UP BEAR CREEK | Working Through the On/Off Season
by Art Goodtimes
Nov 09, 2013 | 2045 views | 0 0 comments | 70 70 recommendations | email to a friend | print

A MUSING … As a Little League pitcher (and Pee Wee League coach) I loved change-ups. Especially side arm, looping one into the strike zone. One sizzling fastball after another might intimidate. But it was hilarious watching a good batter lose it to the unexpected … Fixing up a shed out back, in the headwaters of Maverick Draw, I heard them first. Then saw ’em – not just a V, but more a flying cacophony of honkers. Hundreds of them lifting from the Snyder fields around Cloud Acre, and headed southwest into a stiff headwind … All the humans in my circle scurrying around, battening down hatches. More frantic than spring cleaning. Ready for whatever the next fall storm might bring. Knowing, of course, it could get sunny again, all over again, like it did last week, and let us scurry around some more. On the cusp of the San Juans and the Colorado Plateau weather likes to play surprises … But it’s not just the pulse of the seasons that endears this county to me, it’s the ebb and flow of a resort economy. Working furiously hard and then spending weeks relaxing … Or, so it seemed, before I got into government service. Seems like the most important civic questions get decided in elections during off-season. Although, living and working in more than one town, I’m kind of glad it’s the year-rounders who get a say-so in how to run things like we do … Mostly, I love tourists and hunters and all those who come to spend time and energy in these beautiful public lands that abound in our region. They stop on the Cone Road sometimes and ask directions at my place. They’re usually a fine lot … No, I just like those pulling the yes/no, on/off switch on our future to call this place their home … The Free Box was filled to overflowing the weekend after Halloween. I brought up just a few boots, but took back a carload … My son and daughter got to attend a wedding in Philadelphia with the Friedberg family, thanks to Emil and Pamela Santé. Mary’s brother Bob’s daughter Meagan got married, and Mary’s sister Jean Ozler came from Turkey with her daughter Deniz. With the photos on Facebook I feel like I’d almost gone … Got all my spuds in, some 50-plus varieties. My reds seemed to do best this year. A few blues and some whites. After 15 years of experimenting with all these difference varieties, I think from now on I’m going to focus on the 10-20 kinds that seem to do best in Norwood … I’m very excited with my new raised recycled bottle beds. My Siberian elms love to shed, and I’ve scooped up the leaves and mulched the potato fields this fall. It’s wonderful starting to understand the rhythms and cycles, and how things fit together living close to the earth.

LYNN HOYT … This good woman just passed away in Colorado Springs … For years, she was a loyal part of the amazing Public Land Partnership – a regional table-of-trust discussion group that pulled in reps from all manner of constituencies interested in forest health … I loved her quiet passion for public lands management and how important she felt it was to our own health and well-being here in the central swath of the Western Slope (Delta/Montrose/Ouray/San Miguel). She wasn’t the kind to argue so much as ask important questions. She made the field trips. Added her energy to the mix. A good citizen … Wish we had more like her, rest her soul.




Local Politics


“Just tell me who said I lacked vision.”

“Your optometrist.”

“And what would she know about it?”

“Is this a trick question?”

“All I’m saying is it’s tough enough

running for county commissioner

without having to defend myself

against every slanderous accusation.”

“All she was trying to do is talk with me

about getting you in for an eye exam.”

“That’s what she says.”

“Yes, that’s exactly what she said. And

she also said it’s been over four years.”

“I suppose her comment was

picked up by the newspaper.”

“I doubt it, unless the editor was

behind me in the checkout line.”

“Was he?”

“He shops on Sunday, you’re safe.”

“Who else could have overheard?”

“Well, Irene the checkout lady, or

her bagger Stacey, or the shopping

cart boy Doug, or the grocery store

manager if he was scoped in

through the security camera, or Ethel

from one lane over if she had her hearing

aide turned up, or Nicole from produce

who had to double-check the sale price

on guacamole, or Zane from next door

who waved when he saw me standing

in the checkout line, or Phyllis and Phyllis’s

mother who might have been listening

while Phyllis was on the phone with her,

or Robby, that handsome young deputy

sheriff who brushed past me just to cop

a feel while I was talking with Mona.”

“Who did you say was the checker?”


“She’s pretty level-headed, isn’t she?”

“She’s very down-to-earth unless her ex-

boyfriend Chip is in the store.”

“And was he?”

“I didn’t see him.”

“I guess it could have been worse.”

“Honey, everybody knows you’re half

blind without your glasses.”

“But that’s no reason to vote against me!”

“If you can’t read the ballot correctly,

it could influence the election outcome.”

“So you think I should have my eyes checked?”

“Now that’s talking like a visionary.”


-David Feela

Montezuma County


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