Voices From the Past

The Colorado Vibe Podcast episode 3

Today’s episode is sourced from the Library of Congress, and American Folk Life Center, which set out in the late 70s to record the oral history of America, and we feature two clips from the collection, from Mesa County, Colorado; late nights listening to records, a cowpuncher reunion, a danish immigrant traveling thousands of miles in 1918 on the promise of a better life.

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INTRO – A storm moves in, as the sun sets in the West.

We’re watching giant columns of burnished orange clouds billow up, and fall down streaks of grey on a far-off verdant patch of green, a farm (could be peach, apple, or a vineyard) – nestled near a range of striated escarpments called the Book Cliffs, horizontal layers of sandstone like pages of history, bounded and shelved in time, overlooking the rain, falling on Grand Junction Colorado…


And if those “books,” trapped in the cliffs of Mesa County could talk – what would they say? 

We’re featuring a few stories and songs from select chapters of the oral history of the Western slope – late nights listening to records, a cowpuncher reunion, a danish immigrant traveling thousands of miles in 1918 on the promise of a better life, to plant that patch of green we’re looking at, right now, near the yellowing Book Cliffs, of Grand Junction.

Today’s episode is sourced from the Library of Congress and American Folk Life Center, which set out in the late 70s to record the oral history of America, and we’re going to focus on two clips from the collection, from Mesa County, Colorado.

Voice From The Past #1

Florence Walker and her friend, Edna Rowe laugh about growing up in Grand Junction – There’s something about the way Walker, here seventy seven years old, is clearly unable to hide her laughter and joy at remembering her experiences with her friend, first of which starts in the rain, near the Book Cliffs, in the early 1900s, as Florence and Edna were headed to a Cowpuncher’s Reunion, which was an annual rodeo bringing in contestants and spectators from all over the region. Listen to this full recording, in the Library of Congress.

Voice From The Past #2

The last part of our episode, is from Neil Staayer, an immigrant from Holland, that traversed the globe to become a fruit grower in Grand Junction – We pick up his story, again thanks to the American Folklife Center and Library of Congress, as he’s describing his 1918 voyage to interviewer Jean Page in July of 1977, in Mesa County Colorado. Listen to this full recording, in the Library of Congress.