From My Window… A countywide look at trash, concerts and Rangely tragedy

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
I applaud the nudge from the Town of Meeker requiring residents and landlords to pick up limbs and trash from their properties and to require thigh-high grass to be cut.

Recently, my wife and I had two very good friends from Arizona visit us, and we took them for a tour around Rio Blanco County and around Meeker. They agreed that this is some of the most beautiful land they have ever seen — and these people spend several weeks a year on the road traveling to all corners of the U.S. — particularly the West.
To say that this is some of the most beautiful land around is quite a compliment.
They were also very impressed with the beauty of the town with the older homes, usually manicured lawns, the huge trees, clean alleys, etc.
But there were a couple of places in town they made comments about: the downed tree branches still in the middle or alongside the streets and some properties that haven’t seen a lawnmower all year.
Wisely, the Meeker Town Board has recognized that a clean town like Meeker is almost a living postcard. And with Range Call, the Rio Blanco County Fair and the Meeker Sheepdog Classic coming up, many people unfamiliar with the area will get their first view of Meeker and Rio Blanco County.
It would be a great idea to present the most beautiful and cleanest Meeker to our visitors — particularly at a time when more businesses and new residents are being sought.
Meeker is unique in its beauty. But there is room for improvement.
Meeker Town Manager Scott Meszaros made it clear that the city is serious about a clean up of weeds, tree limbs and wild-growing grass in some of the town’s yards. He is equally concerned because he doesn’t want the city to appear to be any kind of a bully but just a bunch of town officials who want to see Meeker become, as the saying goes, “All that it can be.”
It is too bad that it has to come down to threats of liens and fines because one would think, like most of the other residents in town, that it is the property owner or landlord’s responsibility without being told that the properties need to be cleaned up.
A vast majority of the residents and landlords in Meeker do a great job in keeping their properties clean up and attractive. But there are a couple of exceptions.
To borrow and change another cliché, we are only as attractive as our ugliest property.
Hopefully, those residents and landowners who are being negligent will take some action, or, rightfully and unfortunately, the town will.

The Eastern Rio Blanco Metropolitan Parks and Recreation District outdid itself on Friday evening by bringing in Felix y Los Gatos (Felix and the Cats) in from Albuquerque, N.M., to perform at a concert on the front lawn of the county courthouse in Meeker.
The first concert of the summer was also well received as well in excess of 200 residents and visitors enjoyed eclectic selections provided by the band, with a versatile Felix as the only vocalist.
There was zydeco, Tejano, Cajun and some Mexican songs, each one highly upbeat and easy to listen to.
Talking briefly with Felix, it was quite obvious in our conversation and in his few words from the stage that he was pretty impressed with the people and the sights around Meeker.
He told me that he doesn’t remember playing in a more beautiful setting on a better day during his career. The sun was warm, there was a tiny breeze to cool off those who were getting hot and was just a great evening to sit in the shadows of the trees or bushes and listen to some unique music.
Hooray for the ERBM Rec District for bringing this group in and for the upcoming Friday night concerts as well. They are indeed something to look forward to.
One gentleman who had brought a table and snacks as well as a liquid refreshment was sitting back in his chair in the shade.
“Now this is what makes Meeker and summer so great,” he said.
He was right, and there were a lot of folks on the lawn and in lawn chairs who agreed with him.

What a tragedy it was that the three Rangely teenagers were badly injured and that 21-year-old Kyle Lee Smithey was killed in a rollover accident last week just outside of Rangely.
When something of this caliber happens in a small town, a part of the town spirit is lost and a lot of mourning goes on — as everyone knows everyone else.
Thoughts and prayers by the hundreds go out to Smithey’s parents, Chuck and Cristina Winkler of Dinosaur, as well as the three teens from Rangely and their parents.
Hopes for a quick and complete recovery go out to Cheyenne Steele, who was chosen to be Range Call Queen in Meeker over the Fourth of July, and to Rachel Dillon and Ryan Wilczeck.

Just a quick reminder that Range Call activities actually begin this weekend with the demolition derby on Saturday night at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds.
The demolition derby will begin at 7 p.m. and, according to the Range Call event guide, will be followed by a free barn dance, also at the fairgrounds, running until 1 a.m.
Range Call itself gets under way next Thursday evening with the Range Call Pageant, which brings to life the re-enactment of the Meeker Massacre, and that will be preceded by the pre-pageant entertainment beginning at 7 p.m. and continuing to dusk, when the pageant will begin.
July 4 and 5 will be filled with activities all over the area, and that will include the featured concert performance with Damsel opening up for Chris Cagle.
There is a lot of fun ahead for those who take part, and there will be a wide variety of activities to keep everyone satisfied.