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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A Bike Ride to Where We Are

By Hal Walter The phrase “No matter where you go, there you are,” could not be more true than it is for an autistic child. For when one is fully contained in his own mind, he truly cannot be lost. And thus it was for my son Harrison one recent Saturday. Since Harrison finally learned […]

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A Docent Out of Retirement

Photographer Grey Villet had a saying: “Every story should be as real as real could get.” Grey was an award-winning lensman for Life magazine back in the 1960s, and he never had any idea that someday I’d be representing his photos at the annual Art for the Sangres here in Westcliffe. Each year the San […]

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When Sport Becomes Real Life

by Hal Walter Last spring, when coach Jack Swartz asked my son Harrison if he’d like to be on the middle school cross-country team this season, I really had no idea where it would lead. Harrison answered “yes” by nodding his head enthusiastically. He’d had finished a few 5K runs and also had proven himself […]

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The Danger in the Fun

By Hal Walter I was running third place in the last couple miles of the Buena Vista Gold Rush Pack-Burro Race and had just regained much of the ground I’d lost to the leaders. In fact, I’d just seen them turn off the Midland Railroad Grade and onto the steep and rocky trail that leads down to […]

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About the Cover Artist – Hal Walter

Colorado Central readers best know Hal Walter as an essayist and columnist, but he actually began his career in journalism as a photographer. Over the years his photos have appeared in several national and regional publications, including a recent cover for the inaugural issue of Local Food Shift, and of course, Colorado Central Magazine. On […]

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It’s Like Riding a Bicycle

By Hal Walter I remember quite well that I was slow to learn to ride a bicycle. This may have been partially because I had not been introduced to bikes early in childhood, but for whatever reason, when I was about seven I realized other kids my age were riding and that I could not. My […]

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In the Vortex of Compassion, Strength and Skill

By Hal Walter The burros were fresh in the cool evening air and, as they often do, sensed a neophyte in my companion, who was also having a bit of an issue adjusting to the altitude. At one point they bolted uphill and I had to simultaneously sprint ahead while literally “climbing” the lead rope hand-over-hand […]

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