What listeners get out of today's free Brown Bag lecture with fourth-generation Routt County resident Ray Heid depends entirely on them.
After decades as a tour guide and outfitter, Heid is used to unrolling his stories on the back of a horse, letting the scenery stimulate the conversation.
If you go What: Brown Bag Lunch lecture featuring area rancher Ray Heid When: Noon today Where: Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St. Cost: Free Call: 879-2214
This time around, as he stands in the informal, horseless environment of Tread of Pioneers Museum, all it will take are a few well-asked questions to get him going.
If someone asks, he could talk about the days when he worked at the Boy's Market, his grandfather's grocery store that was located in part of what is now F.M. Light & Sons. He can talk about the days when he bagged groceries and delivered them to people's homes.
Boy's Market got its name because his grandfather always knew he would pass it down to his sons. The stories Heid tells about the store paint a picture of a much smaller town and a tight community.
He can talk about his family, which moved here in the 1890s. His great-grandfather ran the stage stop between Wolcott and Steamboat Springs.
"They called him Grouse Creek Jones," Heid said. "And that's what it said on his tombstone. We don't even know his real name."
He can talk about his grandmother, who had 10 children. Among them were Hazie Ralston, who would marry Bud Werner; Bonita Ralston, who would marry to become Bonita Bristol, and his mom, Ruby Ralston, better known as Ruby Heid.
Or, if people are interested, he could tell one of his most favorite stories.
In the winter, Heid picks tourists up in a van to drive them to Clark for a horseback ride. As they leave Steamboat and pass Bud Werner Memorial Library, someone will ask, "Who is Buddy Werner?"
"At the end of the trip, they stay in the van just to hear the rest of the story," Heid said. "Buddy was not only my cousin but one of my best friends. I love to tell people about him."
It's hard to tell what piece of Routt County history Heid will choose to share today. All a listener can guess is that it will be somewhere between the top of the ski mountain and the most remote spot in Routt National Forest.
Heid has been to all those places on skis or on horseback since he was a boy, and he's happy to share what he's seen.
-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210
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