Bugscuffle Ranch SEASON 1968
Howdy Folks! Let me sit down here a minute and catch my breath before I start working again! There's a few things I got to figger out—first thing is "how am I doing?" Fine! Fit as a fiddle and raring to go!
Here we are in the middle of another season—hip-pocket deep in visitors from all parts of the world and each season seems to be bigger and better than ever! Gosh! We have been here at Bug scuffle a long time. It seems that only yesterday a bright-eyed boy with his rosy cheeked bride chugged up rocky old Rattlesnake hill in a second hand model T Ford, which gave its last wheeze and expired on this spot-here we camped and never got any farther—so here I am—the last of a happy family.
That was 51 years ago—the lad was filled with a burning desire to study, explore and place on canvas the secrets of the new Rocky Mountain National Park and during the years following has worked as hard as any hard-rock miner wresting these secrets from the hills—studying them in all their moods day and night—the year around—summer and winter—sunshine and shadow—heat and cold—storms and calm and after 51 years of study is gradually discovering the secrets of painting them.
The year's showing of new paintings is by far the finest yet and each day the old beat- up "studio-in-the-woods" of the hillbilly painter is crowded with visitors from all parts of the world to inspect his work and many are calling it good—the visiting hours are 10-12 a.m. and 2-5 p.m. Admission is free to all—art lovers are always welcome.
Well, let's get to figuring where we stand—we're alive, hale and hearty, our hard work didn't harm us, but made us tough as a boot!
'We're here and alive and as our good Indian friend Charlie Eagle Plume quoted "While you are alive good things and bad things happen to you—when you are dead nothing happens"—Well here we are and have just passed the wonderful age of 81—a goal we never hoped in our wildest dreams to reach so watch our work from here on!
What contributions have we given to our community? We have certainly tried in every way to help raise this little village from a small settlement to a beautiful mountain town—we have worked hard and 'given freely of our time and small wealth to all civic efforts.
Let's suppose a' case! If a person were able to make thousands of bill-boards which shouted the slogan, "Estes Park Region is beautiful, visit it" and placed them in all parts of the nation and practically through the world and made them so beautiful that all would enjoy and protect them for a hundred years and place them in the most prominent places in their home, such a person would certainly be a civic benefactor in a big way—all this we have done thru our painting of this region—we have made and disposed of thousands and have given away many more than we have ever sold. In fact we have sold them for prices so low that we have barely recovered the price to buy more materials for more work and a few groceries to keep up our strength to do our work—so I guess we need apologize to no one for our stay here. We have been and still are doing our bit for our community.
Well what now? That's easy—get our second wind and take a new start. People often ask "Mr. Stirling, how old are you?" "Heck, I say, I'm not old at all, but I have been young a long time." Of course I am proud of the fact that I have lived 81 years and get a greater kick out of life every day—for I have lived to become the richest man in the state of Colorado—richest in friends scattered into all parts of the nation, richest in the happiness we get from just being alive in a great land. Money? We have very little and want little, then we don't have to worry about it.
We like people, especially children for their future is before them, we love the elders for they know the meaning of life, our special peeve is against 1he stuffy band of old folks aged from 40 to 60 who think they have the world by the tail and are in the driver's seat.
So—here we are—This year we are free and start new with the elders—having completely skipped a hide-bound middle age my buddies and I will show you a new breed of oldsters- we are young in heart and can't find any law against being happy and enjoying life in our declining years! So stand aside, you hide-bound middle age old folks and watch our smoke from here to the finish.
Too many people retire and stand around waving at old Father Time saying, “Here I am come and get me”. Well, when the old gent with the scythe and whiskers catches up with this guy, he will be puffing and blowing and will say "Gosh almighty boy, you sure led me a merry chase.
So we catch our breath and take a new start and we invite our friends to stand on the sidelines and watch a good old man do his stuff—come up and see us. First stop inside Fall River Gateway, Rocky Mountain National Park.
DAVE STIRLING D. F. A.; D.Aesc