Come for the history, stay for the community

by Mike Wiggins


Sowing the seeds of change

by Erin McIntyre


Can mayor dive into pool discussions?

All our best to a long-time Ouray family for the loss of their patriarch, Dr. Richard Poole. A true gentleman, faithful subscriber and one who loved these mountains. I'm sure the family will be wearing its PMS 166 in his honor.

I was driving through Ridgway the other night and it occurred to me to pay attention to the light emitted from the controversial window signs at Ponderosa Real Estate. Alas, my observations might have borne results had I not been blinded by the light coming from the beer signs across the street.


A sterile approach to sport fishing

Every July for the past several years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has hosted a tournament at Ridgway State Park to catch and kill as many smallmouth bass as possible. Prizes ranging from $5,000 in cash to a bass boat have been awarded for most fish, biggest fish and smallest fish caught.
At Elkhead Reservoir, there’s an annual tournament in June to catch and keep and kill as many northern pike and smallmouth bass as possible. Cash prizes of $4,500 and a similar value in fishing gear are awarded.
In 2013, CPW drained Miramonte Reservoir just to eradicate illegally stocked smallmouth bass.
CPW doesn't want these creatures in our reservoirs, where they devour the good sport fish and get downstream and devour native fish, some of which are endangered.
Good enough.


The mountain is usually going to win

The March 7, 1963 Ouray County Herald's top headline blared, "Search continues for victims of snowslide."
The search had been going on since Sunday, March 3, when Rev. Marvin W. Hudson of Ridgway and his daughters, Amelia and Pauline, were swept away in an avalanche at the Riverside slide just a few miles south of Ouray.
Hudson, 39, a rancher/minister, was on his way to the Congregational Church in Silverton to pastor the Sunday service, according the Albuquerque Journal, Feb. 14, 2008. "A good man," his widow, Mary Hudson told the ABJ. "A good man, but he could be stubborn as a cross-eyed mule."
He earned $30 a month as a part-time pastor in Silverton, and surely on this day the congregation would have understood if Hudson didn't show.
The account in the Ouray Herald in 1963 went as follows:


The cheerleaders never age

My oldest brother, Jim, attends University of Texas men's basketball games as frequently as he can. He made an observation last year, which he shared. He said that while he's getting older each year, the cheerleaders never do.
I don't know why I thought of that a few weeks ago when we were in Austin attending my son's wedding. I think it's because he and his beautiful bride, Kelly, took a path to marriage that was less than conventional from my (stuck in time) viewpoint.
So what may look good year after year, like my alma mater's cheer team, may actually be just a product of a static viewpoint.
These days, Millennials kind of laugh at the conventions of their elders, traditions they would never consider as things people actually used to do.


Close encounters of aggravating kind

Traveling by commercial airline isn't fun, and if anyone tells you it is, they are high-flyin' fibbers.
I said it.
And I say this even though my oldest son is a pilot for a commercial airline.
It's because of his job that the publishing duo in Ouray County gets to fly anywhere for next-to-nothing to no charge at all. Which, with ill relatives in other states to tend to and a granddaughter to get to, flying at a cost of next-to-nothing really, really helps keep the bank account grounded.
Flying the way we do, we literally take what's left. We're at the bottom of the seniority list for free flying, so we're always at the bottom of the standby list. Sometimes we get bumped to the next flight, which can make for an unpredictably long day at the airport.
We've learned a few things flying this way over the past year.
One, never ever check a bag. It's entirely possible that bag will make the next flight, even if we don't.


He was one of the good guys

Johnny Lowe passed away last week. He was one of the good guys.
Johnny and his wife spent a lot of time in their second home just outside of Ridgway. He was a retired real estate developer. But he was also a man of faith with a sense of humor that wouldn't stop.
Johnny came in to the Plaindealer office every year to change his subscription address. Thirty minutes later I would feel like I just chewed the fat with my best friend.
I'll never forget the first invitation he gave me, to play low-stakes poker with a group at a local establishment.
"You play poker for money at a local establishment?” I asked.
"Sure we do," he said. "We'd accept your money any time."
"What would you do if the sheriff walked in and saw you gambling?” I asked.
"We'd accept his money, too," he said.
All our best to the Lowe family. We'll sure miss Johnny.


Carving a path to Bucket of Blood

Still sifting and meandering through history after our Dec. 27 history edition.
I was trying to find out exactly where Ohlwller Park was situated in Ouray. I'm pretty sure it was at the southeast corner of 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue, and I probably need to just go spend a little time in the Ouray Library and ask Maureen and folks there if any maps exist showing the park.
My interest was drawn because I was searching papers from the 1800s for early baseball tidbits. The past few days I've been struck by the same thing that must have inflicted Hall of Fame player Rogers Hornsby. When asked what he did during the offseason, he said, "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
As I sifted, I came across an article in the June 27, 1884 Solid Muldoon noting a game of baseball to be played at Ohlwiler's Park "between the Juniors and Seniors, the stakes being one keg of beer."


Theatrics in Lake City

Lots of nice comments about our Dec. 27 issue of the Plaindealer, which was a compilation of select articles — at least one from every decade — spanning the past 140 years.
Best story came from a Ouray city councilor who said a local resident told her that he knew there was a crazy miner living in the hills, and the article in the paper only confirmed his fears.
"Did you see the date on that article?” he was asked.


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