THE FIRST #1
Fittingly the first article was written by the founder, Dr. Paul Reddin. Entitled "Hard Times but Good Times: Grand Junction Women During the Great Depression", it set the stage for future articles. He used remembrances of daily life as told by the women living in Grand Junction to tell the social history of a small western city during difficult times. He concludes that:
Grand Junction women developed a mental toughness that enabled them to face adversity. They did not dwell on the difficulties of life, nor did they spend much time considering large and unmanageable problems like the intricacies of the collapsed national economy. Instead, they contemplated those things over which they exercised a modicum of control. . . . They learned to find pleasure in everyday occurances. Discouragement and worry sometimes crowded into a person's mind, but the Depression taught most that dwelling on the negative could crush a person. [1(1):23]
THE LAST #116
The last article, "Sheep Shearing in Western Colorado", was written by MSC grad Joseph "Merle" Noland. Having grown up in the sheep industry, he initmately knew the details of it and felt the need to share. In the introduction he wrote: "The life and work of the western Colorado sheep shearer needs to be told. Their profession and way of life has all but disappeared." [17(1):2] Through his account, the reader comes to know the history of the sheep industry in Western Colorado, the industry pioneers, the sheep shearers and the sheep. The story starts in the 1860s and ends in the 1960s when the market for wool declined. Noland concludes:
Today, Colorado shearers are quite rare. It is mostly a lost art and profession among Western Slope men. Professionals imported from New Zealand or Australia shear the few large bands of sheep that are around today. . . . Perhaps in the future, wool will again become popular, if that happens, the art of professional shearing might return to western Colorado. [17(1):39]
"Reminiscences of Early Life in Colorado" by Abigal Frank Megrue is primarily centered around the family's life in Canon City. The Editors initially were only going to publish the portion dealing with Western Colorado - the construction of the railroad through Glenwood Canyon. After reading the manuscript several times, they decided it merited publication in its entirety. Their reasons included that it added significantly to the history of Colorado, that it was written eloquently, and that it was written from a woman's perspective. This decision conflicted with the editorial policy of publishing only articles that dealt with the history of the Western Slope. To solve this dilemma the editors decreed that "for this one issue, Canon City is an honorary member of the Western Slope." (Editor's Introduction 2(3) Sum 1987) A temporary change in geography led to the publication of this account of life in Colorado 1874-1893.
Search the Journal of the Western Slope using the following directions: