It never stops being fun. I’m talking about my part-time job writing stories for North Forty News, based in Wellington, serving north Fort Collins and the small communities in the foothills of the mountains and in northern Colorado.
This week I met Becky and Frank Jackson in their 102-year-old house in Ault. They shared their passions with me as they showed me landscape paintings, a living room mural and diorama, solar-lit bird feeders, canoes with sails, trekking boots, prayer tassels and cowboy hats—all made by one or the other of them. They posed on a canopied bed in their backyard complete with fireplace, shower and spiral staircase to a rooftop deck with a view of the mountains. Rocks from the fireplace heat a Frank-built sweat lodge in the back corner of the garden. And guess what—the Jacksons operate a small B and B, making it possible for anyone in search of an escape from the “ordinary” world to check out this special spot for a couple of days.
The paper is doing a series on the small churches in the area-delving into their history and asking about attendance and prospects for the future. Bellvue, nestled at the foot of Rist Canyon, is the home of Pleasant Valley Church of Christ, founded in 1911. Marty Trujillo, minister there for 22 years still lives next door where he and his wife raised their three children. He has 10 beehives, a huge organic garden, likes to hunt, fish, bike and hike and says his congregation of 50 or so is just right. “We’re a family,” he says. “Get too big and it’s hard to be a family any more.”
I got so wound up during my Thursday morning interview with a middle school science teacher that afterwards I roared away in my little red Jetta, 36 miles an hour in a school zone. Good for a $98 ticket. I deserved it and it was worth it. And I promise not to write it off as a business expense. Vicky Jordan is about to receive the National Science Teachers Association award for distinguished teaching and I found out why. Can’t do it justice here. See the March issue of the North Forty News.
Two legendary tennis coaches/players, supporters of the game, mother and daughter, Evie Hoeven Arterburn and Laura Hoeven Eckton received awards from a Fort Collins organization that promotes character in athletics. And yes, recognizing people like this does make a difference to them and even more so to the athletes they inspire.
Happy Valentines Day!