Letters from the ranch


Dear Denver Friends,

Well, when I started my last letter to you, it was my intention to describe something of my life at Collum Creek; but somehow I got sidetracked and spent my effort in retelling information given to me by Mrs. Orr (the mother of the three Orr girls who were pupils at the Collum Creek School) and Mrs. Orr had gotten her information from Mrs. Meeker -- who had (although badly misused) survived the "Meeker Massacre." Well, I guess I can relate in this letter some of what life was like at Collum Creek.

I'm sure I told you about stopping in Craig (en route between home and Collum Creek) for Mrs. Keller to pick up necessary teaching materials -- from the Moffat County superintendent of rural schools.

Besides the textbooks and teachers' manuals, there were life-sized portraits of Presidents Washington and Lincoln and an American flag. Attached to the box in which these three items were packed was a note stating that these items were being sent to every rural school in Moffat County, courtesy of the "Veterans of Foreign Wars" and the "American Legion."

We (Mrs. Keller and I) were pleased to have these symbols of patriotism but didn't know how we would display the flag, as there was neither a flagpole nor a staff to attach the flag to at the school. We mentioned this to the two cowpunchers who came to repair the spring.

As it turned out, one of those men had fought in France during the "Great War" and was a "life member" of both organizations. He said they would be more than glad to provide us with a staff -- to which the flag could remain permanently attached. And that they would fabricate a "socket" which they would nail on a corner of our "schoolhouse," so that our flag could be flown outdoors during daylight hours, in good weather. And that at all other times our flag (on its staff) should stand upright in a corner of our classroom.

We were delighted when (true to their promise) the cowboys showed up the next morning with our flagstaff and socket. We, in turn, promised that we would start each school day by raising the flag and reciting our "Pledge of Allegiance" to our flag.

Will continue with our "Collum Creek adventure" next time. Until then --




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