Rosemary Hilkey may have to sit out Range Call this year

Rosemary Hilkey has been riding a horse during Range Call activities for “I don’t know how long,” she said.
However, she may have to sit out this year’s events.
Rosemary was involved in a horse accident June 4, one of several horse-related accidents that have occurred recently. Other experienced riders, including Billy Goedert, Teresa Anderson and Brett Carroll, were injured around the same time.
I saw Rosemary at the 4-H Carnival last Saturday. She had a cast on her hand.
“I have stitches and some broken bones,” she said. “It was my right hand, of course, and I’m right-handed. I have a cast on it, plus 20 some stitches.”
Rosemary was injured when a horse stepped on her hand.
“I wasn’t as careful as I should have been,” Rosemary said. “But I wasn’t real happy, because it’s close to the Fourth.”
With Range Call less than a month away, Rosemary doesn’t know yet if she’ll be healed up in time to ride that weekend.
“It’s getting better,” she said. “But just not fast enough for me.”
For years, Rosemary has carried the U.S. flag while riding a horse into the fairgrounds arena at the beginning of the Meeker Massacre Pageant. She’s also performed at the rodeo with the Meeker Drill Team — she’s one of the original members — and rode in the Range Call Parade.
“Not every horse will carry a flag and not every horse would stand out there with the loud music and lights,” Rosemary said of the horse she has used at the pageant.
The horse — Robin Rosh is his registered name — is 31 years old.
“I’ve had him since he was 8,” Rosemary said. “He’s a gelding. I used to show him in the Colorado Quarter Horse Show. I’ve used him in drill team for probably 20 years.”
Even before the accident, which involved a different horse, Rosemary wasn’t sure if Rosh was up to carrying the flag for this year’s pageant.
“He’s showing his age,” she said. “Thirty-one is pretty old for a horse. I didn’t know if I was going to use him this year. But he’s a good ol’ boy. I’ll miss him when he’s gone.”
Asked about the odds of her riding during Range Call, Rosemary said, “It depends on whether I can ride safely.”
While Rosemary has been riding horses for many years, she knows injuries are a fact of life.
“If you’re gonna ride,” she said. “You’re gonna get hurt.”
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Every year since 1971, Aileen Tolley of Dinosaur has been decorating the graves of veterans buried in the Dinosaur Cemetery.
Her late husband, William, is one of the veterans buried there. Aileen has a brother and brother-in-law who were both veterans and who are buried in the Dinosaur Cemetery.
“Generally, I put a white cross with flowers and a flag (on the graves) for Memorial Day, and then I put a flag on the graves for the Fourth and a flag again on the graves for Veterans Day,” Aileen said. “I leave the crosses up and then put the flags on the graves on those three holidays. I leave the flags up about a week and then take them down. I generally take the crosses down in October, just because of the weather.”
Aileen, who is 82, gets help from family members.
“They have helped me for many years, after my husband passed away,” Aileen said. “I buy the flowers each year to put on the graves. We used to put live flowers on, but with the weather, they don’t last, so we went with the artificial flowers.”
Aileen’s late husband, William, who was a World War II veteran, died in 1974. He was one of four brothers who served during the war.
“It was pretty hard,” Aileen said. “He didn’t talk about it too much, only if he got together with someone he knew from the service. My husband always said the things they seen and did weren’t very pleasant.”
Aileen and William had six children. One son, Edward, was killed in Vietnam. He was in the Marines. He’s buried in Ohio, which is where the family lived before moving to Dinosaur. A son, Patrick, died when he was 2 days old.
Other sons Frank, Mark and Sam live in Rangely, while another son, William, lives in Alaska and Arthur lives in Ohio. A daughter, Aileen, lives with her mother in Dinosaur. Son Mark built the crosses that are placed on the graves for Memorial Day.
There was one veteran buried in the Dinosaur Cemetery when Aileen first started decorating the graves for holidays. Now there are 22.
Asked why she feels compelled to decorate the veterans’ graves, Aileen said, “Because our veterans, after all, fought for us. We wouldn’t have anything if not what they have done. Their graves should be taken care of and they should be honored.”
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As part of a rotating exhibit featuring the works of different local artists, Jay Sullivan’s wildlife art is now on display at the Meeker Library through mid August. Jay grew up in Meeker and is the son of Joe Sullivan.
A bio about the artist stated, “J.B. Sullivan’s drawings of critters and creatures cause young and old alike to peer closely at his work. Hundreds of pencil strokes go into each piece, resulting in a realistic, representational style of immense detail. A raconteur, Sullivan’s art conveys an unforgettable story.
“A Meeker, Colo., native (son of Joe and Claire Sullivan), Sullivan’s art reflects his western heritage and love of the outdoors. Wildlife and animals of all kinds are his favorite subjects. Each animal must be anatomically correct and true to its species. Snouts, hooves, and fur are carefully studied by Sullivan. He possesses a well-developed eye for the unique composition, proper lighting, and special moments in time.
“Sullivan was recently honored as a Paint the Parks Top 100 winner for ‘Wild and Wonderful’ a handsome moose drawing from a sighting in the Grand Tetons National Park.”
Sullivan’s work can be seen online at his website:
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As of now, the Lakeside Cafe at Kenney Reservoir is closed.
“Unfortunately, we have had no one show interest in operating the Lakeside Cafe this year,” said Dan Eddy of the Rio Blanco Water Conservancy District, which manages the cafe and leases it to someone to operate.
The cafe’s typical months of operation are May or June through September.
• • • • •
It may be awhile before the 2010 U.S. Census results for the Rio Blanco County are known.
“You can access the census website at and click on the Participation link down toward the bottom of the page where there are some numbers. Scroll to the one that has the link. The link will take you to another page that has a map, where you can check the participation rates of each state. At this time, it is the most updated means of checking participation. I don’t think county stats are updated until the 2010 Census is completed,” said Becky Niemi, administrative assistant for the town of Meeker. “I believe July 1 is the last day when numerators are able to be out counting those who didn’t return the form by mail or were missed in a previous visit. I am not sure on the final date when the count will be actually completed.”
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Along with the wild horse he trained, named Smokin’ Joe, Jim Rogers of Rangely participated in the Extreme Mustang Makeover last weekend at Fort Collins.
“I had a wonderful time … and other than some errors on my part, we did well and Joe did excellent. We placed 11th in the cow works portion of the competition and 23rd overall,” Rogers said. “I learned many things this weekend that may help me become a better trainer. Smokin’ Joe went to a home in Wyoming. I did bid on him but he went for more money than I could afford. He was a pleasure to work with and will make a great horse.”
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The Rio Blanco County Pioneers Association’s annual Old-timers’ Celebration isn’t as old as Range Call or the town of Meeker, both of which celebrate their 125th anniversaries this year, as does the Herald Times. But the group is nearing a milestone.
The 100th annual old-timers’ reunion will be in two years. The association celebrated its 98th get-together June 5. Some of those recognized, included …
Oldest woman — Merle Brenton 100
Oldest man — Jerry Wilber 91
Couple married the longest — Byron and Jo Linden
Two class reunions — 1960 and 1965
241 guests were present
The 2010 theme was “That Old Time Music.”
“Centerpieces were old records shaped into bowls. Peonies were also a centerpiece donated by Floyd Red Gulliford. We also had a tribute to all the active and previous served armed forces branches, along with the police, fire and emergency rescue,” said Vicki Crawford, one of the organizers.
Jan Hossack and Bill and Sherry Metzger were co-presidents this year.
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Last Saturday was a wet one, which meant the entrance to my driveway was a muddy mess.
Town workers had to dig a deep hole near the end of my driveway recently to repair a water leak. After they were done, they covered up the area with a dirt and gravel mixture, which was fine. But when we got a heavy rain, like we did last Saturday, the entrance to my driveway turned into a quagmire.
However, I didn’t think about that when I backed my Jeep out of the driveway on Saturday. That is, until I could feel the soggy ground squishing underneath.
Thinking I could smooth out the ruts left by my tires, I drove back and forth over the muddy mess a few more times, which, of course, only made matters worse. My tires were caked in gunk.
When I drove past neighbor Mandi Etheridge’s house, mud was flying off my tires and I left a trail in my wake that extended for several blocks. Later, when I saw Mandi upriver at the White River Community Association’s fish fry, she asked me if I had been mudding.
I said, well, sort of.
I don’t think her idea of mudding and mine are the same.

Jeff Burkhead is editor of the Herald Times. You may e-mail him at