I believe this tops all years as the most meager collection of Hazen history ever—and absolutely the most delinquent in getting The Hazen Herald published. Here it is June of 2006 and I am just now putting 2005 behind me! Usually I am done and have it mailed by December 15. I can claim laziness; but I guess since this is an historic family document, I must tell the absolute, unrestricted, irrefutable, unequivocal, unquestionable, incontrovertible truth. It’s hard, though, I mean, telling THIS truth. I have thought of many different ways to say it—I mean write it—but nothing is better than just being blunt. Right? Just spit it out, Rene’e! So rather than trying to cover up for myself admitting inexcusable and deliberate, pre-meditated procrastination, I have decided to just gut it. Lay it on the line. Tell it like it is. Just say it. Cough it up. Paint the picture. Play the cards. Don’t beat around the bush. Speak my peace. Get it over with. No hem-hawing. No dawdling. Slap it on the table. Spill my guts. YaknowwhatImean? So, without furthering that ado thing (Shakespeare somebody) I regret allthewaydowntomytoes to inform you that I was in prison for over a year. Now, in my defense, you need to know that running a lodge is not easy. I mean, there are many facets to the business that most people just don’t give a second thought to, or just take for granted. Like the full service thing. Go the extra mile. The customer is always right. Always entertain. Please the guest. But occasionally there are complications and circumstances that arise that really do cause an unbelievable amount of stress for the owner/manager, which in this case is moi. (Answering to the United States Forest Service on leased land probably causes an eensy-teensy-weensy bit of the stress!) So here it is….My prison term of only 90 days had nearly come to an end. I went before the parole board and tripped over my shoe lace (the low-top sneaker tied to the other ankle). When I bent down to tie it, I (accidentallyandverymuchnotonpurposecrossmyheartIdidn’tmeanit) passed a little gas. Well…. not really a little….. It wouldn’t have been half bad if I had just done the usual and pointed my finger and blamed it on that fat, sweaty-faced, hound-dog-looking guy with the coarse nose hairs hanging just above his saliva-spitting lips, but instead, I started laughing— just a giggle at first—a little tee-hee. And then I started really thinking about it all…it was so funny, ya know! Here I was in this serious, messy predicament, with these pompous, high-folutin’, highly educated, never-pick-your-nose-in-public people who were judging ME! just for such a silly little crime, that I just couldn’t control myself. My tee-hees became all-out guttural guffaws. You should have seen their faces! That one lady with the lop-sided-not-so-true-to-life synthetic pathetic wig and crimson red puffy pimpled cheeks looked like she had just had a pencil stuck up her nose which made it even funnier and I tried eversohard really I did to stop the giggles but what I thought could have been a lady at the other end of the table with the porcupine eyebrows and rather generous black mustache acted like I had hatched a disease or something ‘cuz her eyes started to water and she covered her nose and started gasping like she was smelling a ruptured gas line or a 2-day old road kill or something. And, oh, mercy, I just couldn’t stop myself. I started laughing even HARDER—and of course, you know what that did—you guessed it! HERE CAME ANOTHER ONE, FOLKS! I thought the hound dog would have a coronary right there behind that desk. When he lifted his 380 pound body off that chair… HE tooted!! I fell to the floor unable to muster even the teensiest bit of mannerly composure. He was mortified, of course, and maa-aad! Boy, was he mad! And when he started shouting at me and pointing his finger and yelling for me to stop laughing, his hound-doggy face started flapping back and forth like that gaggle hangy-down thingy on a turkey when it gets its beak stuck in a light socket or something. The pimply-cheek broad stood up and accidentally knocked over her water pitcher and honest-to-goodness when she stooped over to pick up the pitcher SHE let a really good one and then she ripped off that very pathetic synthetic wig and threw it across the floor and she tried to speak but only “aw-wk”s came out. That topped it. She looked like a plucked-clean duck that had just swallowed a barbed catfish. Her neck kept twitching like she was choking or something. I was nearly comatose by then. The face of the mister-looking broad started twitching—all out spastically even—totellyouthetruth! She stood at pompous attention with that Roman nose in the air, and dropped her pen and paper, bent over, and well….you can imagine the chaos when SHE letter’rip! A great big one, folks, right there in front of the whole parole board! He/she or whatever it was then yelled a very naughty, very unfeminine, very un-lady-like proclamation—which truly made me think my first impression of him/her was anatomically correct. That did it. I nearly passed out from oxygen deprivation and because I was unable to talk and defend myself, they slapped another 9.5333 unmerciful months to my prison term, and here I am, very delinquent at getting all this history stuff written down for posterity’s sake and all. Anyway, you are probably wondering why I went to prison in the first place. Well, it ain’t pretty, folks. You see, a year ago last February, I moved back to Grand Mesa to start the remodeling of Spruce Lodge. Remodeling Spruce Lodge was mostly a man’s thing. There were plenty of them around—those male kinda people everywhere. Carpenters. Since we had no heat, no water, no plumbing, we had to trek into the wilderness to doo-little. The females were far more modest than the men in the crew taking great precautions so thatkindabusiness was done privately. One afternoon, it was Rene’e’s turn to go…youknowwhatImean. So she counted the men, made sure all were present and inside the lodge. She trekked to the parking lot, double-checked again for any male species, snuck around the 38-foot snow bank, whipped down her pants, squatted, and started peeing. Then—in mid-stream—she looked up…. and there—just in front of her—packed into a 2002almostnewcranberryreddentedontherightfront bumper Honda Accord was a car load of guests who had circled around the snow pile and parked FIVE FEET FROM HER FACE! They were guffawing so hard their car was rocking! Aghast, Rene’e tried to stop the golden-age flow in mid-stream— she stood up—but mid-life post-menapausal kagal blow-out proved to be SO unkind. The waterfall continued in spite of such eversogiveityerall determination. She gave up, squatted again, shrugged, and finished the job. After the mostembarrassingmomentofher life, the owner of the lodge pulled up her drawers and meandered eversoslowly over to her potential guests, and spoke calmly and very professionally, “Good afternoon, folks. Please pass the word that we do all we can to make your experience here at Spruce Lodge exciting, oneofakind, truly memorable, quite unique, and unbelievably entertaining.” They howled (!) and politely asked if I would do it all over again for a Kodak moment. It could have been worse, folks—the car could have been filled with those MALE kinda humans! What? Oh! I’m sorry….The jail thing?? Oh, yes. I almost forgot. Well, asIwassaying just around the corner of the lodge came the U.S. District Forest Ranger! It was a male kind of ranger….and he wasn’t happy. He whipped out his ticket book and commenced to write me a CITATION! I asked him whatthehay for, and he curtly said, “Lady, I’ve seen a lot of crimes in my day. But never have I seen such a deliberate case of illegal dumping! There has been spillage here of top secret material and I am citing you for failing to install proper drainage, failing to wait for the proper permits to dispose of toxic waste, failing to initiate an EPA study, and failing to notify us about uncontrollable leakage. You are hereby fined $1000, and you’re going straight to prison!” ♫♪ Que Será, Será ♪♫ What more can I say? Well, OK, then! THE END!