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New Carbondale book is a real name dropper

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By Lynn Burton

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

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If you’ve never seen your name in print, or even if you have, check out “Memoirs of a River … Up the Crystal, Vol. 2,” by Charlotte Graham, which concentrates on Carbondale.

A small sample from the index includes: Augie and Donna Natal, Charlie Moore, Terry McShane, Mark Luttrell, Anita Witt, Rebecca Young, Randy Vanderhurst, Karen Tafejian, Roy Rickus, Meredith Ogilby, Wick Moses, John Foulkrod, Rose Le Van and Annemarie Zanca, plus pioneers such as Jasper Ward, Myron Thompson and Eugene Grubb.

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Graham devotes pages to what she calls “characters” and gives mentions to dozens of residents who are living and those who have passed on. Her previous book, “Memoirs of a River … Up the Crystal Vol. 1” contained somewhat of an index that she herself put together. This time she hired professional indexer Deanna Butler, the granddaughter of the late David and Shirley Thompson of Redstone. It turns out finding an indexer was a little bit of a story itself. Graham and Doug Whitney were caretaking the Thompson house last winter after Shirley died, when she learned their granddaughter was a professional. “She asked me how many pages I wanted, and I told her ‘Do what you need to do.’” The result is an index with items ranging from current and past blacksmiths of Carbondale in the “B” section (Bill Smith, John Hoffmann and the Pattison family) to the Coal Basin mine.

Most of Vol. 1 was a compilation of monthly columns Graham wrote in the Crystal Valley Echo starting in 2007. Most of Vol. 2 comes from interviews and research.

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Easy to talk to and down to earth, Graham said she doesn’t tell her subjects she wants to interview them. “I don’t tell them I want to interview them … I ask if I can come over and visit a bit.”

Weaving in and out of the people, places, events and organizations from the past 128 years, Graham clears up things not generally known or answers questions such as “Where did Dolores Way” get its name? Answer: Deloris June Hook Hinkey of Satank.

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“Memoirs of a River … Vol. 2” will be available at the Carbondale Mountain Fair Valley Artists Booth all weekend. She’ll also sign books at the booth at 6 p.m. on Friday, and at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Published in The Sopris Sun on July 23, 2015. 

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