David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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Read My Latest Column

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary


One evening in May of 1974 I was at Emily Hesse’s Pee Wee Ranch and took part in the production of the fifth issue of the WIND. I was here only briefly, recovering from the loss of the best parts of three fingers of my left hand in Southeast Asia. I think I did manage to do some typing, and I may even have written something. But I haven’t seen that issue in 20 years and my memory, never very good to begin with, is getting worse.

I do remember Emily. A little dynamo who had a big idea. My friend Otto had encouraged me to take part. Probably thought it would be good therapy. We had a good time as we typed and talked. I remember Emily was making candles and selling them — they had rocks around the outside of them and the process was a secret.

I didn’t begin writing for the WIND until ten years later. When I returned to Colorado permanently I wrote the same column for the Trail-Gazette for a few months. But that was every week. It didn’t pay anything, and when I ran a classified ad and they billed me for it, I decided that writing once a month for the WIND was at least as good a deal. The result is about 85 columns and more than 60,000 words.

The columns have covered a wide range of subjects, including some current events which generated my share of hate mail, which I enjoy reading, so keep those cards and letters coming. I hasten to add that many have called, written, or said to me that they generally enjoy the column, and the WIND, and that’s always nice to hear.

Many of the columns have centered around the history of the area and since history is one of my few areas of expertise, I enjoy the research and the recording, which I think my grandchildren will find at least mildly interesting.

My friend Phil Stern has often complained that I am often bathetic in my recountings, and he is probably right. But one is not bound by footnotes in a column such as this, which is one reason I enjoy it so much. I am happy to leave the facts and figures to Phil. Recently I was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Estes Park Area Historical Museum and I expect to bring the same mawkish approach to that task.

This issue is full of the events of the past 20 years, and anyone who’s been here all that time will tell you that the WIND has changed quite a bit in that time, depending on who was involved. At various times it has raised quite a bit of hell, and at others it has been mostly a bulletin board. At the moment we seem to be in a bit of a hell raising mood, and while it has angered some, it hasn’t seemed to hurt our circulation. Those who have been fairly outspoken in their wish for the WIND’s demise will continue to be disappointed.

The future of the WIND seems fairly secure. We have sound business management, conscientious editorial leadership, and a board which not only is involved but also seems to have a good time, which is pretty amazing, considering the amount of time involved for no pay at all. We don’t even get free subscriptions. My son, Richard, has created a number of new column heads for me in honor of the anniversary, one of which you see above. He gets nothing but my thanks and the pleasure of seeing his work in print. He apparently thinks that’s enough.

All this is a tribute to the people involved. The WIND isn’t really a paper or a journal or even “that damned rag;” it’s the talented and involved people who have put it together all these years, and it’s quite a list. Jack Zumwinkel has certainly been the glue that held it together, but after 20 years it seems to have a life of its own and it’s unlikely that it will again need the kind of stewardship Jack provided. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to add my name to the list of good people who have been the Allenspark WIND.

So while my crystal ball is cloudy, I nevertheless feel confident in predicting a long and bright future for the WIND. I will be a part of it for another few years, if Providence is kind, but there will come a time when the character of the board will change, and the WIND will be different. That is as it should be. It’s always fun to watch something grow and change and evolve. All things being equal, there’s no reason why the WIND shouldn’t be here 20 years from now and 20 years after that. Maybe one of my grandchildren will be a member of the board. I hope so. And I hope he or she will still enjoy raising a little hell.




© 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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