JULY 23, 1954
NEW YORK, Thursday—Here I am back in New York after a very brief vacation in Colorado. But no vacation is entirely a vacation for me, because I am always thinking of what might be of interest to put in this column. So, I think I shall tell you a little about this trip!
I left last Friday by the afternoon plane for Denver, and found on arriving there that it was not very much cooler than it had been in New York.
We here in the East sometimes think we are in the only area that is concerned about its water supply, but in Denver every person is rationed! The drought has been so bad that they welcome a little sprinkle as though it were a deluge. And we had such a small shower soon after I arrived. But, of course, it could do nothing really for the farm conditions, which are absolutely at the disaster point for many of the farmers.
Some of the ranchers have been forced to sell all their cattle because they cannot feed them. I heard of one man who is trying to arrange to send his cattle all the way to Montana because the conditions in neighboring Wyoming are almost as bad as in Colorado.
The few people I talked to on the night I reached Denver were rather gloomy. The next morning at breakfast, however, the head of the Burlington Railroad, on which I was to travel to Glenwood Springs, visited me and seemed most cheerful and was very kind. He wished me an enjoyable trip on the line's wonderful Vista Dome train.
This train takes a very scenic route, and for anyone who has never been to this part of our country it is a great experience to see it in this way. I sat at lunch with a gentleman who was taking his wife for the first time to the West, and even though she was evidently not too easy a traveler she was most impressed with the view from the train and was getting a marvelous opportunity to see the country.
In Glenwood Springs I was met by my son, Elliott, and his wife, Minnewa, and my granddaughter, Chandler. We had a wonderful family reunion, all talking hard as we drove to their ranch about 20 miles beyond Meeker. This part of Colorado is a little more fortunate because a great deal of the land is irrigated, so you have green fields and fairly good pasture.
My son sold his cattle last year, practically every head, at a very low price. Of course, he suffered a loss, as did most of the farmers who had to sell to regain some capital and prevent greater losses. I think, though, they are learning a great deal about what they need to do out here, and they certainly have wonderful hay fields this year.
Even in some of the surrounding country, however, you find a farmer doing dry farming and a large part of his fields are burned up, which means much loss to him.
I was very glad to learn while I was in the colorful state that the governor of Colorado with the Colorado Congressional delegation was successful in getting drought relief from the Federal government. That will be a big help to many people in the area.