In the May issue of
Colorado Central Magazine

Table Mountain in eastern Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Read about efforts to define wilderness characteristics in Western Fremont County in the May print edition. Photo courtesy of Wild Connections.

The Salida Circus turns Ten

By Elliot Jackson

“When I came to Salida and began talking about starting a circus,” says Jennifer Dempsey, artistic director of the Salida Circus, “people thought I was nuts. So I stopped talking about it and just started doing it.”

If anyone still thinks that, they aren’t saying so as Salida Circus stands on the brink of its 10th anniversary celebration. From its beginnings in Jennifer’s backyard, with “me, a bag of kids’ costumes, and a pair of stilts,” as Jennifer puts it, Salida Circus has grown into an organization with a full professional performance schedule, a host of classes for both kids and adults in aerial work, clowning, tumbling and juggling, and an international scope. Two years ago, Dempsey led a small team back to Belfast, Northern Ireland, for the Belfast Community Circus’s hosting of the Festival of Fools, an international street performance festival; and in autumn 2016, she led another team to do performances and workshops in Jordan as guests of former Prime Minister Abdul Kabariti. Salida Circus has also performed in London and Newcastle, England, Germany and Guatemala. Read more


Prisoners of War in Colorado

By Mike Rosso

During World War II – from 1943 to 1946 – Colorado was home to around 43 Prisoner of War (POW) Camps, according to Metropolitan State University of Denver. Nationwide, there were 175 Branch Camps serving 511 Area Camps housing nearly 425,000 POWs, most of whom were German, although some of the earliest prisoners were Italians captured in North Africa. The camps were administered by the United States Army Provost Marshal General’s Office and the Colorado region was administered by the Seventh Service Command.

Trinidad, Colorado Springs and Greeley were locations for major POW camps during the war. Camp Carson, in the Springs, housed up to 12,000 men. All three were located in agricultural areas that were experiencing labor shortages and the camps provided prisoners to work in the fields. They were paid with coupons used to purchase goods such as tobacco and toothpaste. Depending upon rank, officers received $20 to $30 per month and enlisted men got ten cents per day. Read more


The Rise of HRWW and Gophers

By John Mattingly

Temperatures in the Valley have been warm this season, and modeling shows spring arriving two to three weeks early this year. The notion that the weather and climate have a timetable may be a prime example of hubris, but there clearly are signals in global weather that are changing, and whether they are human-caused or cyclical, or a combination of both, does not change the needs of adaptation.

In the Valley, from 1988 until now – the period in which I farmed in the Valley – a couple of changes correlate to a longer growing season. Acknowledging that correlation is not causation, it is true that from roughly 1995 to present, winter wheat, aka HRWW for hard red winter wheat, and winter rye have become a regular crop in the Valley, when prior to that time, winter wheat was not thought to be viable because of the cold temperatures and late spring frosts. If the wheat crown is frozen for long periods it dehydrates and dies, and if the crown makes the winter, it will head out and a frost in late May or early June will cause a lot of blanks in the wheat head. Read more


By Hal Walter

As I write it’s autism awareness month and I find myself reflecting upon just how aware we really are as a society.

To kick things off, the White House was lit up blue. Yet the new education secretary and supreme court justice are not exactly known as champions of those with special needs.

Leading up to this month, and all through it, autism parents are bombarded with emails from well-meaning friends and family about the latest this or that to help your child, ranging from tennis-ball chairs to herbal supplements including cannabis, to various therapies or the latest Temple Grandin book. Most of us realize there is no magic cure. As one psychologist told me: “If you’ve met one autistic child, you’ve met one autistic child.” Read more