It's time to re-read last year's mail. One of the greatest things
about writing a column is finding that somebody reads it. The great
majority of your comments have been great -- friendly, informative,
funny or all of the above. This year there were only couple that I
needed to drop in the waste basket with a fire-extinguisher handy. But
you can't please everybody. One of the mottoes hanging over my desk
says, "If you can't annoy someone there is little point in writing."
One long letter started with, "...I've reached a zero tolerance for
those who support ideas oppositional to a vision of American
civilization clearly established by our founding fathers." Or, in
simpler terms, any ideas with which he does not personally agree. His
complaint was the existence in libraries of computers with Internet
access, which he feels is destroying civilization as we know it.
My objection to posting the Ten Commandments in every school room in
America brought this: "I hope you read this since you are so against
God and everything He stands for." And he sent me an article by Gary
Bauer, who affects me the way Hillary does Rush Limbaugh.
But the angriest letters came from the Hillary-haters. "Your
unwarranted praise for the first bitch cannot go unanswered." Well, it
One encouraging thing I learned. There are a lot more "F" word
(feminists) and "L" word (liberals) in this community than most people
One reader (well, two since son Dave also argued the point) questioned
my saying that the "purists" would write the Roman numeral
MDCCCCLXXXXVIIII for 1999. They both preferred MCMXCIX. The next year
is easier: MM.
After I wrote about the LaVeta Hotel in Gunnison, a local man called and
told me that a lot of the timbers from the old ballroom were salvaged
and used by the architect to give a sense of history in one of the new
banks in Gunnison.
I learned a lot about the wild horses of the western slope. Some of
the mares aren't too smart. The little colt that was born on the edge
of a cliff and fell down 60 feet when it tried to stand on its wobbly
legs was rescued and "adopted" by a two legged mama. The "Wild Horse
Lady" kept me informed about baby Ariel, who survived and is thriving.
Photo by Jim Stunkel
The other side of the porno in the library issue was the wonderful
response from librarians all across the country when the A. L. A. sent
the column on Governor Owens' veto of the library aid bill out over
their net. From Minnesota, "Keep up the good fight in Colorado," with
an offer to trade Jesse Ventura for Bill Owens. I rejected the offer.
I may regret it.
I wrote that Winston Churchhill's mother had given birth to him in a
ladies' room during a dance. One of my FR's (Faithful Reader) sent a
post card with a picture of the well appointed bedroom in Blenheim
Palace where the event really took place. But the FR added, "But we all
know his mother was dancing too vigorously!"
There were lots of responses to the Women's Cup soccer game column. One
reader said, "I would have been a professional athlete but I'm so excited for the generations of young women coming up
who now have a whole team of role models." And a male reader wrote,
tongue in cheek no doubt, but delightful nonetheless, "I enjoyed your
article on the black bra. Very insightful."
On the topic of girls' athletics, one professional male friend who
shall be nameless wrote, "I don't get my daughter to read the paper very
often, but I'm going to try my darndest to get her to read you this
week." (((This was my editor)))))
This year most of you communicated by e-mail, and I appreciated every
single message (well, almost all of them!), and answered all that I
could. Most were, as I said before, friendly, informative, funny or
all of the above. I made some new friends and renewed some old
contacts. You gave me a great year. You can't write a column in a
vacuum. Thank you.