COBWEB CORNERS: On the lookout for stories
By Mel McFarland
I have mentioned that I often get stories from my editor's curiosity. In addition, I've mentioned hearing story ideas at some of our area's fine eating establishments, but as this newspaper gets more popular it has taken a new wrinkle!
Some of my favorite people are the thousands of tourists I meet every day (as a conductor on the Cog Railway). The number of stories that appear here because one of them wondered about some tidbit of our history outnumbers all the rest. We have hundreds of interesting stories about our history. Most of these have never been heard outside of this or that family. Those are the tales that I love to tell. I have several books in my library about the unusual history we have. My sister recently gave me one as a present. In going through it, I was pleased to see some familiar tales. I even found stories of Pike's Peak! The tourists may have heard a few basic stories about the mountain, but it would take a big book to cover the best ones.
When I sit in a local bright spot looking over a few story ideas, I always keep an ear tuned in for local color. I often find myself answering questions about local events and history when someone asks a waitress a question about our town. With my picture on this page, I find that occasionally people right away know who I am, but the tourists may not recognize me unless they ride on my train later! During a recent breakfast out, I spotted familiar faces around me. People at several tables in the place were readers of these pages.
During my time there, I heard bits of several conversations, but nothing to distract my attention from the story I was already working on. During the meal, greetings were passed, and comments about recent stories were shared. It is always great to learn that these columns actually get read by many of you. The highlight of the morning was when a comment, "Don't write that story," was heard.
You never know where I might turn up, gathering bits of our history. You never know when an interesting comment might start a story. Well, guess what. This is that story!