Letters from the ranch


— Dear Bertha,

I truly wish you could spend a day with us (Mrs. Keller, the regular teacher, and myself, the school's music teacher). Then, I'm sure you wouldn't find life out here in the wilderness to be dull and monotonous.

No, we don't have bridge club, baseball, movies, swimming or amusement parks. But we don't miss those activities.

Lulita Pritchett, the granddaughter of James Crawford, the founding father of the town of Steamboat Springs, has recently written and published a novel based on the true account of the Crawford family's move in 1874 from Missouri by wagon train.

This novel depicts many encounters with Indians. Most of these events actually occurred; others are totally imaginary.

Well, this book, "The Shining Mountains," is filled with the sort of tales that our schoolchildren love to hear. So, Lulu and I take turns reading a little bit of the book each day. So far, we have gotten about halfway through the book and our pupils are always anxious to hear the next installment and will really apply themselves to their lessons so that we will have time enough to read.

About as popular as reading "The Shining Mountains" is when we take a nature hike.

But the most popular of all our activities is our music. I wish we had a piano, but we don't, so we get along about as well without one.

In regards to our music, for the most, this consists of groups singing our favorite songs with everyone participating. But we do a little studying on how to read or compose music. Remember how they taught us to memorize the order or notes on the printed or written page back when we were kids at school in Cincinnati, Iowa? "Every Good Boy Does Fine" or EGBDF, showed us the order of notes in the octave, assigning these notes to the five horizontal lines that carry both the tune and the words of the song "or chant." While the four spaces between the lines are assigned the other four notes in the octave, namely "face," FACE.

When the two sets of notes are intermeshed, they appear in alphabetical sequence --EFGABCDEF. Thus, the entire range of music falls within the octave, EFGABCDE; or E to E. The second E is the beginning of the next higher octave.

Must close for now. More on Collum Creek, later.




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