H. Neal Glanville

H. Neal Glanville

H. Neal Glanville: That's just life in Craig

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Yup, I like Craig.

I've always liked it, and when I've gone away on one adventure or another, she's been in my heart. I'd tell stories of small-town life that people in big cities found hard to believe. I'd always smile and say, "That's just life in Craig."

It was 38 years ago, my former wife, three small girls and I showed up on Craig's doorstep. We had as close to nothing as you can get. We lived for a while in our hot rod '64 Chevy at the north end of Craig City Park. The girls thought they were in heaven living in a park with their very own swings and teeter-totters. Melissa, my youngest girl, had her first birthday there. We had hot dogs with Spaghetti-Os and a frozen coconut cake. As birthdays go, it was one of the best I can remember.

The next afternoon, we found a note on the car windshield from Bowman Logging. I had a job.

I can honestly say, out loud or on paper, that operating a skidster from dawn till dark :30 is the hardest I've ever worked. I doubt I could count on one hand any other men who were as proud of what they did as the Bowman family.

Each day, while I was on Black Mountain, my wife looked for a place for us to live. That must have been sight: A young woman, with three kids in tow, walking all over Craig looking for a home.

One morning, she stopped at the Midwest Cafe for something and started talking to one of waitresses. After fussing about the girls a bit, the waitress just smiled and said, "Let's walk up to the machine shop and talk to Walt Cisar."

We were still days away from a paycheck, but Mr. Cisar took my wife's word and rented us the two-bedroom apartment over what is now Serendipity Coffee Shop on Yampa Avenue. That Sunday, as I drove the car to our new home, we ran out of gas at Sixth and Tucker. As Craig would have it, men appeared from nowhere and helped pushed the car to our new home and then helped us move in. The next morning, I found an empty 5-gallon gas can beside the car with a scribbled note stuck in the spout. Pass it on, was all it said.

Yup, I like Craig.

Each time I return, it's as though I've never left. Sure, there have been changes. Some good, a few that make you stop and ask, "Whose idea was that?"

I remember the signs going up on the north end of town, restricting the use of Jake brakes. For weeks afterwards, every tractor trailer or logging truck that rolled into town made sure theirs worked. ... The noise from using an air brake to slow down may not seem like much, especially with the musical noise that comes from some of our cars and trucks, but to the commercial and independent truckers, the noise they created was beside the point. The fact that someone, anyone, would put up a sign telling them what they could or couldn't do made them mad. Their recourse was limited to obeying the sign or not; the drivers, as individuals, chose not to.

Were they right? That doesn't matter. What really matters is they voiced their opinion the only way they could.

Did they win? Nope, never stood a chance. But they stood up for what they thought was right.

That, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, is just one of the many reasons I love our small little corner of the world.

Mr. Alex Urie had it right. He once ask his grandson and me if we knew why the wind blew so much around here. No, we both moaned. He turned his head back as he hobbled away, "most every place else sucks," he answered, chuckling.

There I was, surrounded on two sides, and I said to myself, "Self," I said (cuz that's what I call myself when I'm talking to myself), "you've been fly fishing all day and haven't caught squat. What are you going to do now?" "Well, self," I said, "I'm going to tie on the biggest, ugliest thing I can find in my pocket and peg it out there." Huwyaw.

Thank you for your time.

Comments

George Robertson 6 years, 2 months ago

Grannyrett, does that mean you had Mrs Bright for 4th, Kinchelo for 5th, and Pletcher for 6th? Remember the Battle ax Mrs Gibson for band? She was the epitome of witch Hilda.

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grannyrett 6 years, 2 months ago

Awww nimrod--You put a smile on my face this morning. Yes, I had them all. Remember when Mrs. Gibson fell off the stage during practice for a concert? Poor lady. Nobody was worried that she might be hurt. Never had a teacher anywhere that was as mean as that woman. She would never make it today. Remember when Mr Pletcher got married? They came to class together and told us.

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xrsareus 6 years, 2 months ago

Great story, I remember all of those "old timers". People were so generous back then. Remember when overnight camping was aloud in the City Park and it would be full of people on vacation. Trailers, and tents every night. Was so much fun just to go down and talk to people from around the country. And in was free for them....

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carn 6 years, 2 months ago

I like the story too! And I love Craig. I moved away nearly two decades ago, but it still has a place in my heart. Obviously, as I read the Daily Press online nearly every day and get a little thrill when I see one of my old friends' or their familys' name here.

You all still have a great little town.

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George Robertson 6 years, 2 months ago

xrsareus, it wasn't necessarily "free for them". The kids that lived next to the park would often raid their coolers, especially if they had beer in them.

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xrsareus 6 years, 2 months ago

Nimrod, sounds like you were one of the kids that "charged" for people to camp there. You have to agree those were good times in Craig. Did you live in that neiborhood? I lived 3 block east. Never thought about being a fee collector. Take care

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Really 6 years, 2 months ago

Some things never change! I hear the kids today are still extracting fees from coolers during hunting season!

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George Robertson 6 years, 2 months ago

xrsareus, I plead the 5th, suffice it to say we put on our ice skates at home and skated over to the ice skating rink in the winter.

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xrsareus 6 years, 2 months ago

What a great place to skate, remember the big wood heater? Pile the wood in and get nice a toastie. Now day someone would get sued for getting burned by that beast. Skating down the creek until you found a thin spot and fell in. Almost seems like yesterday....

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George Robertson 6 years, 2 months ago

Wow xrsareus, I'll bet you even remember Hesteds, and Ben Franklins. I very fondly remember the games of "come through" that we used to play on the rink, and yes ice skating all the way to the river was great fun in 21 below zero weather. The nice thing about winter was that it provided a short cut in the walk to East Elementary as that foot bridge didn't exist back then. Crossing the creek on those pipes would on occasion result in a dip in the creek. 3 Blocks east would put you on Legion?

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xrsareus 6 years, 2 months ago

nimrod, Yes Legion, lived there from when I was born until 1975. If I remember right (I'm old now and suffer from CRS ) Wasn't there a foot bridge down by the VFW that crossed over to were the tennis courts are now, above some pipes that crossed there? I can remember laying in bed when they would dinamite the ice there. Can remember when East was build. But can't remember what I did yesterday. Remember what was there before East? Hell we probably grew up togeather !!!!!

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George Robertson 6 years, 2 months ago

There was no foot bridge above the pipes, we just used the pipes. Also remember the spring ice jams because of those pipes. East Elementary opened when I was in third grade with Mrs. Swanson. Prior to that there was only Yampa elementary and Sunset elementary. Remember the awesome sleding hill called Campbells hill over the top of Legion. It was named that because a family named Campbell lived at the bottom (one of the Campbell girls used to sell waxed crepe paper flowers she made door to door). It was a short hike from there over to the sandrock cave.

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grannyrett 6 years, 2 months ago

NIMROD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! East opened when I was in third grade with Mrs. Swanson!!!!!! Wow, we went to school together! Amazing! You're talking about my old stomping grounds. I lived on the North side of the hill on Colorado Street till we moved to the ranch in 1963.

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bigrred1576 6 years, 2 months ago

I may be wrong, but i think the Music teacher was Mrs. Gibbons. She was a tough old Bird, but a fairly good teacher, Same as Mrs. Potter. I thought that East opened in the early 60's, My Grandfather was a carpenter on that building, Stayed with us during the week and went home to Junction on the weekends. I think we are all within a few years. But I attended Sunset School.

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George Robertson 6 years, 2 months ago

bigred I think you're right and yes I do remember when she fell off the stage, most of us laughed about it. I also remember Mr. Pletcher bringing his wife to school, I was ALWAYS in trouble with him. I also remember Ilean Burton telling Mrs Kincheloe to "cram it" when she wanted us to jump rope for the 5th consecutive day for PE. She was probably the most inept teacher I had K-12.

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grannyrett 6 years, 2 months ago

nimrod--I had problems with Mrs. Bright. She tried to stop me from using my left hand. Don't remember much about that year. Ilene was one of my best friends. She wan't afraid of anyone. My dad helped build East too bigrred. He also worked on the new junior high building. Gosh, this is bringing back so many good memories.

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grannyrett 6 years, 2 months ago

nimrod--I had problems with Mrs. Bright. She tried to stop me from using my left hand. Don't remember much about that year. Ilene was one of my best friends. She wan't afraid of anyone. My dad helped build East too bigrred. He also worked on the new junior high building. Gosh, this is bringing back so many good memories.

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xrsareus 6 years, 2 months ago

Ah yes, the sleddin hill, I swear we did a 100mph off of that hill. Would sled untill we were so cold we could hardly walk home. Always like the full moon nights so we could sled at night. I must be a couple years younger than you guys, I started in first grade when the school was new. Kids now days don't do activitys like that anymore, can't pry them away from video games. What a great discussion, can't wait for the next story...

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bigrred1576 6 years, 2 months ago

We were the skiing bunch. there were 3 families on the south and east sides of Cedar Mountain that had their own "rope tows" up some local hills. My first skis were home made by my grandfather in the 20's and just had a leather strap for the binding, any boot would work. I still have the Allis-Chalmers tractor we used back then for the two motor. We also went sledding or skiing behind a truck on the county road, or a snowmobile. I also spent a little time at the ice rink and remember the big heater, but as farm kids with ponds, we used to just push the snow off parts of them for skating. Good Memories

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George Robertson 6 years, 2 months ago

xrsareus, my dad gave us an innertube from a grader tire. We put ropes around it at intervals so that when inflated you had sort of a bull riders grip on it. Six of us then straddled it and rode down that hill. At the bottom there was a huge bump/jump that usually threw us all off. It was quite awesome untill we got off course and encountered the barbwire fence that pretty much ruined the tube. We also would go out on Jackrabbit, wrap plastic bags over our snow boots, and then hold on to a rope tied to the bumber of the vehicle. Those were some fun times. Bigrred I remember those rope tows, Chris and Kim Steele introduced us to them.

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xrsareus 6 years, 2 months ago

We had a car hood for awhile, Yea if you didn't line up just right, you were going through the fence. The bump at the bottom was fun. You know as good as I do, any new sleding hill found had jumps built right away. Must have been the daredevils in all of us. Now day's I don't think I like winter as much !!!!!!

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bigrred1576 6 years, 2 months ago

Yes Nimrod, Stehle's were two of the families that had rope tows, we were the other ones, so if you know the area, you should be able to figure who I am. A good time could be had by all on those small slopes.

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George Robertson 6 years, 2 months ago

I can remember when all Steamboat had was a rope tow. Later an all day lift ticket there was $3.00, and that was WAY to expensive for us. 57 Chevy car hoods made the best sleds, especially if you waxed them. Another great sleding area was Knez divide south of the Airport.

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