Thursday, April 7, 2016

Dark Clouds Over The San Juans

Just learned today though social media that Pagosa will no longer have a museum to house the treasures of past adventurers and settlers to the land of Archuleta County. Pagosa has gone through so many changes in the past 40 decades that it is barely recognizable to those whose childhood roots were etched in streets, mountains and streams of Archuleta County.
 To this old timer who has dedicated parts of  his family history to the Museum and always looked forward to renewing memories on each visit feels as though history is being allowed to fade away like so many of us early Pagosans.
 Seems very sad that a community can find ways to sell marijuana to create a rocky mountain high in the city, fly balloons over the rivers, have a hoe down on reservoir hill, big in corporate franchises yet can't find the funds to retain the history. Without the history of the settlers there would be no expansion of a city where cattle and farming once thrived.
 Yes, Pagosa is a beautiful part of Colorado and with today's marketing technology and digital photography it has become a vacationers paradise, if one can afford the luxury. Here is hoping Pagosa will find a way to retain all the artifacts and history stored in that building for future generations , Please keep "Red Ryder" and " Little Beaver"  alive never forget how it all started so many years ago.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Gone but never forgotten

Looking back at my youth and remembering such things as building that have long disappeared and the lessons learned so many years ago. These photos depict the way downtown Pagosa was like when I just a young boy, I can recall the time world war II came to and end and the bell from the old fire station rang for what seemed to be hours, my Mother hugging and squeezing me so hard I thought I'd done something so terrible she would smother me. Then everyone running into the street shouting and hugging and kissing, then I knew something real good had taken place.
 There was the time when a fire erupted at a petroleum storage at what is now San Juan and 8th street and there was only a volunteer fire department which had one truck and a hose cart that hooked up to the fire hydrant, that was another time the old Bell summoned for help and the whole town came running.
 As I grew and began to blossom into a mischievous teenager eager to taste the spirits that so many seemed to enjoy from the Pagosa  Bar or The Cantina on  main street. I found some of my older friends celebrating a successful deer hunt, I accepted their invitation to ride along and help with the joyous occasion, being young and immature had its price; as after consuming those wonderful spirits
my stomach began to rebel and I had to relieve myself. While throwing up and wishing the world would stop spinning a car pulled up behind, seeing that it was not a friendly friend but the Highway Patrol, we decided we best make a run for home. Not a good idea, as we pulled into the driveway,,old Marshall Saunders was right there and hauled us downtown to the office next to the fire station. He allowed us to stay there until our heads cleared before taking us home.
 The memories of that old building will forever be etched in my mind

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The internet has opened windows to a world that few old timers like myself knew existed, along with all the wonderful memory storage capabilities it has shown just how twisted the minds of fellow Americans can be.
 When pen and pencil or telephone were the means of communication very few knew the level of hatred and bigotry that consumed so many of our fellow citizens. Now with the means to spread hate worldwide in nano seconds we are loosing privacy and young minds are being corrupted with evil. This is really not the kind of world I had hoped to leave for my grand children, my generation with their free spirited anything goes attitude can no longer sit back and wonder what happened or blame the younger generation, we did it to ourselves.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Times Keeps Ticking

The years keep rollin by and the body begins to show signs of wear but the mind drifts back to days when life that we once thought were so bad really turn out to be the best years of our life. How have we managed to live so long when we ate without reading labels, drinking from garden hoses, telephones were only in the home and family shared meals and worshiped together.
 Some of the greatest inventions somehow become our demise, the internet was thought to be the greatest achievement in modern history, yet evil doers have managed to take control of unsecured air waves and create havoc, atomic energy was thought to be the answer to all future needs yet has become a weapon to destroy the world we live in.
 As a young boy growing up in the mountains of Colorado I never gave a thought to green house gases, organic grown food, or thinking my future would be filled with so much evil. Seems as though those we have chosen to guide and protect this great nation can see no further that their pocket books. Morality as I was taught growing up in a Christian family is slowly becoming extinct. The two parties in Washington cannot sit down and find any common ground to pass laws that protect us from terrorist who have access to flood homes with propaganda, or protect our personal information,
 Now that father time is catching up and my days or years are nearer to the time I will be judged by my maker, I must try to keep faith and hope that a leader will emerge soon to save future generations of this once great country.

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.