Vail Connects Artist & Artisan Coop

Vail Connects, Vail’s Main Street Program and The Vail Preservation Society are organizing an Artist and Artisan Cooperative. The goal is to unite artists and artisans, promote the arts and place making within the greater Vail area. The group will meet monthly on the third Thursday of the month except for June, November and December.

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The Cooperative already includes individuals whose skills encompass; painting, woodworking, photography, pottery, needlework, papercutting, computer design, found-art and music. Members of the Co-op will have the opportunity to give something back to the Vail community by participating in workshops to share with and nurture others with similar interests, and to develop ways to support the sale and display of locally produced works.  As the group develops, other areas will be explored. The Co-op will hold a juried Artist/Artisan Fair at this year’s ‘Tis the Season event on December 3, 2016.

If you live within the Vail School District boundaries, and are interested in becoming part of the Vail Connects Co-op, contact Neal Lutyens at or the Vail Preservation Society (VPS) at Look for the Co-op page on the VPS website at: The Vail Preservation Society is proud to support the work of local artists and artisans.

Sometimes a Woman’s Life Doesn’t Get Easier, But Laughter Can Help Make It Through

One hundred years ago, women, were bound to home as caretakers of children, livestock, garden, and endless chores. For most, it was a hardscrabble life with little relief. When there was no work for their husbands, life became even harder. It was 1922 and four year old Belin’s father had no work. She watched curiously as he carefully spread a tablecloth, given to him by his wife Chonita, on the floor of their small adobe and tin home near the railroad tracks in Vail. Placing a few well-chosen items on the cloth he then drew up the four corners and explained to his little girl that he would be gone for a while. There just wasn’t any work to be found near Vail. He would catch the next train, and return as soon as he could. Things would get better when he found work.  He gave her a kiss and waited near the tracks to flag down the train.

Belin and her cousin sat on the railroad tie outside the door of their adobe. She watched as her father got on board, and waved as the train disappeared over the horizon. Each day when it was time for the train, the two girls returned to the railroad tie outside the door to watch, wave, and wait. No letters, no word at all. No one knew what had happened.  Life didn’t get easier.  After years of waiting, her mother decided her husband must have died. Chonita finally remarried and started a new chapter of her life.  Ten years passed before the train brought Belin’s father home to many changes that couldn’t be undone. Life still was not easier.

A few years later, the family was living in a tent. When it would rain Belin’s mother would say, “If you get wet, just let me know.” To Belin, it seemed like there was always a drip. One night during an especially hard rain, at about 2:00 in the morning, the drips started. Belin moved from one side to the other, but could not escape the drips. Finally, she woke her mother to tell her she was getting wet. Her mother’s response was “Pay no mind to it.” Belin thought perhaps she had just been waiting to tell her that. In the morning when Belin asked her mother about it she just laughed and laughed. Life was still not easier, but laughter must have helped Chonita make it through.

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J.J. Lamb