OPINION: Good Bicycles Make Good Neighbors

In the January issue of Colorado Central Magazine, Mike Rosso did his readers a great service by pairing the stories of Mike Rust and Allison Brown together. They have much in common and their stories are not “stand alone” pieces. This was lost on Sandra Hobbs whose commentary regarding one of those pieces appeared in Jan 10 Mountain Mail. Mike does not publish a February issue and Ms. Hobbs nor I can wait till March to enlighten our fellow citizens.

I met Mike Rust soon after he arrived in Salida. To me his arrogance was a defining feature and we spent no time together, then or after he moved to the San Luis Valley. That was “Way back then” when all my friends were hippies, cowboys, miners, or some combination thereof. Mike was not nearly as arrogant as Allison Brown who I met soon after her arrival in Salida and became more acquainted with because of mutual friends. Like Mike, the impression she left as a defining feature was arrogance. The difference being the miners are gone and the competition for “Most Arrogant in Chaffee County “ is far too stiff for even Allison Brown to win top honors.

Nate Ward’s account of the trial of Mike Rust’s killer misses a couple of details. First, the defendants name: Charles Gonzales. Also missed: How the final conflict between Charles and Mike began: Mike racing to his end as fast as his motorbike could take him. Had he only used one of his famed bicycles instead that end might have been much different and the debate about when exactly Justice was served more clear.

Allison does not ride a bike in Jan Wondra’s article about her plight with the Chaffee County Commissioners. She instead houses a bunch of barking dogs which are used in her “Hunt”. An event where she celebrates whipping her horse into a froth chasing those dogs which are chasing some small animal whose life depends on stealth, speed, and hound stupidity to escape death.

Were Ms. Brown to don a coon skin cap like Daniel Boone’s and spend a little time on a bicycle at the front of the hunt with the baying pack behind her, she might recognize that forty hounds is not as necessary as she once thought. That experience might even temper her love of hounds altogether. Maybe Sandra Hobbs or some other alert Colorado Central reader could gift her a bicycle at her next pity party and help further her education in the ways of the wild.
In the meantime, thanks to Nate and Jan for helping the new arrivals to Central Colorado learn from the experience of others about the bad ends that come to bad neighbors.

Kirby Perschbacher

Kirby Perschbacher is a timberman, from a long line of timbermen.