A Snapshot of Gratitude

By Hal Walter I don’t get a lot of photo assignments, but I wish I got more like the one this past Thanksgiving week. Publisher Mike Rosso emailed, overwhelmed with a production deadline and a move. He asked if I happened to know the Rusk family and if I could perhaps take pictures of them to […]

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The Perfect Season

By Hal Walter It was one of those awkward encounters. A casual acquaintance threw out a random statement and it made me think. In this case it was in a grocery store and the statement was essentially that there’s such a gap in this country, everything from homeless people “doing nothing” begging in the streets […]

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The Last Word: Commissioner Hal?

By Hal Walter The early morning phone call caught me by surprise. It was a longtime and well-respected friend and neighbor. As I was rushing about trying to get my son Harrison to the school bus, he quickly explained he was calling on behalf of some local citizens hoping to draft me to run for […]

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Postcards from Summer Vacation

By Hal Walter It was perhaps fitting that the first real day of school coincided with the solar eclipse. For like the eclipse, it’s difficult to imagine such an event will happen until it actually does, and you don’t want to stare at the date on the calendar too hard lest it burn a hole […]

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What if Wildflowers Could Sing?

By Hal Walter Peter May has been a musician for most of his life, and even co-produced and played on a Grammy Award-winning album, but he never dreamed he’d be the composer for one of the greatest symphonies in the universe – nature. The 52-year-old Michigan native and longtime Crestone resident recently released his new […]

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Whither Pack-Burro Racing?

The sages tell us that everything is always changing, and in fact the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said that nothing endures but change itself. Thus is the case of Colorado’s indigenous sport of pack-burro racing. It began back in 1949 with a race over Mosquito Pass to Fairplay. Nearly seven decades later I’m beginning to wonder […]

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The Weed of Wrath

By Hal Walter Marijuana. Most folks are either decidedly for it or against it. Me? I’m mostly a weed spectator though I lean toward the libertarian viewpoint that a person has the right to do whatever to their own body so long as it doesn’t harm others. Like it or not, marijuana is now legal […]

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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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