David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Used Cars


Driving up the South St. Vrain the other day a rock came down and hit the windshield, so my used car is even more used now, and is well on the way to being used up.

We seem to use up cars pretty fast in these parts. A gentleman of my acquaintance has almost used up a nice '84 four wheel drive wagon just commuting.

I guess it's because we live in a remote area. I read that in the Denver papers. When they found a dead guy with a cracked skull near my place, I read that he was found "near Big Owl Road, a remote area of Boulder County." So when you live in a remote area, it's probable that you'll use up cars.

Sometimes it does feel a little remote here, especially just after we've had a couple of feet of snow, but there must be some other reasons why we use up cars. I ought to ask our beloved postmaster, Otto. He has used up a whole group of cars in the last 35 years, just about every way they can be used up. But it's pretty easy to do that in a remote area; into a tree, or a deer, or another car, or a big ditch. Or cars just break, in the area of the axle or the transmission. Then they become used up instead of just used.

After they're used up, often they don't leave. Sometimes people give you used up cars as presents. I had one renter who left me three of them in my front yard.

We have some used up cars, trucks and even busses that have been in one spot so long they're like memorials or landmarks and people are afraid to move them.

Used up vehicles lying around the landscape are probably a part of being so isolated and remote, and there's not much we can do about it. I don't really mind them all that much. Most of the year they're covered by snow, and in the spring it's sort of comforting to drive by places and say, "Yep, there's old so-and-so's place, I see that old pick-up's still in the same old spot." It gives me a feeling of belonging. Makes me feel less remote.




© 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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