It’s About Time: Ghost walk stays alive, virtually | PostIndependent.com
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It’s About Time: Ghost walk stays alive, virtually

Bill Kight
It’s About Time
Bill Kight

This year things are (fill in the blank). No words are adequate to describe what dance we are dancing these days as the tune seems to keep changing. We are all trying to adapt by making it up as we go along.

All the more reason to take solace in history … really. The Glenwood Springs Historical Society will be presenting a chance to do just that. Not to paint a false feel-good fantasy Pollyanna picture, but to turn on a light to the past, to see how relevant the lessons of history are for us today.

To paraphrase what Gloria Steinem said last month on the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment: “There is history and there is the past. They are not the same.”

Hold that thought.

In 2019 the annual Linwood Cemetery Ghost Walk was successfully brought back, by popular demand, after a year hiatus. We are not about to have another year without it, not if Clara Miller has anything to say about it.

Clara proposed the idea of a virtual Ghost Walk so as not to endanger anyone during the pandemic. The board of directors agreed. We asked master videographer Chris Tribble of Versatile Productions and True Media Foundation to help us pull it off.

We don’t have all the details worked out yet. But this much I know about Chris: he is trustworthy, and he prioritizes community. He could take on a more profitable project, but he agreed to help us because this annual fall tradition is important to him.

For years, Chris has helped young people through the True Media Foundation learn to be self-confident enough to stand and deliver using media to tell their story. The respect shown to Northern Ute Elder Clifford Duncan, being interviewed by his crew of young people, was commendable.

The power of caring is so needed in our world today. But caring without action is meaningless. As my Oklahoma-loving Aunt May would say, “Ya gotta put feets to your prayers.”

I have seen Chris in action. He loves his community, and he loves his craft. Thank you, Chris.

Isn’t that what the Ghost Walk is really about, communicating history in such a way as to make it come alive? Real. Genuine stuff. Stranger than fiction. Our volunteers perform at the graveside of the character they represent; you couldn’t make their stories up.

We need the community’s help to pull this off. Clara is rounding up the ghosts and scheduling filming. Thank you, Mike Miller, for coming out of retirement to be Kid Curry, aka Harvey Logan, killer and the meanest member of the Hole in the Wall Gang.

My job is to stir up the pot. The Glenwood Historical Society’s survival as a nonprofit is at stake. The Ghost Walk is the organization’s only fundraiser in 2020.

The funds from the PPP loan with the Small Business Administration through Alpine Bank ran out months ago. We furloughed our archivist. We received a city grant from the Chamber and a CARES grant through Colorado Humanities to make it to Oct. 31.

We are grateful to grantors, volunteers, members, sponsors and visitors who have made it possible for us to keep the doors of the Frontier Museum open through the summer. Many businesses have not been as fortunate.

Now, with a grant from the J. Robert Young Foundation and the artistry of Chris Tribble, we will be using technology to step into the future, so we aren’t left in the past.

Remember: What’s different from the past? It’s the history we’re after.

Can we count on you to tune in to the virtual Ghost Walk and to contribute as generously as you have in the past? Stay tuned. As we work out the details, we will keep you posted.

Bill Kight is the executive director of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society and writes a monthly column about history as well as contributes to Our Living History video series on the PI web page. He can be reached at 970-945-4448 or history@rof.net.


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