Back with a bang
Staff is back on the job, returning just in time for the 4th of July parade up Paonia's Grand Avenue, an event which usually requires 30 minutes, tops. This time it took an hour for more than 100 entries to pass, what with past Cherry Days queens representing five decades, Shriners, the Clown Band, motorcyclists (one sporting a "Satan Sucks' button), alpacas, horseback riders and shiny vintage cars, to name just a few participants. We especially liked the Class of "36 float: "How can we be nostalgic when we can't remember anything?" If there was a sour note, it surprisingly occurred in technicolor: the fireworks display. Usually it's shockingly brief, eliciting oohs and ahs and sighs when the booms and flashes all go off at once, signaling the end. This year, thanks to some $13,000 in contributions, the show lasted an hour - a somewhat tedious hour, according to critics. Could it be that we like our imitations of war short and sweet?
At least two HCN subscribers watched the July 4 parade here. Bob and Mabel Cook of Saline, Mich., sat under the paper's sidewalk portico to watch their grandchildren, Zoe and Zachary Larmer, children of staffer Paul Larmer and Lisa Cook, bike past. The kids were sandwiched between a float carrying Smokey the Bear and another featuring members of a 4-H club.
Sarah Williamson and Rob Schnaber, environmental consultants from Annapolis, Md., stopped by before climbing nearby Mount Gunnison. The couple used to work as outdoor educators in Virginia with former HCN intern Adam Duerk. From Granby, Colo., came readers Cathy Craig and Bob Benzin. Jane Carpenter, taking a break to visit friends while moving her machine shop from Superior, Colo., to Salida, Colo., popped in to tell us her new address. Long-time reader Sesshu Foster stopped by with his daughters Citlali, Umeko and Marina. Foster, who started reading the paper when fighting fires in Craig and Rawlins, Colo., some years ago, was returning to his home town of Los Angeles after spending two years at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. We also chatted that day with Gail Hammond from Connecticut, who was visiting her brother at Outward Bound.
Staffers enjoyed a potluck dinner with freelancer and firefighter Mark Matthews, who lives in Missoula, Mont. He and Carmen Lousen, a therapist, and her daughter, Maya, were heading home after camping in 103-degree heat in Utah's Grand Gulch. Maya, 21, has just completed work as a nanny for a family back East and is eagerly anticipating becoming a student at the University of Montana.
Sandy Bahr, not Barr, is the volunteer chair of Arizona's chapter of the Sierra Club who worked during the last legislative session for the Arizona Audubon Council as a lobbyist. We hooked her up inaccurately with The Nature Conservancy in a May 27 Hotline.
We also heard from readers correcting Todd Wilkinson about his somewhat loose approximation of river geography and the date of the Utah Olympics, 2002 and not 1998 (HCN, 5/27/96). Last, for now, we apologize for mangling the name of Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Robert Arnsberger in a story April 1.
Mollie Beattie, a feisty bureaucrat
Mollie Beattie served less than three years as the first woman to head the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, appointed by President Clinton, but when she died recently at age 49, of brain cancer, she left an indelible mark. Ted Gup, writing in the Washington Post July 2, talked about her search for common ground on contentious public issues such as endangered species while remaining strong in her convictions. He said she had solved one problem - what was most important in her life:
"She had a supremely quiet confidence," Gup writes. - 'I've always worked hard never to allow my lifestyle to rise to the level of my income, or my expectations of my career to be one of an endlessly ascending trajectory," she told me. "I've worked very hard on those two things so I'm always free to go, because I know where my lines are. If you have to put it on the line, you have to put it on the line. There's a place past where it isn't worth it." "
We were shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Harley L. Greiman on Sunday, June 24, in Nevada County, Calif. Harley, 55, was the U.S. Forest Service's legislative liaison in Sacramento. He was apparently electrocuted while trimming vegetation around his house. His wife, Jeannie Masquelier, a district ranger, discovered his body when she returned from fighting a fire.
Harley had a genius for working with a diverse and broad group of people, finding common ground if possible, and at least keeping things civil if common ground was out of reach. He was important to many people and groups, including this paper. While HCN is technically edited by the people on the mast, we depend to an extraordinary degree on a kitchen cabinet made up of people like Harley who know the West and its issues, and who have deep roots in their culture or profession. Rarely did a month pass without our calling Harley or him calling us about some issue of concern to the region.
We last spoke to Harley about our May 13, 1996, "Howdy Neighbor" issue on collaboration. He called to applaud the essay by Mike McCloskey of the Sierra Club expressing caution toward consensus. And although Harley was diplomatic, he clearly had a problem with the article on the Quincy Library Group, titled "Everyone helps a California forest - except the Forest Service." In fact, he promised us a letter to the editor on the subject.
Although Harley was from Iowa, he spent most of his life in the West, earning a forestry degree from Utah State University, and working for the Forest Service in western Colorado and in California.
His brother and sister-in-law, Terry and Rita Greiman of Bloomfield, N.M., stopped by a few days ago to tell us that the memorial service at Wildwood Lake had attracted about 400 people, including 240 of his colleagues from the Forest Service, with eulogies given by 14 people.
An obituary in the June 25 Sacramento Bee suggested that contributions in Harley's name be made to the National Audubon Society, 555 Audubon Place, Sacramento, CA 95825.