David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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The Bath House


In the early 1960s we noticed a house being built near us. It was a solid, brick house which looked out of place among the board and batten summer cabins along Big Owl Road. A cyclone fence went up, along with a mailbox which read “Harry Bath.”

Soon we noticed something truly remarkable at Mr. Bath’s house, which of course we quickly dubbed “the bath house.” It took a few weeks to be certain. We saw that the ground had been leveled and scraped clean. Could it be? Yes, right here in the middle of the forest, Harry Bath was growing a lawn, complete with a sprinkler system.

We were awestruck.

How could anyone grow a decent lawn at 8,400 feet, in this soil? And that wasn’t the most important question. We all wanted to know why he had gone to all the trouble.

I must have passed his house a thousand times since those days, but I never met Mr. Bath or asked the question that has smoldered in my head for a quarter of a century.

A few weeks ago, however, I decided the time had come, so when I saw Mr. Bath puttering in his yard, tending his beautiful, green, weed-free lawn, I stopped and introduced myself. At the time, Mr. Bath was a widower living in Denver and was in the floor covering business, which he said had been very good to him. We talked about houses and television reception, and he said he had often thought of moving here when he retires in a couple of years. Finally I steered toward the question.

“You’re obviously quite a gardener,” I said, easing into it.

“No,” he said, “I don’t have much of a garden to speak of, either here or in Denver.”

“But,” I countered, “you have this beautiful lawn up here in the middle of the trees, and it obviously takes a lot of work and time. Why do you have it?” (Subtle, yes?)

He thought about it for just a moment, looked me right in the eye, and after 30 years of my wondering gave me the best of all possible answers.

“I just like lawns,” he said. [The house has changed hands and the lawn is gone.]




© 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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