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Colorado Country Life Magazine Pages 12-15: February Edition 2016

December 17, 2015

Sisterhood of the traveling quilt
After 85 years, family heirloom finally laid to rest

by Malia Durbano

When Charlotte Pirnat, of Durango, set out to pick up the pieces of her family history, she did so quite literally. Pirnat, 67, an accomplished quilter, recently finished a quilt started by her grandmother some 85 years ago, not only stitching together the heirloom itself, but a family legacy in the process.

The nearly century long tale of the traveling quilt began in Depression-era north-central Colorado, where an industrious farmer’s wife began work on a new quilt design. That woman was Lavernia Walter-Reid, or Grandma Lavernia, as she became known to her granddaughters, Charlotte and her sister, Rebecca “Becca” Paulson. However, Lavernia – who had a reputation for quality stitching – never completed the project due to arthritis. In the 1970s, a few years before her death, Lavernia passed the unfinished project on to Becca, who, in turn, passed it onto Charlotte.

It was always Charlotte’s intention to complete the quilt and return it to her sister, but life, as it often does, got in the way. Busy with her career, which included 10 years as executive director of Tri-County Head Start in Durango, Charlotte retired two years ago and began working on the quilt in earnest in October 2014. Finally, this fall, Charlotte completed the project and returned it during a surprise visit to Becca, who lives in Loveland.
Click here to
Shantelle Pierce

Durango Living Magazine: Durango Living Feb 2014 (Starting on page 9)

Durango Living Magazine Pages 9-17: Holiday Edition 2012

Durango Living Magazine Pages 6-11: Spring Edition 2012

Durango Living Magazine Pages 10-27: Fall Edition 2012

Durango Living Magazine Pages 6-11: Holiday Edition 2011

Arts Perspective Studio Pages 24-25: Fall Edition 2011

Durango Living Magazine Interviews Pages 10-15: Durango Living Holiday 2010

Volume 9, No. 35, September 2, 2010

A diverse Durango
The local melting pot opens to all comers

by Malia Durbano

Jenny Martinez is a second-generation resident of Durango. She remembers the ’60s, when the only local diversity was which side of town you lived on – the east side or the “other side.” The east side was mostly Latino, and the “other side” was middle class white. “Back then, the neighborhoods were really segregated,” she said “Now, it’s so mixed, I love it! Now we all just live and play together. Durango has grown so much.”

Preliminary U.S. Census Bureau numbers validate the growing diversity of our population, though the final tally from the 2010 Census won’t be available until next February or March. Determining the breakdown of population is achieved by a systematic and scientific formula, according to Pat Rodriguez, Government Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau in the Denver Region.
Click here to

A Diverse Durango
People of all stripes walk down Main Avenue early this week. As Durango grows, the city is becoming increasingly diverse and attracting residents from all corners of the world. Durangoans with roots ranging from India and Nepal to the Bronx and Front Range agree that the community’s spirit has kept them here./
Photo by Stephen Eginoire

Volume 9, No. 31, August 5, 2010

The gift of cycling
Local woman shares L-O-V-E with victims of abuse

by Malia Durbano

Michael Engleman, coach for the U.S. Women’s Cycling Development Program, made a difference in the life of local cyclist Shantelle Pierce, and now she’s paying it forward.

Pierce raced BMX bikes as a young girl and then competed on mountain bikes in college. As a member of Engleman’s team, Pierce, who earns her living as a physical therapist, noticed fellow team members getting hurt in some fairly serious crashes. “I decided the sport was too dangerous and the risks were too high,” she said. “I can’t afford to get hurt.” When Pierce left the team, Engleman gave her her gear.

Pierce, who now has a physical therapy practice in Aztec and regularly rides with the Durango Wheel Club, grew up in Farmington no stranger to domestic violence. Not long ago, she woke up at 3 a.m. with the spark of an idea that would grow beyond her comprehension. “I reflected on how wonderful it felt to be the recipient of Engleman’s generosity,” she said. “Growing up in an abusive household, having someone do something nice for you was a new experience.” Click here to read more...
Shantelle Pierce
Former competitive cyclist Shantelle Pierce stands with her road bike in Durango on Tuesday. Now a physical therapist in Aztec, Pierce has started L-O-V-E, a grassroots effort that give bikes to women and children who have been victims of domestic violence. The women and kids, many of whom have never ridden a bike, gain a new sense of freedom and empowerment from cycling. /Photo by Stephen Eginoire

Volume 9, No. 23, June 10, 2010

The new Windy City?
Turbulent weather blows into the Southwest

by Malia Durbano

If you watch water coming to a boil on the stove, little bubbles will rise to the surface around the edges as if nothing is really happening. Turn up the heat just a little, and the bubbles get bigger and move faster, with more agitation and intensity.

According to many scientists, our atmospheric system is in such a “hydrologic cycle” with water, vapor and energy responding to the increase in heat from the Earth just like a pot of water on the stove. And this boiling point has made for increasingly windy years around the Four Corners.

The heat radiated from the Earth used to slip out into space. But with greenhouse gasses trapping this energy in the lower atmosphere, weather conditions have intensified, and gusty conditions locally are one symptom
of changing climactic times. Click here to

Old Glory, Durango CO
High winds push on Old Glory in downtown Durango recently. The local increase in gusty weather can be directly attributed to global warming, according to climatologists.
/Photo by Stephen Eginoire

Volume 9, No. 19, May 13, 2010

The music business
Local musicians and venues struggle with challenging times

by Malia Durbano

Sad songs are becoming increasingly common on stages around Durango. In spite of an abundance of musical talent and live music options, fans appear to be giving shows a pass, leaving Durango’s musicians and venues singing the blues.

A Fort Lewis College adjunct professor, swing band leader and private music teacher, Jeff Solon has done it all, and he’s no stranger to local stages. He regularly joins bandmates at Mutu’s, Cyprus Café and Sweeney’s in the summer on the deck. The swing band plays weddings, private parties and fund-raisers. The Jeff Solon Swing Band was also making a name for itself with its monthly Swing Dance – that is until this month. Click here to read more...
The Rowdy Shade House Funk Band
The Rowdy Shade House Funk Band gets down before a partial house at the Summit. Difficult economic times are spilling over into the local world of entertainment, and musicians and venues are finding fewer fans in the audience./Photo by Stephen Eginoire
Science of Mind  Magazine
Dance of Life


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