Valley Gardening: Eat gold fish for a free beer

All is great in the neighborhood! I went up to the Ag Trade show in Monte Vista because Larry had a booth with his GMX Magnetic Water Conditioning.

I also go for the free breakfast, pens, and candy. And to see friends from years gone by.

I was so excited to see the presentation (at the first day’s breakfast) of a Monte Vista Cooperative donation of $25,000 to the Ski Hi Park campaign.

The folks in Monte Vista voted for a tax increase this past fall that will, in part, help with ongoing costs of a new Ski-Hi Park complex. Great job, Monte Vista.

I had to come back to work, but Larry worked the show and then got to relax at the end of the evening (over a cold beer), and visit with other vendors, ranchers and farmers. I got excited over $25,000, but Larry got to hear about three huge donations from San Luis Valley Federal Bank, Alamosa State Bank and the Rio Grande Savings and Loan.

They each donated $50,000 to Friends of Ski Hi Park. For more information go to Again, thank you to the local banks who so generously donated to this very worthwhile project.

Even though I have attended many of the Ag Conferences, it never ceases to amaze me how much farming is part of our San Luis Valley.

The cost of some of the farm equipment nowadays is mind-boggling. I have always called farming and gardening legalized gambling, but certainly the stakes are much higher if you have a $750,000 tractor or two to make payments on.

Not to mention your mortgage, and water, and water and water. Kudos to all farmers in the Valley.Thank you for what you have done and continue to do — for all of us. 

A couple of friends got good reports on their cancer battles this week. Thank you for including them in your prayers.  You got this, Kathy Park and Sandy Holtcamp. Maybe the war isn’t over, but some battles have been won. I certainly believe that all the good energy going your way from across the Valley helps.  May the force be with you both, today and always.

I’d like to explain why I get down in the dumps about the dirt, and lack of pride that I see/feel in Alamosa. I will be dating myself.

I go back to the days when I worked at Husung Hardware and F.W. Woolworth. I remember when Billy Spencer would print T-shirts for all the retail merchants to wear on our clean-up Saturdays. There were many more businesses back then, and we all knew and supported each other.

One of the smaller Alamosa fire trucks would come downtown and hose off the sidewalks — pretty amazing how much dirt washed off.  After the sidewalks were done, merchants would clean their windows.

The whole downtown smelled and looked clean and fresh. I don’t see that kind of comradery nowadays — for any number of reasons.

The comradery was such, back in the day, that when the jukebox malfunctioned at the Purple Pig, Ed White, manager of Woolworth’s would unplug their jukebox and roll it down the street. Those were the days. Maybe Ed got a free beer or seven, I’m not sure. I do remember that Eula Hutchins (Pet Department Mgr.) would no longer sell goldfish to Mike Lorton (who came down from the Pig) because it was told that if you ate a goldfish you got a free drink.

If you ate half a gold fish (like bit it in half) you got a shot of tequila. Those were the days, that’s for sure. Is this too much information for you?

I want this pride back for all of Alamosa but of course I have to start in LODA —lower downtown Alamosa. We have the comradery down here already. LODA is where I live and work, I sleep in the county. On these spring-like days, I am chomping at the bit to get started.  Anyone have a water tank with a pump that I can borrow? 

Before I forget, I am also looking for an aluminum can crusher thingamajig.  Leo is using the largest sledge hammer ever to crush cans. I have visions of him crunching his fingers. Do you have one that works good, and you are no longer using. Or, can you give me a brand name to look for? Thanks!