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Know the West

Dear Friends

The saws of autumn


Here in HCN's hometown, Paonia, a Western Slope autumn is in full swing. The pears and grapes are picked, the apples are sweetening on the trees, and the aspen leaves have dropped. And our office reverberates with one of the more unusual sounds of fall -- the whine of bandsaws. We're next door to Homestead Market, a cooperative of ranching families that sells local meats. From September to January, they also help hunters deal with their prizes. Massive bull elk, huge muley bucks, even the occasional black bear -- all are butchered and wrapped at Homestead. The dumpster out back overflows with hooves and stripped bones. Some find it a bit disconcerting; we prefer to think of it as one indicator of healthy public lands. And wild elk sausage beats feedlot filet mignon any day.

It's not just the hunting -- or the eating -- that draws folks here; some flatter us by saying they've gone out of their way just to drop by the office. During August, we were visited by Elizabeth Richardson of Los Angeles, Calif., Tom Person of Austin, Texas, and Grand Lake, Colo., residents Jerry and Geri Pearce. In early September, Tom Liverman of Buena Vista, Colo., came to say hello. He ordered 300 copies of HCN to put in runners' packets for the Autumn Color Run. Thanks for spreading us around, Tom.

In our Oct. 13 issue, we ran a photo of Wallace Stegner with a review of a new biography. The picture came from our archives and was labeled "Wallace Stegner," but as his son Page informs us, it's not Stegner. No one seems to know who it is, though. Do you? Drop us a note at [email protected]