Dear Friends


Braving blaze orange

It's hunting season again, and who knows it better than this office? Our neighbor to the south is a meat locker which works overtime this season, thanks to pickup loads of dead deer, elk and, lately, bear. The gang of cats that patrols the alley seems in hog heaven while the animal-lovers among us shudder at the carcasses swinging from hooks, all on their way to "cut, wrapped and frozen" status.

The days continue sunny during this flurry of hunting activity, and we continue to see passers-through like Larry McLaud of Moscow, Idaho, who works for the Idaho Conservation League. Larry told us parking at most trailheads between Denver and Paonia had been snapped up by - you guessed it - hunters. We also chatted with Tom Weis, who is based in Hood River, Ore., and is a staffer with PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Visiting Paonia from Buena Vista, Colo., known as Buni, as in bugle, to locals, was Jim Gilmore, an electronics engineer and freelance writer. We also talked to Paul Priest, a mechanical designer from Lakewood, Colo., who had just explored the San Rafael Swell and other remote backcountry in Utah.

Passers through

Tom Watkins, who edited The Wilderness Society's Wilderness magazine, came through Paonia to say hello and goodbye. For budget reasons, the twice-yearly magazine was recently dropped by the Society, and so Tom has decided to resign and devote most of his time to writing history books. Under Tom, Wilderness was literary, accurate and noncommercial. It will be missed.

Tom made his announcement at a meeting of The Wilderness Society's governing council, which traveled to Keystone, Colo., from around the country to give its highest honor - the Robert Marshall Award - to Ted Stanley (of Ted and Jennifer Stanley public-radio underwriting renown) for his lifetime contribution to conservation. Council members also met their new president - William H. Meadows III of San Francisco. Soon, Meadows will leave the Sierra Club, where he directed its Centennial Campaign, to head the 310,000-member society.

Subscriber Vada Sand of Gardena, Calif., and Rutha Hart of nearby Cedaredge, came by to say hello. The two sisters are direct descendants of Samuel Wade, who founded the town of Paonia in the late 19th century. Vada told us that Wade, like many frontiersmen, hated Indians until he fought a battle in the Dakota territory. "An Indian woman had been wounded and he went over and moved her into a more comfortable position. When he did that, she patted his hand in thanks, and that was the end of his hating Indians."

Jane Sokolow, a reader from Riverdale, N.Y., tells us that pterodactyls are not "flying dinosaurs," as the Sept. 16 "Heard" column stated. We didn't believe Jane at first, since "Heard" had quoted directly from the authoritative Boobyprise newspaper of Cody, Wyo., but an encyclopedia backed her up.

We also heard recently from HCN board member Michael Ehlers of Boulder, Colo., who suggests our next headline when police arrest demonstrators for protesting timber cuts: "Collared greens."

Keep dancering

We heard recently from Cal Sunderland, a longtime newspaperman from Limon and Delta, Colo., who, with his wife, Barbara, is also a superb ballroom dancer and dance teacher. Last winter the couple gamely tried to teach the fox trot and even the tango to some 15 local couples who all confessed to longstanding difficulties with keeping a beat.

Cal, in his 70s now but with ramrod posture and stoic patience, said he was recovering nicely after having had a brain tumor removed. To illustrate how trauma to the head can affect language, Cal sent us a typewritten sample of a "few pharses undiitred and unincrectored ... What you sea is what haopens with writing. Probably take wome time before totale crontrale over those reskel, lidttle anguilaa of speech. I'll keep whapping away at it. Keep in touch and keep dancering! We love your!" Since this note, Cal tells us, his spelling has improved so much it has lost all its charm.

- Betsy Marston for the staff

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