Brown bag lectures start Friday

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Objects -- a comb, a plow, a photograph -- can say a lot about history. So can people.

This summer, nine people who lived through Northwest Colorado history or know a lot about it will give lectures during the annual Brown Bag Lecture Series held Fridays at the Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat Springs.

All lectures are from noon to 1 p.m. Fridays at the Tread of Pioneers Museum, and all are free. July 1: Yampa Historian Rita Herold, "Is Your Lunch Historical?" July 8: Authors Jan and Nadine Leslie, "Routt County's Historic Post Offices" July 15: Local rancher, outfitter and Olympic skier Ray Heid, tales of his adventures July 22: Firearms connoisseur Bill Mackin, "Historic Gunfighter Gear" July 29: Rancher Wanda Redmond, "South Routt Lettuce and Spinach Industries" Aug. 5: Maxine Turner, "Trull, Colorado -- A Town Gone Extinct" Aug. 12: Angelo Iacovetto, "From Italy to Routt County" Aug. 19: Larry Belton, "Five Generations to Steamboat Springs" Aug. 26: Author Annabeth Light Lockhart, "F.M. Light & Sons"

"It's a way to bring history alive," said Kelly Bastone, curator for the Tread of Pioneers Museum.

"Our primary focus is objects, and they can tell us a lot about history," she said about the museum, "but living history is even more exciting."

The free lecture series begins Friday with a talk from Yampa historian Rita Herold, who will explain how pioneers grew their food and obtained what they couldn't grow.

"It gives people a glimpse into the way things used to be, which can be really hard to see these days," Bastone said. "You can look around Steamboat, and it's hard to believe that life used to be different.

"It's just a whole different view into a place people think they already know. They love that."

The series has been taking place since the late 1990s. Starting in 1998, the Tread of Pioneers has filmed speakers to document their talks.

The lectures are from noon to 1 p.m. every Friday during July and August. The number of people attending ranges from two dozen to as many as 80. As the series' name implies, attendees are invited to bring a lunch and eat while they listen.

The week after Herold's lecture, authors Jan and Nadine Leslie will track changes in local populations by describing changes in post offices, a conversation based on their new book.

During the next lecture, Ray Heid, a local rancher, outfitter and Olympic skier, will tell stories from his adventurous past. Heid is a "terrific" storyteller, Bastone said.

In the following lectures, topics including the area's now-defunct lettuce and spinach industries and the 100-year-old story of F.M. Light & Sons will be discussed.

Each lecture includes a short question-and-answer session.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail scunningham@steamboatpilot.com

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