David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar


I'm usually only a spectator and buyer of jams and jellies at the annual Hilltop Guild Bazaar. This year, however, Marj Morris enlisted my help for the raffle. So I sold raffle tickets while waiting for lunch. My mother worked the white elephant tables and my wife assisted me and took over when I had to go to a meeting, so it was really a family affair and we were happy to do it.

In the process, I found out a number of things I didn't expect. First, I found out how a few people can be really rude. Although the time of opening (10:00 AM) was posted in several places, including the big sign out front where it had been posted for months, many people thought it should open as soon as they got there and they were fairly vocal about it. Still, it didn't open until ten and then there was a rush for the baked goods table, which in less than thirty minutes looked as though the Visigoths had swept through. The place was spared only fire and the sword.

Second, I found that since I sat by the front door I was expected to be the information booth even though the sign said "Raffle Tickets." I soon learned most of the vital information about the bazaar. I was proud of myself when, along about 10:45, a man came up to me and asked when lunch was being served. I told him. He asked where the bathroom was. I told him. Then he looked around and said, "Where's Alice?" Now he had me stumped and I said, reluctantly, that I had no idea.

I passed along all my vital information to Mary before I left and I hope the man found Alice, in spite of my ignorance.

Since you didn't win, you probably don't care who did, but just for the record the handmade sweater/vests made by Zelma McLane went to Helene Fisk and Marge George, both of Allenspark. The hand-woven rug from Guild Looms was won by Frances Reynolds of Hayes, Kansas, the hand knit doll from England by Marion Silkworth of Big Owl Road, Allenspark, the water color by Cecil Pastore by Muriel Mills from Tahosa Ranch and Denver, and the stained glass church (which had the most tickets) by R. Kirkendall of Rockledge.

I had to leave to go to the annual meeting of the Tahosa Valley Land Owners Association. Most of its members live in Larimer County, which is too bad since half the valley is in Boulder County. Those of us from the south end of the valley always feel outnumbered. The dues aren't much and it's a good way to have some clout with the planning commissions and other bureaucrats.

This year's meeting was mostly about the Salvation Army taking over the Double J-K Ranch, which was originally the Columbine Lodge. I suppose it's always been the Columbine Lodge as far as I'm concerned. A few people were very emotional in their opposition to the Army's 50 year master plan. The camp is similar in design and focus to the way St. Malo was run for years: as a one week camp for youngsters who might otherwise not have an opportunity for a week in the mountains.

People are understandably reluctant to quarrel with such good works no matter what their misgivings are, so, as is often the case, many of the stated objections centered on the use of water and how sewage will be handled, which in turned is hinged to the number of campers expected.

It's a tough question. Jack Zumwinkel and the others who live below St. Malo on Cabin Creek have certainly had their problems with the St. Malo expansion and tough questions deserve good and honest answers.

Over the long haul, though, the folks who have owned and run religious camps have been good neighbors, all the way from the large, such as Covenant Heights, to the tiny Luther Lodge. Many of us have had worse neighbors.

In the end, the Larimer County Planning Commission will decide whether the Salvation Army's master plan is reasonable and prudent and that will be that. I'm betting on the Army.

I seem to go to a lot of meetings, including the Allenspark Area Men's Club, whose meetings now have as many women as men attending. They had their annual picnic on the 18th of August at Wild Basin, and once the sun went down it got downright chilly and we left early. Like many other groups in the area this one is interesting, with folks all the way from Lyons to the far end of the valley and a few from Estes Park.

By big city standards our little gatherings must seem insignificant. Still, we seem to take them fairly seriously. To be sure, none of them is likely to have any great effect on the earth's orbit but some very good things are done by some very hard working people for the benefit of everyone in the valley. One of the most important of those organizations, the Fire Department, is in dire need of volunteers.

I don't have anything against the Harmonic Convergence or standing around in a circle holding hands and humming Nigerian canoe music, but a couple of hours a week working for the community seems like a good idea, too.

 Here's how to do it. For information about becoming a member of the Hilltop Guild, you can talk to Marge McCulloch at 747-2955. For the Tahosa Valley Landowner's Association, you can talk to Walt Silkworth at 747-2720. He's also an officer in the Allenspark Area Men's Club. For the Fire Department you can call Bruce Kester at 747-2604.



© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI




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