light and Power, Mary Chapman, DMEA, Steve White, Montrose County, Scott Harold, Town of Olathe, Dan McClendon, DMEA, Neal Schwieterman, Town of Paonia, Guy Pfalzgraff, City of Delta, Abbie Vanderwist, Community Energy Coordinator Not pictured: Susan Hanson, Delta County, Bruce Hovde, Delta County, Nancy Hovde, DMEA, Don Suppes, Orchard City, Bill Green, San Miguel Power Association 24 · Spring 2011


The Green Pages of their work on smaller, rural communities, such as Nucla and Naturita. “We'd go down to the area, and actually help people with applications and things like that,” said Vanderwist. One of the main functions of the FORE Alliance is to help individuals and organizations get rebates for purchasing a variety of appliances and services. “There are so many rebate programs!” said Vanderwist enthusiastically. “The Governor's Energy Office has a rebate program for refrigerators, and currently you can get rebates for insulation and air-sealing. “DMEA also has a rebate program for Energy-Star appliances, and some commercial lighting rebates. Source Gas has some rebates available for weatherization, insulation and air-sealing; there's up to $600 for air-sealing insulation.” The programs are apparently working quite well. DMEA has processed more than a thousand Energy Efficiency Rebates for refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, Geoexchange systems, and water heaters. The G.E.O. has awarded nearly $128,000 in rebates to 318 customers. Source Gas has given $90,000 worth to 162 customers in Montrose, and $7,000 worth to 17 customers in Delta. You can get a complete list of available rebate programs by visiting the organization's website at And, Abbie Vanderwist would be glad to address any questions or concerns you might have. “If you have any questions, calling our office or emailing me is the best way to do it. What I do is make sure that you go to the

right place, for the right rebate.” You can call her at her office in the Montrose DMEA building, at (970) 240–1272, or email her at info@ Speaking of the website, it has some other features you might find useful, including information about energy audits, recycling, and a computer program called “Green Quest”. “Green Quest was developed by a company in Denver. It's a computer program, and it's a database to put in all the energy or fuel or water that you're using in your home, or in your small business,” explained Vanderwist. “It gives you an idea of what you're spending, and the greenhouse gases you're producing. It will give you tracking information, and if you want to have some goals on energy reduction, it will help you with that. It'll also give you tables and graphs on what you're using, and strategies that you could use to reduce your energy consumption.” FORE Alliance does not charge for its services. FORE Alliance's history began with some brain-storming by just three people. “DMEA General Manager Dan McClendon, Delta County Manager Susan Hanson, and Virgil Turner, from the City of Montrose, got together about a year and a half ago, talking about an officer of resource efficiency for the Montrose-Delta region,” said Vanderwist. “They understood that the local utilities and local governments needed to be on board for energy strategies, and moving forward for the New Energy Economy. So, they got a group of people together, and collaborated with Surface Creek and the North Fork Valley. All of a sudden, this grant came up with the Governor's Energy Office. So, they felt like that was the best

opportunity for moving forward and creating an office of resource efficiency.” After receiving the grant, the committee that evolved into the FORE Alliance hired Abbie Vanderwist to help promote and create programs for the area. Since June 2010, the group has been involved in numerous workshops, trainings, and outreach efforts, including: a Biofuels and Bioenergy Conference co-sponsored with DMEA; the Montrose County Fair, the Delta County Fair, and the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival; Weatherization Days in Nucla and Ridgway; presentations to Third Rock, the Lions Club, the Montrose Chamber of Commerce, the Montrose City Council, and the Delta City Council; the Cedaredge Apple Fest; the 1st Annual Energy Savings Event in Delta; and Help for Hard Times at the Montrose Pavilion. As for the future, Vanderwist says the FORE Alliance has six goals. “One of them is achieving energy efficiency and conservation gains in all sectors of the local economy, by providing education and outreach. The second one is promoting and serving as a local point of contact for the G.E.O. programs that we can use in our community. The third one is collaboration and support for any energy-related programs and projects throughout our region. The others are: supporting efforts for locally generated sustainable power; encouraging energy and energy efficiencyrelated jobs; and establishing and maintaining a sustainable formal structure for the Focus On Resource Efficiency Alliance.”


Spring 2011

· 25

The Green Pages France working on an underwater nuclear reactor


rance has a much higher tolerance for nuclear power as an alternative energy source than the U.S. does. For example, France, which gets eighty percent of its electricity from nuclear plants, is working on a reactor that would be located on the ocean floor. DCNS, a naval company that works with the French government, has announced plans to build the reactor. Called “Flexblue,” the device would be housed inside a 100 yard long cylinder. It would reportedly be capable of generating 250 megawatts of electricity—enough to power about one million homes. According to, company executives claim that Flexblue will be very safe—largely because it will be sitting in 300 feet of water. CEO Patrick Boissier has told the

online publication Platt that the reactor would be able to withstand natural disasters, such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Boissier also said that it would be much less vulnerable to terrorist attacks than a land-based reactor. Another benefit would come from the ocean itself, which would act as a coolant. Being relatively small, the Flexblue wouldn't be able to generate nearly as much power as France's land-based reactors, which can crank out more than 1,200 megawatts apiece. But, the underwater reactors would be relatively cheap to build; there is a small, modular version of the Flexblue that would put out 25 megawatts for just $50 million, compared to the $3-5 billion price tag for an onshore facility.

Denver company plans to capture and use coal mine methane


company based in Denver is developing plans to capture methane gas in a western Colorado coal mine, and convert it to usable energy. Vessels Coal Gas is reportedly working to extract methane from Oxbow Mining's Sanborn Creek Mine, in Gunnison County; Oxbow shut the mine down in 2003. Methane is the primary ingredient in natural gas, and must be vented from coal mines to prevent explosions. It's also one of the worst greenhouse gases involved in climate change; according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “methane is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over a 100 year period.” The EPA

26 · Spring 2011


has long been urging coal mines to voluntarily capture methane and convert it into natural gas, according to the Colorado Independent online newspaper. Vessels plans to sell the natural gas to Holy Cross Energy, an electrical co-op based in Glenwood Springs. Vessels has done this kind of thing before. The company currently runs a coal mine methane recovery operation in Cambria County, Pa. Since May, of 2008, Vessels has sold large quantities of commercial quality natural gas to Peoples Natural Gas of Pittsburgh. Vessels also set up an electrical generation system to directly convert the gas into power.

The Green Pages Solar predicted to get cheaper


ou say you'd like to switch to solar power, but you just can't afford it? Well, that's understandable; solar is currently much more expensive than conventionally generated electricity. But that might change soon, according to an article posted on the Yahoo! Green website. While solar technology has been available for more than 30 years now, it provides just 0.1 percent of the electricity used in the United States. It is significantly more expensive than fossil fuels, wind power, or Geo-thermal. Consequently, its use has been largely limited to special applications, such as off-the-grid homes. Consultant Sam Newman writes that few people are aware that large-scale deployment of solar panels would be a viable way of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. However, we might get a sunny surprise from the solar industry soon. Newman reports that prices are falling quickly, and that the industry hopes to revolutionize the American energy system. Solar power output has reportedly been growing by 50 percent a year for the past ten years. But, in order to contribute a significant amount to our power needs, that growth rate must be maintained for at least another decade. If that trend does continue, Newman believes that photovoltaic (PV) systems could supply up to ten percent of our electricity by 2020. But, he also writes that there are major challenges to keeping up that growth rate, not the least of which is the Great Recession. The question is “How do you do you keep PV prices falling?” The answer is “Keep the market growing”. The theory is that, as the industry gets larger, the prices will get smaller. That's because production costs should decrease as demand increases. Newman also predicts that manufacturing processes will improve, there will be engineering breakthroughs, and the amount of waste will be reduced, thus lowering prices even further. He also expects standardized installation practices in the future to help hold prices down. Currently, most rooftop PV panels are individually

designed and approved, then built in place. However, Newman thinks that as solar becomes more popular, and demand increases, installers will reduce cost and complexity by coming up with plug-and-play systems.

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Spring 2011

· 27

The Green Pages Dodging “planned obsolescence”


he term “planned obsolescence” has been around since the 1920s, but it, itself, is not yet obsolete. Unfortunately, some manufacturers design their products to wear out, require an upgrade, or otherwise become useless after a predetermined span of time. The idea is to get you to buy from them again and again. The concept works pretty well for unscrupulous corporations, but not so well for consumers and the environment. Planned obsolescence costs you money, costs the planet its resources, and creates crowded landfills. However, there are ways to defend against these ethically challenged companies. Arm yourself with knowledge, and shield yourself with planning; this can enable you to stretch the lifespan of some products, and avoid buying others altogether. Fortunately, the Daily Green website has put together some strategies for handling some of the most annoying types of planned obsolescence. MP3 Players Planned obsolescence is a way of life in the consumer electronics field. Take MP3 players, for example. The Daily Green reports that these units are usually impossible to upgrade with more memory, and their lithiumion batteries often wear out quickly. In severe cases, you the consumer can't even remove the battery yourself, forcing you to pay for an expensive service call just to get the thing changed.

28 · Spring 2011


And the batteries are often costly themselves. But, the Daily Green reports that there are quite a few good quality “generic” batteries available for various devices. You can find them with little trouble on eBay and similar websites. Now, manufacturers typically don't recommend these batteries, but problems with them are reportedly rare. Directions for battery replacement and how-to videos are also available online. Also, you can often lengthen the life of a lithium-ion battery by taking good care of it. Keep it out of extreme temperatures. Clean it often, and stick to the charging/ use patterns recommended by the manufacturer. Many lithium-ion batteries last longer if they are never allowed to run all the way down. Ink Cartridges A brand new set of inkjet cartridges may actually run you more than the printer itself, in some cases. And, at the same time, you might be prevented from using every drop of ink in the cartridge. You see, quite a few cartridges include proprietary “smart chips,” which actually disable printing when one of the colors drops to a certain level—even if there is actually enough ink left to accomplish the task. Also, smart chips can make it hard for you to refill your cartridges, or use cheaper third-party ink. The smart thing to do is buy refillable cartridges in the first place; this will save you money, and reduce plastic use. There are also ways in which you can cut

down on the amount of ink you use. For example, use draft and grayscale settings. You can also skip printing altogether by using online backup services, Google docs, and emailing documents to yourself. Software In the software industry, planned obsolescence works by making new titles that don't work with earlier files or programs; the idea is to incentivize you, the consumer, to do across-the-board upgrades. You've probably also experienced being forced to upgrade to a new version of a program when the publisher stops supporting older versions. One way to get around this is to use free, opensource software, instead of proprietary titles. Another way to save money is to use general titles, rather than specialized software that only does one thing and may require an expensive upgrade later. You may also discover that you don't necessarily need the latest upgrade, unless there are compelling security reasons to get it. Of course, high tech items aren't the only things subject to planned obsolescence; even goods such as clothing and textbooks can be marketed this way. No matter what the product, the main thing is to use your head and shop around before you buy.

The Green Pages The future looks dim for incandescent light bulbs


he incandescent bulbs that have lit up our homes for the past 130 years will be phased out over the next three. A new federal law is going to take effect next year, which will gradually prohibit the manufacturing of Thomas Edison's brilliant invention. According to, 100 watt incandescent bulbs will be phased out in 2012; 75 watt bulbs will be banned in 2013, and 60 and 40 watt versions will fade to black in 2014. MSNBC's Bill Briggs reports that by Jan. 1, 2014 the only incandescents left on the market will be three-way bulbs, appliance lamps, and plant lights, plus leftovers from the 2013 assembly lines. Consumers have been slow to warm to the two types of lights that will replace the incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LEDs (Compact Fluorescent Lights and Light-Emitting Diodes). The primary complaint against CFLs is that they give off a “harsh, greenish beam”, as opposed to the warm, amber light of an incandescent. As for LEDs, they are relatively expensive and relatively unknown to American consumers. And, neither of the new technologies is available in dimmer form. The death of the incandescent is not due to economics. In fact, they reportedly dominate the market, accounting for about 82 percent of all light bulb sales; CFLs have a 17 percent share, and LEDs get just one percent, according to estimates cited by MSNBC. But, there is much good to be said about CFLs and LEDs, environmentally and financially. Yes, CFLs can seem harsh on the eyes, and may have

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disposal problems, but they use 80 percent less energy than incandescents. And, they last 10 times longer. Lighting costs make up about 20 percent of the typical monthly electric bill, so you could save anywhere from $10 to $50 a month by switching to all CFLs or LEDs, according to various industry and consumer sources. The switch is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions, too. In fact, if every home in the country were to replace one incandescent bulb with one CFL, greenhouse pollutants would be cut by the amount generated by 800,000 vehicles; those numbers come from the environmental website As for prices, just check your nearest Walmart. They're selling CFL bulbs for $3 to $4 apiece. LEDs are going for $10 to $25 each—but the lifespan of an average LED is nearly seven continuous years. CFLs generally last from eight to 13 continuous months. All things considered, not a bad deal.

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Spring 2011

· 29

HypnoBirthing® Changing the way we approach childbirth.


By Alicia Stark RN-BSN

s a culture we have been conditioned to think that labor and birthing need to be a painful, terrifying event. When really, much like life, how you approach your labor and birth, whether it is wrapped in fear and doubt or enveloped with a sense of calm and trust, will influence your entire experience. The philosophy of HypnoBirthing®, created by Hypnotherapist, Marie Mongan, is the theory and practice of a labor and birthing, free of fear, minimizing pain in labor, using tools such as hypnosis, relaxation, affirmations and visualization. HypnoBirthing® is based on a belief of gentle, stressfree birth using natural instincts and trust in the birth process. In HypnoBirthing®, a therapeutic hypnosis is used increasing a woman’s state of relaxation and suggestibility. While maintaining complete control, she focuses in on and releases any negative thoughts or emotions that may interfere with the calm gentle birth that is desired to welcome her baby. Physiologically, fear creates pain. If a laboring mother experiences fear during her labor, a fight


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or flight physiological response occurs causing the release of hormones called catecholamines. These hormones cause the muscles of the body to constrict, affecting oxygen flow to the baby as well as prolonging labor which eventually will require medical intervention for delivery. HypnoBirthing® also provides the family with knowledge of the birthing process and prepares them for the right questions to ask when interventions are proposed by their care providers. The practice of HypnoBirthing® can begin anytime in pregnancy, but it’s best not to wait until the last few weeks. Practicing HypnoBirthing® not only prepares you for birthing, but adds a sense of relaxation and calm during your pregnancy. In addition to guiding the pregnant woman and her birthing companion through the relaxation exercises and affirmations, the HypnoBirthing® course steers the mother through childbirth educational topics such as nutrition and exercise during pregnancy, signs and symptoms of the onset of labor and awareness of possible complications in pregnancy. Creating the birth you want is one of the most satisfying and joyous things you can do for you and your baby. Alicia Stark is a Labor and Delivery RN and Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner. Her daughter was brought into this world last spring using HypnoBirthing. For information on HypnoBirthing classes in the Montrose/Telluride area call 719-306-3518


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The Monitor Magazine Spring 2011  
The Monitor Magazine Spring 2011  

The Monitor Magazine Spring 2011