David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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INTRODUCTION

 

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.

 

David Steiner

Skyline Cabin

April, 2013

 

 

Columns

© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:

Introduction

Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]

Electricity

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]

Hiking

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

Elevators

The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]

Visitors

Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird

Garbage

A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]

Weather

Fences

Commuting

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

June

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

Visitors

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

“Whiteout”

The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley

Infestations

On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]

Walking

Rumors About a Visit by the Pope

Progress?

More About Fences

Woodpeckers

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

Risks

Airports

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

Carpentry

Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House

Waving

The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?

Dogs

Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving

Garbage

Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”

Spring

An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins

Summer

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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