Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Vacation Time

Funny how I seem filled with mixed emotions as I prepare for a long anticipated vacation. Going back to where I had so many joys and memories growing up as a child. Only one sibling remains of the family I loved so much and I look forward to embracing him one more time, you see we are both nearing the end of the trail and miles and bodies showing signs of wear  have kept us apart.
 I'm sure everyone who had a loving family to grow up with would like to retrace their childhood footsteps and  tell stories to the younger folks of the way things used to be. I can drive down the street and recognize
the frame of the house on Lewis street as the place of my teen age years but only in my memory is the old wood burning kitchen stove, the cellar out back that now hold lots of our youth beneath the ground. the chicken coup where I stole my Dads best laying hen, the old tree in the corner of the front lawn where my Mother would spend her evenings admiring the beauty surrounding the little town of Pagosa Springs.
 I can walk down town and see buildings that have been given many a face lift  but friendly shop keeper that would great each passerby with a smile and hello as they swept the sidewalks in summer and shoveled snow in the winter just don't seem to appear.
 The old Pool Hall where I learned how to handle a cue stick, rack the balls, clean the tables and worked as a cashier,: only the stairs remain recognizable, yes the old billiards hall has become luxury hotel suite.
 A new metropolis has risen in Archuleta country, the place I knew as Stevens Ranch so long ago where herds of beef and fields of hay grew, has given in to folks who came from near and far with  bank rolls that my parents generation or mine could only imagine.  A great subdivision has risen, taking away with it the home to wildlife, erecting man made lakes with farm raised fish to attract more outside financial influence.
 Yes as I venture on my last trip down memory lane, I will recall how things were to a young boy 60 years ago, wear a smile and spend my money like any tourist and enjoy the beauty of the mountains,streams and any wild life I may see. All beautification  that has taken place over the years has truly attracted millions of visitors with money to spend. Pagosa is still a beautiful little city and can be compared to any in southern California.

Friday, February 14, 2014

forward or backward??

Getting up early in the morning and enjoying a cup of coffee with the latest news has been a ritual for me for many years. I must admit that recently my coffee has not been quite so enjoyable as the headlines chosen by the new networks lately seem to hinge on sensationalism. The bigger the controversy the more air time it gets and I am really sick of news of ones sexual preference being more important than national security, budgets, weather or humanitarian crisis such as homelessness in America. 
 According to the news media, America is becoming a land of fear, mistrust, immoral behavior; States are slowly losing right to govern themselves and the will of the people is being ignored by a liberal justice system and supreme court who caters to a minority. Never in all my years have I witnessed such promotion of fear and the need for the citizens to believe in the need to arm themselves. One must assume that every person they pass on the street may be carrying a gun and if intimidated in any way could pull the trigger. We seem to headed down a backward path when the fastest gun was the only way of survival.
 I would much rather be posting pleasant memories and thoughts of a bright future for those I leave behind but sometimes one just has to vent frustrations and pray that our maker will find a way to bring more peace to the crazy world we live in.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Looking Back

Driving down main street (US160) of Pagosa Springs today one would never think of that thriving metropolis as once being a quaint Mayberry sort of town.
 There was a time as the photo here shows when even the local deer felt at home. As a young boy growing up here I felt as though I knew everyone I would pass walking down the street. The drug store shown here was a favorite hang out of the high school kids and often provided employment for those who sought to earn a little spending money. Not only did this establishment provide the needed 
medical supplies but the soda fountain and juke box was a necessity for teenagers. High school sports such as football and basketball were always an event for total town participation, and when it was time for the homecoming games Mr. Lynch opened up the drug store and allowed the kids to manufacture any concoction from the soda fountain.
 Pagosa was always a patriotic community and too many of its young men gave life and limbs protecting our freedoms but thanks to their sacrifices small communities such as Pagosa has prospered and thrived through decades of change. 
 If one should ever visit this little piece of natural beauty, take time to learn a bit of its history by visiting the local chamber of commerce or the American Legion post. There is a wealth of historical stories from the area, like the history of the Hot Springs, known as the World's largest and hottest natural springs. I was always intrigued by the stories of the fight with the Indians over the rights to this natural wonder. 
 When I started my education there in 1945, Pagosa had one school building which housed all grades from first to twelve. Long before my family arrived in Pagosa there was a school located on top of a hill in the middle of town but had burned down and when we moved there one of the early pioneers had built a home there. Buck O'Neal and his family became friends of ours and listening to stories he would tell was better than seeing a Saturday cowboy movie.
 Leaving the city Pagosa and heading west on US160 is another famous landmark, Wolf Creek Pass. This mountain pass has one of the finest ski area in the state, the drive any time of year can be quite breath taking.
A favorite spot to stop and photograph is Treasure Falls which has its own mysterious stories attached to it with tales of Spaniards  burying millions of dollars in treasures somewhere in the vicinity.
 To those who take time to read my little blog and bragging rights to my home town, I hope you would have the opportunity to visit this beautiful country, just remember the beauty only last as long as it is preserved.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Looking Back While I Can

As another year has entered onto my calender of life, I always like to look back and remember some of the fun things of growing up in small town America. Sixty years ago Pagosa was my "Mayberry" and there were no strangers as I wondered from one establishment to another on main st.
  I never had to hike very far to try and catch a trout for grandma to cook for my supper, a little creek ran by her house and under a bridge of US 160. It was there I'd spend a lot time baiting a hook with those little red worms dug out of horse manure of Mr. Speelmans barn.
 I often wonder if anyone still living there who remembers such landmarks as Kinser's Diner that sat in a lot that now houses the Sun Office, Mullins Barber Shop where I got many trims and lessons on living, The Soda fountain of Jackish Drug Store, Moorehart Chevrolet Company, Lou Pomas gas station, Fowlers garage and gas station, Melvin Fowlers Jewelry, Ferris Breedloves Hardware Store. The Billiard room or better known as the Pool Hall run by Curly Nelson. Fussy Gussey's Restaurant in the building of the hotel next to the Liberty Theater.
 The swimming pool across the San Juan river where I learned to swim and even became a junior life guard but now the big attraction in the spa and resort built around the hot springs for Millionaire tourist. Pagosa is now one of the major tourist vacations spots in America but I am so glad I was part it growing up. Maybe in another sixty years some one will look back and remember how lucky they were to have Pagosa.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year (going backward?)

2013 has faded away and now our sights are set on 2014, wall street tycoons are humming a new tune and the middle class are still singing the blues.
 California parents now have to worry about who is using the same bath room facilities with their children, seems to me a class in sexuality would be order so that one knows whether to stand or sit to pee.
  Colorado citizens or visitors over 21 can now get high on pot any where they choose except tobacco smokers still must snuff out!! I always thought smoke was smoke only some smells worse than others.Will DUI also mean being high on marijuana?
 So many new gadgets to take up every waking moment of the day, every one now has a phone on the ear or in the hand, conversations are no longer private with each device having its own speaker. Now drivers have to be extra cautious to watch for pedestrians looking at the gadget in their hand.
 Marriage has become a laughing topic and the courts have decided that it is not a holy sacrament between man and woman, watch out what may come next; legalizing prostitution or polygamy.
 Never mind if one does not agree with these new laws or social changes, just suck it up and be brainwashed with a daily dose of media blitz showing images that may disgust but the sound bites come so fast the remote control can't be found in time to switch.
 Its still not too late to right a sinking ship, so I hope others have the courage to sit down and write their concerns to congress and when the time comes visit the voting booth and exercise the best defense given to by our forefathers.