Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Idalia, CO


Idalia is a curious little town, covers maybe 6 square blocks.  Main street is empty, at the end is the school.  The glue that keeps the town going.  The grain elevator is still in operation and there is a convenience store/gas station and garage that sits on the east edge of town.  Then there is the curiosity, a motel.

Highway 36 is not a major road and Highway 385 is that a way some distance.  So how does a motel stay open in a dwindling country town. 

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Yet… there it is, on the eastern edge of town across from vacant land. Next door is an abandoned gas station indicating there had been a fair amount of travel at one time on the road. 

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Its better days are someplace in the past an era of long ago.  The nearest towns of any size are 30 some miles that a way or that a way.  Stores and shops sit vacant next to empty lots. 

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It is farm country and the grain elevator stays busy throughout the year and the convenience station gets a few of the truckers and the occasional traveler. 

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The prairie icon, stoically stands, overlooking the land that feeds it.  It is a considerable distance to the nearest railroad.  Trucks rumble in and out at various times of the year. Otherwise the ghosts of other days silently repose on the vacant streets that are briefly interrupted when school is out. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Death of a Year


As the year winds down, a head, mine, shakes in bewilderment.  We were supposed to be out of the Middle East, yet as a few leave the violence escalates.  Death of man has become so common, it no longer needs a separate page.  People die for some of the most bizarre things.  Another airliner disappears, Russia has indigestion, North Korea is having tantrums' and in the US there are protests with very little consequences. 

Around the world, Law and Order is being replaced by lawless anarchy. 


Safe life in the big city is diming.  Death stalks the streets, seeking out victims.  The county and world is being victimized by these acts of lawlessness, Yet what are the world leaders doing.  It has become a world of apologetic philosophy. 

Situational ethics was a catch all for people outside the morals of as society.  No longer, it is now, the ethic of the moment.  Like it or not society is changing.  The New World had been a place for the persecuted to go to to escape persecution.  No long for the persecutors have followed them and the level of persecution has increased around the world.  People can not leave others alone.

So will it be a brave new world or an animal farm?  What course are we plotting?  Can we change the course… or bigger question, are we willing to make the sacrifice to effect some changes and stand tall. 

There are predators out there, do you like being prey?  How being a victim?  There are those who like to victimize to control others.  Look at how many ways you are victimized. 


What will 2015 have on its agenda?


Happy New Year.  ….. I hope.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Illusion ….. or ….. Reality


The land has a pace, the seasons rotate and change with time passing.  With some endeavor one can freeze time to their liking.  Create an artificial environment where it always spring or whatever their favorite may be.  It is this illusion of control so many want to exercise over nature.  They whine, gripe, complain and the bellyaches roar. Yet the seasons march on, they have a drum beat few listen to. 

I posted a picture while back and I got the comment that it pl;ace looked ill kept.  Stopped me and I had to think.  The grass was trimmed, no weeds or trash floating.  Well just a minute, then the bell went off.  It was green grass like a golf course.  It was a winter picture and the grass was brown, in hibernation for winter.  Few people accept the brown drabness of winter in the high plains.  It is a semi arid land and the grass goes dormant to conserve water and energy for it get very little moisture in the winter. 

This is nature’s way of keeping the land intact.  Man comes along and does not like it, so things are changed.  A nice green grass is planted and watered and there it is a scene from back east.  No longer is it the semi-arid land of the West.  So to keep the illusion, water is transported from a far distance, the mountains to provide for the greening of the brown land.

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Voila the illusion is created.  The dry drab brown land has become a lush green land.  Vegetation that is not native is planted.  Trees sprout in a once barren land.  The hand of man forces a change on the land.  A small environment has been made.  The illusion has been reinforced. 

The water is not always there and to keep the illusion, water fights ensue.  Demands are made that certain amounts of water should flow.   Nature provides gallons some years, others it is ounces but the fighters want the gallons no matter what.  To great lengths the battles roar. 

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Does it sound like the demands we put on politicians.  Through government fiat people want them to provide a certain lifestyle.  Instead of understanding the life they were given, they go crying to big brother and that’s from both sides of the fence.  Always thinking some can can do better for them then they can do for themselves.

People harken to the tune of the Natural man but do not hear the rhythm of the tune. 

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Even in the spring the land is mixed, the green edges out the brown yet it depends on what the skies bring.  The dormancy of the land is turning, new life is emerging.  The pulse of the ground is vibrant and gives life to those that listen. 

Learning to live is a lifetime journey of living in reality.  Pushing the illusion to the background. 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Watkins, Colorado


One of many wide spots the railroad built on its way to the gold fields of Denver.  Originally this railroad stop was called Box Elder, the name of the creek nearby and the stage station that had been there.  The place was renamed to honor a railroad employee.  DSCN9231 (1024x768)

Watkins did not incorporate until the 21st century then it only lasted a short time.  Couple years later it dissolved the corporation and went back to being  a wide spot with a Post Office.  The little town didn’t grow much.  It was a travelers stop on old Highway 40.  There were gas stations, coffee shops, truck stops and motels along with a few stores and shops.  Today most of that is gone.  Over by the Interstate is the truck stop/gas station.  Rest of the businesses have been shuttered up and some vacant lots.  There is a small general store and motel that hangs on and the saloon does a booming business. 

At its peak the town boasted over 200 souls living there, toady it is maybe 50.  In 1870, the population was reported at 70 hardy being living there.  No longer does the train stop there.  The occasional semi hauls grain from the elevators.  People whiz through on their way to the general aviation airport to the southeast.  Otherwise it a pretty sleepy town that is on the outskirts of Denver’s urban blight. 

The suburb of Aurora has stretched its city limits out to absorb the once railroad stop.  The urban sponge has soaked up lots of little stops like this as Denver’s tentacles stretched out.  Mesa, Sable, Schulyer, Roydale and others are now but noted in the books of early railroad construction. 

Stretching along the ribbon of iron rails had been numerous railroad stops.  Few became towns, most became memories and forgotten.

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on the north edge of town is the old school house, now a private residence.  A quite reminder of when Watkins had hopes and dreams of growing.  The few people remain have life of some tranquility.  Most of the city noise is to the west.  The urban housing developments are creeping closed year by year.  Soon It will be a sign post on the railroad and exit sign on the Interstate of what was once a prosperous wide spot on the highway. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Pearl Harbor


This Sunday, December the 7th, marks the anniversary of the Japanese attack on the US military installation on Hawaii, Pearl Harbor.  It is an unusual day to remember death and destruction yet that is what happened..  Many a young man perished that day and others got a rude baptism of war. 

There were two local boys on the Pacific Island that day.  Both had joined the Navy to escape the poverty of the depression and the Dust Bowl.  Joe grew up southeast of town and Gerry on the family farm south west of town.  The depression did not offer many opportunities for jobs after high school and the military was an option. 

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That fateful morning, most of the men were sleeping off their antics from the night before.  Joe was in his bunk on board his ship.  Gerry was sleeping in the barracks with the Marines. 

Sharply at dawn the bombs were dropping and exploding.  Gerry jumped out of his rack and ran outside to see what the racket was about, very irritated for being so rudely awaken.  Rushing out the front door, Gerry saw the bombers buzzing overhead dropping bombs.  Quickly he rushed back in the barracks grabbed his rifle and headed back out side.  He was going to shoot the noise makers down that had so rudely awakened him.  His fellow corpsman joined him on the little knoll.  Gerry was shooting at the planes, his partner was reloading the rifles as they emptied. 

Down below them the clouds of black smoke were billowing up.  Ships were exploding and settling into the waters of the harbor.  Joe never had a chance to see the planes bombing his ship, the USS Arizona.  Along with many other members of the crew they were trapped below deck, unable to get out. 

In Joe’s memory the local VFW post is named for him.  The USS Arizona lies in state in the harbor as a reminder of how nasty man can be.  Yes it is a Memorial to those who perished in the sneak attack.  It shows how brutal man can be top his fellow man.

Pearl Harbor carries lots of varied memories for me, for Gerry was my Uncle.   He didn’t talk  about the attack until his later years.  His disdain for the Japanese he wore on his sleeve.  Nothing Japanese got close to him, it was a plague. 

So it is with wary eye I watch people talk politics and people control.  For that is what the attack was for, to show who was in control.