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Ethel M. Hotchkiss describes her time spent as a member of the Grand Junction Women’s Club. The club provided local support for the community, helping to sponsor Mesa Junior College, an early child care center, and the Grand Junction Public Library’s Carnegie building. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries, the Museums of Western Colorado and the Mesa County Historical Society....
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Bee Randolph discusses her life in nursing, including her time in nursing school, her career at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, and being the first nurse at Colorado Mesa University. She also talks extensively about providing health services to migrant laborers in Palisade in the 1950’s. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries, the Museums of Western Colorado...
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Wayne Aspinall describes his boyhood in Palisade, Colorado, his education at Mt. Lincoln School and the University of Denver, and his career as a schoolteacher, fruit farmer, lawyer, and U.S. Congressman. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums of Western Colorado.
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Professor Dan Roberts of Colorado Mesa University discusses the history and culture of the Ute Indians, Chief Ouray, and the removal of the Ute from Colorado by the U.S. Government during a lecture to a meeting of the Mesa County Historical Society. This recording is made available via signed release by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries, the Museums of Western Colorado and the Mesa County Historical Society....
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Bertha Schlegel discusses growing up in Loma, Colorado and helping her family raise beets for Holly Sugar, and making sauerkraut, pickled apples, pickled watermelon and other ethnic food with her mother, who was a German immigrant from Russia. She also remembers her education and school activities throughout her childhood, including field days at the Fruita Central School and Grand Junction High School. She talks about obtaining a teaching degree,...
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John J. Collier talks about his career as a teacher servicing Mesa County country schools in the 1930's and 1940's. He talks about his education at Mesa College, his hobbies as a teacher, the pranks his students would pull, all-night dances at the schoolhouse, as well as programs and plays that were open to all. The interview was conducted by the Mesa county Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums of Western...
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David Combs talks about the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police, the ethnic makeup of Minneapolis (where Mr. Combs grew up), and the history of policing and police brutality there. He discusses the worldwide movement for social justice that grew from protests against Floyd’s killing, the response to Floyd’s killing in Grand Junction, Colorado, and the protest movement that took shape here. He addresses differences within the local African-American...
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Shannon Robinson talks about becoming involved in student government at then Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado (now Colorado Mesa University), helping to coordinate the campus’s fundraiser in response to Hurricane Katrina, her AIDS activism, and being elected the first minority president of the student body. She discusses racism that she and other African-American students encountered at Mesa State in the early 2000’s and that her...
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Alfred Alvine “Al” Look tells about his childhood growing up in Kansas. He talks about the theater productions his school put on and his role in those. He describes his education in journalism at the University of Nebraska, publishing a magazine called Ah Go On, and working in a store to help pay his tuition. He also talks about his contributions to the Mesa College library (now Colorado Mesa University). The interview was conducted by the Mesa...
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Armand de Beque talks about the history of Ravensbeque, Colorado, founded by his father Wallace A.E. De Beque prior to the town’s relocation to the present site of De Beque. He speaks about Wallace De Beque’s training and career as a pioneer doctor, and about the family’s roots in both Canada and France. He talks about his brothers’ service in Europe during World War I and the military service of his sons. He discusses his memories of growing...
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Wyatt Wood and Al Look discuss their involvement in the construction of Rim Rock Drive on the Colorado National Monument, early scenic photography of Mesa County, early Mesa County bands and parades, and Wood’s time spent working for the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries, the Museums of Western Colorado, and the Mesa County Historical...
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Gladys Gross, who grew up on an apple farm at the intersection of North Avenue and 12th Street, talks about her father’s residential development of their farm land. She discusses old businesses in town, including the icehouses utilized by the railroad near Third Street and how they burned down. She also talks about the desperation and hunger of people during the Great Depression, her work with New Deal programs, the route of the Little Book Cliff...
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Clifford Houston discusses his employment at Grand Junction Junior College starting in 1929 (now Colorado Mesa University), including his efforts to increase student enrollment, create student housing, and secure funding for scholarships. Houston served as the third dean of the school, from 1932-1937. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa County Libraries and the Museums of Western Colorado. *Photograph...
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Antonio Clark talks about growing up in Denver, Colorado, and the important role of youth sports in his upbringing. He speaks about his career in high school sports and about being a walk-on as a football player at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. He discusses racism that he experienced as an African-American on the CMU campus, but also his view that diversity on the campus has increased, and that some attitudes about race have changed. He...
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To mark the centennial celebration of the town of Grand Junction, Colorado in 1981, the Mesa County Oral History Project wrote and recorded several radio plays about local history. Beginning on September 26, 1981, local radio stations KSTR, KREX-AM, KREX-FM, and KMSA broadcast the plays. Authors of the plays used interviews recorded by the Mesa County Oral History Project as inspiration. This archival recording contains the play Mesa College and the...
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Al Look talks about geologic formations in De Beque Canyon and about the first aerial photographs taken of the Grand Mesa. Margaret (Langen) Look speaks about air travel to Boulder, Colorado in the 1920’s. Al Look speaks about the publication of his book, Hopi Snake Dance, and about the return of his son from World War II. He describes his work with different people on archaeological and paleontological digs, and touches on the vandalism of certain...
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Mary Rait explains how Grand Junction Junior College was created (later to become Colorado Mesa University), and her role there as teacher, administrator, and lastly, as vice president. She mentions the various deans and their accomplishments. She tells about the growth of the school as it became Mesa College and its eventual change into a four-year school. The interview was conducted by the Mesa County Oral History Project, a collaboration of Mesa...
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Mary talks about her early childhood in Kansas as one of nine children and her family's move to Colorado upon the death of her father. Mary details the train and its passengers during the move, including Russian immigrants coming to work the beet fields, and her mother's outreach. She mentions her mothers career training riding horses as a way to support the family. She talks about her relationships, children, and the struggle she faced trying to...
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Marie Treece describes running Grand Junction, Colorado’s community concert series and the many famous musicians who visited Grand Junction during the early to mid-1900’s. She recalls the difficulty that African-American musicians, such as Roland Hayes, had in finding a place to stay. She talks about her experiences teaching and travelling with a Mesa College choral troop. She discusses directing a choir in one of the area’s CCC camps, hosting...
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In an interview from May 14, 1981 (audio only, no transcript), Basil T. Knight talks about his youth in Michigan, meeting his wife’s family in Palisade, Colorado and ultimately moving there, operating a fruit farm, and becoming a lifelong teacher and school administrator. He explains the mechanisms that originally funded the many smaller school districts on the Western Slope, including taxes on railroads, and the reasons for the consolidation that...