Kight column: A look back on this historical year of the coronavirus pandemic |

Kight column: A look back on this historical year of the coronavirus pandemic

It’s About Time column

Bill Kight
It's About Time

As we ready ourselves for the holiday season and head toward a new year, how do we view 2020 in our rearview mirror?

Personally, I feel extremely fortunate and most grateful to still dwell on this amazing planet. Having survived the ’Rona without being admitted to the hospital, or worse, gives me good reason to be thankful for this past year. But that’s not all.

To continue leading an important nonprofit through difficult times and into the future brightens the joy that’s already in my heart.

It is one thing to believe that challenging and chaotic times bring great opportunity—and quite another to shepherd that opportunity through reality and toward an uncertain future.

Being able to work from home this spring as the worldwide pandemic intensified became a blessing. Without all the busy-ness and disruptions of a customary working day at the office, my production increased and we were able to pursue and secure new funding and more.

Opportunity to keep the historical society afloat while the Frontier Museum was closed came in the form of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP for short.

After retiring from government service, filling out paperwork is usually about as much fun for me as a tooth extraction. But with the help of Reynolds Accounting, Rescue Bookkeeping, Alpine Bank’s John Stelzriede and his excellent team, the application was successfully completed in time, with the possibility of loan forgiveness available by adhering to the set conditions.

As this funding ran out in the summer and the pandemic continued unabated, the city of Glenwood Springs and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association provided relief for downtown organizations like ours. This covered our utilities for a few months.

When Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (C.A.R.E.S. Act) funds became available we applied for help through Colorado Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities and received grant funds.

Because our facilities are used by the public for research, we were able to use the award to replace our microfilm machine that crashed a few months before. Now, we’re back in service with an even better microfilm reader and scanner.

Once again, we and the public have access to our 250 microfilm reels of Glenwood Springs newspapers, some of which date back to the late 1800s.

As we redo our website, we plan on making our microfilm collection available online, and we’re scanning each reel as time permits.

In the fall our board of directors were facing the fact that we would not be able to have our biggest fundraiser, the Linwood Cemetery Ghostwalk, live and in-person at the cemetery.

Caring community members came to our rescue to help us with a live-streaming video production: Christian Henny, General Manager of the Hotel Colorado; Chris Tribble and crew of Versatile Productions and the True Media Foundation; Shelly Evans of the Community Health Initiative and Bob Young of the J. Robert Young Foundation.

To say we are all in this together during the pandemic may seem rather lame to some folks. Not me. What about you?

Are you interested in helping the Glenwood Springs Historical Society? If the answer is yes, become a member. Member benefits include access, by appointment, to our archives, photo collection (including at least one electronic copy of a photo of your choice), newspaper microfilm collection and admission to the Frontier Museum and Doc Holliday Collection at no cost.

By supporting the historical society, you help us keep Glenwood, our region and our nation’s rich history alive.

We are always in need of members who want the opportunity to look among the mysterious depths of the basement and do hands-on work with our archives. Looking through our photos is one of my favorite things to do at the museum and you might really like it, too.

Interested? Call 970-945-4448 or email

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