Autoawareness

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 […]

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The Synchronicity of Spring Break

By Hal Walter Spring break is always an odd time around here and always seems to catch me by surprise. While Harrison gets a week off from school, and Mary has a real job with paid vacation, my professional life – such as it is – makes it virtually impossible to take off 10 straight […]

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The Final Gift

By Hal Walter It’s never easy to say goodbye to a close friend but when Curtis Imrie headed over the pass last month, I found myself scrambling for words and trying to regain my own sense of balance and direction. My first reaction was, Curtis can’t die. For here was a man who lived life […]

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Lessons in Guitar and Compassion

By Hal Walter The guitar has three major cracks in its soundboard and bears the scar of some unknown impact to the rosette that encircles the sound hole. The saddle to which the bridge is attached appears to have been retrofitted from a piece of thin wood paneling, perhaps an attempt to hold the entire […]

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Keeping the Darkness at Bay

By Hal Walter In the wake of the recent election, I found myself pondering the future and reading a book called Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. We’ve all heard of the Holocaust in which six million Jews were killed by the Nazis. One piece of history I was not aware of […]

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Hal Walter: A Gorilla Named Train

My friend Don Conoscenti, a Taos musician who also lived in Alamosa for a while, put out a new album recently called Anastasia. The collection includes new songs as well as remakes of some of his previous work. My son Harrison is a fan of Don’s as well, dwelling particularly on a track called “That […]

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The Art and Science of Showing Up

I wrote in my book, Full Tilt Boogie, that for sure no burro gets up in the morning and thinks, “Dang, I think I’ll run up a 13,000-foot mountain pass today.” And likewise, no autistic kid gets up in the morning and thinks, “I think I’ll conform to societal norms today.” I go on to explain […]

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A True Champion

By Hal Walter In my book, what really sets the greatest athletes apart from the really good ones is what they do off the field of play with the skills they developed through sports. Recently, when I was asked to introduce my good friend Tom Sobal to the Leadville-Lake County Sports Hall of Fame, I began […]

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A Matter of Time

By Hal Walter I was running with Teddy the Junkyard Jack down Music Pass in preparation for the upcoming pack-burro races when I first saw the smoke from the Hayden Pass fire. I knew at once these were not cumulus clouds with their billowing heads, amber undersides and dull rainbows in the folds. I had […]

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Of Pools and Dunes and Bullfrogs

By Hal Walter To borrow just slightly from the writer Thomas McGuane, camping in your own backyard becomes with time, if you love camping, less and less expeditionary. When summer vacation hit, the camp stove seemed more like a campfire than it ever had before, and the Suzuki hatchback more like a pack-burro. In this case […]

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Rights

By Hal Walter Last year when my son Harrison was suspended from school for taking swings at teachers, he asked if I’d ever been suspended. I answered truthfully that I had been, once, then I told him why. I was serving out the senior year of what I viewed then as my school sentence at […]

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Two Laps to Awareness

By Hal Walter T.S. Eliot wrote that “April is the cruellest month,” but then he was not referring to a calendar for autism awareness. Each year I greet the proclamation of Autism Awareness Month as a source of amusement and with a sense of duty. The fact is, every day is about autism awareness around […]

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Time is but the Stream …

By Hal Walter My life in fishing began, literally, because I could not be held in captivity, as evidenced by my escape from the daycare facility by digging a tunnel beneath the fence. The tunnel – inspired by episodes of the sitcom Hogan’s Heroes – was really not much more than a trench beneath the chain […]

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Only a Loose Wire Apart

By Hal Walter When I first moved here in 1991, we had no snail mail delivery. I circulated a petition to get that started, and had one person refuse to sign, because her weekly visits to the post office were the only time she had a chance to visit with other people. Phone service was […]

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Full Circle to a Junkyard Donk

The scene reminded me of something out of Road Warrior, a fenced-off section of sagebrush and desolation in the southern San Luis Valley, and behind the closed gate was a veritable junkyard of car and truck bodies, old camper trailers, ramshackle structures, various heaps of well-pipe casings, cement blocks and other scrap. The sign at […]

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