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Read My Latest Column
Most of these columns were written for the Allenspark [Colorado] WIND on a mostly regular basis between 1985 and 2013. I have included some columns written for the Estes Park Trail-Gazette in 1984. This edition contains 98 columns published since the second edition was published in 2003.
I was fond of telling my students that 50% of all one’s writing is better than the other 50%, and that is certainly true in this case. I also like to tell them that 90% of everything is trash. In that case, perhaps six thousand of these words are worth reading. I am always amazed that anyone could possibly have any interest in reading through these maunderings. One complete column and parts of others even made their way into a book about the area, Weaving Mountain Memories, by Lorna Knowlton (without my permission, I might add) now in its 2nd Edition, expanded and edited by Edie DeWeese.
They do, I suppose, give one a reasonable idea of what was on my mind and on the minds of others in our little community, for whatever that’s worth. Ten years of these were written when we were engaged in two wars, both of which we did not win and both of which killed thousands and cost a fortune. I wrote about them quite a bit, perhaps too much, but I thought it was important that our readers should know the facts as I knew them rather than the propaganda that was so prevalent at the time because the wars were part of our life and times.
I have done a little editing, to remove some obvious repetitions and egregious errors. I have also added some explanatory notes in brackets, but you will still find plenty to complain about, if not in style, then certainly in content. That is fine with me. I have done my share of complaining in these little pieces, so you are entitled.
Nobody asked, but I feel compelled to provide some rationalization for writing an average of 500 words a month for a little (500-600 copies) volunteer monthly journal. Aside from the normal pleasures in seeing one’s words in print, writing these little pieces has, in many cases, helped me clarify my thinking about the various aspects of life in the mountains. Often I was compelled to think carefully about things I had taken for granted or not thought about in many years. Having to look for something to write about every month has made me look more closely at the flora and fauna (including two and four legged) of this lovely place. Sadly, many of the things and people I’ve written about no longer exist. I miss all of them.
Finally, I would like to explain the title of the column. Some have speculated that the title reflects an arrogantly proprietary view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, if you look at the columns, you will find a quite pluralistic view and many references to our mountains. The title says, in effect, “This is my personal view; my own twisted, idiosyncratic impression of this environment. It may be poorly written, and you may disagree, and 90% of it may be trash, but it’s mine.”
It might look as though I was all alone when I was writing this stuff, but in fact my lovely wife, Mary, suffered through my moments of ire and blankness, and often made suggestions which improved these pieces. As in everything else, I’m glad she was with me.
I hope you will do some similar writing -- your grandchildren will be glad you did.
© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner
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