Monday, December 26, 2016

Bullfights, BS, Soap, Gillett and we are still telling the story

First, and apparently only real American bullfight was a short-lived success

By Rob Carrigan,

The story was so compelling that United Press International was still retelling their own versions of the yarn across the country 71 years later, in 1966.
"One of Teller County's most famous historical events, the nation's first authentic bull fight back in 1895, was recalled this week in a widely circulated article by the United Press International, the wire service feature published by a large number of daily newspapers across the country," noted the Ute Pass Courier in its Dec. 8 edition in 1966.
"The sheriff said, 'Shoot the bull!' and the Governor cried 'Bring on the militia!" — but the only true bullfight known to have been staged in the United States went on to it's blood conclusion," the UPI story dramatically related.
"That was here in Gillett 71 years ago and the humane association that was ag'in it then, is still ag'in today. So are all the states of the Union, where it is outlawed," went on UPI.
"Mock bull fighting,  in which the bull is teased, but neither wounded or killed, has been tried in various parts of the country but without any resounding success and against the continuing protests of the be-kind-to-animals groups.
"Even that first and apparently only real American bullfight was a short-lived success. The promoters of the 1895 were towering 'Arizona Charlie' Meadows, said to be seven feet tall and noted wild west performer of his day, and Joe Wolfe, a wild west show promoter and hotel operator.  They advertised a 'lady' bullfighter but actually the lady proved to be one Jose Marrerro, described by the Denver Rocky Mountain News as a "magnificent figure with a long, shining sword."
Wolfe himself had a legendary reputation as scoundrel, and locally crossed the path of Cripple Creek Crusher (forerunner to Cripple Creek Times) editor E.C. Gard path in Cripple Creek in his administration and management of the Clarendon Hotel, Gard let loose because he felt Wolfe was attracting too much attention by throwing money around the gaming tables and consorting with shady characters.
“This curious hostelry is run by a red-faced, cock-eyed boob who ought to be back in Missouri flats pulling cockle-burrs out of a cornfield,” wrote Gard in the Crusher in the early 1890s. He proved to be on target when later Wolfe’s efforts to organize one of the only bullfights ever held in the United States at the racetrack at Gillett Flats landed him in jail and fleeing from creditors. But that is part of UPI's yarn.
"'Arizona Charlie' and Wolfe took over the fight at the race track with seats for 500, and 3,000 shouting aficianados  showed up," according to UPI's version. "Written accounts of the bullfight reported that the bull soon began faltering under Marrerro's repeated stabs and the local sheriff was so moved he ran to the promoters to demand it be shot. They said 'no,'  and the fight went on," reported UPI more than seven decades later.
"Another man caught in the middle was Colorado Governor Albert W. McIntyre who wanted to call in the militia to put a stop to the affair but was talked out of it," said wire service version.
"Marrerro was, of course, the victor that historic night of Aug. 24, 1895, although he apparently was not the most accomplished bullfighter extant. In the supreme 'moment of truth,' he missed with his first intended fatal stab, then killed the bull on his second try."
After the first bull, Meadows and Wolfe were arrested and the show was stopped.
"The $5 fines weren't enough to discourage 'Arizona Charlie' and his partner, however, and the show went on the following day.  Apparently though, most of the good folk of Gillett and environs, had had enough. The crowd dwindled to 300,  the fines were upped on the promoters, and that was the end to bullfighting in Colorado," reported UPI more than 50 years ago, 71 years after the only known fight.
Jan Mackell Collins, in her excellent new book,  "Lost Ghost Towns of Teller County" clarified some information and added detail about the bullfights in Gillett, not the smallest of which was the actual stature of "Arizona Charlie."
"The six-foot-six, long-haired, mustachioed man from Arizona must have been startling to the citizens of Gillett," she writes and explains that he started in Payson and Prescott rodeos before working his way into a seven-year stint in Wild West Shows, including Buffalo Bill's traveling troupe. Wolfe's contribution included the purchase of nine and half blocks of real estate. The two partners, after borrowing $5,000 to print tickets and build the 5,000-seat amphitheater, hire matadors, and promote the event with posters faced opposition right from the start.
"The authorities did ultimately stop the bulls and their keepers at the Texas border. But the matadors still came, and Wolfe and Meadows managed to wrangle some local bulls who were anything but fighting bulls. Things took an equally nasty turn when Wolfe invited renowned bunco artist Soapy Smith to set up games of chance outside the entrance to the event. Soapy took so much money from his victims that some of them could not afford the $5 ticket to get in," wrote Mackell Collins.

Photo information:
1. Outside the arena on the first, and most-crowded occasion of the American bullfight in Gillett.
2. Wolfe and Meadows constructed a 5,000 seat amphitheater in Gillett.
3. Wolfe had recently promoted the construction of several hotels in the mining district, including the Clarendon Hotel and the Palace.
4. By the third day of the fights, Aug. 26, 1895, the seats were nearly empty.

Photos by H.S. Poley.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Weekly miracle at Christmastime, and throughout the year

Three main gifts of story telling exchanged

By Rob Carrigan,
After nearly 50 years of knocking around community newspapers at Christmas time, I think it is time to try and distill some wisdom about them. Or if nothing else, some observations.
There are other things involved, but there are really three main gifts from the community newspaper at Christmastime, and throughout the year.
In a nod to short-form story telling ace William Sydney Porter (known by his pen name O. Henry), and his most-known work, let’s call them “Gift of the Magi.”
Porter, in true form of most ink-slingers, wrote a story a week for over a year for the New York World Sunday Magazine. His wit, characterization, and plot twists were adored by his readers, but often panned by critics. And while there in New York, he wrote 381 short stories.
Almost every one of them had a surprise ending.
Which brings us to the first gift.
A valuable community story offers surprise, week in, and week out. Maybe not a jaw-dropping, stun-them-in-their-seat, blow-soup-out-your-nose revelation — but true tidbits that you can’t find anywhere else. And when you read one religiously, and we are doing our job well, you will receive that gift every week, as you read it, and notice something you were not aware of.
The second gift is harder to articulate, but critical for mission, as well.
I call it local character, and it has to do with providing consistent, recognizable, and true-to-community standards coverage, of the personality you strive to cover. That is, a newspaper’s readership, and market, and universe. Local is the key word. And it requires encouraging participation, inclusion, diverse subject attention, and becoming one, with the community.
The third gift we can offer you at Christmas, and every other week, is the hardest to pull off.
Let’s call it the magic. I know, that might sound a bit presumptuous, that we can perform magic on a regular basis with nothing but word processing, digital images and the organization contest that occurs with the weekly miracle.
But I have seen it happen, when we help get the word out about a family in need, or social problem that bedevils the community, or a hero that rises like cream to help us all.
In 1897, Dr. Philip O'Hanlon, a coroner's assistant on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was asked by his then eight-year-old daughter, Virginia O'Hanlon (1889–1971), whether Santa Claus really existed. O'Hanlon suggested she write to The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper at the time, assuring her that "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." In so doing, Dr. O'Hanlon had unwittingly given one of the paper's editors, Francis Pharcellus Church, an opportunity to rise above the simple question and address the philosophical issues behind it.
I think we can accomplish some of the same kind of magic.
"The Gift of the Magi," Porter’s (O. Henry’s) story about a young couple who are short of money but desperately want to buy each other Christmas gifts. Unbeknownst to Jim, Della sells her most valuable possession, her beautiful hair, in order to buy a platinum fob chain for Jim's watch; while unbeknownst to Della, Jim sells his own most valuable possession, his watch, to buy jeweled combs for Della's hair. The essential premise of this story has been copied, re-worked, parodied, and otherwise re-told countless times in the century since it was written.
And the take-away? Perhaps value does not reside in the gifts themselves —  but in the exchange.

Photo Information: From top, down. 

1. William Sydney Porter (known by his pen name O. Henry).

2. Virginia O'Hanlon, about 1895. 
3. Francis Pharcellus Church, editor for New York Sun.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Words remembered, games called, spell it out, and Paul Simon on Spotify

That is how it goes, and that's how it went

 By Rob Carrigan, with lyrics from Paul Simon,

Thought about a poker game, maybe 30 years ago. Right now I'm in my comfortable chair, listening to Paul Simon on Spotify. Trying to think in story form. The words are sometimes friend ... sometimes foe.

"Seven card stud, ace-high Chicago, low-holy split. Don't forget the pagan babies," he called the game this round.

Click on the URLs to wander with me.

 In a couple of days they're gonna take me away
When the press let the story leak
Now when the radical preacher comes to get me released
Appears all on the cover of Newsweek
And I'm on my way, I don't know where I'm goin'
But I'm on my way, takin' my time, but I don't know where
Goodbye to Rosie, the queen of Corona
Seein' me and Julio down by the schoolyard

 A man walks down the street
He says why am I soft in the middle now
Why am I soft in the middle
The rest of my life is so hard
I need a photo-opportunity
I want a shot at redemption
Don't want to end up a cartoon
In a cartoon graveyard
Bonedigger Bonedigger
Dogs in the moonlight
Far away my well-lit door
Mr. Beerbelly Beerbelly
Get these mutts away from me
You know I don't find this stuff amusing anymore
If you'll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's
a sunny day
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away

Now I sit by my window
And I watch the cars
I fear I'll do some damage
One fine day
But I would not be convicted
By a jury of my peers
Still crazy after all these years
Still crazy
Still crazy
Still crazy after all these years 


 The Mississippi Delta was shining
Like a National guitar
I am following the river
Down the highway
Through the cradle of the civil war
I'm going to Graceland
And I could say Oo oo oo
As if everybody here would know
What I was talking about
I mean everybody here would know exactly
What I was talking about
Talking about diamonds
People say I'm crazy
I got diamonds on the soles of my shoes
Well that's one way to lose
These walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of your shoes  


"Maybe you should play a round of three-toed Pete, to build up your reserves, so you don't have to set the rest of the night out," I said, trying to be helpful.
"Nonsense!" you cried. "Seven card no peek, twos, fours, whores, one-eyed Jacks, and Kings with an axe are wild."
And that is how it went.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hotel business thrives as thousands take cure

The Monument Hotel was considered one of the finest for complete rest and relaxation when it was built in 1870

By Rob Carrigan,

The 'Camp Cure' and 'West Cure,' as well as other various takes on outdoor cures were popular in Colorado in the late 1800s, which in turn, led to a Hotel boom locally — the likes of which might have made hospitality developer Donald Trump happy 100 years later.
Monument benefited from the popular practice of hospitality building with at least three hotels of its own the early days.
Anxious and tired male intellectuals (including Theodore Roosevelt) were sent West to rough ride, rope steer, and bond with other men.
"Physician Silas Weir Mitchell is perhaps best remembered for his 'Rest Cure' for nervous women, depicted by his onetime patient Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 'The Yellow Wallpaper' (1892). In the harrowing tale, the narrator slowly goes mad while enduring Mitchell’s regimen of enforced bed rest, seclusion and overfeeding. This oppressive 'cure' involved electrotherapy and massage, in addition to a meat-rich diet and weeks or months of bed rest. Historians now view Mitchell’s “Rest Cure” as a striking example of 19th century medical misogyny," said Anne Stiles in a 2012 American Psychological Association publication titled Go rest, young man.
"Less well known is Mitchell’s method of treating nervous men. While Mitchell put worried women to bed, he sent anxious men out West to engage in prolonged periods of cattle roping, hunting, rough-riding and male bonding. Among the men treated with the so-called “West Cure” were poet Walt Whitman, painter Thomas Eakins, novelist Owen Wister and future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt," wrote Stiles.
"The Monument Hotel was considered one of the finest for complete rest and relaxation when it was built in 1870. It was owned and operated Col. J. Ford and his wife. It had 19 sleeping rooms all furnished and carpeted in the early style. It had an elegant parlor, office and adjoining reading room. Col. and Mrs. Ford came to Monument from Maine," according to local historian Lucille Lavelett in Through the Years as Monument, Colorado.
"The dining room was supervised by Mrs. Ford and her meals were the finest, The windows and the veranda to the West afforded a beautiful view of the mountains and invalids desiring a quiet, comfortable home found the hotel a lovely place to stay. The charges were $2 per day with generous reductions by the week. Others who operated the hotel were Dr. and Mrs. Ballou, Dr. and Mrs. Rupp, and Mr. and Mrs. Roy Petrie. Other hotels in town were Park Hotel, Ironside, and Grand Arm.
"The climate of Colorado is consider the finest of North America," said British explorer Isabella Bird, who in her letters extolled the curative effect of the Colorado climate.
"Consumptives, asthmatics, dyspeptics, and sufferers from nervous diseases, are here in the hundreds and thousands, ether trying the 'camp cure' for three or four months, or settling here permanently. In traveling extensively through the Territory, I found that nine out every ten settlers were cured invalids."
The current location is now where the building for the proposed methadone clinic was being considered and served as the former post office from 1975 to 2000 on Front Street Monument.
The Fords resided themselves, at  175 Second St., about 1875.
A Civil War veteran, Colonel and Mrs. Ford were founding members of the Monument Presbyterian Church in 1874. Their home had the first water system as evidenced by their tank and windmill.
But the hotel boom was somewhat short-lived, as the large wooden frame structures were susceptible to the ravages of fire.
On Feb. 27, 1904, the Park Hotel, and the Post Office at the time, burned. Francis Bell was postmaster, and Clerk of the Presbyterian church.  All church records up to that point were burned. These buildings were on Front Street, south of Second Street.
"I not sure about the the date, but this is the same time, Iron Side Hotel burned. This was near the (Limbach) park," writes Lavelett.
On March 24, 1922, the Monument Hotel burned. Roy Petrie and his wife were operating the hotel at that time, but it was an end of an era for the hospitality business in Monument.

Photo information:
1. Monument Hotel, built in 1870.
2. The South end of Front Street, also known as Five Points to early settlers. The Monument Hotel is the larger building to left of center.
3. Monument Hotel, under Dr. Rupps ownership.
4. Col. J. Ford and his wife.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Coin he gave me has heft, and weight, and size, and art

Not really worth anything to anyone but me

Rob Carrigan,

It was about Christmas time, five years ago I think, when he pressed the big round steel coin in my hand at the nursing home as I was leaving.
The coin was bigger than a dollar, with a Big Horn Sheep on it. But Dad knew I always liked coins and this one appealed to me, for its heft and size, its weight, and art. I think it appealed to him for similar reasons.
Not really worth anything to anyone but me.
I had a hard time figuring out what had happened to him. He had always been solid as a rock, and still was in most, important ways. Except he really did not know what was going on.
It was like the the record-player was skipping. He talked about the way "they" had changed the maps on him. Moved all the streets around. I think he felt the county was responsible, or the state. Maybe even the army.
My dad was in the army, in the '50s, and knew that they required respect, but you have to keep an eye on them.
He would tell you he was making good money at "Cornbinder" in Detroit when when the army needed diesel mechanics for International Harvester powered tanks. He thought it was just cheaper for the army to draft him and pay him corporal wages, instead of contracting IH, in the buzzing '50s.
Oh well, they could have sent him to Korea,  but instead, tank school in Japan.
His two older brothers had been at war with Japan in WWII, he was teased, but he went over there to educate them. How to fix tanks.
He was a monkey under a hood... Popeye arms and a sense of how the gear turned, where the cog fit, sound of the click... part of the machine.
I never understood that sense. I liked cars, respected them, sometimes even knew how they worked. Never felt them, like he did. He could just drive any of my beat-up old rigs for a few days and the vehicle would run better for a time.
I think it was different in later years. The sensors, computers, putting it on the monitor to read the chip, he tried to keep pace, but by the time he retired, he had enough, I think.  And after that, it was even more confusing.
He still kept pretty busy after retirement, helped on wrecker calls for years.
My friends in the Dolores all marveled at his dedication to walking Amos, my brothers part Great Dane that he reverse-inherited and the damn dog dragged him around the river city.
When the dog was gone, he still liked to walk. Dogs are good for that. I like to walk, especially with my dogs. Up early, no need for an alarm, get going, we are burning daylight.
My dad always, always, always understood that he was to take care of us, and my mom.
Part of the job was, he knew, to get us to the point where we could take care of ourselves.
He did that, I think. And take care of Mom.
The challenges can creep up on you in a lifetime.
Cars and engines change from a thing you sense and smell, and feel, and know by their click. To something you need a $200,000 monitor to figure out.
That monkey muscle gets tired, and your joints twist,  and your cogs slip, and your gears don't mesh.
Reality becomes someone else's.
When you are used to taking care of things, it is really hard when you can't. But you try with all your heart, and soul, and memory, of what once was.
In the end, it is almost impossible... painful ... frustrating...
But the coin he gave me has heft, and weight, and size, and art.
It is not really worth anything to anyone but me.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

In 1938, the tree farms history was just starting to break ground

Photo 1:
Early plantings, about 1940, by Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) crews in Monument.

Photo 2
The tree nursery near Monument Rock was well-established by 1945.

Tree farming idea sprouted in the shadow of Monument Rock

By Rob Carrigan,

If you wander the hills out near Monument Rock, you are just about guaranteed to to run into evidence of this area’s involvement of treeing the West. Either odd rows of trees, or small stone structures and walls, and maybe a foundation or a still-existing structure.
When looking for information about the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) Camp in Monument a few years ago, I ran into Mike Smith’s extremely valuable work about the CCC titled “Forest Army.”
Not only did Smith know about the Monument camp, but his grandfather had spent time there.
“In a 1970s newspaper interview, my grandfather William Rutherford stated he went into USFS service with the third CCC camp in Colorado and left the service while at the last CCC camp in Colorado - the last of his USFS letters are from the Monument camp, so I presume that was the last camp. It may have been the last USFS CCC camp in Colorado. Smith wrote to me in an email.
“My Monument file is rather thin, but it does include excerpts from a 1938 district annual. The excerpt covers the Woodland Park, Colorado Springs and Monument Camps.”
Some of the information in the district annual is as follows.
In May 1938, 1st Lieut. Alvin C. Jenkins, then commanding Company 3810, CCC, Monument, Colorado, was advised that his Company was to be disbanded, and that the camp was to be reoccupied by a new company from the First Corps Area. Meanwhile, at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, many CCC enrollees were gathering. On July 18, 1938, Company 2124 was organized.
“The trip west was begun on July 20, 1938. Of course, all the members were eager to start for the new location because it meant travel, new sights, and perhaps a little adventure. Their enthusiasm dimmed somewhat, however, as the train rolled forward, and the monotonous scenery failed to fulfill expectations. Once their destination was reached, a different feeling took place – a feeling hard to describe. The lasting beauty of the mountains, the magnificence of the vari-colored rocks, and gorgeous panorama of far-reaching plains studded with tableland made an impression that was to last a lifetime. Yes, their new home at the foot of rugged Mt. Herman was indeed a welcome sight,” according to the CCC annual.
“The New Englanders found a well-maintained camp – one that had been built from the ground floor by Company 3810. This Company was formed in July 1935 and established in Dublin, Texas, as a soil conservation project. When the work in that vicinity was fulfilled, the company moved to Monument, Colorado.”
“The site for the now well developed camp was overgrown with brush and covered with rocks. As the only permanent building completed at this time was the mess hall, tents were set up until more permanent buildings could be established. Within three months, the portable barracks had arrived, and their erection gave the camp an appearance of permanency. The buildings were arranged circularly so as to allow convenience in passing from one barrack to another,” said the CCC annual.
“They were told that the primary function of the Camp’s work program was to furnish the necessary labor for raising and shipping of seedlings from the Monument Nursery to the various United State Forests throughout this region. It was pointed out that this process of raising trees consisted of a series of operations that varied with the seasons. Cone collecting, seed extracting, seeding, weeding, cultivating, watering, shading, protecting, transplanting, and stock distributing were given the major divisions for each year’s work. In addition to these regular Nursery operations incidental to the raising of trees, considerable construction work was completed by Company 3810. The blacksmith shop, seed extractory, implement shed, seed storage building, tree packing shed, garage, barn and two pump houses will long remain as a tribute to the superior workmanship of these enrollees. Interest in the project ran high for the members realized that they had an excellent opportunity to learn the nursery business as a career.
Sports were extremely popular with the Texans, and their teams were consistently among the best in the District. The baseball team proved its worth by winning by winning all but one of its games in a difficult schedule. An enthusiastic basketball team, not to be outdone, ran up a score of victories with only two defeats. Swimming, boxing, and tumbling teams also created records of which the Company was justly proud.
Classes of study were organized, and the educational program was functioning smoothly. Mr. Vern C. Howard was sent to take his place as teacher with the disbandment of Camp SP-12-C which was located in Colorado Springs. He brought with him radio equipment, woodworking tools, and wide assortment of books to strengthen the educational set-up. Recognizing the fact that more adequate teaching space was necessary, Mr. Howard constructed a schoolhouse entirely built from scrap lumber.
Assistant Educational Adviser James Leasure, who had learned radio while a member of the Civilian Conservation Corp, established his own station using the call letters W9ZCX. He sent and received messages to and from every part of the world.
“At the present time well-balanced educational program is being maintained. Planned courses in academic, vocational and job training subjects are conducted regularly, with determining factors being the needs and desires of members. Unusual interest has been taken in the informal groups of photography, woodwork, dancing, and the various arts and crafts. Week-end trips to the Royal Gorge, the State Penitentiary, the coal mines, the Garden of the Gods, and Pikes Peak have already been taken with other scenic spots remaining on the “must see list.”
Dr. Samuel Lilienthol, one of the first Camp Surgeons to go on duty in the district, was assigned to Company 2124 in August,1938. Since his arrival, many significant improvements have been made in the Mess Hall and the Infirmary,” the annual said.
“The work of the 2124th Company is far from complete. Its actual history still lies in the future. Mr. Donald J. Hodges, present Project Superintendent, has intensive plans for the present and the future. Several new buildings will be erected, a large amount of fence will be installed, roads will be built, and new areas will be developed to further expand the Nursery. Two side camps are in operation this summer. One to locate at Devil’s Head is developing a new camp ground, and the other situated at Indian Creek is constructing a road which will make it possible to thin a large area of the forest land to market Christmas trees,” said the forward-thinking crew, about their upcoming work.

Koi is known for its strength, individuality, character, and perseverance

An ancient tale tells of a huge school of golden koi swimming upstream in the Yellow River in China. Gaining strength by fighting against the current, the school glimmered as they swam together through the river. When they reached a waterfall at the end of the river, many of the koi turned back, letting the flow of the river carry them away. The remaining koi refused to give up. Leaping from the depths of the river, they attempted to reach the top of the waterfall to no avail. Their efforts caught the attention of local demons, who mocked their efforts and heightened the waterfall out of malice. After a hundred years of jumping, one koi finally reached the top of the waterfall. The gods recognized the koi for its perseverance and determination and turned it into a golden dragon, the image of power and strength.  Koi fish are associated with positive imagery. Because of the dragon legend, they are known as symbols of strength and perseverance, as seen in their determinative struggle upstream. And because of the lone koi that made it to the top of the waterfall, they are also known as symbols of a destiny fulfilled. Resulting from its bravery in swimming upstream.  The koi is known for its strength, individuality, character, and perseverance. 

Koi Fish symbolizes resilient nature of campus coming together

 By Rob Carrigan,

The size and scope of the Discovery Canyon Campus Koi Fish Art installation is the amazing thing.  It meanders upstream in the blue paper, from the elementary school, up stairs and through hallways of the middle school, always swimming, ever upward, over the doorways, around and through the halls and common areas of the 84-acre campus, finally reaching the highest points in high school.
“We are about 290 employees strong here and there will be an installation up throughout our entire campus running through Nov. 26. The artwork is being made by all staff members and our students. The artwork is Koi fish swimming up 31 degrees in elevation from the bottom of our campus to the top. The fish swim together and collaboratively. The fish are symbolic of working together, being together and swimming together. The Fish swim upstream against the flow of water. The fish swim up and forward always moving together as one school of fish,” says middle school art teacher Shell Acker, who began working the project in July.
"The students all have different papers and colors and textures for their fish to represent all of us are different. We all want to share our gifts like the book 'Rainbow Fish,'” she said.
By the numbers, more than 4,500 fish swim the stream. At least $160 worth of blue paper makes up that continuous stream. As many as 2,400 students and 290 staff members have worked on it.  Then there is the parents and volunteers.
"We have had parent and community groups in here 12 at time," says Acker.
At its longest point, it is probably close to 800 meters long.
In fact it is going for a world record, with Guinness World Records. Two seventh-grade DCC boys made that suggestion and then followed up. Ryan Swint and Kirby Gillman began the research on that in September and Guinness is expected reviewed at end of the month."The Koi was chosen because of its strength and resiliency. We are strong and koi are stronger and more beautiful each day. The environment we create as teachers help our students/fish become all that they can be and more valuable as well. The legend of the koi fish is read to each student so they can see why we chose this fish to create as a staff/school/student body. Students and Staff will create a moving fish.”
 “We are doing a campus-wide art installation of koi fish. The installation is a reminder that we are all a community – we swim together, and everyone is an important member of the DCC community. We all bring different colors and styles – our own uniqueness and gifts to the campus, and that makes DCC strong and whole. In addition to representing the unity of the campus, we want the Koi to serve as a visual reminder of some really important character traits.”
The middle level created fish together in Bridges time frame…parents invited to come and make a fish with your student... And the high schoolers created fish with their Thunder time classes/teachers. Elementary students were creating in the art classroom and elementary art teacher Pam Quarles is having a contest for the teachers. "If teachers create the most creative/ the best fish… they win a Starbucks gift card," Quarles said.
"I think it is really creative," said third-grader Issaac Housley. "Everyone knows where their fish is at."
Teachers and staff are all involved with the project. Even security guards have made fish. At High School level, art teachers Aubry Daman, Marilee Mason, Diane Anderson are key. From Middle School, Shell Acker and Jen Filbert, and elementary, Pam Quarles.
 "A story… a positive one about how our staff is working together each and every day with the kids our parents entrust to us each day. I am not na├»ve to know that this simple metaphorical art installation will save all our kids contemplating taking their own lives… but if it saves just one… it is worth it," said Acker.
"Our kids (students) don’t have enough tricks in their handbags to know that tomorrow will be a better day. The installation will show them to keep swimming and that we are swimming right along with them. The arts do help us heal and the arts are scientifically good for our body, mind and soul," she said.
"Visual Arts is one more way to let the kids know we are swimming behind them and in front of them… but we are swimming with them."
And create a campus wide art installation that visually represents the resilient nature of our campus and to create a community feeling of togetherness and comradery.

'Longest chain (length)' records for Guinness Book of Records

Please make sure you follow ALL these rules:

•    The record may be attempted by an individual or a team of unlimited size.
•    The record is measured in metres and centimetres, with the equivalent imperial measurement also given in feet and inches.
•    The event must take place in a public place or in a venue open to public inspection.
•    There must be no gaps in the chain and each item must be connected with the next.
•    No other instrument or technique to connect them may be used.
•    Although the record is based on the length of the chain must, the total number of items making up the chain must also be counted.
•    The chain must be continuous but does not have to be straight.
•    The event must be overseen by two independent witnesses.
•    The length of the chain must be measured by a qualified surveyor using an accurate measuring tool in the presence of two independent witnesses.


In order to approve this record Guinness World Records requires that the following documentation is submitted as evidence. Please read the Guide to Your Evidence for specific information on specific pieces of evidence.

•    One cover letter explaining the context of the record attempt. Please indicate date, time and location of the record attempt. Also please provide full details of the person(s)/organisation attempting the record including details on the preparation for the attempt. You can use the template in the Guide to Your Evidence or prepare a different Cover Letter.
•    One surveyor’s report must be provided confirming the exact length of the chain and details of the tool used to make the measurement. Proof of the surveyor’s qualification must also be provided.
•    Two independent witness statements must be provided confirming that the rules above have been adhered to and must explicitly state the total number of items used to create the chain as well as the length of the chain and any other relevant information. You can use the templates in the Guide to Your Evidence or prepare different Witness Statements as long as they follow GWR directives.
•    Photographic evidence is compulsory evidence for all record attempts. Please provide photographs showing evidence of the preparation and compilation of the chain as well as the measurement. High quality pictures will be considered for publication online and in the Guinness World Records book or related products.
•    Video evidence The attempt must be captured on video, in particular the measuring process.
•    Media articles is not a compulsory evidence requirement. If you have media coverage (newspaper, online, TV or radio) GWR please submit them as part of the evidence requirements.
•    Schedule 2 should be signed by you when you are sending in evidence which you either own or have permission to allow Guinness World Records to use.
•    If you include any photographs or video in your evidence which you do not own or have permission to allow Guinness World Records to use, then you must include Schedule 3.
•    Media articles (newspaper, online, TV or radio) should be submitted as part of the evidence requirements. This is not compulsory evidence.

Please read the Guide to Your Evidence document, where you will find further information about the evidence requirements and evidence templates. It is paramount this document is read before you submit your evidence.

Photo information:

koi 1
Pam Quarles and Issaac Housley point out his primary fish.

koi 2
Shell Acker, and Aubry Daman,  along the upstream flow.

koi 3
Volunteer Bill Beeson is responsible for much of blue stream.

koi 4
Even pregnant fish swim along, helping koi and swimming together.

koi 5
Science teacher Cindy Beggs all to "Keep swimming."

koi 6
Even Braille material might be used to make one of the more than 4,500 plus fish.

koi 10
Each fish reflects individual character.

koi 11
A librarian fish accompanies the swimming koi.