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130 Reasons to Love Montrsoe

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A celebration of 130 years of Montrose and the Montrose Daily Press


    This publicaTion broughT To you by The ciTy of MonTrose and The MonTrose daily press deceMber 30, 2012

    image provided by wordle

  • 2 December 30, 2012 130 reasons to love Montrose

    Spirit of 1882 evident in 130 Reasons seriesOn May 2, 1882, the town of Montrose

    was officially born. Much work had already been done by rugged, hard-work-ing people to carve out a community in the wide open spaces of the Uncompah-gre Valley. But more work was yet to be done to build a community they were proud to call home because, after all, Montrose was where they would raise their children, make their living, chase their dreams and live out their days.

    In 2012, we have enjoyed the unique opportunity to look back at the past 130 years and reflect on how their dreams have been realized. Montrose has grown

    from a small town to an emerging city of almost 20,000 residents, from a place with little more than bright

    hopes and plans to a place with a rich heritage and even greater aspirations for the future built on the solid foundation laid by those who preceded us.

    During the past several months, we have enjoyed reading about 130 different Montrose residents and why they choose to live here. One of the impressions that emerged from this Daily Press series is that Montrose is a beautiful tapestry of individuals, each of whom brings something special to their community. Regard-less of age, occupation, education or other status, each of them views our community as something they can be proud of, and they are each excited to be part of a common effort to help build and advance the Montrose community. This is the same spirit that prevailed in 1882, and it is still alive and well today in the hearts of our residents.

    History is a great educator. It teaches us that the

    great accomplishments of the past were the product of group effort an optimistic, unified pursuit of a vision held in common. What does the future hold for Mon-trose? Much of it depends on how we learn from our past experiences, both successes and failures.

    The city of Montrose and the Montrose Daily Press have truly enjoyed this opportunity to highlight 130 people who recognize Montrose as a wonderful place in which to live, work and raise a family! After 130 years of serving the Montrose community, both of our organiza-tions have learned that developing a strategy based upon respect, humility and positive change takes patience and perseverance. We thank all of our participants for reminding us of what we can do together as we eagerly move forward for the benefit of our community.

    Bill Bell is the city manager of Montrose.


    Special to the Daily Press

    No.1Marilyn Cox

    Retired school district employee/Daily Press


    Born in Olathe, Marilyn Cox was the youngest of seven girls. After graduat-ing from Olathe High School, Cox went on to start a career that lasted a little more than 21 years in the Montrose County School District, including 20 years as a secretary at Montrose Ju-nior High. She has also worked at the Montrose County Historical Museum and the Montrose Visitors Center. She has been writing the weekly column, A Step Back in Time since in 1996

    for the Daily Press.

    Q: What do you enjoy most about history?

    A: Working at the (Montrose County Historical Museum), so many people would come in looking for family his-tory. We would look for sources. I just find history totally fascinating.

    Q: What was it like working for the Montrose County School Dis-trict?

    A: I loved it. I really wanted to be a teacher, but the job I had was just as much fun, and I think that age group is so much fun. No two days were ever the same. It was a wonderful job.

    Q: As a native, how do you think Montrose has changed over the years?

    A: It has really grown a lot. I remem-ber when there was just one stoplight in town at Main Street and Townsend Avenue.

    Q: What do you love about Mon-trose?A: There are a thousand different rea-

    sons I think, but my primary reason is because of the history. In the places Ive traveled in my life, Ive never seen a place Id like to go back to like Montrose. Its my life ... the people are so caring.

    No. 2Jim Austin

    Retired city administrator, now trying to promote tourism in

    the Northern Colorado Plateau

    Austin was born in Wichita, Kan., and went on to earn his bachelors degree in business and journalism from the University of Kansas in 1960. After earning his masters degree in public administration from KU in 1962, he accepted a position as assistant city manager in Emporia, Kan. Austin later worked all over the country, including in Montrose as its city manager from approximately 1969 to 1979.

    Q: You have said you helped the University of Kansas recruit Wilt Chamberlain to its basketball squad. How did that happen?A: I was the president of the student

    body at the time. I told him, We in-vented basketball. If you want to come to a school that can teach you how to play good basketball, there is no better school to do that than KU.

    Q: Why did you accept an assis-tant manager position in Emporia, Kan., after graduating?A: I read an editorial by William Allen

    White (called) Mary, about his daugh-ter being killed. It was powerful. I had an offer to go to Dallas and another to Emporia ... I wanted to feel what kind of

    place could produce that kind of man. (Editors note: White was born in Empo-ria, Kan., in 1944.)

    Q: Why did you decide to move to Montrose?A: I was tired of living in Atlanta,

    and Montrose needed a city manager. So I applied. I am the longest-term city manager (in Montroses history.) I hope (current city manager) Bill Bell beats that record.

    Q: What do you love about Mon-trose?A: The people. There must be some-

    thing in the water. People here can tell the difference between policy and administration.

    No. 3Nigel Askew

    Co-owner and brewmaster, Horsefly Brewing Company

    A British citizen born in Zambia, Africa, Askew has been running the Horsefly since it opened in September 2009. He relocated to Montrose from Southern California and initially ran a motel, the Blue Fox, before opening the Horsefly, which underwent an expansion this summer.

    Q: Why are local microbreweries and brewpubs so popular in Colorado?A: People in this part of the world are more inclined to be

    organic or natural, and craft beer is an organic version of sanitized beer. This is natural beer, not pumped full of chemi-

    cals.Q: How did you wind up becoming a brewer?

    A: Im descended from a famous brewing family I dont know much about. They were Norman knights who came to England in 1066 (the year of the Norman conquest). The family later opened a huge brewery that since has closed its doors. Maybe its in my blood.

    Q: What would you say to someone who has never tried a craft beer and is afraid they wont like it?A: Try it! Youll be amazed how many people think beer is

    what the mass producers make ... once they do, most people are like, Hey, thats good. I didnt realize beer tasted like that. I dont think most people realize that what mass pro-ducers churn out is absolute rubbish.

    Q: Why do you love Montrose?A: Small-town friendliness, big-town convenience.

  • 130 reasons to love Montrose December 30, 2012 3

    No. 4Dave Bowman

    Music promoter and retired school teacher

    Dave Bowman moved to Montrose 30 years ago after driving through town on a vacation and deciding it would be a nice place to live. He and his wife got teaching jobs, and have been here ever since, raising a family. He retired from teaching after 28 years in Montrose to run his now-defunct CD shop full time and to promote shows. Over the past several years, he has brought in such

    artists as Corb Lund, Jackie Greene, Band of Heathens and others.

    Q: How did you wind up promot-ing live music?A: My CD store was going to be my

    retirement plan. Nobody told me about the iPod.

    Q: Whats something about you that not many people know?A: That Im absolutely not a musician.

    A lot of people assume I was a music teacher, and I was not. I spent 28 years

    teaching special ed, and it was an abso-lute ball.

    Q: What do you love about Mon-trose?A: Montrose is just a cool, friendly

    little town. Visually, its very attractive. The people who live here have a lot of pride, pride in their homes, pride in their neighborhoods. Theres a lot of op-portunity in Montrose. Its a great place to raise kids. Its just a friendly little town where people take the time to say hi and get to know you.

    No. 5Tom Bell

    Owner and manager of the Black Canyon KOA

    Bell moved from Denver to Telluride in 1974, but has been calling Montrose home since 1984. In 1998, Bell retired, but he had too much energy to just sit back and look at the San Juans. In 2005, he purchased the Black Canyon RV Park, which not only keeps him busy, but allows him to meet and visit with people from all over the world.

    Q: Since buying the campground, what improvements have you made?A: In 2006, I gutted the entire park. I

    put in all new facilities, electric, water and sewer, and I doubled the amount of

    sites. Now, the RV park has 75 sites, four small cabins and two larger ones. I also went back to the KOA franchise because they are the best in the business. The KOA association was dropped by the former owners in the 90s. Now we have KOAs highest rating, and we earned the Woodalls campground guides five-dia-mond award.

    Q: What do you like abou

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