Water, monsoons on everyone’s mind this summer

This morning (or any morning, so to speak) we awakened to puffy little cumulus clouds. An hour later, you look outside and they are gone. Amazing, the weather in our area. Where do they go, teacher? In other areas of our United States of America, one might experience gray days for days on end not us. The weather comes and then it moves on.

The weather...I have been anxious to know the amount of rainfall received this past week. Duane Holt, our weather observer, enlightened us with reports of a good one inch in one storm, and less with the second storm. The total is 2.70 inches so far this monsoon season, compared to 2.52 inches on the same date last year, so we are doing all right. Back in Illinois the cornstalks that do grow do not develop the corn cobs needed for harvesting; their drought is a disaster this year, as is our Dolores County agricultural crop. Farmers planted and awaited the rain for weeks and it did not come. Let us change the subject before I depress the entire county!

Long-timer, Virginia Lee Hinton and daughter, Jean Ann Morris of Rico and Yuma, Ariz., did make it up here this year, but only for a week or so. Time marches on and our plans become somewhat limited, dont they? When Virginia and Doc arrived in Rico some fifty years ago, they purchased that tiny, narrow tin-covered home across from our elementary school on Main Street. We are sure that it had to have been built long before the turn of the century. Granddaughter Lynn Ann and husband Larry have really brought that house back to life unbelievable. A pick-axe and shovel can still do wonders, with the time to do it and a strong back.

Mary Ann and John Baltzer of Rico and Texas, long-time summer residents, and also her parents before her, have decided that the old comfortable home of so many years must meet its waterloo. It is too old to retain its function, and it just has to go. They are rebuilding on another section of the property and will sadly tear down their dear old home.

By the way, in the July 13 issue of the Rico Report, I stated that our fair Town had been on the map for hundreds of years. No, we do not think so. Rico became a vital community during the 1800s and before that we were a spot on the bend of the Dolores river if it was even where it is today!

Town Manager, Mike England, says that the new pipeline project that will bring drinking water into Rico has begun. The well is located above the S curves on Hwy. 145 above Rico. It is a much-needed water supply. We have survived on the water taken from little Silver Creek which comes into Rico from the east, up toward the old mill area northeast. There have been stressful occasions when this Town has run out of water and some of the stories of snow in the bathtub and all that made for hard times. That was before we moved here in the 80s.

We celebrated the 94th birthday of a fine friend, Claude Enfield, last weekend at the Park. Claude married a beautiful lady by the name of Rosemary Carnahan whose home was in Rico. Some of you will remember her people as the family whose grandmother, Allie Day, owned the Johnny Bull gold mine up Horse Gulch near the turn of the century. Claude was a farmer from Oklahoma. Somehow it turned out that he, along with the Felix Milsteads, Jack Currans, Orval Jahnkes, grandmother Jesse Jones (Louis) and Rosemary Carnahan, vacationed together in Hawaii those many years ago. Before he returned to Oklahoma, he was a married man. They got off of the plane and married somewhere in California, to end a beautiful story! Claude and Rosemary had a home here in Rico all those years. Her sister, Rachel and Joe, also have had a home here all these years, including the old Carnahan homestead on the same property. Granddaughter, Ruth and her family, reside with Claude in Oklahoma; she was a gracious hostess at the party.

Marlene Hazen has lived in Rico for two decades. An active member of the community, she participates in organizations such as the Rico Womens Club and Rico Historical Society.

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