Winning submissions from Moffat County Quality of Life contest
March 13, 2012
Craig and Moffat County residents submitted artwork and essays for the Moffat County Quality of Life contest in late 2011. The top finishers in the adult category are included below.
Essay, first place
Craig — A Natural Place to Be
When I moved to Craig, the first thing I noticed was the quiet. Birds were singing and the sky was a beautiful, bright blue.
Craig is peaceful and nature is everywhere. Water in the creek that winds through the city is clear and clean.
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The air is fresh and grass is green. Squirrels jump from tree to tree and deer walk around town, enjoying their freedom.
I like the friendly people in Craig. They wave at each other when they pass in cars, and ask, "How are you doing?" when they walk by each other.
People show respect for each other.
Living in a place that feels safe makes me feel secure. Craig is safe; rules are enforced to prevent minors from drinking and purchasing liquor. Children can ride their bicycles around town without worrying their parents. You can go to the city park to exercise and swim in the pools.
Craig has a variety of homes, all mingled together. Riding around the city to look at the way people decorate their homes and yards is enjoyable. No homes look alike.
The change of seasons here is spectacular. Flowers bloom in early spring. In summer, the smell of backyard barbeque fills the air.
People grow vegetable and flower gardens. In summer and fall we hunt and camp in the mountains near Craig. With the coming of fall, leaves turn bright red and yellow. Winter, my favorite time of year, brings snow.
I love snow. Everything looks different covered with snow. You can play in the snow, too, from throwing snowballs to building igloos, ice-skating and cross-country skiing.
I longed for a place to live a healthy lifestyle and I found this life in Craig. I am so happy Craig is my home.
Essay, second place
Ken "Howdy" Davis
Quality of Life in Moffat County: It's the People
It was 1990 when I came to Craig hunting. We were camped up in the mountains when the sheriff arrived looking for one of my fellow hunters who had to call home right away.
I drove my friend into town to make his call when we realized we were just about out of gas.
We went to the sheriff's office only to find that there were no gas stations open until morning. The sheriff's deputy said, "Just a minute," and dumped two five-gallon cans of gas in my truck and wouldn't take a penny for it. I tried to force money on him but he would have no part of it.
After our hunt, we came into Craig and camped out at the edge of town at the KOA. We then came to Yampa Avenue and visited shops and restaurants. We were impressed at how nice these people were.
I returned the following year to ski Steamboat with my family and brought my wife and a few of the kids to Craig to have a look about. I told them that this town is just like the town I grew up in back in Pennsylvania.
"It's the people," I said. Then I told my wife, Frannie, I would love to live here. She replied she would have no trouble with that.
We went back to New Jersey. I retired from Johnson and Johnson Research after 31 years. We sold Frannie's business, Happy Trails Western Wear.
We sold our home and moved to Craig where we settled on a ranch out in Big Gulch. Within two years, our five children showed up.
Some bought ranches in the area. I recall a remark one of them made when I was helping him put up a Quonset hut.
I said, "You know mom and I moved 2,000 miles to get away from you all, and look. Now you are so close I could hit each of you with a rock."
To this, my grown-up kid said, "Get a life, we're here to stay."
Craig now had 13 new residents.
Essay, third place
Quality of Life in Craig — A Senior Citizen's Point of View
A laid-back community like Craig I've never seen before. The ease of being in such a community boggles my mind.
I am a senior citizen, as well as a person with disabilities. A senior can receive low-cost meals, groceries, and transportation.
They can attend recreational activities, concerts, wellness programs, college classes, sports, and receive help with utility bills. I could go on and on.
The many community services are unique for this small of a town, with help available for those in need for housing, medical and legal matters.
What I like most are the friendly and caring people you meet on the street. The smiles and eye contact can lift your day.
I can sit in my own home and watch out the window to see birds and squirrels flitting around and getting their fill from the feeders. A small group of deer passes through the yard, scaring off those little ones and finishing off the remaining tidbits.
Even the potent odor from a skunk weaving its way around the house, late at night, reminds us we are close to wildlife. Ah, nature.
Our quality of life includes watching clouds make pictures in the blue sky and seeing the far-off mountains.
Not too many places in our country provide all the pleasures Craig does. Larger towns and cities give you a cold feeling with no smiles or eye contact.
The noise of people, traffic, smog and the rush, rush of everyday life. No thanks.
Craig is where I want to be, in this beautiful, serene and God-given corner of Colorado. I hope all of you agree. If you don't, shame on you.