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The Salida Oral History Project preserved the history and heritage of Salida through interviews of long-time residents and other knowledgeable people who lived and worked in the area. These are shared stories of their childhood, schooling, family, church, outings, celebrations, friends, hobbies, and events that still live in their memories. The interviews will be kept forever so that others can learn from these true historians’ words.
The Oral History Project was co-sponsored by The Salida Regional Library and Historic Salida, Inc., and was composed mostly of volunteers.
The following narratives are in MP3 format.
John Aragon — interviewed September 19, 2005. John discusses attending Catholic School, the lettuce industry, and being Post Master for the town of Poncha Springs, Colo.
Ted Argys — interviewed June 24, 2004. Ted discusses the mischief he used to get into as a boy, life in the U.S. Army, and Ted’s Auto Sales.
Tom Bauman — interviewed July 5, 2005. Tom discusses his military training in Texas and his career at Climax Mine at Leadville, Colorado.
John Bayuk — interviewed February 12, 2005. John discusses his football career and becoming All-American, his business-owning ventures, and his contributions to the city of Salida.
Bob Biglow — interviewed March 12, 2005. Bob discusses skiing around Marshall Pass, being drafted into the U.S. Army, and his surveying business here in Salida.
Bonnie Bondurant — interviewed March 15, 2005. Bonnie discusses her businesses, particularly Oxford’s Market on Highway 50 in Salida, Colorado, and her contributions to the town of Salida.
Irene Budd — interviewed April 29, 2004. Irene discusses her struggle with tuberculosis, and raising two kids in Salida, Colorado.
Gladys Bunker — interviewed September 25, 2003. Gladys discusses growing up and the ranching life in the San Luis Valley.
Frank Butala — interviewed January 29, 2004. Frank discusses growing up in Salida, his work in the USMC, starting his business, Butala Construction, and has a funny story about a getting paid with Susan B. Anthony silver dollars.
Bette Cable — interviewed October 26, 2003. Bailey, who works here at the library, remembers Bette coming in to Salida’s photo developing shop and saying, ‘My name’s Bette Cable. Like Betty Grable. And I got the legs for it.’ Bette discusses her father and uncle’s businesses and her marriage to Salida Police Chief Harry Cable.
Helen Campbell Drake & Norman Campbell — interviewed September 21, 2003. Betty and Norman reminisce about attending Valley View School, square dancing at the band pavilion in Alpine Park, and have a funny story about Easter eggs.
Helen Campbell Drake & Norman Campbell — interviewed August 16, 2004.
Laurence ‘Campy’ Campton, FIBArk legend— interviewed May 10, 2004. Laurence discusses his time in a P.O.W. camp in WWII, competing in FIBArk in the 50s, and his life and work in Salida, Colorado. Interviewed May 10, 2004.
Jack Chivvis — interviewed January 11, 2005. Jack discusses the many layers of the history of Salida, focusing mainly on Salida’s historic district.
Mabel Davis — interviewed October 24, 2003. Mabel discusses living in Poncha Springs and her work on the council and with the booster club. Mabel also has a great laugh.
Wilmoth Everett — interviewed October 26, 2004. Wilmoth discusses ranching in Salida and the surrounding areas with her husband George E. Everett, the local rodeos they used to attend, and the plane crash that killed her husband and two Chaffee County Commissioners.
Jane Ferraro — interviewed June 18, 2004. Jane reminisces about growing up in Salida, going to St. Joseph’s Parochial School, and what she did for fun.
Florence Fullenwider — interviewed November 10, 2003. Florence discusses ranch life in northern Saguache County, the beginnings of the Saguache Library, and has a funny story about how the first cemetery in Villa Grove, Colo. got its start.
Jean Hanfelt — interviewed November 24, 2003.
Jean Hanfelt — interviewed October 20, 2004. This interview details the genesis of Salida Aspen Concerts.
Flora Harrison — interviewed April 26, 2005. Flora discusses FIBArk, the D & RG passenger train, and being the first female surveyor in the state of Colorado.
Catherine Hayden — interviewed October 2, 2003, Catherine discusses growing up in Salida and the businesses she remembers, the Salida Fish Pond, going up to the ‘Red Rocks’, working at the Hay Studio, and being sent to the Dumb Bunny Room in school.
Mary Held — interviewed October 10, 2003 (wife of the High School music director, John Held, creator of Spartan Sparkles).
Joy Humes — interviewed September 11, 2003. Joy discusses surviving the Great Depression and ‘Shasta’ the family car.
Wendell Hutchinson — interviewed March 21, 2004. Wendell discusses going to Salida High School and the teachers and coaches, meeting his future wife, Sue Swallow, and who his influences were in deciding to become a veterinarian.
Wendell Hutchinson — interviewed March 27, 2004. Wendell discusses his veterinary practice, ranching and working on the farm, and dogs that he has known.
Wendell Hutchinson — interviewed April 4, 2004. Wendell discusses some family history, his veterinary practice, and has an especially gruesome tale about a cow and a hatpin.
Wendell Hutchinson — interviewed November 11, 2004. Wendell discusses cattle roundups and ranch life, his four great uncles (Bailey, Art, Harold, and Joe) and the details behind his grandmother’s murder trial.
Virginia Imig — interviewed January 17, 2005. Virginia discusses her work in Salida on City Council and with Salida-Aspen Concert Series, and her musical career as an accompanist with The Noteables.
Marie Klockenbrink — interviewed May 31, 2004. Marie discusses growing up in the San Luis Valley at Fort Garland, her Hispanic heritage, and has a funny story about driving her brother’s car in to the side of the Post Office.
George Koenig — interviewed November 8, 2003. George did one of everything! He discusses his service in the U.S. Navy, owning a business in Salida, being a member of the Elks, Masons, Shriners, and the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps. George was also a state highway commissioner, was on the board of HRRMC and the Chamber of Commerce, was the first president of the South Arkansas Fire Protection District and as one of the first officers of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, he was instrumental in bringing the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project to life. And George discusses how the Shriners obtained their meeting space, which used to be Laura Evans’ parlor and home on Sackett.
Anabel Lamberg — interviewed January 22, 2004. Anabel reminisces about her childhood in Buena Vista, and her life and career in Salida.
Billie Jean Love — interviewed January 29. 2004. Billie discusses her father’s work at a Salida brickyard, Salida High School hijinks, FDR on a whistlestop tour in Salida, and the effects of WWII on Salida.
Jane Melien — interviewed April 30, 2004. Jane talks about riding the Denver & Rio Grande trains, the construction of Monarch Pass, and the history of Salida’s First Presbyterian Church.
Katherine Mendoza — interviewed August 10, 2005. Katherine discusses hanging out on Front Street in Salida and getting candy from Laura Evans, selling ice cream at Alpine Park’s gazebo on Thursday nights, and soapmaking with her brothers and sisters.
Forrest Miller — interviewed April 6, 2004. Forrest discusses his military service, the Poncha Springs and Lodge, fires at the Jackson Hotel, and working as a liftie at Monarch Ski Area.
Alberta Mitchell — interviewed December 13, 2004. Alberta reminisces about how Salida was, the hijinks that her husband would get into with the American Legion Drum & Bugle Corps, and her career as chief surgical nurse at the Denver & Rio Grande Hospital.
Alberta Mitchell — interviewed January 25, 2005. Alberta mentions a few more things about her hospital work, including taking care of Laura Evans.
Janet Murphy — interviewed November 11, 2004. Janet discusses her work with the Hospital Auxiliary, and her flower store (and its history) at 225 F Street, and a little bit about the Salida Library.
Janet Murphy & Opal Heister — interviewed October 21, 2004. Janet and Opal discuss their work with the Hospital Auxiliary, and the history and people who worked at the Hospital.
Floor layout of Denver & Rio Grande Hospital – from Janet & Opal, dated 1952.
Florence Naccarato — interviewed March 25, 2004. Florence talks about ranching in Chaffee County and her great husband Lloyd.
James Nance — interviewed April 7, 2006. Jim discusses working in Salida, the downtown businesses on F Street, and his work as a videographer.
George Oyler — interviewed February 25, 2005. George reminisces about his life as a newspaperman in Salida, and living life as a cowboy up Bear Creek.
Erma Perri — interviewed August 10, 2006. Erma discusses her Italian American roots, working at some of the downtown Salida businesses, and having fun at FIBArk.
Gwen Perschbacher — interviewed November 6, 2003 (Rio Grande Hospital, nursing career, downtown stores 1950-1960).
Robert Post — interviewed February 5, 2004 (immigrants from Italy, Bob’s Sporting Goods & Cafe on Highway 50, skiing Old Monarch Pass).
Members of First Presbysterian Church — interviewed April 12, 2005.
Stan Provenza — interviewed June 1, 2004. Stan reminisces about playing for the 1933-35 Salida Spartans champion football team and attending St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Church.
T. Rex Rhodes — interviewed April 4, 2006. T. Rex reminisces about all the fun he had in Salida when he was growing up: taking the ski train up to Marshall Pass, ice skating on the Albright ponds, fishing at Frantz Lake, and hanging out with the Frantz family.
Richard Robbins — interviewed June 15, 2005. Dick discusses working at Climax Mine in Lake County, and working as a diesel mechanic in the San Luis Valley.
Robert Rush — interviewed November 3, 2004.
Tom & Mary Jo Sandell — interviewed August 11, 2006.
Chris & Paula Schirmer — November 20, 2004.
John Spino — interviewed February 27, 2004 (bootlegging whiskey, ‘Speed’ Spino, mining above Poncha Springs, lettuce sheds, Wellsville Hot Springs).
Dixie & Leon Stanton — interviewed January 26, 2005 (downtown stores, 4H, State Fairs).
Iris Stotler — interviewed February 4, 2005 (Wellsville Hot Springs, Laura Evans, FibArk, Christmas Mountain).
Franklin J. Thomson — interviewed October 28, 2003 (Seratoma Club, Haight Furniture Store & Haight putting up money for ‘S’ Mountain, the Old Goats).
Agnes Thornton — interviewed December 5, 2003.
Dick Tuttle — interviewed September 10, 2003 (starting a store in Salida, Salida City Council, county commissioner, senior center).
Dick Tuttle — interviewed September 24, 2003.
Charles Upp — interviewed March 13, 2004 (going to the movies at the ‘Empress’, military service, music store, narrow-gauge shops).
Charles Upp — interviewed November 29, 2004.
Anthony Vigil — interviewed January 15, 2004 (discrimination, downtown stores, the High School burning down).
Mary Virginia Luna Apodaca Vigil — interviewed September 6, 2003 (playing poker for pinon nuts, discrimination, picnics at O’Haver Lake).
Pat Warner — interviewed November 14, 2005.
Text only interviews: