New year odds and ends

And so another year is coming to a close. I’ve taken some time away from Hardscrabble Times over the holidays, mainly because I haven’t had much to say.

I suppose given the previous entries it should be noted the Food Safety and Modernization Act was passed by Congress and soon will be signed into law. There’s not much else to be said on the subject. Now we can only wait and see how it affects local farms and farmers markets. I’m alarmed by any possibility this new law will negatively impact these businesses.

It is ironic to note the Centers for Disease Control recently downgraded the estimated number of deaths from food-borne illness from 5,000 to 3,000 annually. Not to make light of those deaths, but more than a million people die each year from cancer and heart disease combined, but we see no efforts to do anything about highly refined and processed foods — many of them produced by backers of the food safety bill — that contribute to so many of these deaths.

Enough on that. Look for my column on the subject in the January issue of Colorado Central magazine.

Also recently I’ve been focusing on a couple of other writing projects, including a feature story about the cleanup of the Terrible Mine. Perhaps the most striking revelation in my research was learning that more people lived in this area in the years between 1880 and 1907 than live here now. Heck, they even had three saloons, a general store and post office just down the road in Ilse and we don’t have any of those things now.

You can read my story in The Wet Mountain Tribune and The Pueblo Chieftain.

Meanwhile my book, “Wild Burro Tales —Thirty Years of Haulin’ Ass” was reviewed by Teresa Cutler-Broyles in Mules and More Magazine.

Twenty-ten was, well, 2010, with some disappointments and some successes.

It was incredibly sad to finish 2010 by attending the funeral for Dr. Tony Oreskovich Sr. He and son Tony have been our dentists for many years, and he’s also the father of our friends Mary Oreskovich, who with husband Richard Warner owns Hopscotch Bakery and Bingo Burger, and Mark Oreskovich, who manages Bingo Burger.

Tony Sr. was a super dentist and an even finer person. Always so sincere and funny. I last saw him in Bingo Burger a couple weeks ago. He walked up to me, said hello, shook hands. It’s difficult to believe he’s gone. He’ll be greatly missed.

It seemed odd to attend a funeral in Pueblo in the morning, and then a New Year’s party with friends in Wetmore in the evening. But that’s how life is. The darkest days of 2010 are behind and the 2011 brings with it a new light. I wish everyone all the best in the new year.

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