From My Window… Airport dedication honors decades of service; work well done

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
Well, it looks like winter is upon us this week, and it may well be around for a few days.
It has really been pretty nice around here with cold nights but days in the 40-degrees range. However, that is now just a few short days. It looks like we will be “enjoying” days in the single digits and nights in the single or double digits below zero, possibly throughout the weekend.
I would certainly love to be wrong, but it is a part of living where we do. We could be in for a fair amount of snow before this week is over and it is certain to be a cold one.
Think warm!

It was great to see Gary Coulter on Saturday at the dedication of Coulter Field at Meeker Airport.
Gary has been ill for a while now and he and his wife, Relda, had been up in Craig.
Gary piloted a plane from to Meeker a couple of days before the dedication and was the first pilot to land at the Meeker field after the runway was reopened. However, he apparently had no idea about the dedication until he and his wife, Relda, drove into the hangar at the airfield, where about 80 people met him and cheered as he made his way into the large room complete with warm drinks, snacks, warm memories and lots of friends, who brought Gary to dab his eyes on more than one occasion.
Gary has been manager of Meeker Airport since 1959 — an impressive 54-year service record. During that time, he has personally helped to guide Meeker Airport, ensuring that it always fulfilled the needs of the community.
In 2010, Gary was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from the Colorado Agriculture Aviation Industry and in 2011 was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award “in recognition of his contributions to building and maintaining the safest aviation system in the world through practicing and promoting safe aircraft and maintenance for more than 50 consecutive years.”
I had the opportunity to take a short flight in a pressurizeded four-passenger plane owned by project manager Jeremy McAlister of Cody, Wyo. That trip took us north and east a bit to where Saturday’s fog still covered the valleys and then around over Meeker a couple of times before we landed.
I can say I have been a passenger many times in large and small planes, taking off from large and small airports in large and small towns. And I can safely say that the Meeker takeoff and landing were noticeably smoother than any other airport I have ever flown into or out of. A tremendous job was done on the runway, the taxiways and the apron for the larger aircraft.
Congratulations Gary, congratulations to the Meeker Airport and congratulations to GDA Engineering from Cody. You have a beautiful airport out there and it should be much more convenient and safer for those utilizing its facilities.
It was too bad, however, that the only county elected official there for the dedication was Rangely Mayor Frank Huitt.

I don’t know if Small Business Saturday was a sweeping success for all the businesses around Meeker, but it was nice to see a lot of foot traffic and vehicle traffic at times Saturday on Main Street and Sixth Street.
The shops, stores and restaurants were all offering specials, discounts and extended hours for local shoppers, and I hope most people got out to give Meeker’s merchants a try and that they will continue to do so up until Christmas.
Not enough can be said about the importance of shopping locally when possible as we are directly affecting the incomes of our friends, neighbors and families in most cases as well as helping the Rio Blanco County coffers with sales taxes coming from within as opposed to being deposited in some other county’s bank account.
Try our local merchants out. Give them at least a chance to show they can serve most of the needs of area residents.

“T’was a month before Christmas and all through the town…
Was the street buzz that gas prices had come down.”
It was nice to see that the gas station owners took some action on their own and without any prompting from the public, dropped gasoline prices another 10 cents per gallon and that everywhere in town regular prices were $3.59 per galloon.
It should be noted that the average price of a gallon of gas is now $3.07 with the lowest in Commerce City at $2.86 so that, just maybe, we will see at another 10- or 20-cent drop per gallon just in time for Christmas Day.
What a delightful gift that would be…

Speaking of holiday gifts, the Broncos gave an early one to its fans on Sunday by winning the second of a pair of games in three weeks over the Kansas City Chiefs.
What great performances Mr. Manning and Mr. Decker turned in, just when they needed to do so.
By all rights, Denver is ahead of the Chiefs in the first three tiebreakers at least, so it would be tough — though not impossible — for the Broncos to lose the AFC West.
The Broncos currently have a better overall record, they are 2-0 in head-to-head competition with the Chiefs, the Broncos are 4-0 in AFC West competition compared to three losses by the Chiefs, and the Broncos also have a better record in the conference.
I am hoping and praying they make it to the playoffs as the No. 1 AFC seed, which they would be if the playoffs were to start this weekend.
But, for obvious reasons, let’s all hope they fare better than the New England Patriots the rest of the regular season because the Pats could just be the team the Broncos meet again — hopefully in Denver — in the AFC Championships.