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On the job for 20 years with Paul Paladino Mushrooms gone wild The logic of local eating Kelly Marston’s no-excuses approach A lifestyle magazine about Montrose by the Montrose Daily Press

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

2580 N. Townsend Ave. Montrose, CO 81401 970-249-9664 M

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012


Try us again... For the First time | 3

Meet seven-year-old Jesus and his pediatrician, Dr. Mary Vader. Together they battle numerous health challenges including kidney  failure.  When Dr. Mary Vader determined that Jesus would benefit from the specialized care of Children’s Hospital in Denver, the Helping Hand Fund of the Montrose Community Foundation stepped forth to help with travel expenses for the family. 


Created to provide a “hand up” for members of our community facing difficult circumstances, the Helping Hand Fund is just one way the Montrose Community Foundation is growing a strong community.  Together, we are making a real difference that deserves a “thumbs up”!

THE FOUNDATION WITH OUNDATION WITH IMAGINATION P.O. Box 3020, Montrose, CO 81402 (970) 249-3900 4 | M

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012


Welcome to M

he publication you touch today will change your life forever. Perhaps not in a conscious way, but it will demonstrate what you probably already know — that Montrose is a special and unique place. What makes this community unique is its unparalleled beauty – yet , at times, this is taken for granted. What makes this community special is its people. There’s something to be said about every person, every story, everything that makes us Montrose. M is a new quarterly lifestyle magazine written in our community for our community. The idea for the publication came to us during a yearly review of our special sections. M came to be, and all of the content you’ll read today is focused about people in Montrose. We’ve tried to look at the community through a different prism than our daily newspaper. M will provide content about our community in a fashion that combines stories and pictures, leaving you a better understanding of who we are. In particular, I appreciated learning about locals who make this community tick, whether they now it or not — and I hope you do, too. Montrose Regional Library director Paul Paladino is someone I always enjoy reading about . We have a piece about Julie Messenger and the wonderful things she does as a volunteer in this community (Note — Since writing the story on Messenger, we’ve learned she is petitioning to get on the ballot for Montrose County commissioner. Our story is not an endorsement of Messenger and her pending campaign for County Commission.) You’ll get to learn about Montrose High School alums and what they’ve been doing since graduating. One of the more appropriate stories for this time of year has to do with gardening and how you can do it yourself or participate in a CSA. There are some great pieces in this edition of M, and I know it will get better with time. Just because our first edition sits in front of you doesn’t mean the journey to enhance this prod-

uct is complete. We want you to let us know how we can improve the product to help you become aware of the place we all call home, Montrose. A time to thank some folks … Putting together a magazine such as M is no small feat . It takes a lot of time and coordination to get a publication of this nature out the door. It also takes confidence from our advertisers, which I’m extremely grateful for. These advertisers, who I look at as partners, continually invest in the Daily Press and our products for the response they receive. Please consider this while looking at the information they provide you. Also, this piece wouldn’t have come out without the outstanding people who participated in it . Specifically, I’d like to thank Katrina Kinsley, a “Jill of all trades” here at the Press. Kinsley championed this magazine and did a lot of the leg work needed to see it really come alive. Well, onward we go. Please keep in touch, and let us know what you think. And, as always, thank you! Francis L. Wick Publisher - Montrose Daily Press


Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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features & contents


Downtown dynamos

A relatively new addition to downtown Montrose, the A+Y Gallery opened its doors on the ground level in the Masonic Temple Building at 513 Main St . last fall. Since then, owners Adam and Yesenia Duncan have brought a jolt of creativity and energy to the district their business calls home.

Spring/Summer 2012



Directing with a light hand

Too busy for a garden?

Taking precautions

The word “20th” is unobtrusively posted on the window between his office and an open stack area of the Montrose Regional Library. It signifies that 2011 marked the 20th year of Paul Paladino’s service as the library’s director.

For those looking to take more of an active role in how they get their food but who don’t have the time or space for a full garden, community-supported agriculture membership is a good option. Gaining popularity over the last 20 years, CSAs provide shares to their members, which translate to a pre-determined amount of produce grown fresh and picked up weekly.

Not long ago, members of the Montrose medical community recognized a need for a local dermatologist , as they were often forced to send patients to Grand Junction for skin treatment . Since then, the community has added two talented skin specialists in Dr. Jennifer Haley and Dr. Renata Raziano.




Health & Wellness



Home & Garden

Art Scene


10. Hot shopping finds 12. Inspiration from a beggar

18. The events lady

Where are they now: 20. Jeremy Sitton 22. Juliet Carr 24. Robin Smith

36. Out and about with the Singh Brothers 38. She knows who she is 40. Life on the run

42. From the Bronx to Montrose 44. Gallery events

Publisher Francis Wick Managing Editor Mike Easterling a publication of the

26. the importance of eating local 32. Keeping it local 34. The mushroom hunter

News Editor Matt Lindberg

46. A different perspective 47. Trimming the tree with a purpose

48. ‘A blessing in disguise’ 50. Enjoy a grow-your-own adventure

52. Out & about

General Manager Design Tim Frates Katrina Kinsley Advertising Sales Dennis Anderson Carla Gartner Kelda Wall

“Lets build this community, one page at a time” 6 | M

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

On the cover

Paul Paladino is backed by his staff on the steps of the Montrose Regional Library. Photo by Bruce Grigsby.

contributors Francis Wick Montrose Daily Press

upcoming events May May 17-20 — Lions Club Carnival at the Montrose Fairgrounds. May 19 — The Great U.S. 50 Yard Sale, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on East Main Street downtown.

June June 7 — Season opener for Main in Motion, continues from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. each Thursday through Aug. 16. June 9 — Third annual Tribute to Western Movie Days, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Museum of the Mountain West, 68169 E. Miami Road. June 16-17 — Black Canyon Horse Races, noon to 5 p.m. at the Montrose County Fairgrounds.

Elaine Hale Jones Montrose Daily Press

Will Hearst Montrose Daily Press

Katrina Kinsley Montrose Daily Press

Bruce Grigsby Writer/ Photographer

Lu Anne Tyrrell Writer/ Photographer

July July 3 — Montrose Fourth Fest and Community Street Dance, 6 p.m.10 p.m., South First Street and Townsend Ave. July 4 — Montrose Fourth of July Parade, 3 p.m.-4 p.m. downtown. July 4 — Montrose Fourth of July fireworks, 9:30 p.m. at Cerise Park. July 13-14 — 17th annual Black Canyon Classics Car, Truck and Rod Show, 3 p.m. downtown. July 13-14 — Nightvision Christian Concert, Olathe Community Park. July 13-15 — 17th annual Black Canyon Quilt Show at the Montrose Pavilion. July 14 — 17th annual Colorful Colorado Car, Truck & Rod Show at the Columbine Middle School Field. July 21-28 — Montrose County Fair and Rodeo, Montrose County Fairgrounds. July 21 — Black Canyon Butt Kicker Grin and Barrett Charity Ride, all day. Starts and ends at Best Western Red Arrow, 1702 E Main St.

August Aug. 3-4 — Olathe Sweet Sweet Corn Festival, all day at Community Park. Aug. 11 — Montrose Depot 100-Year Celebration, all day at the Montrose County Historical Museum. Aug. 11 — Partners Benefit Pistol Shoot, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the San Juan Shooting Range. Aug. 11-12 — The 28th annual Ridgway Rendezvous Arts & Crafts Festival at the intersection of U.S. 550 and Colo. 62. Aug. 21 — Stage 2 Start of USA Pro Cycling Challenge, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Montrose Pavilion, 1800 Pavilion Drive. M

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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Downtown dynamos

A+Y Gallery owners bring vitality, creativity to Main Street corridor By Lu Anne Tyrrell The ground level of the historic Masonic Building in downtown Montrose has been artistically adorned by Yesenia and Adam Duncan, proprietors of A+Y Gallery. (Lu Anne Tyrrell)


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relatively new addition to downtown Montrose, the A+Y Gallery opened its doors on the ground level in the Masonic Temple Building at 513 Main St . last fall. Since then, owners Adam and Yesenia Duncan have brought a jolt of creativity and energy to the district their business calls home. It was in Greeley, Colo., more than nine years ago that the two future life and business partners would first cross paths. Yesenia met Adam while she was a student at the University of Northern Colorado and Adam was working in the restaurant industry. By 2005, they Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

were married, and it was during a casual shopping trip in Loveland that they first developed the idea of creating custom-designed wooden furniture. “We saw some wood-carved furnishings, and Adam said ‘I can do that ,’ ” Yesenia recalled. That was no hollow boast . Adam’s boyhood had included plenty of hands-on experience in helping build the family cabin, and that served as a good foundation for the creative venture he had in mind. To jump-start the new course of his life, he refinished by hand 300 tables at the restaurant for which he worked. After that , he

went on to create wood-carved log furnishings, which the two sold at local craft shops and fairs. The Duncans’ time in Greeley also brought the birth of their two daughters, Mia, now 6, and Ellie, age 5. Desiring a smaller community in which to raise their family, the two entrepreneurs moved to Montrose. “We wanted to raise our family in a smaller town and be closer to family,” Yesenia said. Adam had been raised in Montrose County, had attended Olathe High School and his parents lived in the Montrose area. All that contributed to the Duncans’ choice to move. “It’s

like coming home for me,” Adam said. Shortly after the move, Adam found work building custom beds for a regional custom furnishings manufacturer. He then continued to hone his talent while working with Architectural Interiors and doing custom work out of the couple’s one-car garage in Olathe. After a period as a stay-at-home mother, Yesenia went on to work for three years as director of the Brown Center and then as the Montrose regional youth services coordinator for Hilltop. More change was on the horizon when the Duncans decided it was time

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to take their next step, one that included a retail venture. The Duncans chose a vacant storefront on Main Street , a gallery that offers the couple 3,000 square feet of open creative space to showcase Adam’s unique custom furnishings and a variety of work by other Western Slope artisans in such media as pottery, glass, photography and metal. Yesenia’s background in journalism and telecommunications made her a natural when it came to the marketing aspects of the business. A monthly newsletter for the gallery is backed up with progressive social media communication that gives the readers helpful furniture and decorating tips, as well as upcoming cross-promotional events that are planned for the month. Owning and operating their own business is demanding, but it also gives them a flexible enough schedule to enjoy family time with their two daughters. The Duncans describe the atmosphere at their business as kid friendly, and children have their own room in the gallery, where creative activities are encouraged. Activities have included sidewalk chalk art , and during the holidays last winter, the gallery presented a gingerbread house contest . The Duncans have a strong commitment when it comes to supporting the work of local artisans. The gallery has presented a number of events that showcase their work, as well as recently playing host to a Montrose Association of Commerce & Tourism Business After Hours gathering. Their Main Street business also has allowed the Duncans to become actively involved in the Downtown Development Authority. They have participated in the DDA’s Downtown Community Alliance and the promotional committee, and have been active on the Main in Motion board, along with helping increase awareness for the First Friday Art Walk that has been a Main Street fixture over the years. The Duncans can be reached at the gallery at 240-7914. Visit the website at g

N. 1st., Montrose • •Fax: 249.2744 •8am-5pm Mon-Fri 8am-5pm 429 n. 1st, montrose •429 fax: 249-2744 mon-fri

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(970) 209-3825 cell ‘Autumn Pathways,’ a panel made of fused glass by Diane Quarles, is one of many pieces of art by Western Slope artists displayed at A+Y Gallery. (Lu Anne Tyrrell)

(970) 249-6658 \ 2730 Commercial Way \ Montrose, CO 81401 Each office is independently owned and operated. “Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.”


Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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hot shopping finds

Child’s sweater

Artisan: Ardie Halverson. $30


Artisan: Ardie Halverson. $18 Children’s items available at Creative Corner Artisan Co-op, a local store with unique gifts from A-Z. Artists from the area display one-of-a-kind handcrafted items. The co-op offers apparel, wooden toys, paintings, photographs, quilts and a year-round Christmas Corner at 344 Main St., Montrose.

Black Canyon Puzzle Photographer: Dennis Thurber. $18

Wooden bi-plane Artisan: Lester Gifford. $35

Beaded Collar

Embroidered beaded collar with vintage buttons, sequins, Swarovski crystal, Czech glass, black onyx and hundreds of seed beads. $2,200 Artisan: Michelle Riley – Life of Riley Designs, 527-6367. Available at The Canyon Gallery, 300 Main St., Montrose.

Deer Hide Cultural Painting

Regional artist Jennifer Johnston specializes in commission work that includes Native American cultural deer hide paintings, murals, oil painting landscapes and dog portraitures. Available by calling 623-6242 or visiting

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

Marmie Bags

Montrose resident Krista Montalvo’s handcrafted bags have a vintage flair essential for women on the go. These bags are made with up-cycled materials. Available at Polluck’s, 321 Main St. and

Handcarved Carousel Horse – “Leo”

Montrose resident and woodcarver Jim Mitchell’s inspiration for woodcarving began with his daughter’s love of an imaginary horse, and from there he has masterfully carved horses and wildlife. Mitchell is available for commissioned carving work and can be contacted at 209-9420.

Jitters coffee soap

Established in 2009, Cimarron Creek Essentials offers local handcrafted soap made from the purest natural and organic bases. “Jitters” utilizes antioxidant-filled coffee as an ingredient, which is beneficial to the skin. $6.50 per packaged box of soap Available at the Coffee Trader, 845 Main St., Montrose or


Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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Inspiration from a beggar By Katrina Kinsley

Basil pesto crusted salmon with creamy sun-dried tomato alfredo sauce, ginger rice and vegetables. (Will Hearst)

After almost 20 years, Camp Robber remains fresh and innovative


im Volk describes it as a spiritual bonding. During their trips to the Colorado high country years ago, she and her husband Bill always enjoyed both the scenery and the company of cheerful camp robbers, or gray jays, that are known to beg campers for scraps. During one such outing, while communing with the bold birds, Bill announced that he’d figured out a name for his restaurant . “That’s when I found out about the restaurant and the name both,” Kim recalled. But it wasn’t exactly a surprise that the couple would start a business of their own. Bill had worked in restaurants since he was 16 years old, moving his way up from doing dishes through bussing tables, and eventually cooking and managing various restaurants in his native New Mexico. Kim’s education is in business, and she worked in the corporate world before taking on the business side of restaurant management. With his creativity and willingness to experiment with food pairings, and her management of service and details, the partnership works well. By 1994, the couple had found a small location on West Main Street in Montrose and opened the Camp Robber. By 2006, they had outgrown their original space and built a custom home for their endeavor, including a catering kitchen, a patio seating up to 100, the Robber’s Roost bar section, and a private meeting room dubbed the Aspen Room. Starting with nine employees in 1994, the restaurant now has a staff of 35 and can serve large groups, such as bus tours, which was impossible before. Though it was their dream to live in Colorado,

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

many of the flavors that the establishment is famous for come from Bill’s New Mexico upbringing. Described as a taste of the Southwest , the inspiration for many of Bill’s creations come from the flavors of his mother’s kitchen. The dish that the Camp Robber is best known for — green chile chicken potato soup — is Bill’s signature creation and captures the specific Southwestern flavor he wanted his restaurant to convey. And while the restaurant supports local growers and seasonal crops, the green chiles for the soup still come from New Mexico. Not only does the location the chile is grown in affect the taste, even the time of year and temperature can influence the flavor and heat . “The fall harvest is a little spicier; people might notice an extra kick,” Kim noted.

Locally, the restaurant is involved with the Valley Food Partnership in order to promote the farm-to-plate food movement . During the summer growing season, its uses produce from local growers, particularly berries, tomatoes, Mirai sweet corn and squash. In addition to the regular menu, each cook comes up with a “blackboard special” that runs for a two-week period, plus a special dish for his or her shift. With a staff of eight cooks in addition to Bill, this provides an ever-evolving dining experience, even for locals who eat there frequently. The specials are created with a mind toward using foods that are locally available and seasonal. And after dinner, there are plenty of sweet treats created in house by baker Kelly Schroeder, who also creates daily specials in addition to regular menu desserts and all of the

Camp Robber’s Corn Chowder Soup 2 medium red potatoes ¼ cup white onion 2 cups sweet corn ½ gallon whole milk 1 cup flour Salt, pepper and garlic to taste

1 small carrot 1 stalk celery 1 qt heavy cream 1 stick butter ½ cup white wine

Cut all veggies into quarter-inch cubes and sauté in a small amount of cooking oil. When the onions soften, add the corn. Olathe Sweet Corn or Mirai Sweet Corn works the best! Four ears should be good. Just trim off the ear and add the raw corn to the veggie mix. Stir frequently. As the corn begins to cook, add the white wine. When the wine begins to simmer, add the cream and milk. In a separate pan, melt the butter. Slowly whisk in the flour to make a roux. (This is your thickening agent.) When the milk comes to a low roll, start whisking in the roux. It is important to whisk the soup consistently to break up the flour in the roux. Reduce heat and add salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Using the sweet corn, you may not need more seasoning. — Bill Volk, owner of Camp Robber

2305 S. Townsend Ave. Ste C. Montrose






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bread served by the restaurant. The Volks know they’re not in this alone. Their kitchen is full of locals, many of whom made their way up to cook by starting at other positions in the restaurant and earning an “experience-based education,” as Bill calls it . Their combined experience totals more than 100 years of kitchen work. “They’re all foodies,” Kim said. “They go home and watch cooking shows. Their whole life is food and technique. It’s so nice to see that passion — we couldn’t do it just the two of us.” And their loyalty to the Camp Robber is evident in the lack of turnover the business experiences. One employee has been with the company for 14 years, and the most recent new hire was more than three years ago. The couple’s son, Tanner, is cooking for the business and has helped out for years. While the restaurant is the public face of the business, catering is also a large part of what the restaurant provides, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the business. From 15-person luncheons to large events like the annual Hospice and Palliative Care gala, Camp Robber catering serves not only the Montrose area but markets as far away as Telluride and Lake City, as well.



337 Main St • Montrose • 249-7753 We Accept All Major Credit Cards!

Camp Robber owners Kim and Bill Volk in the Robber’s Roost bar.(Katrina Kinsley)

The regular menu and weekly specials are complemented by a full range of available catering menu ideas, a kids menu, plus a gluten-free menu accredited by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the restaurant opens at 9 a.m. on Sundays with a special brunch menu, featuring favorites like quiche, crepes, french toast and eggs benedict in five variations. Another attraction is the live music from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Wednesday. During the summer months, performers provide music on both Wednesday and Saturday, moving out onto the patio when weather permits. While most of the performers are local, artists passing through often approach the Volks about playing while they’re in town or on tour. The couple’s goal for the future is simple: “We just want to continue to put out the best food we can and provide great customer service. We’re really enjoying this,” Kim said. g

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© 2012 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (717824_04984)



Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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Directing with a light hand By Bruce Grigsby

Montrose Regional Library director Paladino marks 20 years on the job


he word “20th” is unobtrusively posted on the window between his office and an open stack area of the Montrose Regional Library. It signifies that 2011 marked the 20th year of Paul Paladino’s service as the library’s director. By any standard, that is a significant achievement for an executive of a public organization. The past two decades have witnessed remarkable growth in what is widely regarded as a genuine asset of the community. Paladino, 48, is originally from Nebraska, where he grew up in Omaha, attending college at the University of Dayton in Ohio, where he both completed his undergraduate degree and met his future wife Mary. With his characteristic wry smile, he tells of attending Catholic parochial schools where the ruler-wielding nuns taught him to keep his hands in his pockets. He is quick to add his eternal gratitude for the excellent education he received, one that was both rigorous and instilled discipline. Beginning his studies at Dayton with the thought of a career in engineering, calculus provided some redirection into international studies. He acknowledges that the ultimate value of his calculus text was to replace the broken leg of a sofa. His first library position was at the Howell Carnegie District Library in Howell, Mich., where he was the head of reference and adult services, something he points out as “not as dicey as it sounds. Yes, I was in charge of adult videos, but nothing too racy.” Asked about how he found his way to Montrose, he said that his family had always vacationed somewhere in the Rockies, and he subsequently developed a love for the mountains. He kept an eye constantly open to possibilities in the area, and when the Montrose position became available in 1991, he applied and was hired, starting in November of that year. His wife Mary, now a cataloger with the library, was skeptical, suggesting a two-year trial. Paul reports that she hasn’t yet invoked the end of the probationary period, and very much at home here, he has not brought it up. With their 14-year-old son Dominic, they have a wonderful home east of town overlooking Johnson Elementary School with an unobstructed view of the San Juans, where Paul can pursue his never-ending inclination for home improvement , something he admits is along the lines of Tim Allen’s sitcom of the same name. The current project at the Paladino homestead is the building of an attached “casita” for the annual visits of his mother. His innovative construction includes straw bale walls and native adobe with a full-length deck featuring the same spectacular view. Although his master’s degree in library science is

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Mary, Paul and son Dominic Paladino at the family home in Montrose. (Bruce Grigsby) Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

from Indiana University in 1989, he credits Dayton with providing a great background for his eventual career. “We were taught to ask the universally important question of ‘why,’ which helps clarify the essential issue of helping get information in the hands of people,” he said. As library director, Paladino is quietly passionate about his role of balancing careful stewardship of taxpayers’ money with the library’s mission of providing information to the public. As he explains it , being trained to question why lends balance and perspective to the library’s role in accumulating and providing access to information. He is also quietly dedicated to the right of citizens to hold varying opinions and perspectives and the library’s responsibility to provide a broad range of information and ideas. In fact , he will state without reservation that he would not want to work in, let alone direct , a library that did not contain material with which he strongly disagrees, adding, “My library should have something to offend everyone. Back when the staff let me do acquisition, I purposely added materials that offended me.” He exemplifies, with a “walk-the-walk” attitude, a core rejection of censorship that is characteristic of great librarians. Acknowledging the occasional accusation of having a quiet demeanor, he adds that his response can be surprisingly animated when a certain line gets crossed. That line is based on what he terms “intellectual bullying,” something he describes as occurring when a person doesn’t care “who gets run over in order to get my way.” Paladino recalls the process of coming to Montrose and a presentation he gave at the time to the local Lions Club in which he made the commitment to “give the best library the people would allow as a partnership. My job is to stay current on what is the state-of-the-art in library science and then convince patrons and citizens that what we do is worthy of their support .” Explaining what is meant by support , he says it comes in many forms: monetary, of course, but also in the form of community pride, recognition of the library as a community asset and volunteerism at the library itself. There have been great changes to the local library during the two decades Paladino has been director, not the least of which has been the move to its current location in the old Morgan School building. That time also spans the monumental transition from the days of card catalogs to the current implementation of computer networking and online access, including the library’s evolving website. With his professional roots extending back to the days of a hand-stamped due date card inserted in a jacket inside the cover of a borrowed book, Paladino has been involved in the implementation of technology virtually from day one. A major part of his first position at the Howell Carnegie Library was to build a network (before online equivalents were available) conducted on co-axial cable allowing management staff to share policy, documents, records and basic communications. While most of his tech skills come from onthe-job experience, he feels lucky to have some


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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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Meeting the community needs of Western Colorado. Volunteers of America is committed to providing the best employment opportunities possible in our communities, this is how we do it: Volunteers of America is one of the largest employers in the counties of Montrose and Delta employing over 550 people. Nearly 100 of those jobs have been newly created in the last four years. Volunteers of America entry level positions are well above minimum wage. Volunteers of America takes a “Grow our own”philosophy, providing training and growth opportunities for its employees. Volunteers of America does business with local companies whenever possible keeping those dollars in our communities.

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Horizons Healthcare & Retirement Community Skilled Nursing Care, Rehabilitation, Memory Care

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

Mary and Paul Paladino enjoy spending quiet time in the atrium of their home, which overlooks the San Juans. (Bruce Grigsby)

native affinity for technology. While he feels the Montrose Regional Library may have a few technology gaps, it is near the leading edge in that regard. He stresses that the application of technology is primarily valuable as a tool to free up library personnel to assist patrons more directly. Assigning the menial burdens of record keeping to computer systems, the library staff can focus on interacting with users at the beginning of the process of finding information rather than the traditional role of monitoring check-out procedures at the end of that process when Paladino notes, “It’s too late to be of much help.” Under Paul Paladino’s direction, the Montrose Regional Library has garnered an impressive number of awards. Clearly one of which he is proudest is the 2011 recognition of the Naturita branch library as Best Small Library in America

by Library Journal, the oldest library publication in the United States, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. For him, it has been literally a hands-on labor of love, having plastered the walls himself. Paladino feels the Naturita branch earned the recognition because of its successful response to the combined challenges of an isolated location, and a state of social and economic depression. The award has been a recognition of creative solutions to problems, starting with the building of an extremely efficient facility which allows a maximum expenditure on what he terms “getting stuff to people.” In 1993, Paladino’s third year as director, the Montrose library received the Colorado Public Library Excellence Award from the Colorado Library Association after circulation increased by

82 percent in two years. That was followed by the Intellectual Freedom Award from the Colorado Library Intellectual Freedom Committee for the local library’s skillful handling of the gargoyle controversy occurring as part of an architecture proposal for the current facility. For Paul Paladino, directing the Montrose Regional Library is not just a career but a very personal passion. Asked if he would like to retire in this job, he unhesitatingly said yes. “I like my job and love this area,” he said. “I keep finding interesting ways to make the library better which are both fun and challenging opportunities to grow with it .” Administrating with a light hand, he says it is his intent to “guide the staff to meet my vision to provide the best possible facility, staff and service.” g


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The events lady

Messenger hooked on excitement, exhilaration of community celebrations by Elaine Hale Jones

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012


hile some people enjoy hiking and biking, gardening or rafting the rapids of the Uncompahgre River, Juli Messenger is hooked on events. “Either I seek out events or events find me,” said the former director of the Montrose Area Merchants Association. “There’s an exciting and exhilarating level of activity during (community) events.” Messenger, along with husband, Don, and daughter, April, made the move to Montrose 20 years ago from Riverside, Calif. They had previously traveled through the Uncompahgre Valley on their way back from a family reunion in Kansas. “We immediately fell in love with Montrose,” she said, adding that when they did make the move to Montrose eight years later, she and her daughter stayed in their camp trailer at Cedar Creek RV Park while her husband sold their home in California. “My heart is here!” she exclaimed. For a number of years, Messenger was involved with the annual Fourth of July Lighter Than Air Balloon Affaire, and most recently with the Montrose Wine and Food Festival and Main in Motion, where she currently serves on the board of directors as treasurer. What does a board member do? “Lots!” she said. “Lots and lots of meetings, lots of planning sessions and dealing with logistical problems.” Two years ago, through a swap with the state Department of Transportation and the San Juan Bypass, a large portion of Main Street was allowed to be closed off during Thursday’s Main in Motion series. The popular summer event , which features art , entertainment and shopping, runs for a total of 12 weeks, covers a sixblock area and attracts crowds of 3,500 to 5,000 to downtown Montrose. “We’ve been struggling to accommodate all the demands since closing Main Street two years ago,” Messenger said. One of the biggest problems has been with the electricity in the downtown area. At times, vendors with heavy appliance loads have had to be relocated. Board members are required to attend every event , and Messenger’s main job has been manning the information booth. Her reward is seeing the event done well and watching the joy on the faces of those who attend, especially those of children. “I love and care about this community, but one of my best roles is as a parent and grandparent to two precious granddaughters,” she said. “It’s great being a grandparent . You get to be a kid again.” Her fun-loving spirit will continue to delight visitors and residents alike as Main in Motion gears up for another summer in downtown Montrose. g

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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where are they now?

The road to contentment Montrose native Sitton finds happiness only after returning from Chicago By Francis Wick


here’s an emotional response that one has to the open landscapes of the West . Just ask Jeremy Sitton. Sitton is a D-bay driver for the Pepsi Distribution Company in Montrose. Dbay drivers stock inventory at local grocery and convenience stores. His territory/ route consists of Montrose, Delta, Naturita, Nucla and Norwood. “I really like the West End,” he said. “They’re very social, and it’s a whole different group of people (over there).” Not only does Sitton find the people interesting, he’s captivated by the open road, the sites and the creation that is unique to Montrose County. Sitton’s path is much like the road he drives every day; familiar but at times challenging, and at this very moment rewarding.

A memorable prank Sitton’s time as a student at Montrose High School, from which he graduated 10 years ago, was fun and memorable. He commiserated with many crowds but considered himself primarily a jock. Sports was something he really enjoyed, mostly when it came to basketball and track; he eventually threw the discus and put the shot at York College in York, Neb. People remember him as a jokester in a good way and a party guy. During his senior year, Sitton and many of his friends climbed the roof of MHS and threw more than 150 rolls of toilet paper from roof to roof, creating a white spider web of toilet paper across the quad. They then moved the heavy trash cans in front of the school doors, making it difficult for people to enter the next morning. The prank took more than two hours to execute, and though an air of suspicion existed, the perpetrators were never identified. Until now, that is.

Finding his backbone Upon graduation, Sitton followed in the same footsteps as his parents, sister and brother in-law, and attended York College. He studied business management and eventually took a job helping less-fortunate people at Mosaic, helping the handicapped.

Jeremy Sitton, now.(Francis Wick)

In 2005, Sitton asked his college sweetheart to marry him, and his proposal was accepted. His wife Erin took a job as a kindergarten teacher in Chicago, and Sitton moved to the Windy City with her, jobless. At first , he took a job at Walmart but the wages were low, so he applied at Home Depot . “At first , I worked in the home and garden section, and within six months, I became department head and assistant manager of the store,” Sitton said. But that climb up the retail ladder was interrupted. On Feb. 14, 2009, Sitton divorced his wife and left his $60,000-a-year job to be with the people he loved and the support system he needed. “My backbone is in Montrose; sister, friends, brother,” he said. “I wanted to be around a support group. They helped put me in a good frame of mind.” It wasn’t just that support group that helped get Sitton back on his feet , he said — he began to put himself out there again, starting to date. “It helped me to see that there are a lot of great people out there,” Sitton said.

Finding an old friend When he first came back to Montrose, Sitton began working for D&G Wrecker Service. He was trying to get back on his feet , playing the dating game and looking to find a home of his own. Then he came across a familiar face on Facebook and friended Kendra Kitsmiller. Kitsmiller had grown up in Montrose and was four grades behind Sitton. Her brothers played sports and had the same friends as Sitton. Kitsmiller, who was living in Loveland and working with troubled young people, happened to visit Montrose a week or so after they began communicating. The two had planned to get together, but Kitsmiller had a number of other plans and commitments. So they arranged for a 15-minute rendezvous at Coffee Trader. That meeting proved fateful, as it didn’t take long for either of them to realize that there was some serious chemistry between them. Not long after their coffee outing, Sitton received a text

35 N. Umcompahgre Montrose, CO 970-765-2029

Jeremy Sitton’s high school senior photo. (Courtesy Photo) message from her, hinting that she wanted to spend more time with him. As it turned out , she and Sitton wound up spending the whole weekend together before her return to Loveland.

Flash forward to a proposal Over the next four to five months, the two continued their budding relationship from afar before Kitsmiller made her way back to Montrose full time by landing a job at the Center for Mental Health. One day, Sitton left a flash card for Kitsmiller that read, “Where would you find a patio swing?” Of course, there was a patio swing at the Sittons’ house. There, she found another flash card, which read, “Where would you connect two wires to ring a door bell?” As Kitsmiller knew, the wiring for the doorbell at her parents’ house didn’t work. When she arrived there, she found one last flash card, which asked, “Where did we have our first kiss?” Off to Hogback Mountain Kitsmiller went , expecting another clue. When she turned the corner at the top of the hill, she saw Sitton waiting for her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. It didn’t

take long for him to come to the point . Sitton got on one knee, smiled at her, expressed his love and asked for Kitsmiller’s hand in marriage. Before a number of friends and family members and some homemade decorations, Sitton and Kitsmiller were married at the Montrose Pavilion in June 2011. “It was awesome! We had all of our good friends. And for the first time in my life, it was perfect , and everything was meant to be,” he said. Ten months later, everything remains great . Sitton has gotten a promotion, Kitsmiller has taken a new job at Child Protection Services and the couple has purchased a house. A lot has changed since those days of mischief at Montrose High. Sitton wasn’t necessarily fond of Montrose at the time, but today he loves it . “There’s a great support group here in Montrose, and we’ll be here for years to come … hopefully with a family of our own,” Sitton said. g

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

| 21

where are they now?

Breaking the rules

Juliet Carr has always lived life on her own terms By Francis Wick It is said that the legendary Ute Chief Ouray once put a curse on the Uncompahgre Valley. “You can leave, but your heart and soul will remain,” he is reported to have said. Those words certainly ring true for Juliet Carr, formerly Kirwan, who left after graduating from Montrose High School in 1992, only to return. Now, she has a deep attachment to this place. “I love the climate, opportunities, people, the friendliness and authenticity of the people,” Carr said. That deep affection for Montrose is something that has grown within Carr, as her story is one of continually evolving and wanting to do more. Carr was born in Pocatello, Idaho, to Tanya and Brad Kirwan. She was accustomed to moving early on in life, explaining that she moved almost every year until the age of 6, when the Kirwans landed in Fillmore in southern Utah. Her grandfather and uncle lived there, and were well-known dentists. It was a place where everyone knew what everyone else was doing, as she described it . That atmosphere was difficult on Juliet and her mother, so three days before her freshman year in high school, her mother put the kids in the car and moved to Montrose. “It was fast and furious, and very exciting to have a fresh start , to be your own person and not the grandchild or niece of someone,” Carr said.

High school days As the new girl just entering high school, Carr found herself in a vulnerable position. She was kind and pretty, but she considered herself bashful. One of Carr’s most profound memories took place at an Elks Dance. Apparently, the fact that she was dancing with some of the boys offended some of the local girls. “Many of the girls thought I was stealing their men,” she said. Consequently, the girls ganged up on Carr and attacked her, which she cited as the worst

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experience of her life to that point . But her relationships with her classmates eventually got better, and Carr went on to become very good friends with Amy Reeves (now Robinson), Abigail Power (now Miles),Traci Lerdall and Stacy Dunn. The group of four used to sit on the floor in the lunch hall watching people walk by. Today, Carr smiles at that memory but questions why she and her friends did it — “And to think it was sanitary,” she said. Carr developed a love for cheerleading, and it was something she did until her junior year at MHS. As with all things, politics apparently played a role in who made the varsity team, and Carr didn’t make the cut . It’s something she says she will never understand, but she was determined not to let that setback stop her. She continued working at it and became a cheerleader at the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo. Despite the rough beginning, her high school days were a wonderful time in Carr’s life, she said. She experienced many things: friends, food, class and her first kiss. During her senior year, Carr did what no good MHS Indian fan would do — she received her first kiss from a boy from Rifle High School during a rivalry football game. “It was great ,” she said. “I learned then the most fun you’ll have is breaking rules.” And that’s exactly what she did.

Off to college In college, Carr pursued majors in English and psychology, though she most enjoyed cheerleading. It was a time of discovery from an intellectual and emotional standpoint . She met her first love, G.L., who played baseball at

Juliet Carr, now. (Katrina Kinsley) USC. She said it was a relationship where you learn about yourself, the challenges you’re willing to face and consider ways of life that you otherwise wouldn’t have known. “G.L. was clean and sober at first , and then he began to drink and do drugs,” she said. “He taught me a lot about life and love and myself.” Carr attributes many of her feelings about family to what she experienced with G.L.’s family. “They [his family] stood by him regardless, and G.L. taught me boundaries,” she said, explaining that those experiences have helped define her perspective. After her time in college, Carr moved to Montana to live with her father. There, she met a man named Nick and began dating him. She then got pregnant with her son, Bryce, and did what she understood everyone expected her to do — she got married. “I got pregnant , so I got married because it was the right thing to do, though I knew it was the wrong thing (for me),” she said. It turned out to be a very challenging time in Carr’s life. Some members of Carr’s family were not understanding of her situation. “Especially from a religious standpoint , you think they’ll (family) be next to you all the time,” she said, yet they shunned her. “It’s the things that people know about you that make them

love you or not .” Nick wasn’t around often, and those circumstances didn’t make for a lasting marriage. Carr became depressed and moved back to the one place she thought of as home — Montrose.

Moving back At 25 years of age, single and delivering pizzas for Domino’s, Carr was trying to find her way. On the plus side, she was near her mother and still had some friends in town. It didn’t take long for her to find her new path. She would occasionally go out with some friends to the Backwoods Inn to dance, and there she was offered a job as a bartender. She gladly accepted. On her first day of work, she met Joel, the owner’s son, and the two immediately began to converse. Joel, though smart and handsome, was younger than Carr. In fact , he was 17 years old at the time. Still, it was apparent from their many conversations that the two were developing a bond. Carr knew she needed to tread lightly as Joel’s parents weren’t pleased by the situation. But that didn’t stop them from becoming an item. They dated for five years before marrying. “We had our first kiss over fudge during the Christmas season,” she said. “My knees went weak, and I knew I was in trouble. We’ve been best friends ever since.” Today, Carr has a wonderful relationship with her in-laws. Joel works for Connors Drilling. They have three beautiful children: 15 year old Bryce, who Joel has raised since he was 18 months old and legally adopted, eight year old Mallory, and five year old Braydon. The Carrs live on a 120-acre ranch in the Shavano Valley, where they grow grass and grass

alfalfa hay. “We’re just a bunch of hillbillies out there, and we love it ,” Carr said.

Kirwan-Carr foundation Depression has been a longstanding theme in Carr’s life. Personally, she dealt with depression after the birth of her first son, Bryce. Her father has been depressed many times and had suicidal tendencies. On Aug. 23, 2006, he put a gun to his head and shot himself. That was an overwhelming experience for Carr. Yet , as luck would have it , he didn’t die. He lived and today has what most people would consider a normal life. Carr reached out to many support groups in the aftermath of that incident and began to see a need to provide help for those surrounded by people affected by depression and suicide. Hence, she founded the Kirwan-Carr Foundation. Carr tried to find a way to increase awareness for those who have been affected by those suffering from depression, attempted suicide and suicide. Today the foundation is no longer functioning, but it was a starting point for Carr. She has since written a book titled “Attempted Suicide: The essential guide book for loved ones.” She’s started a website called, and still maintains this cause as a lifelong calling. There’s still a long road ahead for Juliet KirwanCarr. When asked where she’ll be in five to 10 years, she replied, “I’ll be madly in love with my husband in Montrose. The cool thing is when someone loves you, they know everything about you. I’ll be creating a stronger voice for suicide prevention. I’ll still be a mom; it’s a great adventure, and am grateful they’ve (her children) been patient with me.” g

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Juliet Carr’s high school senior photo.(Courtesy Photo)

(970) 249-6109 • (970) 240-6109 fax 16612 S. Townsend Ave. Montrose, CO 81401 M


Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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where are they now?

Deep roots Fourth-generation resident Smith a Montrosian through and through

By Francis Wick

Robin Smith, then and now.(Katrina Kinsley)

Every Saturday at 6 p.m., you can find Robin Smith (formerly Howard) and her husband Kim listen intently about the Creator at Grace Community Church. She and her family have been attending Grace for the past 18 years. That is no surprise, as Smith is a fourth-generation Montrosian and has seen this little town change a lot in her life.

Growing up Smith grew up on a small farm west of town where her parents still reside. She attended Morgan Elementary School, where the Montrose Regional Library resides today. Growing up, Smith raised sheep and was very active in Future Farmers of America and 4-H. While attending Montrose High School, Smith traveled with the FFA, participating in and judging events around the state.

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

“I showed horses and was really busy,” she said. “I attended a lot of state fairs.” Many of the highlights of Smith’s high school years had to do with FFA. In fact , it was one element of her life where she was not willing to compromise. “Each year, there was a year-end banquet ,” she said. “One day, my little brother came home with chicken pox, and I was horrified that I would miss the banquet . Luckily I got them [chicken pox] three to four days after the banquet .” Another vivid memory Smith has from high school had to do with a Montrose High playoff football game. The Indians were scheduled to play Mullins High School out of Denver. The night before the game, Montrose received a large amount of snow. Many members of the community came out to shovel the snow off the field and show their support for their

beloved high school team. That story was just another reflection of what Montrose was and is about . Smith and her girlfriends Sheri Krueger and Shavna Young used to have slumber parties. They ate a lot of junk food and just got into things. One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is what many local high school students do for fun — cruise Main Street . “We used to cruise from the old Gibson’s to Pizza Hut ,” she said. It was the summer before her senior year when Robin met Kim. “He had a really cool sports car, so I took it upon myself to meet him,” she said, describing the encounter with a mischievous smile.

After high school Six months after graduating, Robin and Kim


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married at the local Christian Church. Within a couple of years, they began a family. Their eldest , Tyler Smith, is now 27 and lives in Denver. He received his bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and a graduate degree in public policy from the University of Denver. Tyler now works for Xcel Energy as a political civic engagement consultant . The youngest child, Tiffany Roshon (formerly Smith), 24, married last fall and also lives in Denver. She received her bachelor’s degree in zoology and biology from Colorado State University. She now works for CrossTex as a supervisor of quality control. But all this success came from the dedication of two loving parents. Some of the best memories of the kids had to do with the numerous activities they were involved with. Kim and Robin were very active in their children’s lives, and high school was a challenge. Apparently, the Smith motto was “Divide and conquer.” Each parent was responsible for chauffeuring and supporting a child’s extracurricular activities.

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One of the most challenging times Robin faced began six years ago when she and Kim had to take care of Kim’s ailing parents. Kim’s mom came down with lung cancer at Thanksgiving of 2006. She passed away on New Year’s Eve that year. Meanwhile, Kim’s father had been battling Alzheimer’s and needed constant care. “We hired help, but he needed so much attention,” she said. They tried to have Kim’s father stay at a care center, but it wasn’t a good fit . At one point , the Smiths had three people caring for Kim’s father at different intervals throughout the day. On May 31, 2007, the elder Smith died. There was a sense of relief from Kim after experiencing his father’s progression of Alzheimer’s.

Today Robin now works for the city of Montrose in the finance department as an analyst . Kim works for 3M here in town. Some of her hobbies include reading political thrillers, going camping, riding ATVs and boating. She’s currently working on a Gonzaga quilt for Tyler that includes many of his old T-shirts. Robin and Kim love to travel and try to make it to Cozumel, Mexico, at least once a year. Most of all, Kim loves her weekends with her girlfriends, Sherri Evans, Nancy Covington, Mary Avery and Priscilla Fishering. They usually get away at least two times a year. Their most recent vacation was to Aspen, where they gossiped, watched movies, ate lots of food that they otherwise wouldn’t and just relaxed, enjoying a good ol’ girls’ weekend. Robin sees herself as retired 10 years from now. She hopes to have grandchildren within the next five years. She loves Montrose because it’s a small town but still progressive. “I can’t believe the changes that have taken place [here],” she said. g


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Must be licensed and certified with an undergraduate or master degree in Athletic Training. Trainers work with young and old athletic, both on and off the field to reduce and treat sports injuries. Athletic Trainers are at most Montrose High School events and after school. In Motion provides this service free to all Re1J athletics. The goal is to provide sports enhancement training to reduce the risk of injury and return the athletic back to participation quickly, but in a manner that is safe for the athletic. Athletic Trainers are critical in long term success and performance, and work closely with therapists, doctors, parents, and coaches.

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Must be a licensed Physical or Occupational Therapist with advanced training specific to upper extremity injuries. The best clinic’s will have one or two Certified Hand Therapist, indicating the highest level of hand therapy care and knowledge. Unique skills are the fabrication of custom splints or orthotics for the hand and arm that promote proper positioning for recovery and rest. Conditions treated : 1. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. 2. Tendonitis of wrist, hand, elbow, or shoulder. 3. Work injuries. 4. Rotator cuff injuries. 5. Arthritis of the thumb and fingers. 6. Sports injuries. 7. Post-surgical management.

611 East Star Ct. Montrose • (970) 249-1646 M


Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

| 25

I The

mportance of eating local

The advantages of consuming locally grown food are numerous

Fall planted garlic grows at Mattics Orchards outside of Olathe in April. The garlic bulbs will be ready for harvest in July.(Katrina Kinsley)

By Katrina Kinsley


round the country, the phrase “Eat local” is becoming a mantra for those concerned not only about the food they use to fuel their bodies, but the health of their community and the environment , as well. Healthier food and better taste are reason enough for many people to choose local, seasonal food. Food grown locally can be picked and sold at the time of ripeness, rather than picked early for transport . Many of the produce items picked prematurely never ripen properly, and both nutrition and flavor are negatively affected. Foods that must be transported long distance often undergo additional processing, such as the application of preservatives and artificial wax, and face exposure to ethylene gas (produced naturally by fruits during the ripening process) to force ripening. Locally grown produce can be picked in the

morning and served on a plate the same day. Kerry Mattics of Mattics Orchards also notes that buying local foods helps keeps costs lower and puts the money spent back into the community. The price Mattics and other growers are paid for produce sold on the wholesale market hasn’t increased significantly in the last 20 years, despite higher production costs and increasing prices at the grocery store. Mattics believes that the rules imposed on the system between the farmer and the plate are responsible for the prices that consumers see in grocery stores. Buying locally grown produce negates that effect somewhat , as growers can sell directly to the consumer and charge fair-market prices — meaning more money goes directly to the farmer, and more money stays within the community. Supporting local farmers also encourages the use of land for farm-

What can you do locally? • Support area farmers and ranchers — Buy locally grown and produced food. In addition to the Montrose Farmers Market and private produce stands, the Valley Food Partnership maintains a list of local foods available in the Uncompahgre Valley. Visit to find everything from herbs and vegetables to meat and dairy products. • Join a CSA — Community supported agriculture educates and encourages participation in the food-growing process. • Start a garden — Start with a windowsill herb garden or container garden on a sunny porch. • Challenge yourself — Participate in a healthy food challenge to eat “clean” for 10 days, meaning no refined sugar and no processed foods. Whole food challenges motivate your family to try new recipes and think about what fuels them. • Get involved — The Valley Food Partnership board is seeking individuals to host benefit farm dinners, assist with fundraising and community awareness projects, help local garden projects, and participate in student education. To volunteer, email

ing, thereby keeping development controlled. There are environmental factors, as well. The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture estimates that the average American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate. Those miles come at the cost of massive amounts of fossil fuels, which is doubly important as gas prices hover near $4 a gallon, and also cause road wear and additional air pollution. While there are many tropical and citrus fruits that are not suitable for Colorado’s climate, most local food advocates don’t ask that those foods be given up — rather, that they be used to supplement local food sources and that local foods be eaten when possible. Rather than limiting one’s palate, eating locally grown produce can actually expand it , as there are many produce items that do not transport well, so they cannot be found in stores. Western Slope residents are lucky to live in an area with a wide and varied amount of available produce, as well as the means to purchase it locally. Mattics Orchards has been a mainstay in the Montrose market for years. Although the famous Mattics stand has been ousted from its San Juan Avenue and Main Street location by the incoming Taco John’s restaurant , buyers still will be able to purchase produce at the farm, as well as at the stand’s new location, yet to be determined. Mattics also sells other local products at his stand, such as Hartman jams & jellies, honey from the All Around Bee Co., and goat’s milk soap by Mim-by-Kim. Mattics, who grows on land formerly farmed by his father Pete, raises cool-weather items such as salad greens, radishes and carrots in his greenhouses before switching to outdoors to plant the remainder of his crops and harvest his 10 acres of


Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

| 27

orchards. The big draws — tomatoes, sweet corn and peaches — are what bring the buyers in, but the wide variety of available foods keep them coming back. Visitors are welcome at the farm, located at 8163 High Mesa Road in Olathe, during the summer season from 9 a.m. until dusk daily. Mattics recommends that visitors call the farm at 3235657 during the off season, or if they’re searching for something in particular, before coming out . One of the most convenient ways to purchase locally grown produce and meat is the Montrose Farmers Market . With year-round vendors totaling between 25 and 40, consumers can find the widest variety of fresh seasonal produce, locally grown meats and handmade goods in one central location — South First Street and Uncompahgre Avenue at Centennial Plaza. The 2012 summer market opened May 12 and will continue to be open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday until Oct . 27. The market will also be open Wednesdays starting July 20. This year, the farmers market will be implementing a new online market system in an attempt to increase vendor sales and increase traffic, according to market manager Abbie Brewer. Vendors will provide weekly reports on the products they will have available, giving customers the opportunity to pre-purchase their selections. Vendors will then package the reserved items to be picked up after noon at the Saturday market . The project will begin in June, with a 90-day test and evaluation period. For more information and a list of vendors,

visit www.montrosefarmersmarket .com. The Montrose Farmers Market is also an organizational member of the Valley Food Partnership, a group that collaborates with various growers, ranchers and consumers to increase the consumption of local products. Sponsored by the Montrose Community Foundation, the Valley Food Partnership’s mission is to “grow a healthy community by connecting local farms to forks.” The group seeks to increase consumption of local foods by 30 percent by 2014. Their efforts include supporting local growers and producers, and educating the community. Events such as benefit farm dinners and garden projects increase awareness, and provide funding for further education. Several local institutions and restaurants have committed to buying local produce when available to serve their customers. Montrose Memorial Hospital and the Montrose County School District , both of which are members of the Valley Food Partnership, purchase seasonal foods such as salad greens, spinach, tomatoes, apples, pears and cucumbers from Mattics. Many supporters of local eating believe it helps us develop a healthy connection to the food we eat , the people who grow it and the land it’s grown on. That may not appeal to everyone, but if you have any doubts about the local food movement , buy a commercially grown tomato and another grown in Montrose County, and let your tastebuds decide. g

Pearl Hunt, left, and her husband Joe scour through a crate of Olathe Sweet Corn while A graph shows estimated seasons for various produce in our area. (Courtesy Image / Mon- looking for produce items at Mattics Orchards Premier Produce stand. (Daily Press trose Farmer’s Market) File Photo)

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

Here at the Hampton “Hometown” Inn, we are honored for the opportunity to serve Montrose and our regional communities, as well as international travelers, with a extraordinary hospitality experience. Located next to the Montrose Regional Airport and the Black Canyon Jet Center, we strive to exceed the highest expectations of corporate and leisure guests. Though we are often mistaken for a corporate-owned property, as Hilton Worldwide owns the Hampton Inn franchise, we are locally owned and operated.”

magazine as a valued new media option to profile “Life in Montrose”. This inaugural issue of “M” is a timely option for us to address questions we are frequently asked as our hotel guests and regional community members consider who we are, and what we do to mutually support our local economy, and the civic, cultural and charitable organizations which enhance our quality of life in Western Colorado. WHO OWNS AND MANAGES THE HAMPTON INN? Doug Casebier, a native of Montrose, is the Managing Member of the ownership group. His company D&K CMI, constructed the Hampton Inn in 2005, and has built 84 hotels nationally from headquarters located in Montrose. Though Casebier has operated the hotel since opening, he has been directly involved in daily operations since 2009. DOES LOCAL OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT MATTER? Investing in the community of Montrose, as well as our regional neighbors, is a core value of the Hampton Inn’s “Hometown” business model. Because we are locally owned and operated, we are deeply committed to the economic success of our region, and have a track record of being integrated into the fabric of true community values- which includes support of numerous civic, academic, sports, and charitable organizations. “Think Globally – Act Locally” is a timely axiom that reflects the emphasis community leaders place on the importance of spending locally, in locally owned businesses. This action assures the maximum multiplier effect of circulating locally earned dollars within the same economic community - a significant factor in our shared economic success. WHO RECOGNIZED HAMPTON INN MONTROSE AS #1 IN COLORADO? Hilton Worldwide identified the Hampton Inn Montrose as #1 of 18 Hampton Inns in Colorado for 2012 1st Quarter, based on ‘Total Quality Scores’ - which include extensive guest satisfaction scoring. The Montrose Hampton Inn was also recognized as #170 of more than 1100 Hampton Inns nationally, based on the TQS, in the 1st Quarter. 2012 represents the seventh year in which the Hampton Inn Montrose has been continually recognized in the top echelons of all Hampton Inns nationally. In 2007, barely 18 months after opening, we achieved Hilton’s highest recognition, a “Connie” award, which identified the Hampton Inn Montrose as the #3 Hampton Inn in America. In 2011 and 2012 the Hampton Inn brand was recognized as the #1 Franchise in America by Entrepreneur magazine - yet another qualitative measure of the consistent Hilton hotel standards which our guests have come to expect and enjoy. SHOULD J.D. POWER’S RECOGNITION OF THE HAMPTON INN BRAND MATTER TO ME? Hampton Inn was one of five hotel brands named to J.D Power’s “2012 Customer Service Champions”. Fifty hotel brands were considered when comparing five key areas that comprise customer service: people, presentation, price, process and product. J.D. Power reported that “when it comes to price, customers don’t simply want the cheapest property, they are looking for the best value. What the top five hotel brands did was offer value and expand the amenities they offered to help guests better evaluate the worth of their stay”. Montrose’s Hampton “Hometown” Inn exemplifies J.D. Power’s evaluation of enhancing the customer experience with an exceptional “Hamptonality” team, who go consistently above and beyond expectations to deliver personalized service to hotel guests. WHY DOES “HOMETOWN” MATTER TO HOTEL GUESTS? “Hometown”, as designated by Hilton, is a unique Hampton Inn hotel design which conserves energy and resource use by reducing the hotel ‘footprint’ by approximately 20% from other Hampton Inn hotels. The tangible benefit to our guests of the ‘Hometown’ design, with only 64 hotel rooms, is a more residential feel. Our “hometel” ambiance, offers a warm, boutique hotel feel, rather than an imposing lobby and public areas which result in wasting excessive energy. “Hometown” also defines our local operating values, including many “green” initiatives that create a healthier environment for employees, as well as guests.

“GREEN”…MEANS MANY THINGS TO MANY PEOPLE. WHY SHOULD IT MATTER TO HOTEL GUESTS AND EMPLOYEES? Hampton Inn Montrose uses 100% “green” (aka environmentally- friendly) cleaning agents for the property, and in our on-site linen laundry. As a result our guests and employees are not exposed to harsh chemical elements which may affect their health. A core value of the Hampton Inn brand is the “Take Care” program, which promotes resource conservation throughout the hotel, including biodegradable food service wares. Hilton recently introduced a unique recycling station design, which will soon be located in public meeting areas for guest and employee use. By changing to a locally owned Montrose operator in 2011 we were able to achieve a cost-effective means to recycle all cardboard and newspapers - which reduces our waste sent to the landfill. In conjunction with Hilton’s internationally acclaimed “Light Stay” program, all of our energy and resource uses are tracked and managed to assure we are delivering the lightest energy ‘foot-print’ possible. Green is also the color of the Montrose Local Card, which provides us a timely means to offer special savings and meeting room values for guests. Local Cards are offered as benefit to business members of the Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism, and are available for free access by (regional) locals. National and internationally use is made possible through many community’s ‘Chamber of Commerce’ offerings. The Local Card has proved to be an innovative means to connect with our guests and offer timely values – including special pricing for your weekend lodging and extended-stay airport parking. COMING in MAY 2012. We have partnered with numerous Montrose and regional businesses, to offer significant savings and easy access to the vast opportunities to “Look Deeper” into the amazing recreational experiences and terrific shopping venues available year-round to our Montrose visitors. WHAT ELSE CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE NEW AT THE HAMPTON INN MONTROSE? In 2012 our “Hometown” experience will be enhanced by an exciting new “Take Flight” themed lobby and meeting space design - one that is chic, yet warm and casual. Guests will also enjoy greater connectivity as a result of free access to improved high-speed internet. HD television service and enhanced channel selection on flat screens TVs will soon be made possible by extension of fiber optics to the hotel. Renovation of our exercise facility to a new ‘Jump Start Fitness’ design will assure that guests have the newest and finest exercise options to stay fit while traveling. A sumptuous new “Serenity” design for renovation of all guest rooms is now in the planning stage. The “Cloud Nine” bedding program, a superior feature of Hampton Inn hotels, continues with fresh daily laundering of our luxurious duvets. Numerous guest rooms will soon offer the convenience of reserving in-room refrigerators and micro-waves. To benefit our employees we have initiated a new wellness program, which will support them in sharing a message of personal health options, opportunities and responsibilities with their family and community. We are also developing a series of “Financial Literacy” programs to offer, free of charge to guests and employees, to assist in proactively meeting the realities of today’s money management challenges.

Team Hampton invites you to visit where you are assured of receiving the best savings, and ease of hotel reservation management. Adjacent to Montrose Regional Airport 1980 North Townsend Montrose Colorado

970-252-3300 M

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012


Team Hampton is pleased for this opportunity to support the launch of “M”

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Baby beets, bok choy and other leafy greens await pickup at the Circle A Gardens CSA. (Katrina Kinsley)

Too busy

for a garden?

CSA membership a good way to have access to fresh, plentiful produce By Katrina Kinsley


or those looking to take more of an active role in how they get their food but who don’t have the time or space for a full garden, community-supported agriculture membership is a good option. Gaining popularity over the last 20 years, CSAs provide shares to their members, which translate to a pre-determined amount of

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

produce grown fresh and picked up weekly. Circle A Gardens in Montrose has produced a market garden for nearly 40 years and started a CSA seven years ago, averaging 35 members per year. Betsy Austin, who owns the farm with her mother and sister, said that 75 percent of the members are repeat customers, with 50 percent being

involved yearly from the beginning. They provide three sizes of membership to accommodate various family sizes and eating habits, and the season runs 37 weeks from early April to the middle of December. Not only is a CSA a good way to get local produce, it’s a great way to try new foods. Circle A Gardens will be growing more than 100

kinds of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Members are given options to mix and match their produce choices each week dependent upon what is ready for harvest . In addition to the membership fee, members are required to contribute 12 hours to helping out in the gardens. “The work requirement reconnects people with their food

source,” Austin said. “What better way to do that than to play in the dirt?” Members assist on projects around the farm according to their physical capacity, individual skills and strengths, and seasonal need. Austin said their goal is to reach 45 to 50 members, and Circle A Gardens will continue to take new members until all of the available spaces are filled, with prices being prorated for late starters. The organization also welcomes tours to enable people to see where their food comes from and what goes into growing healthy, sustainable crops. Buckhorn Gardens also provides a 21-week CSA membership for $700, providing a wide variety of greens, vegetables and melons for approximately $33 per week. One membership share is generally considered a generous amount for a couple and suitable for a family of four to have a few meals. But produce farmers aren’t the only ones providing CSA memberships. Kinikin Heights focuses on raising natural sheep, swine and beef, and is now providing a winter meat CSA with options for membership size and pickup location. For more information about CSAs, visit www. localharvest .org/csa. To become a member of the CSA or schedule a tour of Circle A Gardens, call 249-9725 or visit www.circleagarden. com. For more information about Buckhorn Gardens CSA membership, call 240-8715 or email To purchase naturally fed meat products or learn more about Kinikin Heights CSA, visit g

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Betsy Austin of Circle A Gardens restocks early spring vegetables and plants for CSA member pickup on a Saturday morning. (Katrina Kinsley) 970-249-6691• 2262 E. Main • Montrose M

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012


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Keeping it Increasing number of Montrose restaurants favor home-grown products


By Katrina Kinsley


here are a number of reasons to buy local produce and natural meats when they’re seasonally available. For Brendan Lore of Pahgre’s, using local produce is about better-tasting food and supporting local agriculture by keeping dollars within the community. “A tomato grown two miles from here tastes a lot better than one that travels 1,500 miles,” Lore said. “They don’t get processed or exposed to ethylene gas.” Lore started using local products at the restaurant during the first winter season, purchasing organic gourmet garlic through Straw Hat Farm. By the following summer, Pahgre’s was purchasing any local produce available for its dishes and has continued to do so. Lore strongly believes that having a local food system is important to communities. “The national food system is set up so one weather event wreaks havoc with the whole system,” Lore said. “When we have a huge food system that isn’t regionally based, prices can skyrocket because of one hiccup.” The cost of fuel, currently on the rise, also greatly affects prices on transported food. Supporting Montrose agriculture by purchasing from local producers keeps small farms in business — which means that when other regions get hit by catastrophic events, local food systems can carry on and support the community. The costs are comparable but with less fluctuation, and the quality is much better. Lore mentioned a freeze last year that caused prices on tomatoes to

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

Simmer’s “Hevon” burger, featuring Kinikin Heights hevon beef and Colorado local blue cheese on a Straw Hat Farm sesame focaccia bun, served with a fresh salad using Straw Hat kale and greens. (Katrina Kinsley)

Business & Office SystemS in Montrose



Copiers • Printers Fax Machines • Shredders Office Supplies Calculators

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(970) 240-1720 Toll Free 1-888-240-1720


jump from $18 per crate to $60 nationally, but because local produce wasn’t affected, prices didn’t jump on produce grown in the Uncompahgre Valley. Lore has also supported local growers by hosting a farm dinner in connection with the Valley Food Partnership and noted that more than half the proceeds went toward education and marketing for the local foods movement . “It’s important to get this information out there,” he said. Chef/sommelier Donn Wagner of Simmer also stresses the importance of using local foods at his restaurant , located at 320 E. Main St . in downtown Montrose. “We use as much local produce and protein as we can,” Wagner said. “I’ve always tried to support local farms.” Both the Simmer main menu and signature server menu, which changes weekly, make use of local products whenever seasonally available. Wagner believes local produce is the best choice for a number of reasons, freshness being No. 1. He chooses organic foods from growers such as Borden Farms, Straw Hat Farm, Buckhorn Gardens, Kinikin Heights and growers in the nearby North Fork Valley. Using the freshest food available is important for Wagner, who wants to know that the food he uses hasn’t sat in a warehouse or truck. Nutritional and vitamin content are also greater in fresh foods. Another reason Wagner stresses the importance of local foods is knowledge. By developing a relationship with local food providers, he knows exactly where his ingredients have been and how they were grown — allowing Wagner to accommodate special requests from customers with food allergies or intolerances. The result? “Customer confidence,” Wagner said. “I can tell them what’s in the product and where it came from.” Pahgre’s is located south of Montrose at 1541 Oxbow Drive. A menu and delivery information is available at, or call 2496442. More information about Simmer, including menu information and table reservations, can be found at or by calling 252-1152. g

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Maintaining the local “farm to table connection” is an important factor for Simmer. (Katrina Kinsley)

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

| 33




Amy McBride and her father, Roger Loper, have spent a decade foraging for wild mushrooms in the mountains around Montrose. (Katrina Kinsley )

McBride’s passion for fungi has been honed By Katrina Kinsley over the last dozen years


my McBride spent a lot of time in the forests with her family as a child. But like most people, she didn’t realize the bounty she was walking past until about 12 years ago. At that time, her father, Roger Loper, took up mushroom hunting as a hobby when he returned to Western Colorado. Spending time with her father in the woods was important , so McBride joined him on mushroom hunts, and he taught her to identify local fungi species. Her enthusiasm for the hunt grew from there, and she’s shared her passion with her sons, now 12 and 15, by taking them out mushroom hunting since they were little. She shares her enthusiasm and knowledge with people outside of her family, as well. “People get my name, they know that I hunt mushrooms, so I get calls wanting me to help them identify what they’ve collected,” McBride said. McBride donates her services as a guide to charities such as the Montrose Community Foundation and Hospice and Palliative Care for silent auctions, generally fetching $100 to $130 for each. So far, she has three guided hikes lined up for this summer, which will include mushroom hunting and a gourmet picnic of wild mushroom quiche in the woods. She’s even gone so far as to put together her own guide for identifying her three favorite varieties, which also includes photos, recipes and even poems on the subject of mushrooms. Her favorites — chanterelles, king boletes and hedgehogs — are her favorites for both their flavor and their easy identifiability. And that latter is especially important when mushroom hunting. “My great uncle liked mushroom hunting, too … but he wasn’t very good at it . He had to have his stomach pumped a few times,” McBride noted. While many varieties of mushrooms are dangerous or even deadly to eat , a little knowledge goes a long way. These three types of fungi, which are readily available in the mountains around Montrose, have distinguishing features and few unsafe look-alikes. • Chanterelles (cantharellus ciborium) are perhaps the easiest to identify, and with their delicate, almost fruity flavor and apricot smell, they’re a popular species for beginners. They tend to grow in patches and are reliable year to year, regardless of weather conditions or moisture, and are often found near spruce groves. Chanterelles have a golden to light-

Penne al Funghi Boletus

1/4 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil 4 fresh bolete mushrooms, sliced 1 garlic clove, minced 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley 1/2 cup white wine 1 cup chopped, peeled tomatoes, drained 1 pound dry penne pasta salt and black pepper, to taste 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus more for passing

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté the sliced mushrooms with the garlic and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates. Add the tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the pasta until al dente; drain and add pasta plus cheese to the base. Let cook for 2 additional minutes at low heat. Taste for seasoning. Serve very hot, with additional cheese for topping. — Amy McBride

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

orange color, and have ridges rather than gills, which do not end at the stem join but rather run down into the stem. • King boletes (boletus edulis) are also found near spruce trees, but differ greatly in appearance from chanterelles. King boletes have an almost cartoon mushroom appearance with a large, rounded cap and thick stem. The cap is a dark, reddish-brown color with a lighter stem. Rather than gills, the underside of the cap looks like a sponge. The king bolete does have a related look-alike called the aspen bolete. Aspen boletes, or orange caps, are similar in shape to the king bolete but have a lighter tan/orange cap and thinner stem, and are generally found near aspen groves instead of spruce trees. Another tell is that the king bolete should stay white when cut open, while the aspen bolete will turn dark gray. While not considered poisonous, the aspen variety is more likely to cause gastric distress in individuals. Another mushroom that may be confused for the king bolete is the fly agaric, which is classified as poisonous. However, the fly agaric can be distinguished by its cap — which is more red than brown and typically has white spots, and a white-gilled, rather than spongy, underside. • The shingled hedgehog mushroom (sarcodon imbricatus) is often found in the same area as king boletes and has no known look-alikes. The wide, somewhat-flat brown caps have darker brown scales or shingles, and the underside has small spines — hence the nickname hedgehog. It has a very firm texture and a deep, woodsy flavor. This variety is edible, but is known to cause gastric distress for some.

Resources “Mushrooms of Colorado and the Southern Rocky Mountains” by Vera Stucky Evanson ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Mushroom hunting rules to live by:

“When in doubt, throw it out” and “Red means dead.” ___________________________________________________________________________________________

Other foods that can be foraged in Western Colorado: (as with mushrooms and other wild foods, only eat things that you have positively identified)

Wild asparagus - Grows along irrigations ditches, best in early spring before it goes to seed around the same time weeds are burned. Use common sense: no trespassing, cut the stalks and don’t clear out an entire area. Stinging nettles - Wear gloves to harvest and handle, as the hairs covering the plant cause severe irritation, thorough cooking neutralizes the toxicant. Can be used in soups, in place of spinach greens, or made into tea. Dandelion leaves - Harvest in early spring before flowering, and only from areas that have not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. Can be eaten raw in salads, steamed or sautéed. Berries - Wild currants, chokecherries, raspberries and strawberries can be found around Ouray and into the San Juans. It’s important to keep in mind that even mushrooms that are considered safe to eat can cause an allergic reaction or intestinal distress to some individuals. After positively identifying a new mushroom variety, only a small portion should be ingested and a period of 24 hours observed to wait for any type of reaction or illness. Of these varieties, hedgehogs are most likely to cause illness in approximately half of the people who try them. As with many hunters, mushroom hunters have secret sweet spots, but McBride was willing to share one of her favorite general areas — the middle fork of the Cimarron. She noted that these varieties can be found almost anywhere around Montrose starting higher than 7,000

cantharellus ciborium (Photos courtesy of

boletus edulis

feet in elevation, including Grand Mesa, the Uncompahgre Plateau and all around the Telluride area. The peak time to hunt these varieties is in August and September. There is also hunting etiquette to keep in mind. “Never clear out an entire area,” McBride reminded fellow hunters. “And cut them off, don’t pull them out of the ground.” Cutting the mushrooms allows the mycelium to stay behind, which essentially acts as a root system for the mushrooms and lets them respawn in the same area year after year. “The part that you see is the fruit ,” she added. McBride suggests that prospective hunters put together a kit consisting of a pocket knife, a large canvas bag,

smaller paper bags and a pen. “Put the mushrooms from an area into individual paper bags,” McBride recommended. “Then, label the paper bags with the location and conditions where they were found, such as ‘in the shade’ or ‘near pines.’ “ She also advised hunters to never store their mushrooms in plastic bags. McBride hopes to branch out this summer and start gathering new varieties of mushrooms as she grows more comfortable with identifying them. “One of the things I love about mushrooms is there’s still a lot to learn about them,” she said. “The edibility is still unknown for a lot of varieties. I like their mystery.” g

sarcodon imbricatus


Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

Out and about with the

Montrose Downtown

Singh brothers

Sons of medical professionals have already gotten a good look at the world


Enjoy this award-winning summer festival with a stroll along Main Street and enjoy entertainment, shopping, restaurants, and more! Every Thursday, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm from June 7 to Aug 23 Join us for “History and Happenings with a Hometown Flaire”

The Montrose Farmers Market brings together the best produce and crafts the Western Slope has to offer in one great location.

By Will Hearst


he Singh brothers — Vijay, Arjun and Liam — have many tales of faraway adventures, as well as the stamped-up passports to prove it . Their parents, both of whom work in the medical field, volunteer for programs that provide medical care in remote corners of the globe. In exchange for their experiences and school absences, the boys often bring their photos and treasures back to the classroom upon returning, giving their peers a closer look at places like Bhutan and Peru. While Vijay and Arjun discussed whether surfing in Nicaragua or seeing temples in Cambodia was more fun, they took to the soccer field for some one-on-one action. Liam, the youngest at 11, said the beaches of Central America are fun, but Cambodia offered something different . “It was more the concept ,” he said. “The people in Cambodia seem happier, even though they have less stuff. I learned a lot from that trip.” All three boys feel very fortunate about their travels. “The experience of seeing the world is great ,” Vijay said. “I see how it is different here and how we are privileged to live the way we do.” Arjun, who is 14, added, “I think it’s great that my parents are able to help people out in lessfortunate places.” Like many brothers close in age, the Singhs

are a competitive bunch. Mostly they use this to their advantage on the soccer field. Sports keep them busy when they are home in Montrose. Vijay, the oldest at 16, has fun with the sibling rivalry. “We are always trying to out do each other,” he said. “My brothers are always looking up for a chance to beat me — but it’s probably never going to happen!” Liam noted there are some down sides to being the youngest , but he hinted that keeping up with his brothers, on and off the field, makes him who he is. “I really look up to them,” he said. “We don’t always get along, but it’s a great overall experience.” Sports are just another thing that brings the family together. Their parents have coached them at various levels — something their mother, Dr. Gayle Frazzetta, says, “is good … most of the time.” She also noted the entire family goes snowboarding together. With all their globetrotting experiences, the Singh bothers are happy to call Montrose home. “I love Montrose, I love the diversity and there is always something to do,” Vijay said. This summer, the boys look forward to some hiking and biking around Montrose, spending time with friends — and making a trip to India. g

The Singh Brothers, from left, Vijay, Liam and Arjun spend some time together before a soccer match. (Will Hearst)

Every Saturday, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm from May 12 to Oct 27 Every Wednesday, 8:30 am - 1:00 pm from July 20 to Sept 28 Along S. 1st & Uncompahgre at the new Events Plaza.

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Montrose Downtown is an exciting place to eat, drink, shop, celebrate, invest, live, play and do business. M


Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

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knows who she is

Kelly Marston is in her element with only a pencil and notebook. (Will Hearst)

Early adversity has made sixth-grader Kelly Marston secure in her identity 38 | M

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

By Will Hearst


hat makes someone a good writer? Is it a gift for crafting words, an acute eye for detail or perhaps a wealth of life experience? It’s all those things for Centennial sixthgrader Kelly Marston, who is wrapping up her first book. She is already well on her way to becoming a complete writer. Kelly is planning to call the book “Freaks, Geeks and Weirdos.” The book comes with a powerful message for her peers, some of who she refers to as “wanna be’s.” It isn’t that they are inferior, she said, but she has noticed some her friends trying to be someone they’re not . Kelly already has turned her observations skills on herself and believes she knows what she is and what she is not . She laughed when she said she is not much of a singer or a painter. But those who know her are proud of what she has become, especially considering the obstacles she has faced. Kelly, a good student and writer, is also a cancer survivor. At the age of 7, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Kelly spent most of second and third grade in a wheelchair, and her presence in class during that time was a rarity. “It was awesome when I made it to class because everyone was so excited to see me,” she said. According to her mother Beth, “We just tried to keep some normalcy in our lives despite continuous trips to the Children’s Hospital in Denver and Grand Junction for treatments.” Beth is proud of the way both her daughters responded during that trying time. Kelly’s sister Rachel continued to get straight A’s throughout the treatment process. Kelly said she has looked up to Rachel all her life. The future writer didn’t let her illness get her down. She said it was hard sometimes not being able to play with her friends, but she continued fighting the leukemia. That struggle was a success, and she has been cancer free for the last three years. Her experiences have left her with an infectious attitude on life. Although Kelly still has to return to Denver for the occasional check-up, she doesn’t use her illness as an excuse for anything. “Kelly participates in physical education classes, even though she could be medically excused,” her mother said. Kelly loves her family, pets and school — especially reading and writing. In everything she does, she likes to step back and observe, a process that allows her to devise an eloquent description of what she is seeing. “Writing is also a really good way to to get out my feelings. If I’m upset , it’s a great way to express myself,” she said. g

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

| 39

Life on the run MHS senior Zach Nadiak has no time to dwell on the past

Zach Nadiak has a last look over the Montrose High School campus before graduating on to new adventures. (Will Hearst)

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

By Will Hearst


ach Nadiak has enjoyed his time at Montrose High School, but his forward style of thinking makes him focus on the adventures yet to come as graduation approaches. Nadiak takes full advantage of of Montrose’s location and the recreational opportunities the nearby mountains and rivers provide. “It’s a cool place to live,” he said. “There are lots of great things to do close by.” When he is not at soccer or track practice, Nadiak can be found on his bike, his skis or on top of a mountain. Colorado has 54 14,000-foot peaks, and Nadiak has been on top of nearly half of them. In early June, he and his family will travel to Washington to tackle Mt . Rainier — a difficult climb that Nadiak estimates will take at least two days. “The route we are doing is pretty straightforward — although we will bring ice axes and crampons,” he said. This summer will not be all fun and games for Nadiak, who is preparing for his freshman year at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has accepted a summer internship with the Bureau of Land Management as a biological aid. He will be administering plant and wildlife surveys on some of the public lands that surround Montrose. For Nadiak and his family, nature is something to be both enjoyed and understood. His father is a science teacher. While Nadiak has not officially chosen an area of study for the next four years, he is leaning toward environmental engineering or natural resources. “I am also going to play club soccer in Boulder,” he said. Despite suffering an injury, Nadiak helped the Montrose High School soccer team to an undefeated season last fall before the Indians were upset in the first round of the state tournament . But he is not one to dwell in the past , as his plans do not give him time for that . Nadiak hopes to mountain bike the 142-mile Kokopelli Trail, a bike route that links Loma to Moab, Utah. The trail takes the average rider five to six days. Nadiak said he was thinking about taking a weekend for it . “One thing I think will take him far in life is that fact that he isn’t afraid to be different from others,” said his father, Mike Nadiak. “He is able to go out of his comfort zone. He has figured out that it is good to push yourself, and those who do are rewarded.” Wherever the future takes him — be it a remote mountain peak or the classrooms of the CU campus — you can expect Nadiak to put all his energy into his undertakings and still have time left over to return to his family and hometown of Montrose. g

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Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

| 41

From the Bronx to


“Attitude” Poured watercolor/traditional watercolor painting

Painter Morris didn’t develop comfort with art until later in life


By Lu Anne Tyrrell

ew York’s the Bronx is well known as the home of the New York Yankees and the Bronx Zoo, and as a borough rich in ethnicity. For Montrose resident Roxanne Morris, the Bronx is the place where she started her life and grew up. A proud, self-proclaimed “Bronxite,” Morris traveled many miles around the world before landing nine years ago in Montrose. Now well known for her watercolor paintings, Morris’ creative side didn’t come through until much later in her life. Up to that point , she had worked as a registered nurse and enjoyed the variety that career afforded her. With a desire to experience different cultures, Morris traveled to Israel and hitchhiked through Africa, “which I would never suggest for my own children,” she said with a bright smile. Later, intending to make a trip to California, she stopped in Colorado and didn’t get any further. Walsenburg was her first stop, though she wound up later in Glenwood Springs — a town that helped jump start her latent creative side. It was during her stay there that she also met her future husband, Allan. “I was very removed from the art world, and

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Morris uses liquid watercolor paints and a pouring technique to create her signature art style. (Lu Anne Tyrrell)

Surrounded by inspiration in her bright and colorful home studio, Morris’s artistry come alive. (Lu Anne Tyrrell)


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“Autumn Colors” traditional watercolor painting Around the Corner Life Drawing every 1st and 3rd Monday, 6-9 p.m.; we provide a model, but no instructor, $20. Space is limited. Friday, June 1 - Sunday, June 3 – “Out Yonder With Camera and Canvas,” a special combined workshop of plein aire painting and photography with Barbara Churchley and Phil Ward, $275. 447 E. Main St., Montrose • The Canyon Gallery Wine tasting provided by the Pour House each Thursday during Main in Motion from 5:30-8 p.m. Friday, June 1, 5:30-8 p.m. – Gallery Reception and wine tasting featuring photographer Dusty Demerson. Friday, July 6, 5:30-8 p.m. – Gallery Reception featuring dance performances by Black Canyon Cultural Arts, light refreshments will be served. Friday, August 3, 5:30-8 p.m. – Gallery Reception, light refreshments will be served. 300 E. Main St., Montrose • A+Y Design Gallery Participating in First Friday events on the first Friday of every month from 5:30-8 p.m., featuring artists of the month, wine tastings from local wineries, and light snacks. Open late for Main In Motion with artist demos in front of the gallery. 513 Main St., Montrose • Amazing Glaze: Open Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday is Ladies Night, open until 9 p.m.; Sun 1-5 p.m. 219 W. Main St., Montrose • The Pickled Painter: Open Tues-Wed 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Thur-Fri 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 209 W. Main St., Montrose •

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art was an accident for me,” Morris said. “It all started when I enrolled in an art class at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood, and the first two classes, I literally cried.” But Morris was persistent , later experiencing an “ah-ha” moment halfway through the class. She wound up embracing her creative side, taking more classes and workshops and becoming deeply involved in the Glenwood Springs Art Guild. At that point , husband Allan decided to sell his Glenwood Springs salvage yard and join his wife in retirement . The Morrises then scouted out a location for their retirement residence. “We had two prerequisites — the community had to offer an active art guild and a car club for Allan’s love of the automobile,” Morris said. Montrose met those criteria, and when the couple spotted a “For sale by owner” sign on an attractive house during a drive through Montrose County, they knew they had found their new home. “We wrote them a check for the house that day,” Morris said. For the last nine years, Morris has honed her talent as a watercolor artist , becoming

a regular in the Montrose Visual Art Guild’s popular “Art in Motion” series. She also has continued to evolve through the many training sessions and workshops that MVAG offers, making landscapes and flower scenes her “signature” subjects while employing a “pouring” technique. “I like the transparency and layering ability that pouring has allowed me,” she said. Although well known locally for her watercolors, Morris also has been enjoying the “instant gratification” of digital photography since her husband presented her with a camera. The scenic backdrop of their home in the county presents many photography opportunities. “I originally took pictures to render from,” she said of her watercolors. “Composition is the same for both mediums.” A pin Morris wears that was a gift from her mother always puts a smile on her face and reminds her of her personal journey. “Have fun with art ,” it states. “Art has become my life lesson,” Morris said. Morris’ watercolors are available at the Around the Corner Gallery, 447 Main St . For more information on her work in the guild’s “Art in Motion” program, visit g

Taking precautions Several factors make it important to take care of your skin in Montrose


By Will Hearst

ot long ago, members of the Montrose medical community recognized a need for a local dermatologist , as they were often forced to send patients to Grand Junction for skin treatment . Since then, the community has added two talented skin specialists in Dr. Jennifer Haley and Dr. Renata Raziano. There are several reasons Montrose requires such skilled professionals. Many people choose to live on the Western Slope for the great weather and its unmatched recreation opportunities. But , according to Raziano, at nearly 6,000 feet above sea level, our area has considerably less atmosphere to filter out the sun’s UV rays — most notably the UVA rays. Haley, who has studied and practiced in such sunny locales as Hawaii and Southern California, has observed a greater number of sun-related skin problems here in Colorado. The high altitude, combined with the passion many locals have for outdoor recreation, plus a growing retired population, means Montrose residents need to take the Dr. Jennifer Haley (Courtesy Photo) proper precautions to protect their skin this summer. Both skin professionals encourage those who enjoy the outdoors to dress appropriately. Wide-brim hats, sleeves and even sun gloves provide the best protection, they say. Haley recommends that people make it a habit to put sunscreen on everyday, even if they are not recreating or working in the yard. “The UVA rays penetrate right through a car’s window. I have seen more and more people with skin cancers on the left side of their face from spending so much time in their car during the day,” Haley said. When it comes to choosing a sunscreen, it is important to find one that protects for both UVA and UVB rays, Raziano said, noting that it is important to apply the substance every couple of hours, especially if you are on the water, where the protective layer not only wears off, but the sun’s rays are reflected from the water’s surface. Haley said it is important to look for a lotion that has at least 5 percent zinc. “People with dark skin are still susceptible to skin cancer,” Raziano said. “There is no such thing as a safe tan.” She added one more tip for active sun seekers. “Keep sunscreen in several different places so that it is convenient to use,” she said. The recreation Dr. Renata Raziano at her office in Montrose. (Will Hearst) opportunities that

Skin professionals recommend a sunscreen of at least 30 SPF that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. (Will Hearst)

abound here are one of the reasons both dermatologists call Montrose home. “Montrose is great because we have both mountains and deserts so close” said Raziano, an avid cyclist who also enjoys the trails system on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Haley, her husband and their three boys enjoy hiking and skiing around the area, but she is especially grateful for the small-town feel of Montrose. “The things we can do outside, right here in town, is something that is just unavailable in a large city,” Haley said. She takes advantage of Montrose’s compact size every day on her commute to work — a 20-minute jog. Both dermatologists are trained to treat all types of skin issues from rashes to cancer, and they want local residents to know when it is important to have such problems examined. According to Haley, something that looks like a pimple and won’t go away should be a cause for concern. A second thing to look for is any spot on the skin that looks like nothing else on your body. Dermatologists have three more years of skin study than anyone else in the medical field, so they can provide the most accurate assessment of your skin problems, she said. g


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A d i f f e r e n t perspective A relative newcomer, Drakulich found it easy to belong in By Will Hearst Montrose


ontrose natives have a longtime local’s perspective on life in the Uncompahgre Valley. On the other hand, newcomers like Dr. Dan Drakulich, a local dentist , bring plenty of insight on what it takes to integrate yourself into this community. Montrose came highly recommended to Drakulich by a friend who knew he had a passion for the outdoors. As an avid outdoorsman, learning the surrounding mountains came easily for Drakulich. But what surprised him was how simple it was to become part of the community. “I’ve been blessed to find how comfortable it is in Montrose,

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thanks to the generous and welcoming people who live here,” he said. Drakulich came to Montrose in 2002 and he has since become involved in a number of community events and organizations, including Relay for Life, Boys Fly Fishing and Faith, Grace Community Church, Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Also a private pilot , Drakulich enjoys flying over Montrose for yet another unique perspective. Drackulich grew up in Washington state. After completing his education, he worked as a military dentist . His passion for the outdoors led him to Colorado, and Montrose has turned out to be the

perfect landing spot for him, his wife and his career, he said. “I always thought a job was a means to an end, but I am lucky to love my profession,” he said. Drakulich takes a comprehensive approach to his work. “A lot of dentists go quicker and faster, addressing problems as they see them,” he said. According to Drakulich, comprehensive dentistry involves not only finding the problems but figuring out why they occur — going all the way to the root of the problem. “People really do appreciate that ,” he said. When Drakulich is not working or gazing down from the sky, he can usually be found with his wife

Mary in the mountains, going for a horseback ride. The two of them also enjoy skiing, camping and hiking. “I love (the fact) that 20 minutes in any direction from Montrose is phenomenal recreation and usually fantastic weather,” he said. In the summer, he often brings a fly rod along on his outdoors excursions to catch the trout in alpine lakes. In the fall, he enjoys looking for elk during archery season. Even so Drakulich still finds plenty of time for work, and he is always accepting new patients. g

Trimming the tree with a Edekers’ Mitten Tree just one example of their purpose commitment to community by Elaine Hale Jones


hile many local businesses get into the holiday spirit early, putting up strings of lights and placing decorations on the office Christmas tree, local chiropractor Dr. Brett Edeker and his wife, Brooke, trim their evergreen with a purpose. Starting after Thanksgiving, patients of Canyon Chiropractic Wellness Center in Montrose and members of the community are invited to drop off either new or gently worn winter accessories at the center. The items, many knit in a rainbow of color, serve a much more important function than mere decoration alone; they help keep little hands, heads and ears warm during the winter months. “In the past 12 years, we’ve donated to over 3,200 local children in need of hats, mittens, gloves and scarves,” said Brooke, who came up with the idea for the Mitten Tree.

“Hands (mittens) speak to the chiropractic field,” she said. Donations from the Mitten Tree are made to Montrose/Olathe elementary students, Montrose/Olathe Head Start program, Passage Charter School and the Adaptive Ski Program. The couple’s commitment to giving back to the community, however, doesn’t stop after the last mittens are donated. Starting in the spring, Dr. Edeker is a coach for his son’s baseball team. He also served a fiveyear term on the board of directors for the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club. Brooke coaches Little League softball for 11- and 12-year-olds, and volunteers at her kids’ schools. “We moved to Montrose because we wanted to get involved (with the community),” Dr. Edeker said. “I grew up in Iowa, and Brooke is originally from Grand Junction, but we both felt Montrose

was a great place to raise our family and offered great opportunities to volunteer.” As parents, the Edekers strive to be healthy role models for their children. “It’s important to keep kids involved in physical activities, such as sports,” Brooke said. “It’s also important to steer kids toward good food choices.” Dr. Edeker believes health and well-being can be improved by three simple rules: Move well, eat well and think well. “Working toward this goal will eventually have an impact on global health,” he added. While summer is just around the corner, the Edekers are already planning for their next Mitten Tree fundraiser. “You’re better (physically and mentally) when you help people,” Brooke said. g


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‘A blessing in disguise’ Young discovered passion for interior design only after suffering ailment by Elaine Hale Jones


ichelle Young’s world is the environment she creates around herself. As one of Montrose’s most sought-after interior designers, Young has spent the past 15 years pursuing her love of art , indoor living spaces and working with her hands. But art and design weren’t always her top priority. In fact , she only realized her true passion when a life-changing event forced her to take a different direction in life. “I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when I was in college,” said Young, who earned a double major in English and psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Both majors were academic heavyweights with a high degree of stress. “Having Crohn’s disease has actually been a blessing in disguise,” she said, explaining that unexpectedly finding a job at an art gallery and frame shop opened her eyes to a whole new world. “I discovered that I loved all types of art , so I went back to school to study interior design,”

she said. One of the main differences between an interior decorator and designer is the fact that the latter works with floor plans and is involved with the actual moving or placement of a wall or support beam, for example. Young described her favorite part of being an interior designer as, “realigning spaces to make them more comfortable.” In 2006, Young opened her own business, M.Y. Designs, specializing in both commercial and residential projects. Commercial jobs are typically fast turnarounds with limited budgets, whereas residential kitchen and bathroom projects are the most complex because there are so many subcontractors (i.e. plumbers, electricians) involved, she said. Young spends a great deal of time interviewing her clients before starting any project to “zone in on their style,” not hers. “Not everyone is into raw steel,” she said. In keeping with her family roots in the steel business, Young has incorporated both structural ele-

Young relaxes in her home with her terrier, MacKenzie. (Katrina Kinsley) ments and accent pieces throughout her own home, including a solid steel front door. Original artwork from regional artists also adorns the living space of the Youngs’ home.

“I buy art , instead of souvenirs, when I travel,” she said. Young is also a member of PAX, Montrose’s Public Art eXperience. g

Facing page, counterclockwise from top: a window frame rescued from a burned out Catholic church in Carlotte, North Carolina, finds a new purpose as a mirrow frame and focal piece; painted wood on accent cabinets created an updated kitchen look for minimal cost; open spaces with natural light turn this fireplace seating area into a comfortable conversation area; Young uses individual touches, such as a handmade glass basin and tiled backsplash, to brighten and personalize her master bath. Inset: beach glass, found by Young on the shores of Lake Erie, Ohio and floated in concrete for the vanity, creates a one of a kind look. (Katrina Kinsley)

Current trends and advice from a pro • “Coloradans love their natural woods,” Young said. “You’ll see more wood stains and neutral tones used here in contrast to painted furnishings in the East.” • Energy efficiency is here to stay. LED lighting is a big factor in nearly all of Young’s design work. • Hints of “mid-century modern” are everywhere. Young adults are powering this trend, which brings back memorabilia from the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. • There are “finds” to be found in Montrose, Young noted. Check places such as the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and Heirlooms for Hospice on a regular basis for good bargains on home furnishings. • Think outside the box when it comes to design elements. For example, try floating walls to hide mud rooms, breaking up long stretches of wood cabinets with glass or open shelving and using “pops” of floral mixed with plaid designs. • Search the Internet for home decorating ideas. • “Don’t alter spaces for resale purposes only; make the space livable for you, not the next person,” Young advised.

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Above: A strawberry blossom peeks out from between leaves. Strawberries adapt well to all areas of Colorado. Below: Sweet leaf lettuce plants grow beneath a sign with information about their required planting conditions in the Camelot Gardens greenhouse. (Katrina Kinsley)

Enjoy a grow-your-own adventure

Even beginners can put together a successful garden — with a few tips By Katrina Kinsley

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here’s no need to have the proverbial green thumb to grow your own edible garden in Colorado — all you need is a bit of patience and knowledge about growing conditions on the Western Slope. The first step is choosing and preparing the garden location. Some areas around Montrose have very clay-like or alkaline soil, requiring the addition of soil amendments such as compost or aged manure. Alternately, residents with poor soil can choose to forego the hassle and cost of amending by using containers or trying straw bale gardening. Straw bale gardening turns clean bedding bales into self-composting, contained gardens through conditioning — plants are grown directly from the bale. Container gardening is also useful for those

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012

with limited yard space or those who want to start small. Even apartment dwellers can get in on the act with a small herb garden in a pot or kitchen windowsill. “Basil is good for beginners,” noted Jean Sammons, greenhouse manager at Camelot Gardens. Next is starting or choosing plants. Because it’s past the date of last frost — generally considered to be mid May or Mother’s Day for this area — most seeds can be started outside or planted now. For an earlier start next year, seedlings can be started indoors or planted earlier outdoors with water walls or other protection. The choices available to Montrose growers are vast . According to Sammons, tomatoes are

a Montrose favorite. “They’re tomato crazy in this valley,” Sammons said. “And that’s not a bad thing.” Sammons also noted that peppers do very well here, as do leafy greens, root and vine crops, and cole crops such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale. The most important thing in choosing plants is knowing the required growing season. Montrose’s growing season, generally 120 to 150 days, is considered to be somewhat short . Plants that require a longer season, such as artichokes and peanuts, can grow here but should be started indoors or in a greenhouse and protected from frosts. For the best chance of success, Sammons recommends starting out with varieties that mature in 90 days or less but also notes that “anything can work, just ask.” The most common mistake? “Overwatering young plants,” Sammons said. “Beginners tend to be overzealous with their watering.” An uptick in vegetable gardeners in the area over the last four to five years has resulted in an increased variety of plants and seeds becoming available locally. Camelot Gardens has more than 40 varieties of tomatoes and 22 types of pepper plants started, in addition to squash, melons, cucumbers, onions, eggplants and herbs, plus several seed lines, some of which are organic. As the season continues, new varieties will also be available, and Camelot Gardens is also willing to take special orders. For more information about growing edible gardens in Montrose, ask the Camelot Gardens experts at 16612 S. Townsend Ave. or visit the Colorado State University extension site for this area at g

Crippin Funeral Home & Crematory Grand View Cemetery & Serenity Cremation Gardens

A Family Tradition of Trust

✴ Burials ✴ Columbariums ✴ ✴ Cremations & Memorial Scattering Gardens ✴ ✴ Pre-Arranged Funeral Planning ✴ ✴ Veteran’s & Social Security Applications ✴

Basil is a good starter plant for budding horticulturists. (Katrina Kinsley)

(970) 249-2121 Ph • (970) 249-1310 Fax 802 East Main Street Montrose, CO 81401 M

Magazine • Spring/Summer 2012


Serving all of Western Colorado • Serving All Faiths 24 Hour Full Service Staff

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out and about

Altrusa 2012 Spring Luncheon, a day filled with all things female: shopping boutiques, fabulous food, creatively designed tables, a fashion show and silent auction. The Spring Luncheon is an annual fundraising event for the Montrose Altrusa Club. This year’s theme was “Just for the fun of it!”

Jill Vincent Front to back- Just Want to have Fund$ Danni Hyatt, Penny Peterson, Susan Watson, Irene Stith, Suzanne Rice Elaine Wyers

Michelle Gottlieb

Mary Snyder

Kaye Hotsenpiller

Joey Montoya-Boese

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Lori Michaels

The annual Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado fund-raising gala event. This year more then 350 guests enjoyed the “Fusion, Fabulous, Fun and Philanthropy” themed event held on March 3 at the Pavilion.

Linda and Scott Riba

Jim and Martha Kitchell

Dale Davidson, Bart and Julie Disher

Mike and Carol Gordon

Eric and Beth Feely


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out and about

Local people enjoying social life in Montrose.

Kris Flower-Fashion Show & Wine Tasting at A+Y Gallery

Krista Montalvo, Kendra Morrow - Dahlia Floral Craft Night Debbie Tenaglia, Jaime Sklavos, Graeme DukeD’Medici Footwear Grand Opening

Kimberley McGehee, Ruthie Rich, Kim Sandidge-Fashion Show & Wine Tasting at SheShe Boutique

Keithley Wagner-Stopping to smell the flowers at Simmer Restaurant

Dianna Coram, Hotchkiss artist, Virginia Blackstock April First Friday Art Walk at Around the Corner Gallery

Caren Maxon, taking a sip-server at the Stone House Restaurant

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Donald Vincent-creating a drink, bartender at Stone House Restaurant

Endoscopy Center & Gastroenterology Associates of Western Colorado

March was colon cancer prevention month. Were YOU screened? We specialize in: • Colon Cancer Screening • ASGE Certified - one of two in State of • Digestive Disorders Colorado & only one on • Acid Reflux the Western Slope • IBS • CMS (Medicare) Certified • Non-Surgical Hemorrhoid Treatment

Masi Khaja, M.D. Board Certified in Gastroenteroloty

Dr. Khaja has performed more than 10,000 cases, and has one of the highest polyp detection rates in the nation.


2460 Patterson Rd., Unit 4, Grand Junction

American Association for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy


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Explore how many treasures a canyon will actually hold.

Yes, it’s impressive, but the Black Canyon isn’t the only wonder Montrose has to offer. From a major shopping district to charming downtown boutiques and even our very own antique row — you’ll find everything you could possibly need right here on your very doorstep. So the next time you’re out and about, take a deeper look. You never know what you might discover. For more Information call 970-249-5000.


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