Sunday, September 09, 2012

Childhood memories

One Fly, has an article about the closing of a little tourist trap around Canyon City, CO. In the 1930's as part of the New Deal the CCC built a bridge to nowhere over what is known as the Royal Gorge. It was at the time the world's highest suspension bridge. You could drive up to it and walk across it, but there wasn't a road on the other side. It became a tourist attraction. When we were little there was a tram that went from the river below about half way up, for some time now there's been a train. There was a train back then too, but it was a freight train route not a tourist train. Off to the side was a place called Buckskin Joe's. A mock western town with all kinds of not so cheap junk. Every hour there was a shootout, the sherrif would arrest the gunslinger who won, there'd be a quick trial and hanging, he'd be placed in a coffin and carried away to await the next hour. Between that entertainment the kids would be running around in their straw cowboy hats and plastic vests with toy guns and if the sherrif saw you with your gun out of your holster he'd arrest you and put you in jail until your parents came to get you out. I have a lot of fond memories of Buckskin Joes. It's been sold and moved to Gunnison County to be a private museum for one of the Koch brothers. Some 835 acres of land have been sold to him and nothing is mentioned in the article, but some kind of mining operation will most likely destroy pristine land west of Pikes Peak. All the water aquifer in the headwaters of the Platte and Arkansas rivers need is fracking.
In the news article the guy who sold the place lamented the drop off in tourism most notably in August and like most morons blames the unions for all educational problems. It seems the teacher's unions wanted to shorten summer vacations for teachers. DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?
It was the numbskull politicians wanting to IMPROVE education and accountability decided all students at the high school level needed to take finals both semesters. For a number of years the first semester's finals fell in the second week of January after the students came back from Winter break. The colleges of education at universities then threw a temper tantrum that this was setting students up for failure which put pressure on the school districts to move the start of school into August so finals could be taken in December. This also allowed for a week of Spring Break in late March or early April and the school year to end a week earlier in May. Not all school districts changed their school calendars and still adhere to the old one that starts in September and ends in June some of them in Colorado.
I can understand how cutting two weeks of tourism short would hurt his business, but the unions had nothing to do with it. The teacher's unions are about collective bargaining on wages, benefits, and better working conditions for the teachers not when school starts.


One Fly said...

I learned a lot here. More going on than meets the eye.

P M Prescott said...

Yes there is.