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MAGAZINE • Spring 2014

Creating smiles Therapy dogs bring encouragement to students and more

• Musician battles to play again • Renovating century old homes • Many options for spring salads



After Knee Replacement Surgery, Karen Fox is Standing Strong

With her kid’s families in Texas to visit and a demanding job that she loves, Karen has absolutely no time or patience for any physical infirmity that might slow her down. Karen knows she made all the right decisions in choosing Montrose Memorial Hospital for her knee surgeries. Her best advice? Don’t suffer needlessly and put things off when there is help and excellent care readily available so close to home. Call Montrose Memorial Hospital today to learn more about the area’s most innovative Joint Replacement Program at 970-252-2995.

ontrose • Spring 2014

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Katharhynn Heidelberg

Nathan Meacham

Drew Setterholm

Nate Wick

Lu Anne Tyrrell ADVERTISING Dennis Anderson Rebecca Kelln Heidi Gofforth Janine Bush PAGE DESIGN Greg Mannino PUBLISHER Francis Wick GENERAL MANAGER Tisha McCombs

ontrose • Spring 2014

Spring renewal T

here’s something about spring that just gives me a little extra pep. After a cold winter with a fair amount of snow, I am always happy to open my windows and enjoy the spring breeze. In Montrose the breeze can be a little much somedays, but I’m happy to have it anyway. Although New Year’s resolutions are meant to be made in early January, I’ve always thought of spring as a true renewal for the year. Out with the old and in with the new seems to apply to just about everything during this time of year. If you look in the fields you will see blooming flowers, calves and plenty of greenery. It is also the renewal of social activity in Montrose. In the coming months we will see the return of Main in Motion, a a 12-week long summer festival event located in the historical downtown Montrose. Also on tap is a free trappers primitive rendezvous, a wine festival and bicycle tour of Colorado. This issue of M Magazine is about as diverse as spring is in Montrose. It includes historic home renovations, therapy dogs, art and much more. A surprise of a story for me was the interview with an Olathe piano teacher. I expected great anecdotes about her life and what teaching means to her. What I didn’t expect was the story she told our reporter Nathan Meacham. Without giving too much away I will say at one point she continues playing while a fight breaks out on stage. Beyond that is a great story that showcases local talent. I also can’t end this column without mentioning Katharhynn Heidelberg’s piece on therapy dogs. The pictures our photographer Nate Wick managed to grab are adorable. But Katharhynn’s piece tells the story behind their big eyes. Therapy dogs have made a big difference in many locals’ lives and are used regularly at the hospital and schools. Find a comfortable place to sit, grab a cup of tea and enjoy the spring issue of Montrose magazine. -Justin Joiner Managing editor

Upcoming Events & Attractions Get ready to kick up your heels in Montrose and surrounding areas this spring. Fun of all sorts is on tap at the following events.

Upcoming events


A flea market sponsored by the Montrose Women’s Club will be held at the Montrose County Fairgrounds, 1001 N. Second St., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 4th Annual Cobble Creek Compassion Bash, and interactive fashion show for guys and gals will benefit Dr. Mary Vader’s Helping Hand Fund, a component of the Montrose Community Foundation. It will take place at 6 p.m. at the Cobble Creek Clubhouse. Tickets are $20, and available at She She Boutique and D’Medici Footwear, the Cobble Creek Pro Shop and online at www.compassionbash. For more info call 970-9644947 or email



Get ready to kick up your heels in Montrose and surrounding areas this spring. Fun of all sorts is on tap at the following events.

April APRIL 3

The First Friday art stroll begins at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Montrose. It includes a mxi of shopping, art, dining, drinking and socializing.

APRIL 4-6 The Montrose Adventure Film Festival kicks off. The inaugural year will include three days of film from around the world, an Adventure Media series with professionals from photography, filmmaking, writing and art, yoga in a Colorado Yurt with Prana Ambassador, Olivia Hsu, and the world premier of “The New Black” by Evan Kay. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.adventurefilm. org/film_festival/montrose/index.aspx.


The Laff Inn Comedy Club will be from 7-10 p.m. at 2 Rascals Brewing Company, 147 N 1st St. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from Canyon Creek Bed and Breakfast, 2 Rascals Brewing Company, or online at www.


The First Friday art stroll begins at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Montrose. It includes a mxi of shopping, art, dining, drinking and socializing.


The Laff Inn Comedy Club will be from 7-10 p.m. at 2 Rascals Brewing Company, 147 N 1st St. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from Canyon Creek Bed and Breakfast, 2 Rascals Brewing Company, or online at

MAY 9-10

MAY 22-26 The Uncompahgre Freetrappers Happy Canyon Primitive Rendezvous is set for the Sims Mesa Forest Service Land. For more information, visit uncompahgre2014.htm.

June JUNE 5, 12, 19 AND 26 Main in Motion is a 12-week long summer festival event located in the historical downtown Montrose. There are a ton of entertainment and activities for the whole family. See the event’s Facebook page or website for themes and up-to-date details.

JUNE 22-23 The Bicycle Tour of Colorado is an annual seven-day fully supported bicycle tour in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The event provides camping areas, baggage transportation, route maps, road markings, snack and water stations every 15-30 miles, bicycle repair services, and medical support along the route. For more information, visit

The Wine Festival weekend is one of the largest fundraisers of the year for Montrose. Sponsorship’s available now, and tickets for one or both of the open events will be available on the website ( soon.




Contents Super salads • Montrose restaurants offer a variety of salads that cater to everyone.


Cover Story They are so cute • Therapy dogs may be huggable, but they serve a greater purpose.


Women golfers • Golf popular enough among women locally to warrant three groups.


Denver connection • Local gallery owner Wil Harmsen has had his hands on a camera since he was 4.


Around the world • Piano player’s skill has taken her on an incredible journey.

Gift Guide • Art in several media styles abounds in Montrose.

Unique history and challenges • Renovating historic Montrose homes a challenge worth facing.

Out and About • Local residents find their way to M magazine.


ontrose • Spring 2014


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pIaNo takes olathe musician on incredible journey

Photo by Nathan Meacham Maria Tirone plays the piano in the piano lesson studio at Montrose Music March 10.

Tirone shares her love of music through piano lessons By Nathan Meacham • daily press Staff Writer

ontrose • Spring 2014


aria Tirone came across her first piano at her grandmother’s house in Brush, Colo. Then, at 5 years old, she started asking her parents to learn how to play it, and at 7 she got her wish. She hasn’t stopped playing since. “My parents couldn’t tear me away from the piano,” she said. “I practiced for hours.” Tirone’s music and her skills on the piano have taken her around the world. She has performed for fighting Marines and stars in Hollywood, and now she shares her love of the piano with anyone who is interested to learn.

“I realized I really enjoyed teaching,” she said. “I just love it, especially the kids.” Tirone, who lives in Olathe, is now a piano teacher at Montrose Music. She previously taught at the same location when it was Mesa Music, but then had to teach out of her home when the store was sold. Now that she has returned she can reach students who might not be able to make the trip to her Olathe home. “This is a good opportunity for me and for the store,” she said. Her journey on the piano bench has come

Photo by Nathan Meacham Maria Tirone plays one of her own songs on the piano at Montrose Music March 10. Tirone, who has been playing piano since she was 7 years old, holds lessons at the music store.


It took a great deal of practice and diligence to get my music back, but now I’m at the level I was at before I was hit. Maria Tirone

Photo by Nathan Meacham Maria Tirone’s hands fly across the piano keys in her teaching studio at Montrose Music on March 10.

with excitement, nervousness and most importantly perseverance. The story starts with Tirone, now 46, as a 7-year-old girl playing the piano for the first time while growing up in Arvada, Colo. She was classically trained and started competing at the district, state and national levels by age 10. It was during a state competition in Estes Park at 13 years old when she fell in love with her first piano, a Steinway that she used to win the competition. Her second piano love was a Bösendorfer she played at Rockley Music in Denver. Her talent earned her a scholarship at what is now known as Metro State University of Denver. There she started playing different styles of music and composing her own while earning a piano performance degree. She also studied abroad her senior year in Seville, Spain, where she became bilingual and was thankfully placed in a home with a piano. “That was hard to find,” Tirone said. The journey then took her to the Continued on next page




Continued from page 9 Photo by Nathan Meacham Maria Tirone poses for a picture at Montrose Music, where she teaches piano lessons. Tirone has been playing piano since she was 7 years old.

ontrose • Spring 2014

Crossover Band out of Denver, where she played piano and was a lead vocalist as the group traveled for USO tours in 1994. She performed in Japan, Korea and Australia, and remembers one unforgettable show with the Marines. “The Marines were something else. They were just wild,” Tirone said. “A fight broke out one time when we were playing, and I just kept singing. They ran into the drums and I just kept on going.” Tirone came back to the U.S. and decided to move to Los Angeles for her music career. She was a model, and actress and often performed at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Then, in an instant, the piano was taken away from her. Tirone was hit by a car and suffered a brain injury that would require several years of recovery. “It was really scary because, at first, when I tried to play the piano … I didn’t recognize

Photo by Nathan Meacham Maria Tirone plays and sings one of her own songs on the piano at Montrose Music March 10.

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a lot of the notes,” she said. “It took a great deal of practice and diligence to get my music back, but now I’m at the level I was at before I was hit.” That was six years ago, and the accident prompted her move from Los Angeles to Olathe to be closer to her parents, who live in Montrose. There was definitely some initial culture shock. “It took some getting used to but I love it now,” she said. She then met her husband Danny, his two kids, and the tree and hop farm she would support. “I never thought I would do anything like that. I was a city girl,” she said. Tirone was working on an album when she was in the accident, ending its production, but she is now preparing to release her new album, “From Hollywood to Hops,” this coming November. It will include two songs from the album that was never finished, mostly because writing songs has become a weekly occurrence. Tirone has written 50 songs in the last eight months. “I have just been on a writing spree, hours a day,” she said. Tirone has traveled the world, handled fighting Marines, learned from Lionel Richie and battled through tough times. The constant has been her love for the music. She shares that love with her six students, and for her, the long journey has “paid off.” ■

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Photo by Drew Setterholm/Daily Press The informal dining room is part of the new section of the Linenberger home, but preserves the original aesthetic of the building.

Home renovation has challenges, lasting rewards By drew Setterholm • daily press Staff Writer


here is a sweet simplicity to purchasing a turnkey home, but for some, it cannot compete with the satisfaction of finding, reimagining and remodeling a vintage home. Michael Lodato, a Montrose entrepreneur, saw great potential in the Lakeshore Drive home he and his family purchased in 2005. He and his father-in-law would spend a year remodeling

ontrose • Spring 2014

the vintage building before the family moved in, and renovations continued well past move-in. Originally constructed in 1887, the Lodato household has a colorful history and was not always a residence — according to previous owners and history buffs, the home was once a trading post. “That’s what they tell us, is that it was a

hitching post, trading post that they traded with the (Native Americans) from and did switching of horses for the post office and banks,” Lodato said. Among the relics he and his family discovered while reworking the home, one of the most interesting was a receipt for a boiler from the 1800s, shipped from England. When Lodato entered the renovation project,

Photo by Justin Joiner/Daily Press Michael Lodato and his son Oliver pose for a photo in the Lodatos’ kitchen.

Photo by Justin Joiner/Daily Press Michael Lodato’s house has a colorful history and was not always a residence — according to previous owners and history buffs, the home was once a trading post.

he had a particular plan in mind. As the project progressed, he learned remodeling a home requires a certain amount of flexibility. Part of the plan was taking down some of the interior walls, but that changed when a new aesthetic appeared. “We took out this middle wall and saw how nice it was opened up,” Lodato said. “We had totally different plans for the house when we started it, and then we had to redo all the plans once we saw how cool it was and that there was actually brick (beneath layers of wall).” Some things about the house will never change — after more than a century, the foundation has shifted less than an eight of an inch, Lodato said. Continued on next page



Photo by Drew Setterholm/Daily Press Anne and Ken Linenberger sit at the crushed quartz countertop in the renovated kitchen, surrounded by vintage tin finishings and the home’s original brick wall in the background.

Photo by Justin Joiner/Daily Press Matching styles in the new and old sections of the house was a challenge for Michael Lodato, but one the Lodato family has been able to meet.

Continued from page 15 Matching styles in the new and old sections of the house was a challenge, but one the Lodato family has been able to meet. It seems the theme of the home always comes back to the segments of original brick seen throughout. “I had an idea of exactly what we wanted to do. We looked at it a lot before we bought it — but you have to be flexible. We had to change the whole plan for the main floor once we found how good it looked with the brick open,” Lodato said. While the home was a financial investment, it was also an investment of time and energy. Now planning a move, the house is back on the market and could be open to the imaginings of a new owner. “It was a lot of work, but it was fun,” Lodato said. “It has been a good time.” For other home renovators, the process of making a classic home new again has more to do with finding the right help.

ontrose • Spring 2014

Photo by Justin Joiner/Daily Press Michael Lodato, a Montrose entrepreneur, had a specific plan in mind as he remodeled the home.

A S I M P L E R WAY T O S H O P Whole House of Shades Ken and Anne Linenberger have a historic home, filled with welcoming wood and enduring stone surfaces. Its original character is preserved, but the home now also features a modernized kitchen and spacious master suite. The Linenbergers began plans for renovation of the home, seated on Spring Creek road and one of a handful of the establishing properties in the area, in 1979. Anne desired a more functional kitchen, and Ken a slightly more indulgent master bath. The requirement for the renovation, though, was preserving the roots and character of the original building; it was more taxing than the couple expected. “We’d made several different plans, had different people work up some plans. It never looked right,” Ken said. “It always looked like an addition slapped on the back of the house.” That’s where a personal acquaintance came in — Walt Hill. Not an architect by trade, Hill shared the Linenberger’s vision for a modernized classic. Continued on next page



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Photo by Drew Setterholm/Daily Press The remodeled kitchen shows elements of new and old, including new floors and appliances and the original brick wall.

Continued from page 17 “Walt came out and looked at the house and we talked. He went home that night and stayed up the entire night, drawing pictures, drawing rough sketches — and he was the first guy who ever got it. He just did an incredible job,” Ken said. With plans in place, the Linenbergers went to work, with help from contractors who understood their vision. The project was not without personal investment of time and labor from the owners, either. “I was a teacher, and every summer I would every do another room or plant another garden,” Anne said. “It’s been my passion.” After nearly nine months of intensive labor and years of fine tuning from the Linenbergers, the home has finally taken on the feel the couple was looking for. The original sections of the house remain in pristine condition with period furnishings, while new sections are filled with Pennsylvania red oak

Photo by Drew Setterholm/Daily Press The renovated master bath shows the Linenbergers’ vision — new spaces designed and decorated to complement the original home.

ontrose • Spring 2014

Photo by Drew Setterholm/Daily Press A grandchild room was a must for house owners and renovators Anne and Ken Linenberger, both from large families.

baseboards and vintage tin trim to be nearly seamless with the rest of the home — with the exception of the master suite’s steam shower, of course. Anne couldn’t be happier with the new kitchen, complete with a crushed quartz island countertop, and Ken has the master bath he wanted. It is a home that can comfortably host family gatherings, and without the nuisances of an old building. “It’s definitely a work of love. I love everything about this house,” Anne said. ■

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Photo by Nate Wick Reading to Rover participant Dayanara Nieves grooms her reading pals, dogs Nikki, Sophie and Maddy after a reading session at Oak Grove Elementary School.

ontrose • Spring 2014

Four-legged therapy:

Send rover right over Morningstar Therapy dogs comfort the sick, encourage kids By Katharhynn heidelberg • photos by Nate Wick


he child fit the description of “once bitten, twice shy” — having survived a dog-mauling, she was at first hesitant when the golden retriever came into her hospital room. But the dog’s handler introduced the pair slowly, letting her see how friendly the canine was. The dog was asked back the next day. This time, the little girl was delighted. For many, that’s a heartwarming tale. For DonMcLean, who was the handler, it’s one of the reasons why he’s part of Morningstar Therapy Dogs, along with the furry therapist of the story, his dog, Winston. “That little girl just about jumped out of bed, she was so thrilled to see Winston,” recounted McLean. “The mother took me into the hall and said, ‘I don’t know what you two did, but my daughter has overcome her fear of animals, and dogs especially, and I just want to thank you both.’” McLean and Winston are among the 20 or so handlers and therapy dogs who visit Montrose Memorial Hospital, assisted living centers and nursing homes, schools and the Montrose Regional Library. Morningstar Therapy was founded about 10 years ago by Bettye Hooley, a local veterinarian. The group derives its name from that of her clinic, Morningstar Veterinary, but is a nonprofit and not directly affiliated with the clinic, explained Ann Furgurson, the group’s president. “I first became involved because I am a teacher and I had heard about using a dog to help children, especially with reading and emotional problems,” said Furgurson, who teaches at Oak Grove Elementary. “That’s what I’ve been doing for about six years, taking my dogs to school. ... A therapy dog is used to cheer up people or make people feel more comfortable.” A therapy dog is not the same as a service dog, which performs tasks to aid its owner. A therapy dog undergoes training and certification to be taken — with permission — into public places such as schools and hospitals to advance the comfort of others. “We don’t work with service dogs. A therapy dog is that you and your dog are a team and go out, and volunteer to make people feel better,” said Furgurson. “It’s you and your dog volunteering. A service dog is your own dog, helping you. A lot of people don’t understand that. “Our goal is to promote therapy dogs in the community and help people be trained.” Any dog one year or older with the right disposition can be trained as a therapy dog, but it has to be evaluated and registered. National organizations perform the testing; some of those organizations have evaluators in the area, including two in Montrose. Morningstar Therapy Dogs can put people in touch with the evaluators. “The thing that a therapy dog organization is looking for is not so much obedience, but if the dog likes people, is friendly, and (whether) you and your dog make a good team. It’s your rapport and how well the dog does,” Furgurson said. Continued on next page 21


Continued from page 21 The registration requires a small yearly fee, but the handler receives $1 million in insurance. “By it passing the test, the (host) facility knows your dog is well behaved and has been looked at by professionals and tested by professionals,” she explained. “Then we have insurance that goes with that, just as safety in case anything happens.” Breeds seen in the Morningstar group run the gamut. Furgurson has three Westies, Mikki, Maddy and Sophie. “They all three go to my school once a week for the reading program. In the years I’ve been

ontrose • Spring 2014

doing that, I’ve seen the kids really improve their reading,” she said. Reading to a dog is less intimidating than reading aloud to people — the canine isn’t going to judge, after all. Furgurson also uses her therapy dogs to motivate the kids: They can take home books, read them, and on Friday, if they remember to return their books, they get to read to one of the dogs. “It’s been amazing,” said Furgurson. “We actually probably have more facilities in the community that want the dogs than we have therapy dogs to send out.”

“We have great therapy dogs,” said Susan Smith, director of the med-surg unit at Montrose Memorial Hospital. Patients really do (enjoy them). Patients say either yes or no. Most of the time, they say yes.” Therapy dogs can help people lower blood pressure and have a calming effect, Smith said. “It’s a good distraction for someone who is feeling really sick. It makes them feel at home, comfortable. When you’re feeling good, it helps the healing process.” Patients also get someone to talk to, if they want. Handlers stay and visit.

“Sometimes, it’s nice to have a visit from somebody,” said Smith. “... I appreciate the time and dedication of our therapy volunteers. Also, the dogs know when they are at work. They’re glad to be there, which is kind of fun.” Indeed, the benefits don’t only flow one way — Fido gets something out of it, too. Maddy, a border collie, “knows” every elementary school in town, said her human, Shane Hamblin, who at 18 is Morningstar Therapy Dogs’ youngest member and its publicity officer. “She does well with elderly people, too, but when we pass a school, her ears perk up and she knows where we’re going,” Hamblin said. He became a member after attending one of the group’s meetings last summer. “I happened to shadow one of the teams to the hospital. I just loved the smile the team brought to the one patient. He was just grinning ear-to-ear.” Hamblin then underwent the registration process and said it was easy, as well as “worth it.” Since then, he and Maddy have visited three elementary schools, the library (which hosts the Reading to Rover program) and assisted living facilities. “It’s really rewarding to just get out in the community and try to help out where we can help out,” said Hamblin. “We’re not miracle workers, but if a kid is having a bad day and we can come in with a dog and put a smile on his face, it’s worth it. “Nothing can beat happiness.” The handlers also win. “I take them and help other people, but the best therapy is what they give me, too,” said Furgurson. “It’s very rewarding to be in an organization that you can clearly see makes people happy and helps the community.” McLean and Winston have been part of Morningstar Therapy Dogs for almost five years. They visit the library for Reading to Photo by Nate Wick Reading to Rover partisapant Prisila Guiterrez, right, Looks at the camera as the rest of the group has a little play time with dogs Nikki, Sophie and Maddy at Oak Grove Elementary School.

Continued on next page


A GOOD THERAPY DOG CANDIDATE: Is at least a year old

Walks on a leash without pulling

Is clean and well-groomed.

Good around other dogs

Doesn’t mind strange noises and smells

Testing processes may vary, but require a fee,

Listens to its handler

Is calm for petting

which provides liability insurance.

Allows strangers to touch it

Is current on all vaccinations

Therapy dogs do not have the same legal

Does not jump on people

Has a negative fecal test every year

standing as service/assistance dogs. Source: Therapy Dogs Inc. 23


Photo by Nate Wick Reading to Rover participants, from left, Yasmine Vasquez, Dayanara Nieves, their teacher Ann Furgurson and Prisila Guiterrez pose for photo with their reading pals, Nikki, Sophie and Maddy after a reading session at Oak Grove Elementary School.

MORNINGSTAR THERAPY DOGS DETAILS Meetings: Second Tuesday of the month, 6 p.m., St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Sunnyside Road. Active, voting members must be registered through nationally recognized organizations and are asked to attend six functions or monthly meetings and make 12 therapy visits a year. There is also an associate membership status, and friends and guests are welcome at meetings. Phone: Ann Furgurson, 252-1258; Paula Brown, 249-6540 or Karen Wallis, 249-5693. Website:

ontrose • Spring 2014

Continued from page 15

Rover and work with kids at elementary schools who are struggling with reading, as well as with special needs children. “They really enjoy seeing the dog. It’s been a wonderful program for both of us,” McLean said. The team goes to Montrose Memorial Hospital every other Monday. “We spend time with the patients in the med-surg unit. We also go down to the rehab area and visit with the folks who are in rehab for hip surgery, or something like that,” McLean said. “We enjoy talking with the individuals. We’ve had some really good experiences with Winston.”



We’re not miracle workers, but if a kid is having a bad day and we can come in with a dog and put a smile on his face, it’s worth it. Shane Hamblin, Morningstar Therapy Dogs

Winston was featured in a Therapy Dog Inc. publication as the result of his hospital visit with the young girl referenced at the start of this story. He has also been on TV. “He’s kind of a celebrity,” said McLean. “It’s been a rewarding thing for me,” added the retiree. “I found my calling. We kind of do a community service.” There’s always room for more therapy dogs, Furgurson said, suggesting that people with dogs who are looking for ways to volunteer check into the group. “It’s a good bonding experience for you and your dog and it’s great for other people too,” Hamblin said. “It’s very, very rewarding for you and the community.” ■

Photo by Nate Wick Reading to Rover particiant Dayanara Nieves reads to Nikki during a reading session at Oak Grove Elementary School.



FreSh and FuN restaurants offer variety of salad selections By drew Setterholm daily press Staff Writer


Stonehouse chef Kevin Gurney holds a freshly prepared blackened salmon salad, a pairing of citrus-sweet and spicy elements.

ontrose • Spring 2014

ain course salads are a popular dish any time of year and especially in the spring and summer months when fresh ingredients are readily available. Montrose’s restaurants have a variety of choices available in the salad department to suit nearly any taste. At Stonehouse restaurant, chef Kevin Gurney has a few recipes for lunch and dinner salads that are in demand year round and popular with returning customers. The spinach salad with grilled chicken and the blackened salmon salad are house favorites. The spinach salad is prepared with a house-made balsamic vinaigrette dressing, berries, candied pecans, blue cheese crumbles, red onion and topped with cuts of grilled chicken breast. It plays to the sweet side of the palate, but is balanced by tart flavors, as well. “The spinach salad is pretty much a sweet salad,” Gurney said. “You get the sweet berries and the sweet balsamic dressing, and then you get the tart from the blue cheese. It’s got a nice little sweet and tart combination going on.” The blackened salmon salad is slightly spicier fare. It is prepared with mixed greens tossed in a house-made citrus vinaigrette, avocado, tomato, and topped with blades of asparagus and a pan-seared cut of salmon. The citrus dressing pairs well with the spiciness of blackening seasoning on the salmon, Gurney said. These two choices on the Stonehouse menu draw diners for lunch and dinner year round, and Gurney’s expert preparation and presentation keep them coming back. The

At Stonehouse, the spinach salad with grilled chicken, at left, plays on a combination of sweet and tart flavors.

chef has been with the restaurant since it opened, and his popular salads are staples on the menu. For a different take on salads, Firehouse restaurant has the ultra-unique creations of chef and owner Sayed Kamal to offer. Kamal’s dishes are unique in their fusion of American and Indian influences, and because Kamal created every recipe for every dish on the menu from scratch. “Cooking is in my blood,” Kamal said. Firehouse has a main course salad on its menu sure to tempt anyone who craves intricate flavors: the Tandoori chicken salad. Kamal said the dish comes from very traditional Indian fare, made one of a kind by his personal touch. The salad is prepared with organic spinach, romaine and mixed greens and topped with cucumber, tomato, onion and black olives, among other accouterment. The highlight is Kamal’s Tandoori chicken, which is artfully presented on the dish. The chicken, Kamal says, is prepared with a blend of spices only he knows. “I use a lot of flavors in my dishes,” he said. “Sometimes I have 25 or 30 different spices in a dish.” The combination of spices is not overwhelming, he said, only full-flavored and complex. Kamal is also proud to use only organic ingredients in his salads, making it an easy choice for green eaters. With these and many other options available, Montrose diners should have no problem exploring a variety of flavors, ingredients and fresh ways to dine out. ■

The Tandoori chicken salad, offered by chef and owner Sayed Kamal at Firehouse restaurant, is a traditional Indian dish with a unique presentation.

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Bridges Women’s Golf Association Vice President Julie Hatch and President Glenda Weaver pose for a picture on a green outside the clubhouse March 10.

WoMeN’S golF aSSoCIatIoNS gaining Members ontrose • Spring 2014

Seasons starting as weather improves By Nathan Meacham • daily press Staff Writer


olf is popular enough in Montrose to support three courses. The women’s golf associations at the three courses are seeing that popularity first hand, with each of them expanding the last several years.

Like all of the Montros courses, the Bridges has a women’s golf group.

the BrIdgeS WoMeN’S golF aSSoCIatIoN CoBBle CreeK WoMeN’S golF aSSoCIatIoN

the BlaCK CaNyoN WoMeN’S golF aSSoCIatIoN BCWCA President Marilyn Manhart said the association is up to 67 members this year while the city takes over all 18 holes of the golf course. She said the aesthetic changes the city is making to the course are good for it, but there won’t be many changes for the BCWCA. “We are planning on running our normal schedule for the summer,” she said. The course hosts two sessions for the association. The first is every Tuesday evening with a 9-hole league, and then both an 18hole and 9-hole league Wednesday mornings. Manhart said their membership ranges with all ages, and there is both an adult and junior membership through the association. The association’s season kicks off with a spring social on Wednesday, April 30, at 5 p.m. at the Sandtrap. “We’re planning on the Sandtrap being ready,” Manhart said. Anyone interested in the BCWCA can call Manhart at 249-1508. “We have a great bunch of women,” she said.

President: Marilyn Manhart League Play: Tuesday evenings (9-holes), and Wednesday morning (9 and 18-holes) Meeting: Wednesday, April 30, 5 p.m. at the Sandtrap Contact: 249-1508

President: Beverly Howell League Play: Tuesdays (9 and 18-holes) starting April 1 Meeting: Tuesday, March 18 Contact: 249-7394

President: Glenda Weaver League Play: Every Wednesday Meeting: First Wednesday of every month Contact: 249-8485


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Bridges Women’s Golf Association Vice President Julie Hatch putts on a green outside the clubhouse March 10.

The Cobble Creek Women’s Golf Association kicked off its season with a Spring Membership meeting on March 18. The association has the goal to “enjoy the game of golf and improve our skills in a supportive environment.” League play starts April 1, and every Tuesday will have an 18-hole and 9-hole league play for members and their guests. The 18-hole league play starts at 8:30 a.m., while the 9-hole league play starts at 9 a.m in April and May. The association will host a challenge against the Senior Men and the Cobble Creek Men’s Golf Association on May 17 and 18, and then host the 11th annual Ladybug Invitational on July 19. Anyone interested in learning more about the CCWGA can call President Beverly Howell at 249-7394. More information can also be found at

The Bridges Women’s Golf Association was established in 2007 and has grown to 25 members this year, President Glenda Weaver said. Some members are still working their way back to Montrose from their winter homes, but play has already started. Weaver and Vice President Julie Hatch have both made it out to the course several times in 2014. Weaver has been golfing for eight years while Hatch has taken it up throughout the last 10 years. “I don’t know what I would do without it,” Weaver said. “I think it’s hard if you’re working or raising children, but it’s a great retirement.” The BWCA meets on the first Wednesday of every month, and each Wednesday is Ladies’ day at the at The Bridges. The association will have a spring luncheon to start the season, and then prepare for its Rosebud Tournament on June 7. About 60 people participated in the tournament, which is the charity tournament, last year. “It was sold out,” Hatch said. The Bridges’ course can be difficult, and Weaver said “you keep going out there and playing.” The membership is mostly retirees, but is getting younger as it expands. “Almost all the newer members are younger, though,” Hatch said. Anyone interested in learning more about the association can call Weaver at 249-8485.



Nature CallINg

Montrose photographer turns childhood dreams into business By Katharhynn heidelberg • daily press Senior Writer


il Harmsen’s upbringing may have primed him for the art world, but it was his work ethic that let him realize his dream: Photography. His own gallery. And being able to live in Montrose. “I’ve had a camera since I was a little kid, 4 or 5 years old. I’ve always just had a camera in my hand,” said Harmsen, whose first camera was his father’s old Minolta. He also grew up surrounded by some of the best Western art in existence. Harmsen’s grandparents, Bill and Dorothy Harmsen started Jolly Rancher Candy in Wheatridge and amassed a vast collection of paintings, bronzes, baskets, weavings, jewelry — “you name it,” said Harmsen. The bulk of the elder Harmsens’ collections went to the Denver Art Museum upon their deaths, but their grandson retains several books about their artwork, as well as a lasting

ontrose • Spring 2014

influence that he has parlayed into his own business, The Canyon Gallery at 300 E. Main St. Harmsen’s wife, Amy, helps operate the gallery, which features several nature and wildlife photographers, as well as his own work, and also offers fine art reproduction, print making, mounting and framing services. Harmsen, who moved to Montrose when he was 2, also owns his own mortgage firm. “In essence, I’ve been around artwork all my life, antiques, art, music, since I was a little kid. When you have stimulus from it and it’s in your life all the time, I don’t think it cannot have an influence.” Harmsen accompanied his grandparents on many of their art buys. “It influenced my eye and my feeling for art,” he said. Harmsen, whose idol is Ansel Adams, is largely self-taught in his medium, though his grandparents encouraged him. “For several

of my birthday presents, they got me original, signed Ansel Adamses because they knew I loved that black and white,” Harmsen said. “I always look at Ansel’s stuff, the black and white. I love what he’s done with it. He’s my favorite, by far, and there are many other favorites out there that I look at and admire.” Adams’ books helped Harmsen learn his craft, he added. “I’ve read every book I can get my hands on. I guess I could say I’m self-taught. It was reading, practicing, experimenting and just doing more and more of that. That’s how I learned,” he said. While he realized a “lifelong dream” when he opened The Canyon Gallery, he also kept his eye on economic realities. The gallery opened in 2010, in the middle of what was probably the worst recession since the Great Depression, Harmsen said. Continued on next page

Image courtesy of Denver Art Museum/William Sr. and Dorothy Harmsen Collection This oil on canvas piece by E. Martin Hennings, titled “Rabbit Hunt,” dates to circa 1935 and is part of the William Sr. and Dorothy Harmsen Collection.

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“Art is a want, not a need. It is very difficult to survive, but it also presented an opportunity, because we were able to buy the buildings fairly inexpensively. That allowed an opportunity for low overhead, so the cash flow didn’t have to be as great (for the gallery) to survive,” he said. The gallery today boasts of such talents as Vince Farnsworth of Montrose, Doug Sprock of Grand Junction, Andy Cook of Colorado Springs, Jess Lee, Glenn Randall of Boulder and Robin Wadhams of Hotchkiss. “We are a nature photography gallery. We typically only deal with wildlife and scenics, landscape photography,” said Harmsen. “Not only do we show art, but we do printing. We’ll mount your photo, we will frame. We wanted the gallery to be a one-stop shop where we can do everything.” Customers both buy the artists’ photos and use the gallery’s other services. There is more of the latter than the former right now,

With jaw dropping views of the majestic San Jaun Mountains, Cobble Creek is a golfing experience you will not forget. Rated by golfers as “Best in the Valley” for five years, our 6,982 yard, par 72 course offers a challenging venue for the low handicap golfer and our wide fairways and ample greens provide the occasional golfer a great experience as well. Stay for lunch or dinner. Creekside at Cobble Creek is our on—site restaurant featuring some of the



Continued from page 30 because of the economy, he said. “We absolutely love taking a person’s picture that they love and making it so that they can put it on their wall.” A determined photographer with good business sense can make a living by pursuing the art full-time, Harmsen said. “If you do it right, if you have a good business background, yes, absolutely.” Wildlife photography presents its own challenges. The animals are typically most active the early morning and early evening hours — in other words, low light. To capture the animals on camera, the photographer uses a telephoto lens, cutting the light even more. He has to increase the ISO and shoot at a fast shutter speed, explained Harmsen. “It’s hard to get a sharp image in those situations with moving animals. You need a lot of light to shoot in the fast shutter speed and you usually don’t have it. There’s your challenge,” he said. “That is the most challenging photography, wildlife. If you are not a patient person, do not do wildlife photography.” Harmsen’s favorite photos include those he shot of bears and wolves. “Those are two animals that are very elusive and hard to photograph,” he said. Photographing large omnivores such as bears, or photographing predators, comes with inherent risks and the artist must always be mindful of conditions. “My philosophy is, if I am intruding in the animals’ space, I back off. I’m not going to make them edgy and uneasy,” Harmsen said. “No. 1, that’s a good way to get hurt and, 2, it’s better practice to shoot them in their environment and not in yours.” Photography is all about the light (the word means “light writing”) and depth of field. “Catching that light just right for those magical moments is a rare occurrence, and you have to shoot a lot to get those rare occurrences,” Harmsen said. But don’t be shy about giving it a try, he counseled. Just take your camera off its automatic setting and experiment. “Every camera takes it down to the basic principles of light and how you manipulate it,” he said. One manipulates with shutter speed, aperture and ISO until figuring out how to capture the desired image. “If you put it on auto all the time, you get what I call snapshots. That’s the beautiful thing with digital photography — you can go out and mess around and see what you can do for depth of field. If you don’t like it, you can do it again,” Harmsen said. Harmsen, who used to develop his own film, has long since switched to digital because it is more practical. The downside of digital cameras, though, is that they can take away any incentive to learn proper shooting technique, he said.

Image courtesy of the Denver Art Museum/William Sr. and Dorothy Harmsen Collection This oil on canvas piece by Alfred Jacob Miller, titled “The Scalplock,” dates to circa 1850 and is part of the William Sr. and Dorothy Harmsen Collection.


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ontrose • Spring 2014


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Image courtesy of Denver Art Museum/William Sr. and Dorothy Harmsen Collection This oil on canvas piece by Victor Higgins, titled “Game Hunter (Snow),” dates to circa 1922 and is part of the Harmsen collection.

“Digital is easy to learn on, but I also think it’s so easy that it’s made us lazy not to learn.” Nature and wildlife photography will always present a challenge because it takes place outside, where people cannot control things like lighting. “That way, the better you get with your camera, the easier it’s going to become to make sure you get that perfect shot,” he said. “Photography for me is about emotion. The reason you would buy a piece is, what does it do for you? What emotion does it create?” Harmsen said. “If it makes you feel good and you love it and like to look at it, you should. I don’t know of a reason why someone should by a piece of art other than, I call it, the happiness factor. I love art and I love looking at art.” Harmsen has found his happiness. “I get to live in Montrose, one of the most beautiful places. I have an incredible family and I get to do my childhood dream of selling photography. “I don’t know how you could get much better.” ■

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ontrose • Spring 2014

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photos by lu anne tyrrell Special to the daily press


Ken and Marlene Townsend at the Montrose Economic Development Corp. Annual meeting.

Kathy and Joe Derence at Chamber at the Montrose Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala.

January’s First Friday at Around the Corner Art Gallery. From left, Lane Anderson, Levi Brown and Jordan Carls.

Doris and Dr. Tom Chamberlain at the Montrose Community Foundation Annual Gala.

ontrose • Spring 2014

Nancy and Paul Zaenger at the Montrose Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala.

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EVERY MEMBER HAS A VOICE. EVEN THE ONES WHO CAN’T YET SPEAK. As an electric co-op member, your household has a voice in how the co-op is run. Learn more about the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) Board elections at

ontrose • Spring 2014

M Magazine Spring 14  

M Magazine Spring 14

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