David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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In 1948 we finally got electricity on Big Owl Road, and it was quite an occasion. They brought in big trucks and said they were going to dynamite to put the poles in. Well, the only dynamite explosions we'd seen were in the newsreels, and they were always pretty terrific, so it was a disappointment when a harmless little puff came up and we stood around and allowed as how we had more fun when we put hammerheads under tin cans on the 4th of July. Now that, my friends, was a show!

And over the years, you'll have to admit, electricity has been a blessing. Now we're all running around looking for those old kerosene lamps we threw out or electrified (I saw a little hand one at the Stanley antique show--$45.00!) and buying kerosene at $2.00 a gallon, if you can believe that, just for a little touch of nostalgia in the evening.

But I'm not too sure about the telephone. It seems to me that when we got ours in the late 50s people quit walking over to the cabin to say hello. It was easier just to pick up the phone. The other day my phone went out for the third time in two days and I had to go over to Jack Zumwinkel's instead of just calling him. So we had a nice sit-down, and I found out what Phyllis was up to, and had a look around the place, and those are all things you just can't do when you make a quick phone call.

My mother's cabin is about a hundred yards away, and she's on my party line, but I haven't made much of an effort to find out what the code is because I like to walk over there and see how she's doing, as opposed to just hearing about it.

I know I'm not going to get anywhere being a reactionary who wants to get rid of phones, although getting rid of some of the bureaucrats at Mountain Bell who can't seem to fix phones might not be a bad idea. But the fact is that I can't think of many times when I couldn't have done all right without it. Seems to me I use the darned thing most to tell when the thunderstorms are getting bad--whenever there's a close lightning strike it rings my telephone bell.

After that, of course, the phone doesn't work.




© 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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