Stephen Woody

Good morning, Montrose!

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Some prayers for our friends in Lake City……While we bask – finally! – in much-welcomed warm sunshine – and the intermittent afternoon rain shower – our friends and neighbors in Lake City are understandably worried. Gov. Jared Polis May 6, along with local officials, have declared an emergency in Hinsdale County and the town as a result of the March avalanches and the significant debris that could impact residents. “We are calm,” said my friend Grant Houston Monday, “and we are open for business.” He also added, “it is tense.” Houston, publisher/editor of the Lake City Silver World since 1978, said “every kind of expert” has been in town assessing the situation as residents are expecting “some kind of event” in mid-month. Deconstruction of the historic and privately-owned Hidden Treasure Dam, built in 1897 over Henson Creek, began last Friday. “The debris event is an unknown,” he said, adding, “we’ve faced periodic flooding before. This is different. It will be temperature-reliant on how fast it becomes warmer.” Lake City is home to about 500 year ‘round; 2,000 to 3,000 in the salubrious summers. “We’ve taken sand-bagging to art form,” he says with characteristic wit, adding that one home is virtually encapsulated in plastic. More than 700-man hours have been dedicated to sand-bagging, according to a story in the Gunnison Country Times. In all, more than 15,000 sand bags have been filled with volunteers from Gunnison High School and University of Oklahoma students. Residents from throughout Colorado, western states and even from Scotland have lent a hand to prevent a worse-case scenario. The Hinsdale County Historical Museum, of which Houston has been its longtime president, has been cleaned out. The museum was founded in the early 1970s and thousands of items have removed for the first time to be safeguarded. One museum artifact, a doll house built by Alferd Packer, the notorious cannibal, while serving a life term in prison, was relocated along with other more mundane items such as diaries, photos, and court records. Several community meetings have been held with residents, stressing the need to evacuate when the call comes and to be ready with a “GO” bag. Aerial surveillance has confirmed that possible flows could be historic or record-breaking. “It is unprecedented,” Houston said.

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Got a fever for more cowbell……Year five of the Montrose Music Series kicks off Friday night at the Black Canyon Golf Course (6 p.m.) ‘Groovement’ makes an encore performance. They played here last year at the FUNC Fest, along the river. Think original music, and funky covers of Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Al Green. “They’re good. We wanted ‘em back,” said Montrose Mayor and Local Music Man Dave Bowman. They’re from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Yet…the groovy story is the opening act, ‘Peachy,’ which features drummer Jeremy Trujillo of Montrose. Trujillo is a 2017 grad of MHS and is a junior mechanical engineering student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. He and his Vandy student mates play indie rock and they’ve been performing around the area this week at Horsefly Brewing Co., Sherbino Theater in Ridgway and will be at the after-party at Intrinzik Friday night. “It’s exciting,” Trujillo told me Tuesday afternoon. “We’ve been rehearsing, putting our set together. It’s great to see so many friends and family coming out to see us.” When young Jeremy was younger, he was DX’d with something quite nasty: lymphoblastic lymphoma. I wrote about him then, via the Notebook, and how he was the honorary chairman of the Montrose County Relay for Life, which was sponsored by the American Cancer Society. He tossed a football into the stands to get us cancer survivors (ole Buster here, Mantle Cell Lymphoma, 16 years) to start walking around the stadium. Jeremy’s the son of E.J. and Melissa Trujillo. He’s 10 years out from treatment, healthy, and in concert Friday night. Good on him, good for us.

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One more shot of ink……The fifth annual Freedom Festival is this weekend. There’s a social mixer, a golf tournament, a fun run/walk, a family festival. All the particulars are on the website for the Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans – WHAFV.org. Or, you can call Mike Trickey, 970.765.2210. He’s the executive director. All this to raise funds for the Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans. The greater, long-range goal is also to drive community support for careers and job development for veterans and affordable housing. So says its founder, Melanie Kline. “We want veterans and military families to move here and thrive. We want to share this town with veterans.” Ms. Kline started the organization eight years ago and it’s raised a lot of awareness for local veterans in our area.

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Quick hitters……The seventh annual Montrose Home Garden Tour is Saturday from 9 to 3 p.m. Patrons can tour five home gardens, “each of the home’s gardens is completely different,” says one of the officers of the Montrose Botanic Garden Society. It is a fund-raiser for the non-profit and tickets ($10-$15) are available: San Juan Gardens, Camelot Gardens, Montrose Botanic Garden, across from the Pavilion. Details: MontroseGardens.org…….Second Sunday Cinema……Local indie film lovers welcome “The Mustang.” It’s the story about a violent criminal who finds redemption and rehabilitation in the training of wild mustangs. It stars Matthias Schoenaerts, Bruce Dern, Connie Britton. Curtain: 12 noon at the Penthouse Theater, downtown.

Stephen Woody was the publisher of community daily newspapers for 38 years in four cities, including the Montrose Daily Press, 1997-2011.

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