Rangely Review

RANGELY | Believe me, Rio Blanco County’s senior citizens really do know how to party, picnic and play. Twenty seniors from Rangely (11) and Meeker (nine), plus three staff personnel spent Aug. 24 enjoying the drive to and from South Fork — beautiful, lush and green. At South Fork a “catered picnic” was provided by RBC Chuckwagon. Staff members were Debra Barney, Shona Richardson and Rangely Rambler driver extraordinaire Annalee Nickson. Senior citizens were Dorothy Chappell, Rachel Palmer, Dorothy Bloomfield, E.J. Humphrey, Arda Harp, Roy and Shirley Truax, Pat Atherton, Shirley Purcell, Lois Richardson, Betty Jo Hackford, Janet Carroll, Marilyn Reither, Carol Jensen, Rhinehardt Ficken, Marilyn Ormsbee (from Dinosaur), Wilfred Ingram, Ruthann Chavez, Peggy Payne and Maggie Long. Fried chicken or chef’s salad was the menu for the day. The caravan began in Rangely when the Rangely Rambler departed at 9 a.m., hooking up with two vans in Meeker about 10:30 a.m.
Upon arrival at the picnic site, someone in the group quickly pointed out to Debra Barney that her van had a flat tire. Changing the tire came later, after a great lunch, followed by some short-distance hiking by a number of the attendees. The White River flowed rapidly below the South Fork bridge where seniors walked and took a lot of pictures. It was an absolutely flawless day, blue skies and sunshine and a temperature of 80 degrees. Chokecherry bushes were heavily laden but not quite ripe enough to pick. Carol Jensen did pick rose hips she said she would use to make tea. Betty Joe Hackford had her binoculars on and enjoyed an up-close view of the magnificent mountains and streams. Rachel Palmer had stories to tell about her young life wrestling cattle on a nearby ranch owned by her parents. Everyone agreed that South Fork had the cleanest outdoor/indoor public bathrooms anyone had ever seen (and this group of seniors do an awful lot of highway traveling so we should know).
Next on the agenda was the make-your-own dessert (s’mores). A campfire was built and folks stood around roasting marshmallows to be placed between graham crackers with a Hershey Kiss buried inside the gooey white stuff. Maggie Long told everyone it was her first-ever campfire-made s’mores and from the looks of it, all agreed they could tell. Everyone laughed and insisted she include in this article a funny remark she made as she prepared her dessert. She said, “I reached for a kiss and only got a slobber,” referring to the plate of Hershey Kisses that had somehow been left too long in the sun.
Eventually, the subject on the table became individual stories of meeting up with celebrities. Almost everyone had a story and some had really good stories. Roy Truax told about meeting James Arness and said, “He was really a big man.” Roy’s wife, Shirley, said she was a waitress in a place James Arness visited to eat and when he left, he gave her a $2 tip (this was years ago) and she still has it in a jar where she put it that same day. Roy told a story about meeting Tammy Wynette and George Hamilton and his band. Other celebrity stories included ones about Clark Gable, Broderick Crawford, and the movie, “The Misfits.”
Too soon it was time to return to Meeker and Rangely. The Rangely Rambler stopped in Meeker so Rachel Palmer could take pictures of the elementary school. Rachel spent years as a teacher there a long time ago. We arrived in Rangely about 5:30 p.m., all in agreement that we had enjoyed a fantastic day and that we were dog-tired. Another all-day trip and wiener roast is planned for Sept. 28 at Rifle Falls.
Rio Blanco County seniors do stay active and enjoy all the resources they are fortunate to have in this county.