Valley Voice October 2022

Page 1

October 2022 . Issue 11.10 a member managed llc FREE
Steamboat Springs Hayden Oak Creek
Callas, Left Tackle, Oak Creek Miners Football Team, Oak Creek High School 1938-1939 Photo courtesy Elaine Callas Williams
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Every Water Drop Counts !


Page 4

Support for Our Schools... Page 5

By Dylan Roberts

A Leaf's Life: Part I Page 6

By Karen Vail

A Place of Serenity... Page 7

By Sally Hertzog

Rodeo in Northwestern Colorado Page 8

By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield

The Face of Sunlight Page 9

By Fran Conlon

Over One Hundred Years in Routt County Page 10

By Elaine Callas Williams

Economy is Diverse and Growing Page 11

By Scott L. Ford

Fine Art in Brooklyn Page 12

By Ken Proper

COVID Improvisation Page 13

By Stuart Handloff

Top of the Stairs Page 14

Sober October Page 15

By Sean Derning

Life Page 16

By Joan Remy

Multiple Metaphors of Knots Page 16

By Wolf Bennett Shipwreck! Page 17

By Johnny Walker

Your Monthly Message Page 18

By Chelsea Yepello

Comics Page 19

Please send us your RANTS, RAVES and SAY WHATs!

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(We are the most affordable in town!)

To the 10 to 15 large homeowners that burned through 4,000 gallons of water a day during the requested citywide conservation effort, who do you think you are?

And to claim ignorance on the restriction because 'you haven't been here all summer?' Karma will catch up if your house catches fire but there's no water to put it out. –SD

Enduring unwarranted complaining about anything here that isn’t in your old hometown…

Steamboat Springs lives in a steel bubble; hard to get in and hard to see out…

Steamboat Springs is witnessing the inevitable changing of the guard…


The City of Steamboat Springs Local Hero; Jeff Nelson is retiring, if he lets himself…

The fall season in Routt County with all its beauty if the winds don’t ruin it…

Mustache Ride; Loud and proud! Contributing to the Humane Society’s success…

To think, NW Colorado made it through the summer of 2022 without any major wildfires…

Say What?...

“This year’s hurricane season will bring a lot of new residents to higher ground.”

“Why do Republicans have a rebuttal for everything and the Democrats think they have it all under control.”

“As an elected official, I promise to be consistently inconsistent on occasion.”

“While I realize that no one person can solve all our problems, I resolve to be a person that contributes to them.”

3October 2022Valley Voice
make checks payable to: Valley Voice, LLC P.O. Box 770743 • Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 Thank you for your support!
Director: Matt Scharf
We go to press October 28th for the November 2022 Edition! Send in your submissions by October 19th!

City of Steamboat Springs

Every Water Drop Counts!

Water is life especially when you live in a place like the Yampa Valley, located high in the semi-arid Rocky Moun tains of Colorado.

As you know, our state and much of the western United States has been under drought conditions for many years further emphasizing our commitment to conserve every drop possible. With that in mind, Mt. Werner Water & Sanitation District and the City of Steamboat Springs have identified multiple plant upgrades that will ensure we make the most of our liquid lifeblood.

A few weeks ago, the first of these projects began requir ing a full shutdown of the Fish Creek Water Treatment Plant. During the plant closure, water will be solely sup plied via the Yampa Wells Treatment Plant until the Fish Creek Plant is back online in mid-November.

During this aspect of the project, the treatment plant will see extensive disinfection and electrical improvements.

The disinfection portion will see the project erect PVC baffle curtains between the existing structural columns of the facility's 2-million-gallon (2 MG) tank to increase the disinfection process hydraulic retention time.

In addition, the chlorine residual measurement sample location will be relocated to the outlet of the 2 MG tank and provide a new sample pump to feed to the chlorine residual analyzer. A new access hatch to the 2 MG Tank roof will be installed along with additional modifications to meet CDPHE sanitary survey requirements.

Finally, a new combined filter effluent turbidity sample location will be constructed in the Potable Water Clearwell, located within the filter building, providing a new com bined filter effluent turbidimeter and a new sample pump to feed it

The electrical components will replace the facility's existing electrical gear capable of supporting current and anticipated future plant electrical loads. The new gear will include surge suppression, power monitoring capabilities and a transfer switch for a future standby generator.

Both agencies have been preparing for this project for several months and have plans in place to ensure water delivery to customers is not interrupted. However, WE NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE to ensure efficient operations while drawing water from the wells into November. Here’s how you can guarantee this project is a success:

• Turn off outdoor irrigation system. Shutting down seasonal outdoor watering will contribute to sav ing between 3 to 4 million gallons of water per day, providing a substantial reduction of water demand on the Yampa Wells Plant.

• Practice and implement indoor and outdoor water conservation. Simple steps include not washing vehicles; hosing down sidewalks, driveways, and sid ing; and reducing indoor water consumption will be extremely beneficial.

• Refrain from draining and refilling pools or hot tubs during this time.

Since the average American uses 140 to 170 gallons of water per day, each of us has a large part to play. Your extra efforts to conserve water during this vital facility upgrade will provide for a smoother project.

Better yet, conservation efforts by water users during the improvement project and accompanying shut-down may float folks into sustaining their behavior well into the future. Because as we know, every drop counts!

Stay up to date on the project and for additional informa tion on ways to conserve water, visit steamboatsprings. net/water.

4 October 2022 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those who wish they did.
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Legislative Support for Our Schools, Students, and Teachers

As we start the new school year, it is a great time to reflect on some of the legislature’s investments into our K-12 education system that are taking effect. While there is still so much more to do to support our teachers, students, and schools, the 2022 legislative session was marked with significant steps in the right direction for public education in Colorado.

Our kids hold the keys to our future and we need to ensure they have the skills and tools necessary to work to wards a better life for us all. From grounding all students with a solid basis of writing, reading, and math to prepar ing future employees for the challenges they will face in the 21st century economy, schools are one of the few great unifying forces in our country.

It is critical that we make sure our schools here in Colo rado are the absolute best that they can be, and why at the legislature, building better schools was a top priority this year. Our largest - and most impactful - investment came via the 2022 Public School Finance Act, which boosts funding for K-12 public schools by nearly $550 per stu dent on average, or nearly $13,600 for a classroom of 25 students. It also brought down the “budget stabilization” factor to the lowest level it has been in over a decade with a pathway towards zero by next year.

That extra support will put more resources directly into classrooms, and let school districts prioritize things like hiring more teachers, raising teacher pay, reducing class sizes, and providing more individualized attention to stu dents, especially those who need more one-on-one support.

But all those resources won’t do much good if there are not dedicated, hard-working professionals ready to guide the next generation. Right now on the Western Slope and across rural Colorado, there simply are not enough teach ers. In fact, during the 2020-2021 school year, nearly 13 percent of teacher positions were filled through a shortage mechanism and more than 200 positions went unfilled statewide. For this reason, we directed millions of dollars to help get more qualified teachers into the classroom.

Our bipartisan bill, HB22-1220, created two educator preparation stipend programs and a temporary educator loan forgiveness program in the Department of Higher Education to reduce financial barriers to entering the workforce and help teachers pay off their student loans.

We also extended policies to make it easier for rural school districts to address shortages by allowing retired public employees to return to full-time work in a rural school district without sacrificing their retirement benefits, and we waived limitations on the number of days retired teachers can substitute teach during a critical substitute teacher shortage.

Our kids deserve nothing but the best, and these policies will make sure Colorado schools are filled with teachers who have the training and experience needed to deliver a high-quality education for all.

But as we know, schools are not just for learning - they often serve as important community and family resource hubs, and are where children learn what it takes to become young, functioning, contributing members of our communities.

That process can be tough - which is why it’s critical we provide more than just educational support in our schools but also look out for our student’s mental health.

To do that, we’re providing more help for students strug gling with their mental health. SB22-147 helps pediatri cians better identify and treat behavioral health condi tions and provide school-based support for kids and their families. And HB22-1243 invests an additional $14 million to improve school safety and support behavioral health in public schools.

We also extended the popular “I Matter” program beyond its scheduled repeal in June 2022, paving the way to serve every Colorado youth who needs it with free counseling sessions for at least another two years.

Teachers, and the students they serve, represent the best Colorado has to offer. Our future depends on how well these students do today, and we must give them every opportunity to succeed. At the state legislature, I and my colleagues have been laser-focused on ensuring Colorado’s schools are fully-equipped to deliver on that promise. We made great strides this year and it is exciting to see these investments become a reality as this school year starts. However, I know that there is still so much more to do and am hopeful that this year’s direction is significant momen tum in the right direction.

5October 2022Valley Voice State Representative/ Eagle and Routt Counties
Asalways,IwelcomeinputandquestionsatDylan.Rob Rep.DylanRobertsservesRoutt&EagleCountiesinthe ColoradoHouseofRepresentatives Vote for Kathi Meyer this November!
your County Commissioner, I will treat every nancial decision as if it was your last hard earned dollar.”

A Leaf's Life: Part I

Hey there, what a great summer hanging out enjoying the views from the top of a beautiful tree along with all my other leaf buddies. A wonderful spring as I popped out of my bud into the world, followed by cool days with refresh ing showers. There were a couple of scary times with big hail balls pelting me – ouch! Did not like that! And the heat!

Help the Environment!

Whew, wish I could turn that air conditioning back on! And here we are at the end of summer, and I am feeling a little tug. Oh, come on, I am not ready for this to end! But end it must, and the tug is getting stronger. But, before I go, let me take you on a tour of my world, the phyllosphere and other leaf physiology.

The phyllosphere is a fancy name for the aerial surface of plants where microbial communities actively colonize. Fungi, algae, protozoa, yeasts, and nematodes inhabit the leaf, flower, fruit, and stem surfaces, but the most abun dant colonizers are bacteria. The surfaces where they live can be harsh with rapid changes in temperature and humidity, limited nutrients, often intense solar radiation, and damaging weather. But these organisms have adapted quite well. For example, many bacteria are pigmented to prevent UV damage, and colonies typically form around trichomes (hairs growing from the epidermis) and sto mata (openings in the leaf surface) and along deep veins where more nutrients can be found. Only in the past few years have scientists been able to study the phyllosphere communities using newly developed technology, and what they are finding is wowing everyone. The leaf surfaces, both upper and lower, of all leaves combined worldwide contain about 1026 bacterial cells (Tree Leaves as Habitat for Phyllobacteria Coutinho, Bophela, Forest Microbiology, 2021). This means that the surface area of the phyllo sphere is about twice as great as the land surface area. Most of these bacteria are good guys, supporting many functions of the plant. Some are even mutualistic where the host supplies the bacteria with food and shelter, while the bacteria can promote plant growth, suppress bad guys on the plant surface, contribute to nutrient cycling, and increase the stress tolerance of a host making it more im mune to pathogens. Researchers found certain bacteria in the phyllosphere can fix nitrogen from the air which could then be directly absorbed by the leaves. Who inhabits the phyllosphere community depends on the host species and its health, and many environmental factors such as seasonal changes, humidity, and pathogens of the plant. The richer the microbiome community, the more services they provide the plant; a win-win for all! Sometimes the microbes are pathogens, and much research is focusing on these pathogens in our agricultural crops and forestry.

OK, so now we know a little about my splendid leaf surface buddies who have been with me all summer. But I am still feeling that tug. Did you notice that it is dark when you wake up now? And the nights are crisp! It’s all the buzz here in the tree canopy – we are going on a journey!

As the days shorten and temperatures drop this stimu lates an ordered series of physiological changes in the plant cells leading to senescence, or biological aging and deterioration. We might see senescence as a “bad” thing for plants, but this is critical for plant health and repro duction and is considered an evolutionary adaptation to the cycle of seasons. This is all controlled by a genetic program involving step by step changes degrading cells targeted for death and reallocating valuable products to other areas of the plant. Hormones including ethylene, jasmonic acid, abscisic acid and salicylic acid accelerate the process of senescence, all working in tandem with many other environmental and physiological factors. Probably the most important step in this process is nutrient recycling. Chloroplasts, the organelles where photosynthesis occurs, are rich in valuable amino acids and lipids. Through pathways that have only recently been discovered, a highly organized process reduces the chloroplasts into their basic compounds where they are sent to overwintering tissues or developing buds. In other words, those nice green leaves are slowly stripped of all their good nutrients leaving a bare skeleton of less valu able pigments and compounds. As the green chlorophyll is broken down and recycled other pigments shine through and, voila, reds (anthocyanins), oranges (carotenoids) and yellows (xanthophylls) glow in the autumn days. The environmental signals for these changes are primarily the daily length of darkness (NOT daylight) and lower tem peratures. The leaf has been preparing for autumn since spring when it grew a special layer of cells at the base of its leaf called the abscission or separation layer. Cells in this area divide and form a layer of waterproof cork cells, separating leaf from stem. The actual detachment of the leaf varies by species, but always occurs at this abscission zone. Some plants break down the cell walls around the abscission zone and the leaf falls off. Others plump up the cells around the abscission layer with so much water they burst, forcing the leaf to fall off (kind of intense, huh?!). In deciduous trees (like our aspen) the abscission zone has a top layer with weak cell walls and a bottom layer that expands in autumn, breaking the weak cells above allowing the leaf to fall. The final step in leaf senescence is cell death. Sigh!

But wasn’t I a beautiful glowing golden yellow that was enjoyed by all?! I just loved watching children, their faces upturned, arms outstretched and spinning under the golden glow. Even adults slowed down, took a deep breath and, after making sure no one was looking, laid on their backs in the richness and giggled with glee. And wait, my time on earth is not done yet! My time on the forest floor is filled with wonderous activity. But that’s a whole other story!

Happy favorite season of gold! Just embrace my grin and giddiness when you see me on the trails!

6 October 2022 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those who wish they did. 198 East Lincoln Ave. Hayden, Colorado 970-276-4250 All our baked goods are made here at the Granary with love! Be Local & Eat Local! All our baked goods are
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A Place of Serenity... and an Organic Transformation

Bob and Audrey Enever love gardens. Growing up in the United Kingdom they were surrounded by gardens, but when they moved to Steamboat Springs in 1971, they were somewhat dismayed at the lack of vegetable and flower gardens in their new community. Fascinated by the variety of wildflowers in the mountains around Steam boat, the couple got to work to create a beautiful botanic park in their new home, what is now the Yampa River Botanic Park.

“The concept began as a thought that Audrey and I had. I had always built gardens for Audrey’s flowers in every house we had, so the idea of building gardens in a park-like setting for the people of Steamboat Springs did not seem extraordinary to me,” said Enever. But they needed land!

The opportunity arose in 1992. At that time the Enev ers owned the Fish Creek Mobile Home Park and the City needed a right of way through the Park to build the Core Trail. Long story short, an agreement was reached between the City and the Enevers. The City got access for its trail and the Enevers got six acres to build the Botanic Park - A Park that was given back to the City, but funded and maintained by an endowment from the Enev ers. As Bob worked on the Botanic Park’s design, Audrey concentrated on structuring their finances to fund it. The planning for the Enever’s dream was underway.

Despite challenges, the Enevers persevered with the project. By obtaining grants, successful negotiations with the City, contractors, landscapers, and public input, a plan was devised. In 1992/93 the Yampa River Botanic Park Association was formed, a Board was elected and Bylaws were written. However, the actual Park did not exist yet. Now the physical work would begin!!!

Bob and Audrey spent the winter of 1994/95 working with landscape architect Michael Campbell designing a plan for the Park. The essential elements of berms, gardens, trails, and ponds were drawn. Gravity- fed water from Fish Creek would fill ponds and a road would be built to encircle the Park.

The Enevers could hire a contractor to do the dirty work, but with the tragic death of their younger son, Peter, from a heart attack in the spring of 1995, Audrey and

Bob decided to build the Park themselves as their “grief project.” Even in his sorrow, Bob stated, “I was living every schoolboy’s dream; to have a bunch of trucks and bulldoz ers to move dirt around.” While Bob was digging, Audrey was designing the garden spaces.

The Enevers had the vision and contractor and friend CD Johnson helped move the dirt, dig the ponds and place the rocks. One morning when much of the bulldozing was completed, CD and Bob were gazing at their accomplish ments and CD was astounded at what they had created; actual berms and three dimensional garderns; gardens that were sticking up. This amused Bob, as he had always envisioned the Park, but this was something CD could not initially fathom. Now CD could actually see it in reality: a flat horse pasture transformed into a park with no straight lines.

However, Bob had a specific apprehension; “will anybody care?” It’s one thing to build a botanic park, but another thing to have the community come and enjoy it.” Bob need not have feared. The community expressed its interest; folks became members and gave donations to the Park. Bob and Audrey continued with their endeavor and they became some of the first of garden-builders in our Yampa Valley community.

In 1996 the Members’ Rock Garden and Kerry Kaster’s Garden were the first to be planted. The inaugural public celebration was held on July 12, 1997 with the the dedica tion of the Park by Kevin Bennett, President of the City Council.

A plaque was given to the Enevers in recognition of their gift to the people of the Yampa Valley.

Twenty-five years have passed since the Park first opened, and in that time the Enevers have witnessed not only the physical changes of the Park, what with new gardens, and the Trillium House, but also the socially organic trans formation. Bob and Audrey had dreamed of the land’s physical evolution into a botanic park, but had no idea this wonderful socially organic transformation would take place. New ideas flow from the Board and members. Indi viduals sponsor gardens, while volunteers maintain many newly planted spaces. Weddings and memorial services occur on the Green. Artists come to paint while children enjoy storytime with the Bud Werner Library. Even a pair of osprey has built a nest and decided to call the Park home. Piknik Theatre actors perform and people of all ages practice yoga in this tranquil setting. Wednesday Strings concerts are enjoyed by many and guests learn the history of the Park during a docent led tour. Vibrant and hard-working staff and greeters welcome visitors who delight in the beauty of the Park.

Now an additional transformation is underway at the Botanic Park; the design and construction of artistic gate ways, which will be more welcoming and easily accessible to all. For the past 25 years the original gates have stood the test of time, but with the increased number of visitors, the Enevers and the Park Board have realized that more inviting gates are imperative; beautiful entryways that will welcome guests at no cost for the next 25 years.

Mr. Enever need not have feared “will anybody care?’ It is obvious to all who enter the Park that indeed the Yampa River Botanic Park is “a place of serenity, celebrating the trees, shrubs, plants and birds of the Yampa Valley,” and a space of tremendous organic transformation, both physically and socially. A stunning and enduring gift to the Yampa Valley and a job well done, Bob and Audrey!

7October 2022Valley Voice Yampa River Botanical Park

Rodeo in Northwestern Colorado: The Golden Age

“Western Slope Rodeo Association Met At Meeker Sunday” SteamboatPilotApril 23, 1942. Member communities, Kremmling, Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Meeker, Rifle, and Glenwood Springs scheduled rodeos, accepted rules for contestants, agreed on prize money, and agreed on cash prize for all round cowboy. The association of cowboys and sponsoring communities was only a year old and not especially strong. It could easily die.

April 1942 was extremely dark for the United States. Four months earlier Japan attacked Pearl Harbor plunging the United States into World War II. By April, the nation had suffered a series of defeats. Japan and Germany appeared invincible on sea and land. On the home front, sugar, shoes, gas, tires, and nearly everything else was rationed. To save gas, Colorado set a 25-mph speed limit. Many young men were soon drafted, trained, and sent into battle – four long hard years of battle.

Despite the grimness of the time, residents of northwest ern Colorado found a way to celebrate. They were not down; defeatism was not part of their life. They would not look a blue bull in the ass; they would do what came naturally. They could race horses, ride bucking horses, rope calves, dance, and sing. And they did.

“American Legion Again Sponsors Big Celebration: Will Be Held Here On July 3 and 4,” SteamboatPilotMay 25, 1944. About two weeks later troops landed at Normandy. Much hard fighting lay ahead. Yet, every able-bodied man, woman, and child would be in Steamboat Springs on July 4. Many rose early to milk. Others would have to ride horse back. Rationing remained; tires had long ago worn out, cars had broken down, car parts were unheard of. Yet, they would be at the rodeo grounds when men rode the Colors for the grand entry. During the war the Western Slope Rodeo Association added shows at Baggs, Wyoming and Vernal, Utah. Glenwood planned two Associationapproved rodeos. People with heavy loads of care and woe found a way to set the load down briefly.

ThePilotnoted that contestants and racehorses would be local – the same as last year (1943). Most of the local rop ers were only mediocre. Except a few, most bronc riders were better qualified to sit in the stands. According to one source, at the end of the racing day, there was an unsched uled race – all the losing horses raced against each other. People came to the rodeo to celebrate. They didn’t care if the ropers and riders were good or bad, or the horses were fast or slow.

Throughout the course of the war, many national celebra tions were canceled or restricted to conserve gas and tires. Two days after Victory in Europe, the Steamboat Pilotreported, “Fourth of July Rodeo Will be Better Than Ever.” Locally, rodeos helped through the uncertain days of war.

The rodeo world underwent dramatic change following World War II. Wages and income during the war were solid and following the war people were ready to spend money. The five-day, forty-hour work week became standard, giv ing people time to enjoy life. Good roads ran everywhere, and cars were again available. It was a time to go and to do. One of the sports families turned to was roping clubs. Routt County had clubs at Hayden, Steamboat Springs, up Elk River, and Yellow Jacket (where Stagecoach Reservoir is currently located). The Yellow Jacket club later moved to Oak Creek. Other clubs were at Toponas, Burns, and Craig. All centered on calf roping but not team roping as today. They met Sunday afternoons and, although times were kept, it was more a social gathering. At the end of each year trophy buckles were awarded. All the organizations purchased brahma calves to rope. (Today brahma calves are rarely used in tie down roping.)

For a decade, roughly from 1947 to 1957, roping clubs were a unique part of the Valley’s life. When the war ended there were no manufacturers of horse or livestock trail ers, but there were numerous junked cars. Many of the “junkers” were redesigned into horse trailers. The parking area at the Routt County fair was a story of creative trailer making. It was a brief period that will exist only once in history. More common was the use of pickups equipped with stock racks to haul horses. It was common to see a pickup backed against the road bank in a bar-ditch ready for loading and unloading a horse. By the mid1950's manufactured trailers had replaced homemade ones, although my dad used his homemade trailer until the mid-1970s.

The quarter horse came into its own as the western cowboy horse. Their conformation, heavier bodies and shoulders, required different saddles. This was the heyday of the “roping saddle” with a low cantle often with a Chey enne roll, little or no forks in front, and a horn intended to hold a rope. A Crosby tree was the most popular roping saddle with a padded seat. In those days everyone was “tied on fast and hard,” no dally around the horn. Good hard twist ropes were made from hemp. A right-hand rope needed twists that turned clockwise. A left-hand rope required a twist turning counterclockwise. Rope makers made left- and right-hand ropes.

One of the biggest changes in rodeo came in saddle bronc riding. The growth of rodeo associations, the Turtles then the Rodeo Cowboys Association (RCA), set standard rules for judging, treatment of animals, and purses. The as sociation saddle replaced all the “bear traps” used (short seats, high cantles, big undercut swells). Until 1949, bronc riders let their stirrups hang normal for a work ing saddle. It is very difficult to rotate the legs from the shoulder of a horse to the cantle (“scratching” or “cantle boarding”) without out losing a stirrup. That is why early bronc riders fanned a horse with their hat. In 1949, riders began hobbling the stirrup ahead. It was approved by the association. Today if a rider doesn’t full stroke he just as well stay home.

8 October 2022 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those who wish they did. Bonnifield Files
Ruinsoftherodeogroundstoday. Photocourtesy;TeriLynch Old bleachers

Throughout history riders on horseback have raced, even with slow work horses. In 1913, the Routt County Fair and Racing Association organized, introducing the county fair. Although it is currently in disuse, the racetrack remains. The rodeo association was reorganized and named the Western Slope Rodeo & Race Association in 1948. Horse racing was already an integral part of several rodeos. A year earlier the Association held a Derby at Vernal with Silver Wings winning. To qualify for the derby, the horse had to place first or second at two or more of the ten sanctioned racetracks. Steamboat and Hayden were both sanctioned. In 1948, seven Routt County horses qualified for the quarter mile derby. There was also a half mile derby.

Steamboat went all out with its two-day racing schedule including quarter mile, three-eighth mile, half mile races, relay races, and pony express races. The relay races required only changing horses and they usually were run by local high school boys. The pony express race had well trained, fast horses and riders. The rider took his saddle off his horse and put it on another. The saddles were trick saddles with high horns and very low cantles. The cinches had a strong rubber attachment on the right side and a hook on the left. Changing the saddle, the rider unhooked as he came in. He ran to the second horse set the saddle on, hooked the cinch, and grabbed the horn. As the horse started running the jockey lifted his legs and shoved them ahead. The force of his legs hitting the ground lifted him onto the saddle. The horse usually was in the first turn before the jockey was aboard and in the irons. Three or four horses ran at the same time. It was exciting and dangerous.

Probably the most challenging race was a Roman race. A rider stood, one foot on the back each of two horses. While running at full speed, the riders had to remain standing and controlling their horses. The race was close and thrilling.

The closing of the coal mines at Oak Creek caused hard times. To assist the town, under the leadership of Frank and J. B. Stetson, the Yellow Jacket Roping Club moved to Oak Creek and put on a rodeo. Roy James leased eighty acres next to his locker plant (before home deep freezers were common, people would bring cattle and hogs to the locker plant where they were butchered and the meat put in a frozen locker rented by the owner of the meat) was rented to the club for a dollar a year, and the county using their equipment and manpower cut dirt out of the hill side and filled in a slew. The cut bank was leveled into a short racetrack. John Fee on upper Oak Creek had a herd of unbroke horses. They were used for bucking stock. The rodeo never caught on and only lasted a few years.

Toponas has a long history of rodeo, and it is the only roping club surviving to this day. The Tread of the Pioneers archives has a photo of C. Chambers riding a bronc in 1927. The horse is rearing and not bucking, but in the background are all the various makes of cars residents parked forming a fence. On the left side is the image of a slip and sling stacker next to a hay meadow. The photo tells a story of the period.

The museum has another 1937 photo of Carl Uncapher riding a bronc. It does not look like much of a bucking horse, but Carl was one of the best, if not the best saddle bronc rider to ever come out of this country. He rode the toughest horses and made it look easy. For 15 to 20 years everyone knew who Carl Uncapher was and they crowded the fence to watch him ride.

During the golden age of rodeo, the most unique rodeo was at Burns (Burns Hole as it was often called). In 1947, Burns consisted of a small post office, store, railroad section house, and a couple of other buildings in a narrow canyon with vertical walls along the Colorado River. The road from any direction was a narrow, often one-way, dirt road impassable when wet. A rancher or ranch hand bet ter enjoy steep rough riding and a lot of lonesome.

In 1947, the Burns Roping Club decided to hold a rodeo. An arena, with bucking chutes but no grandstand was built on more or less level ground on the mesa east of Burns. A herd of range/wild horses ran on King Mountain. They were gathered for bucking horses. The Burns rodeo was the only one that featured actual wild horses.

Shortly before the rodeo, riders assembled on King Moun tain, a steep, rough, large mountain side. In a wild ride and race, the loose horses were gathered, sorted, and driven to

the rodeo grounds. After the rodeo they were driven back and turned loose. The Burns wild horse race was wild. Their bucking horses were wild bucking horses. The rodeo was a full-blown rodeo with excellent ropers from near and far. In 1949, a grandstand was added and attempts were made to keep the dust down. Twenty-five hundred and more spectators came from all over the state to watch and take part in the excitement. Even in 1951, when the weather was bad and the road dangerous, spectators and contestants came.

For over a decade Burns was the place to rodeo. The King Mountain wild horses are gone, the Burns Roping Club is gone, the men who started the rodeo and kept it going are gone; yet part of the old rodeo arena remains along the road above Burns.

Instead of bull riding with all its complex problems, rodeos held wild cow riding events. It was relatively safe and all the would be – want to be – should be took part and had something to brag about among the ladies. Pat, Lonny, and Tim Mantle, Sam Morgan, and Ike Herold were top bronc riders. Kay Perry was a good bareback rider; however, no one was outstanding. Babe Halard, J Gentry, and Phil Sheridan tied calves in ten seconds. Babe made some money among the pros. Cleve Gentry supplied most of the rough stock. Toward the end, Pat Mantle’s Seven-Eleven furnished stock. Many rodeos held excellent cutting horse contests. A few riders had horses that worked free without a bridle or bit.

It was the golden age of rodeo.


The Face of Sunlight

The face of sunlight draws me near. Along the path, the visible trail, True light will banish needless fear, Revealing insights that will prevail.

I follow the light; the sun is high, There is a heliotropic draw, A revelation may just be nigh, With the tangible touch of awe.

The mature flower with blooming seeds, Growth extends to horizon’s wall, And, abundant fruit for my needs, Again to nourish until fall.

Sunflowers flourish, dominant yellow, Their flower a celebratory boast, Encouraging the traveling fellow, Standing tall as nature’s guidepost.

I’ll revel in the light I see, A metaphysical gift with no fee.

9October 2022Valley Voice

Over One Hundred Years in Routt County: To Denver and Back to Oak Creek

My grandfather Steve went into partnership with Mike, my maternal grandfather and bought a hotel in downtown Denver. The hotel business was short-lived, and Uncle Spiro said he cried a lot and disturbed the hotel guests. My grandfathers sold the hotel property and Steve and Helen moved to Oak Creek with their sons in about 1926. My grandfathers, Steve and Mike remained life-long friends. My Dad married my mom Irene, Mike’s daughter, in 1950.

A little earlier than when the family moved to Denver, Steve became a partner with George Nikolas as a co-owner of the Greek Pool Hall and Coffee Shop on Main Street in Oak Creek. By February, 1926, Steve was sole proprietor of the pool hall and renamed it The Oak Creek Club. At about the same time, my grandfather and his bachelor brother Petros purchased the home of Emma Bell, located next to the pool hall on Main Street. The cost: $1,200. At that time, the Bells, who came from Cripple Creek, Colorado, owned most of the town, including the local mercantile.

The Emma Bell house on Main Street was one of the only houses in town that had indoor water, one electric light bulb in the kitchen and an indoor bathroom. The house was warmed by two coal stoves and my grandmother Eleni cooked on the coal stove in the kitchen which I remember to this day. I also remember the coal shed at the back of my grandparents’ house. The door was always slightly ajar and there was a shovel and bucket inside the door to replenish the coal needs of their house. Uncle

Spiro remembered that my grandfather hired an electri cian from one of the mines to put in electricity in the rest of the house. He said that the electrician took a very long time installing each room with a light bulb. After he was done, there was electricity in every room of the house and it only cost my grandparents $1.00 monthly for that luxury!

My grandfather Steve ran the Oak Creek Club (the pool hall), and in about 1932 built Steve’s Liquor Store next door to the pool hall after Prohibition ended.

When my Dad was in his late teenage years, my grandfa ther decided to rent out the pool hall side, where it stayed a pool hall for many years and then became a roller-skat ing rink. When the Town of Oak Creek sought a youth facil ity, my grandfather let the Town use the space. And, after World War II, the veterans in Oak Creek started the VFW and used the former pool hall space for their meetings. Steve continued to run his liquor store on Main Street.

A Mountain Life

There was no water treatment or drainage infrastructure in Oak Creek in those days, so it got very muddy when it rained and snowed. Neither my dad George nor my Uncle Spiro remembered much about the MacGregor coal camp, but they vividly remembered that life was difficult for them in Oak Creek. Winters were especially cold and bru tal. Grey smoke hung thick in the winter sky because of all the coal being burned and when it snowed, it would be tens of feet deep. The boys walked to school, shuffling through the snow with their boots to make a path. As they recol lected, it was so cold they could barely breathe. No one tried to leave the house on weekends except my grandfa ther. And sometimes school would be canceled because of the extreme snows.

In the Spring, Steve planted a garden in the back yard and they had chickens and a goat for milk but they still struggled. My grandmother Helen was an exceptional cook and they always had fresh and delicious vegetables to eat. Uncle Spiro’s and Dad’s favorite dish was kota kapama, chicken with tomatoes, a bit of wine and orzo. They churned their own butter and Steve made his own version of firewater, called tsikoudia in Greek, and occasionally made wine from grapes harvested by Grand Junction Greek immigrant friends.

All the Greeks in Routt, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Mesa counties knew each other, ranched or did other business together, and visited each other once automobiles were available. Many of these friendships have endured genera tion after generation for over one hundred years.

10 October 2022 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those who wish they did. Routt County Memories
Oak Creek in 1930 Courtesy Nita Herold Naugle, Tracks and Trails Museum, Oak Creek

Steve went deer hunting in the lower White River country, elk and grouse hunting and often received a lamb from one of his Greek sheep rancher friends in the fall. They never went hungry. It wasn’t until much later that Uncle Spiro realized that the ranchers’ kindness was borne from a handshake deal with the ranchers.

The story Uncle Spiro recounted was that his Dad and Uncle Petros applied for and received 640 acres each under the Stock Raising Homestead Act of 1916. These tracts of land required no cultivation, but instead required that the tract of land be improved upon within three years to the value of $1.25 per acre. My grandfather and great uncle Petros evidently were asked by fellow Greek sheep ranchers in the area to request the land from the government. The plan was that the Greek ranchers would improve those tracts within the three-year time period at their cost.

After three years passed, the sheep ranchers asked my great uncle Petros and grandfather if they could buy the acreage from them. Since both Steve and Petros were busi ness men and not ranchers, they gladly deeded the land to the ranchers and asked for no payment. The ranchers, in appreciation, would give them several of their lambs each year.

The family built a pen for the lambs they received. Uncle Spiro remembered his dad slaughtering the lambs, washing the intestines and cooking them in a pot with tomatoes. That was my uncle’s favorite fall meal when he was young. My grandmother would butcher the rest of the animal, and cook, bake or fry the lamb pieces. My grand mother’s roast lamb with tomatoes, wine and potatoes was my favorite.

Uncle Spiro was five years old in 1928. He remembered asking his dad if he could go to the movies in Oak Creek. He told Uncle Spiro that the movies cost 15 cents, but so did a loaf of bread. Bicycles were out of the question. Uncle Spiro thought that his parents were afraid that if they had bicycles, they would fall and hurt themselves. That would require a doctor and there wasn’t enough money to send them to Denver to get medical care. So, my Dad and his brother would amuse themselves with marbles and fish ing. Neither one of those activities required a lot of money, just a fishing pole, some worms and a few marbles. This is the period when Uncle Spiro became “hooked” on fishing and Dad was a local marble shooting champion. At some point, my Dad and Uncle Spiro were caught by the Routt County game warden with too any fish. If this were not bad enough news for my grandmother, their offense was also cited in the local newspaper.

Oak Creek was a rough and tumble town back then with a lot of violence. Gunshots were heard at all hours of the night and a lawlessness really had seized the little town. Oak Creek was the biggest town in Routt County at the time. All the little coal mining towns, such as Keystone, Edna, Haybro, Argo Gulch, Moffat, Pinnacle, located on the hillsides above and along the rail tracks from Oak Creek to Haybro and into Steamboat Springs, were dependent upon Oak Creek for their goods, supplies, liquor and gambling.

Uncle Spiro remembered that the town was always busy. During the 1920’s there was no alcohol because of Pro hibition, but Steve was never daunted by this law. He was smart and an astute businessman. He was also a bootleg ger from 1920 to about 1933.

Routt County's Economy is Diverse and Growing

Beginning with my column in February I have taken a focused look at what Doug Monger, former Routt County Commissioner referred to as the three legs of Routt County’s economy. Doug used the metaphor of a stool. The three legs of the stool are agriculture, mining and tourism. The problem with the stool metaphor is that it creates a belief that the three legs are equal, and the stool represents the entirety of the economy in Routt County. Although the metaphor may be folksy, it falls far short of describing the county’s economy.

Over the past eight months I have looked at the role these three legs have played in the economy and what role they currently play. To do this I looked at three core economic measurements:

A. The industry’s contribution on a percentage basis to total county employment

B. The industry’s contribution on a percentage basis to total county personal income

C. The industry’s contribution to the county’s overall GDP

Economies, like the people who occupy them, are always changing. The three legs have never been comparatively equal to each other. There was a time in Routt County’s history when each of these three metaphorical legs were the primary industry sector. That is no longer the situa tion and has not been so for decades.

During the 20-year period shown in the graph below the number of full and part-time jobs in Routt County has grown 14.5% to a 2020 total of over 23,000. During this period Agriculture accounted for about 4% of total jobs. Mining accounted for about 3% and Tourism about 14%.

During the 20-year period shown in the graph below agriculture has remained relatively unchanged at 0.5% as a source of total Routt County personal income. Mining’s share has declined from a peak of 9% in 2012 to only 2% as of 2020. Tourism which has some fluctuations from year to year has averaged about 14%.

Agriculture as an industry sector regulary contributes to about 0.5% of Routt County’s total GDP. Mining’s share has declined from a peak of 16% in 2009 to currently 4%. Tourism has averaged about 11% as a source of the county’s total GDP.

The good news is that Routt County’s GDP has been grow ing. On an inflation adjusted basis the county’s GDP has had about 2.8% annual growth. Routt County’s GDP as of 2020 was slightly over $2 billion.

My apology to retired County Commissioner Doug Monger. His metpphorical description of Routt County’s economy as a three leg stool is not reflective of our local economic reality past or present. To be sure the three leg stool description is folksy, but it is also silly.




11October 2022Valley Voice Go Figure
25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 AG% Mining% Tourism%
Percentage of Full & Part-Time Jobs by Industry Sector (BEA Table CAEMP25N) 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 AG% Mining% Tourism%
Percentage of Personal Income by Industry Sector (BEA Table CAINC6N) 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 AG% Mining% Tourism%
Percentage of GDP by Industry Sector (BEA Table CAGDP2)

Fine Art in Brooklyn

October 6, 1914

I served and chatted with Mrs. Schlotter’s farewell bridge party at the Cabin lounge. Mesdames Dodge, Milner, Ker aghan and Burroughs entertained and rotated partners with other single and married women and two gentlemen for a total of ten card players. Miss Louise Johnson asked if I was a bridge player. I confessed I liked cribbage better. I did not mention I was going to a fine art exhibit, because it was at Madame Ollie’s parlour. I washed the dishes, reset the tables, and left work to freshen up at home before walking up the brothel stairs next door.

Madame Ollie scurried immediately up to me saying, “Oh Julius I’m so glad you came to the art exhibit. I saw Alexander Phimister Proctor’s sketches in Denver. He lives there but was born in Canada. His famous monument sculptures are in cities all over North America. He agreed to bring smaller replicas here and I want to buy one.”

“I look forward to seeing them.”

“They’re covered now.” She pointed to a corner table, set diagonally, with a white sheet that rose and fell like the Rocky Mountains obscuring the artwork. “I peeked, but you must help me choose one.”

“It will be my pleasure.”

“He’ll return soon for the unveiling. Be a good boy and play cards with the girls.” Her palpable nervous energy showed as she moved through the room adjusting things and then returned them to the same place.

Flo asked, “Julius, do you want a beer?”

“That’s the ticket.”

“I’ll be right back. Will you be my partner for the next game?”

“But of course.”

Nellie smiled saying, “How about just the three of us and a game of cutthroat.”

“How intimate,” Flo cooed.

Flo returned with a rich dark beer, sat down and Nel lie spread the cards on the table. I cut the low card and awarded the start, dealt five cards to all and one for the crib. Then we secretly each chose a card to complete my crib hand. Nellie on my left cut the cards, I turned over a queen of spades which complimented the queen of hearts and fives in my hand.

“That didn’t hurt,” I mut tered.

“You like those queens, don’t you?” Nellie mocked. “I’ll start with a two.”

“Did Corina kiss you on the lips?” Flo asked and put down a king saying, “Twelve.”

I played a queen, “Twenty-two,” and a little shocked at the question added, “Yes, several times.”

“That’s her big mistake.” Nellie ridiculed and continued, “Here’s a nine for 31 and two points.” She pegged them.

“Why do you say that?”

They both laughed and Nellie explained, “It makes one emotionally involved and especially an inexperienced girl like Corina. I’ve told you; we avoid emotion in our busi ness.”

Flo teased, “She’s doomed, and I can’t wait for the second act.”

Just then the artist, Proctor entered the parlour. He was dressed entirely in buckskins.

“Ooh, what an act to follow,” Nellie whispered, then turned to me and batted her eyes, “You would look good in leather.”

“Maybe next time.”

Madame Ollie jumped up and announced to the crowd, “Our guest of honor has arrived. Please gather around for the unveiling of the sculptures!”

I had no more than stood up when Corina walked in the room and came directly to us. Her expression completely neutral.

Madame addressed the distinguished group of doctors, lawyers and predominately well to do gentlemen, “Please

He waved and smiled during the applause and finally said, “Thank you for having me. As you can see, I’m a self-pro claimed sculptor in buckskins.” He waited for the chuckles to subside. “My motto is life is work and work is play.” He pulled the sheet off four about 15 by 15-inch bronze threedimensional works of art, a cowboy on a wildly bucking bronco, a muscled Indian warrior on a horse looking to the horizon, a buffalo and a Morgan stallion. “This one on the left is ‘Buckaroo’ and next to it is ‘On the War Trail.’ I’m currently negotiating with the City and County of Denver to create monument size sculptures of these two for the new Civic Center.”

He continued to explain his process, inspirations, and techniques. Then showed a few sketches of his current projects to the delighted assembly and asked for ques tions. Meanwhile, Corina and I stood close together and fidgeted while Nellie and Flo watched us with glee.

A short pause followed the question-and-answer period. Madame stood clapping, the crowd joined in and she announced, “Thank you so much for your presentation Mr. Proctor. Please everyone, enjoy your evening. We have very good single malt Scotch Whiskey, cocktails, wine and a selection of beer at the bar.” She received a standing ovation, waved to the multitude, and captured the artist to talk business.

Nellie turned coolly to Corina, “It is said, ‘Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue.’”

Measuring her words and speaking with perfect elocution Corina replied, “If one only hears hypocrisy then the at tempt at virtue is lost.”

Nellie brushed her fingers through her thick black hair, “We flatter ourselves thinking our vices are trivial and even confuse them with being virtuous.”

Corina calmly eyed her, “Every vice has pleasure attached to it and envy wants both.”

I could not help myself and broke in with, “Seneca the Younger wrote, ‘The vices of others we have before our eyes, our own are behind our backs.’”

Flo added, “’Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.’ I think that was Mark Twain.”

“Oui,” Nellie smiled. “Kindness is the legerdemain that soothes society.”

12 October 2022 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those who wish they did.
Victims of Love

We stood in silence, only for a moment and Corina declared, “I’m getting a cocktail,” turned on her heel and went to the bar.

“Oh, good,” Flo relieved, sighed, “We can finish our card game.”

We sat, continued, somewhat by rote, mechanically laid the cards down, and apparently digested our previous conversation. I saw from the corner of my eye, as Corina sipped her cocktail, JJ sauntered up to her with Dim close behind. Nellie gently put her hand on mine indicating pay attention to the game. Still I watched their discus sion. Then JJ said something, and Corina’s expression looked like she was offered a beverage of sulfuric acid. She pushed him away and stormed to the exit. There, she turned and waved at me. I waved back and started to pursue her, but Nellie held me down saying, “She’s a big girl and it’s still daylight outside.”

I relaxed a second or so until JJ followed her out the door. I jumped to my feet, but something tripped me, and I started falling flat face-first to the floor. Then, before I could extend my arms out to break the fall, a crushing blow hit the back of my head. I saw stars, darkness and awoke to Nellie screaming, “You brute, you hit him with a beer mug.”

Dim answered, “It was an accident.”

Madame Ollie shouted pointing at the door, “Out and don’t come back. You’re not welcome here.”

A doctor attending the exhibition sopped up my blood with his handkerchief and ordered Nellie to bring boiled water, soap, and clean bandages.

I groaned, “Corina.”

Ollie comforted with, “I sent Jose after her.”

Shortly, I was in my house with the doctor and sporting five stitches. He told me I had a concussion and not to leave the house tonight. Jose came in with a bloodied face saying Dim had hit him. Then, he reported, Flo appeared on the scene, smashed Dim in the ribs with the bar base ball bat and continued chasing after Corina. Jose did not know where they were. The doctor quickly cleaned him up too, bid us a good evening and probably went next door to make sure someone kept an eye on me. Madame joined our convalescence soon and lamented, “Youthful spirit like alcohol is best enjoyed in moderate doses.”

Eventually, Flo knocked on my door and young Jose opened it. Her ashen face said to me, “Corina is resting in her house,” she turned to Jose, “You look much better. Be a dear and stay with Julius tonight.” Then she extended a helping hand to Ollie sitting in a chair and asked, “Madame may I have word with you next door?”


“Gentlemen rest well.”

“What about JJ?”

“We left him moaning on the ground,” Flo snapped and shut the door.

(JJ boasted that women wanted to do it raw with him and condoms were for sissies. He knew I sold them. I could not spend another moment with the despicable man, and I left.

COVID Improvisation

Everyone knows the chaos inflicted upon the performing arts world when the COVID pandemic began in 2020. The aters were shut down worldwide with little or no notice. Actors and audiences turned away on opening nights. Instant unemployment for those on a gig economy with little or no safety net. Worse yet, illness and deaths by the tens of millions. Then, just when we thought it couldn't get any worse, the lunatic fringe began the online fraud of pseudo-science and conspiracy theories. Captain Bone Spur suggests injecting Clorox. Getting a vaccination, the seeming salvation of the modern world for protecting from so many diseases, became a political statement.

Flashback to the early days of 1974 when a bored theater lighting operator begins to read Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed between lighting cues. Nixon was still in power, the Vietnam war still raging, and this book spoke to those who saw theatre as a powerful tool for combating in justice and building social change through community art and action. YES!!! This is why we starve as performing art ists: to be the mechanism for transforming society! Boal’s highly interactive work broke the wall between audience and performer to engage both in a ritual of confrontation and problem solving. Wow! This is the kind of artistic work that could really transform little Steamboat Springs into a hotbed of leftist ideology and maybe allow hippies to drink in the Club 86 without getting the s*&* beat out of them by the drunken cowboys. While it didn’t work for Boal, who was beaten and tortured by the Brazilian military junta in power at the time, maybe it would work for us?

Flashforward to 2021 when a group of researchers approach the Centers for Disease Control and Preven tion (CDC) and the University of Rochester and propose a funded study that uses Boal’s theories to try to help regional health care staff navigate potentially challenging conversations about vaccination with vaccine-hesitant patients. I want to meet the person who wrote this grant because, lo and behold, the study was approved! Nearly 80 rural health care workers in upstate New York signed on to learn theater techniques developed by a Brazilian com

munist and activist 50 years earlier. Truly, this was a case of desperate times calling for desperate measures.

The three training sessions (entitled “the Science of Motivation,” Difficult Conversations,” and “Changing the Conversation”), each lasting only about an hour, took participants through improvisation and role playing to develop and enhance their ability to talk with the vaccine resistant about their fears and reasoning behind their behavior. Some of the participants were tasked as “audi ence members” who were required to critique the success of the exercise and interject if they saw opportunities to improve the conversation (“spect-actors”, as opposed to spectators, using Boal’s terminology). Blending “autonomy, competence, and relatedness—key tenets of self-determi nation theory (SDT) and motivational science” - with the interactive performance skills developed by Boal created an opportunity for the health care workers, amateur per formers all, to feel greater confidence in confronting and discussing vaccine options with their hesitant and often mis-informed patients.

What were the results of the study, you ask with bated breath? “79% of the participants reporting endorsed feel ing more confident when discussing vaccines with their patients after engagement with the intervention, 45% judged that patients they had spoken to were more likely to get vaccinated according to their change in conver sational approach, and 29% believed vaccine-hesitant patients they had spoken to became vaccinated because of the conversation. In addition, front-line individuals have experienced burnout, moral injury, and a sense of isolation from persistence of the pandemic and the responsibility of caring for seriously ill vaccine-hesitant individuals, and informal feedback suggests the workshops create a sense of camaraderie among participants, which may in itself be an intervention.”

So, here’s some evidence that the performing arts could actually be saving lives, both for the depressed health care workers and the anti-vaxxers. Expanding the role that “theatre” plays in our lives enriches and informs as well as entertains. I’ve often thought (and prepared a doctoral thesis statement to this effect) that third person narra tives can allow individuals struggling with grief resulting from a loss of any kind, to create a distance from their very personal pain and give it a perspective that can allow greater understanding of the emotions behind it. It’s as if those who suffer loss are wearing masks that give grief image and substance; but masks that can be removed and seen at arm’s length. Role playing activities enable those who are grief stricken to see others act out their story, giving the loss a name and a face; a reality that can be understood and not something imaginary to be dreaded or feared.

Augusto Boal, and others who use drama as therapy whether formally or informally, are onto something. As Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young sang in the same era Boal was writing his book: “We can change the world, Rear range the world, It's dying ... to get better.” And we have just the tools to accomplish the mission.

Theater for Vaccine Hesitancy—Setting the Stage for Difficult Conversations

John P. Cullen, PhD1,2; Savanah Russ, MPH3; Holly Ann Russell, MD, MS4

JAMA. 2022;328(11):1018-1019. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.14864

13October 2022Valley Voice
Piknik Theatre

Top of the Stairs

Tuesday. 11 am. Stairs to the second floor.

The story you are about to read is true... more or less.

Eileen stood in the parking lot looking up the stairs to the second floor. She hated stairs. When her husband, God rest his soul, bought their house in Florida over forty years ago, that was her one stipulation: absolutely no stairs.

How could this place not have an elevator? She didn't care that they only had two stories. She was flabbergasted when the clerk told her. She had considered making a fuss, but... It was so busy, and the girl at the counter already seemed flustered. Eileen didn't want to cause a scene.

Although now, as she stood at the bottom of the stairs, she was second guessing her choice.

"Excuse me," A meek voice said from behind her, "Can I sneak past you?"

Eileen was mildly startled as a frail woman with a cane hobbled past her. Without a second thought, the woman tackled the stairs. Rocking between the hand rail and her cane, she heaved herself up one stair after another until she disappeared over the top.

Well! Eileen thought, if she can do it, I suppose I should at least try. How hard could it be? She hoisted her oversized purse onto her should and tugged her suitcase up close behind her.

Putting a foot on the bottom stair, she steadied herself, then heaved her considerable mass up with all her might. She wobbled, tipped, and grabbed for the hand rail, before stomping the second foot squarely next to the first.

Eyes boring into the second stair, she repeated the pro cess: one foot up, heave, wobble, and grab! But this time her rolling suitcase caught on the first step. She had to yank it to get it to pop up behind her.

Not wanting to loose her momentum, she moved right onto the next step: one foot, heave, grab, and yank! By this time her knees were beginning to grumble, pain flashed up her legs as she heaved. It made her wince. And the weight of her suitcase tugged viciously at her shoulder.

A fit young couple walked past her, watching her with concern. She glared at them, barely stopping herself from hissing. She didn't want their pity! Look at them, barely touched by the ravages of time.

Afraid they might stop and try to help her, she quickly pressed on: step, heave, yank! Step, heave, yank! Step, heave, yank! Glancing back over their shoulders, the young couple disappeared into one of the rooms on just off the parking lot. She scowled, figured; they had a room on the ground level! She should have been staying in the first floor room, they should be hiking up these miserable stairs.

By this point she could feel sweat prickling across her flesh, she shuttered. She hated sweat, it was disgusting and unsightly! How hot was it out here anyway?! Why wasn't there any air-conditioning? She was beginning to really hate this place.

On the seventh step, Eileen paused to catch her breath. She huffed, her vision swimming like a gold fish. She couldn't be sure, but she thought she might almost be at the top. Suddenly she felt something completely unexpect ed, she felt... excitement? Her muscles ached, her joints were screaming, and she could feel abominable sweat roll ing down her neck into her under-garments. But she could also see the top, by God, she was almost there!

For the first time ever in her life, Eileen felt a palpable buzz of hope ripple through her body. It nearly drowned out the chorus of protests from her knees, hips, and shoul ders. Suddenly she believed she actually could make it to the top of the stairs. In any case, she knew she couldn't stop now, not after she had come this far!

Step, heave, yank! Step, heave, yank! Step, heave, YANK!

She was almost there, just two more steps. She was doing it, she was going to get to the top of the stairs! It was a strange and wonderful feeling, all of the angry raging from her body had faded into a distant whisper. This must be the "high" that runners were always yammering on about. For the first time in all of her 65 years, Eileen finally understood why people ran.

Step, heave, yank! Step, heave, yank! Suddenly Eileen found herself standing at the top of the stairs. She huffed, her legs wobbling under her. Clinging to the railing, she looked back to where she'd started. She couldn't believe it, she had done it, she had actually climbed to the top of the stairs!

She felt an intense sense of pride and joy at her accom plishment. It almost drowned the agony in her knees. She had no idea how long it had taken her, it felt like it had been days! But she had succeeded, she had conquered the stairs.

She swabbed sweat off her brow with her sleeve, hoping it wasn't destroying her make-up. That had been an incred ible experience, no doubt, but she shuttered at the thought of repeating it.

She had boldly pressed beyond her limitations, possibly for the first time ever. But now that she was here, she could clearly see her boundaries. With a content smile, she turned back around and dragged her suitcase back down the stairs to the lobby.

She was overjoyed at her accomplishment, but she was go ing to get herself one of those rooms on the ground level!

14 October 2022 Valley Voice For those who live here and for those who wish they did. Great Prices, Services & Parts 970-879-2725 3162 Elk River Road, P.O. Box 772498 Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 970-879-2725 Located at Neste Auto Glass Mention this Ad Uninsured Chip Repair Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 4:00pm Only Let Us Assess Your Crack! 3162 Elk River Road, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 Buddy’s Hobby Hut Track! Huge Selection! “All that power at your fingertips!”
Tales from the Front Desk

Sober October

can be used to remove alcohol from beer; steam distilla tion, reverse osmosis, special yeast strains and dilution. Let’s briefly review each of the processes.

According to , steam distillation is one of the easiest ways to remove alcohol from beer. After beer with alcohol has finished fermenting, it is heated to evaporate off the alcohol and temperature regulation is key, as alcohol evaporates at 173F and water boils at 212F. The evaporated alcohol is cooled, contained and if handled improperly, can discolor the paint on your car if spilled on the surface.

Reverse osmosis is the second method and is highly technical, involving filtration to remove alcohol and other elements from the beer, according to Used filter materials containing this purified alcohol can be utilized as an effective fire starter or used to remove sticker adhesive from windows or chewing gum from carpeting.

Special yeast strains can utilize yeast cells that only ferment glucose, sucrose and fructose. The difference is the strain does not ferment maltose, the simple sugar that produces both carbon dioxide and alcohol in the fermenta tion process, according to

The final process is dilution, which is exactly that. A high gravity (or alcohol by volume, ABV) beer, is simply a beer that has had water added to bring down the alcohol con tent. It is essentially a watered down product.

Sometimes it’s best to allow the body to heal. To moderate and find equilibrium. To experience a clarity some haven’t experienced since high school. This is a deeply personal decision for sobriety and in certain cases, one sometimes mandated by a court of law.

Regardless of who makes the call, abstinence from alcohol can be a benefit that allows the liver to go on a well-earned leave of absence instead of being punished by that ol’ demon alcohol on a monthly/weekly daily/ hourly(seriously?) basis.

But if you have an acquired taste for beer and cannot bear living without it, you will be pleasantly surprised that there are several fine choices that offer all the taste of a quality beer even if they only have a trace (usually 0.5% alcohol versus 5% or higher in regular beers) of joy juice. In addition, there are other benefits too. The calories are cut due to the absence of alcohol and the cost of a six pack of the best non-alcohol (NA) beers runs about the same at a less-than-impressive flagship six pack of offerings from the Big Three breweries.

This article will focus on how NA beer is made and take a close look at several imported European NA brews from different countries that have all the characteristics and rich taste of their ‘fully leaded’ counterparts.

Four different processes

This is where brewing turns its back on being an art form and gets scientific. There are four different processes that

Crunching (or chugging) the numbers

Three imported NA beers were chosen for evaluation as they were chosen for specific geographic locations, caloric content, price and taste. All beers have alcohol contents of 0.5%. Beers chosen included Buckler, an offering from Heineken (Holland), Kaliber from Guinness (England), and Clausthaler from Radeburger (Germany).

The first beer tested was Buckler, offering the highest calories (99) out of any beer tested in the panel. The beer pours a deep golden color with a medium foam white head and large bubbles that dissipate quickly. It has a rich, me dium taste that is malt forward with a wet finish and runs about $6 for a six pack. If you are a fan of Heineken, this is a good substitute. The beer received a 61 (poor) rating on beeradvocate.combut this is not the case. It’s far better when looking at price/value.

The second beer was Kaliber lager from Guinness but unlike the dark stout that made the brand so famous, this beer pours a much lighter, almost amber color, with a nice light head filled with fine bubbles. At 66 calories, this beer does not taste like a light beer at all and those who are counting calories will find this beer a winner. Experienced beer drinkers will find this beer is a mirror image of Guin ness’ Harp lager, minus the alcohol content and the beer runs about $8 a six. It also earned a silver medal from

The final beer sampled was Clausthaler from Radeburger in Germany. Not much of a presence in the U.S., Rade

burger is well known in Germany and this offering is a straight up German pils. Plenty of noble hops in the nose and a lacy white foam head is supported by a bright, straw colored profile. Taste is clean and very crisp, contains 96 calories and runs $8/six. Stack it up against a good full strength German pils and there will be little comparison. Even though it got a 69 (poor) rating from beeradvocate. com, this beer has been poorly judged and leaves A Beer Fairy scratching his tiara. It is worth seeking out and is the perfect apres complement on the slopes/trail when you don’t want to get buzzy after a good workout.

Last call

NA beers are worth exploring and A Beer Fairy was soundly impressed with the offerings. Not only are the four processes for alcohol extraction of interest in making the beverage, but the three beers represented all show subtle nuances from their native countries. These beverages serve as an important offering to today’s beer drinker if they determine when calorie intake is para mount, sobriety is entertained (however brief you wish), and the moment when your liver actually reaches over and pats you on the back.

15October 2022Valley Voice Suds Central
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Mensan Musings

Multiple Metaphors of Knots

Imagine a sailor on a heaving deck in a storm joining anything together and see the importance of knots. All good knots need to be easy to tie. Knots must do the job and when the knot is no longer needed it should be easy to release. Making tasks more difficult for no good reason is absurd and the failures can be catastrophic. Most knots are actually quite simple and easy to learn. The metaphori cal emotional/ mental knots follow the same rules. If these simple requirements are not met, the metaphorical sailor could be in serious danger and wasting time and energy.

Not long ago, I was teaching a few knots to a group and heard common comments like, “I can never remember...” or “I don’t really need to know knots,” or “I just wrap things around other things.” Much like politics today, I was really saddened, primarily because so many people are simply refusing to learn. Knots are actually quite easy, very functional and they play an important role in our lives. We have so many opportunities to learn and yet we spend our time insisting on being entertained playing endless games and endless bad sitcoms that are not conducive to a full life. Learning fills you endlessly though it does take a little more effort.

Knots are a superb way to discover a living metaphor that works wonderfully. It ties our lives and all our ideas together. We can discover ways to tie ourselves up even tighter to hold on to what is dear. We can throw out a line to secure us or heave a lifeline to those in need. We hoist our sails to seek distant shores where practice gives progress. Give someone some slack please. We can be too tight and wrapped up in ourselves. We measure depths and center things with plumb lines. Obviously it is a lovely mix of reality and metaphor with string, ropes and knots.

The famous Gordian Knot was tied on a wagon shaft and could not be untied. Even finding its starting point was impossible. It was prophesied that the person who could untie the knot would become ruler of all Asia. The “knot” was probably a metaphorical religious cipher but a physical knot makes for a better visual image. Legend was that Alexander the Great took his sword and cut it in half declaring, “Thus Asia is mine.” The other version is that he removed the lynch pin, thus discovering the tails and intricacies of the knot and was able to untie and conquer using skill and knowledge more than power. The first story destroys a wonderful puzzle with violence, but

the second story describes what Alexander and you can accomplish. The version using thought is harder, but far more successful.

When tying the marriage metaphorical knot, it is often quite easy to tie. We often have no idea what we have just done or the ways in which the job needs to be done. We usually don’t recognize the actual complexity of that union. Relationships are not very easy to untie. Oh yes, you can sever that knot, but often all hell breaks loose and you get washed overboard due to a lack of understanding about tying that knot in the first place, using the correct skills. When you approach the hard things and learning about the metaphorical marriage knot beforehand will serve you well.

It is true that we learn and remember best when em ploying several senses. This works best when we hear, see, write, draw, review and practice thinking about any subject. The more knots you tie the greater your retention will be. This does take practice. The problem is: You think you have time. It is stated over 2500 years ago and is as true today as it ever was. My mother is 99 and she says life has been a very short trip and there is so much more that she would have liked to do. The shortness of life is what gives it value. It is how we use our limited time that is important. Nothing hard is ever easy. The challenges in life bring us the greatest value so wouldn’t it make sense to challenge ourselves more often? It isn’t about taking bigger risks or facing bigger lions or catching bigger fish. It is about reaching deeper into ourselves and finding joy, building peace, learning harder things and realizing our flaws. We should modify them all in tiny increments. The biggest adventures are within you, so tie into that life that leads over the horizon.

The grandiose plans are rarely the path to success. Find someone who understands how to teach and guide. Then learn one knot. Overcome the barriers of denial, teasing, confusion and learn some knots. Learn a real knot and then use it metaphorically and discover how to get into a situation and then practice real skills for getting us out. Tie that knot inside your heart and mind that holds things together or releases them appropriately. Learning physical knots will help you understand the mental ones better because you can “see” them. Look around and hitch yourself to a star.

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Some tales are a bit hard to swallow. Sometimes the story teller can’t even believe the story that he, or she, just told. This story was not one of them.

1972, late fall. The tiny yacht “Tumbleweed” and her solo crew were southbound several miles off the coast of Georgia. A light southeastern breeze kept us on course at four knots (that’s a brisk walking speed). I’d been at sea for long enough to feel a bit wary and ready for a full night’s rest. Tumbleweed could self-steer for hours on end, but it was time to make landfall as I was sailing off the Florida coast and the northbound Gulf Stream was pinch ing me between its current and the coast. Any seasoned off-shore sailor knows there is safety far out into the ocean and danger lies along the coastlines. I was not a seasoned off-shore sailor, but at age 22, I felt invincible. I should have noticed on the chart the submerged stone jetty that lies just 4 feet under and protects the entrance to the Amelia River. The tide was low and beginning to flood (coming inland). The western sunset obscured my vision as I mistakenly sailed onto the jetty. I misread the strange wave forms and soon realized Tumbleweed was pounding hard on the submerged jetty. The sun was setting over the Florida coast as I felt Tumbleweed’s hull strike the first rock and then another. This one pierced through the starboard side just below the hull’s waterline, and instantly stopped the boat. Sea water began to rush in. I jumped below to get a bucket and could see the tip of the rock coming through under a birth. As I came back on deck a timely ocean swell, from that southeast wind, lifted Tumbleweed up at least two feet. The swell freed us from the rock’s grip, and the incoming tide carried Tumbleweed over the jetty into the river’s mouth. The incoming current was now stronger and pushed us into the deeper water of the river’s channel. Tumbleweed’s foot powered bilge pump couldn’t keep up with the sea water still pouring in,

but when fearing for your life, a drywall bucket can move a lot of water! The wind and current was from behind and I kept the main and jib set and pulling hard. I needed to find a protected shore to drive Tumbleweed ashore on the rising tide to keep from sinking still a mile off shore. No time here to think about the consequences of not making it. In those days, many small craft often did not have shipto-shore radio or rescue beacons. And GPS was for bigger yachts with generators! Tumbleweed traveled without the need of electronics, a powerful engine or many other seemingly necessary contrivances. I did have a dinghy on board, equipped with oars and survival gear, and if Tumbleweed didn’t make it I’d still have a good chance of surviving. I kept bailing with all sails up. With the current, and wind pushing us hard, we were moving fast. An inlet, just inside the river’s mouth, appeared in the evening light. I veered to port (which means going left) and now with the wind on the beam we roared into a protected cove with a sandy beach next to some oyster beds. I needed a sandy beach, not mud or rocks, for my intended repair. The oys ters might come in handy. The high tide of the full moon would allow Tumbleweed’s deep keel to get high on the beach and wait for the morning’s low tide. This is called “careening,” which allows a boat’s crew to do work on the exposed bottom for the few hours of a low tide. During this time the boat would lie on lie at 45 degrees until the tide returned. I would lay Tumbleweed down on her side with the damaged side up. Sleeping and cooking on board while beached is quite difficult. That next morning I began working at 3 AM just as the damage began to show itself. I cleaned and sanded around the damaged area and epoxy glued a patch on the inside of the ragged hole, about the size of a man’s fist. This patch was completed before the tide came back and floated Tumbleweed back upright. The next step would be to wait for the next low tie to patch the outside area. This would be in about twelve hours.

I then jogged a few miles down the beach to a road that, according to the chart, would lead to a small village that hopefully had a hardware store where I could buy enough fiberglass cloth and more resin to complete the outside patch. This, of course, would be done on the next low tide. The hardware store was there, sold me the supplies and even gave me a ride back to the beach trail. The patch went fine and the resins set up, as planned, before the high tide would rise to cover it all up and my repair was complete. My plan was to float Tumbleweed off the beach on the next day’s high tide. Well, not quite. The full moon of the previous two nights brought the highest and lowest of tides which allowed for my repair. But that next high tide did not totally float the Tumbleweed’s 6000 pounds. I tried

to winch her off the beach to an anchor I had set 100 feet offshore. The next high tide needed to rise at least 4 feet. That may not happen for another month!

Ahh, plan “B.” I set up a more comfortable beach home in the trees well above the high-water mark. I slept well. According to the tide tables, the next low tide would occur at 09:15. But I awoke early to have time to begin digging as the sand began to become exposed under Tumbleweed’s keel. The tide would continue to drop another foot before reversing with the flood tide. I used my army surplus trenching shovel to dig at least a foot under the hull and all the way out to the low tide line. I continued digging as the tide began to rise. Once the water had reached Tumbleweed it would have to rise another 4 feet from the bottom of the new trench. A few hours later Tumbleweed was floating in the trench I quickly loaded my bedding and stove from my beach camp and prepared to winch Tumbleweed backwards out the trench. None of this plan was new to me. I had read of this self-rescue technique a year before while planning this voyage from my hospital bed (another story).

Tumbleweed did float out, at last, into the deeper water of the cove and after a day of rest and a fabulous dinner of steamed oysters, I had a pleasant sleep while safely an chored in the cove. The following morning we sailed out of that river’s mouth on the ebb tide (going out) to continue our southbound ocean journey to the Bahamas.

This misadventure at sea and shore was just another les son I needed to learn. My respect for the power of “nature and man” was at a new level... and I will now read the chart more carefully! Comfort is the enemy of growth.”

Forty years later, my partner, Gigi, and I were traveling comfortably in our VW camper van near that same stretch of Florida coast which had now become a state park. Apparently, the submerged jetty, that was built during the civil war, had more historical significance than the near demise of the my little Tumbleweed. Near the beach of my own shipwreck was now a small interpretative center and museum. We stopped in on our way to the cove and lis tened to the curator’s tales of the many shipwrecks along that coast. I began to share my own shipwreck tale, but sometimes I wonder if my story might be hard to swallow. The curator interrupted me. Maybe I was talking too much about something that never happened? He said, “Yes, I re member that boat, did she have a blue hull with the name Tumbleweed on the transom?” I said, “Yes, that was me!” He said, “We saw you and you seemed to be doing just fine.”

Happy Feet, Happy Life

The only podiatrist in the region!

Happy feet carry you through your day and let you do the things you love.

Derek Harper, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, sees patients for general foot and ankle issues and performs simple and complex surgeries.

17October 2022Valley Voice Adventure... A Guide to Life's Challenges
Hayden Steamboat Springs Walden Meeker
2201 Curve Plaza • Steamboat (West of Ace Hardware)
Derek Harper, DPM 970-826-2465

Your Monthly Message

Aries March 21 - April 19

You will experience your first moment of clai raudience when an angel appears before you to give you a message from the Lord himself. However, before it imparts the holy memoran dum unto you, it double checks its paperwork, apologizes for being a few days early and reminds you to keep flushing your Thorazine down the toilet.

Taurus April 20 - May 20

It’s really only socially appropriate to say; “Oh, look how big you’ve gotten!” when speaking to small children and pregnant women. But you don’t care, you believe in equality.

Gemini May 20 - June 20

Sometimes words are simply not enough to express how you really feel, which is why you have installed a device into a backpack that plays Sinead O’Connor and Sarah McLaughlin on loop while you shuffle down the sidewalk, continuously shedding one perfect tear.

Cancer June 21 - July 22

Extreme backcountry hunting may be growing in popularity, but people are not yet ready to appreciate your newest passion of Deer ‘Splodin.

Leo July 23 - August 23


September 23 - October 23

You always said that if you were to become king, you would rule with an iron fist and reinstate the old world’s traditions and customs. Un fortunately, warning every one of your plans didn’t do you any favors, as you are beheaded moments after your coronation leaving your second-cousin Randy in control, who immedi ately instates mandatory nationwide topless Tuesdays and requires all restaurants to close besides the Hooters and Village Inn.


October 24 - November 21

You never thought you’d hear the doctor use the reference “like clowns coming out of a clown car” as a medical description but they simply couldn’t think of a more accurate way of describing the spiders coming out of the growth on your neck.

Sagittarius November 22 - December 21

In the near future, you will get audited and be required to pay the IRS $11,000 dollars in back taxes. Luckily, they are willing to let you pay in reasonable installments with a low interest rate and more importantly the years of selling human organs out of Styrofoam coolers in the back of your car will continue to go unnoticed by authorities, so in retrospect the $11,000 doesn’t seem so bad.

It’s not your fault that people don’t understand you and romantic love passes you by. It’s their fault for not owning cassette players to listen to the sweet ass mix tapes you give them. If they put in an effort to hear “Brooding Jams Volume 4-7,” they would know exactly how deep and

Aquarius January 20 - February 18

It will feel just like when you were a kid, stuck in the middle of your mom and dad’s fights, after the devil on your left shoulder and the angel on your right’s relationship disintegrates into a screaming match.

Pisces February 19 - March 20

Despite explaining that you are not trying to prowl on innocent people and you are just birdwatching the birdwatchers, your hobby will not be well received and you will be arrested on stalking charges. This also doesn’t explain what you’re doing with the giant cage and bags of wood chips which you defend are totally unrelated.

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19October 2022Valley Voice The Shortest Season
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