1962 - 2012
1962 - 2012
Voters Approve formation of Grand River Hospital District to provide local health services
Clagett Memorial Hospital Hospital opens
E. Dene Moore Care Center opens
Clagett Memorial Hospital expands to accommodate increased patient volume
Grand River Hopsital District holds mortgage burning party
Grand River Medical Clinic becomes a service of Grand River Hosptial District
Grand River Rehabilitation Center is opened in downtown Rifle to alleviate space constraints at Clagett Memorial Hospital
Battlement Mesa Medical Center becomes a new service offered by Grand River Hospital District when St. Mary's decides to no longer operate clinic
Grand River Hospital and Medical Center is opened at 501 Airport Road in Rifle, replacing Clagett Memorial Hospital, Grand River Rehabilitation Center and Grand River Medical Clinic
Grand River Health and Safety Center is opened in Battlement Mesa to accommodate rehabilitation and occupational health services
Employees gather to sign the final beam to be set on new Medical Office Building
Grand River opens new medical office building which houses Grand River Primary Care, Grand River Conference Center and Grand River Physical Therapy, featuring a therapy pool and activities of daily living unit.
Time Capsule is placed in New Medical Office Building, current staff gathers for photo to be placed in the capsule.
Grand River Student Health Center is opened in Parachute to serve the students of Garfield County School District 16
Grand River is first in the nation to place order for 3D Tomosynthesis from Hologic. First in Colorado to begin using this breakthrough technology to aid in early detection of breast cancer
First Oral Polio Vaccine
First Hip Replacement
First Artificial Heart
First vaccine for measles
First Liver transplant
First Lung Transplant
First commercial ultrasound
First successful human heart translpant
First vaccine for mumps
Testing began for Computed Tomography (CT or CAT Scans)
It saved its first life while still in development, when a pediatric neurosurgeon used it one weekend while Ledley was off-duty
First vaccine for chicken pox
Retin-A, a cream used to treat acne and superficial wrinkles
First vaccine for pneumonia
First test-tube baby is born in the U.K.
First vaccine for meningitis
W.H.O. (World Health Organization) announces smallpox is eradicated
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Scanner Introduced
First vaccine for hepatitis B is Licensed by the FDA
Dr. William DeVries implants the Jarvik-7 artificial heart into patient Barney Clark. Clark lives 112 days
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is identified
First vaccine for hepatitis A.
Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell
Digital X-rays introduced
First vaccine for lyme disease
Viagra on the Market
Scientists discover how to use human skin cells to create embryonic stem cells.
FDA's Panel Recommends Approval Of Hologic's Selenia 3D Mammography system
Cuban Missile Crisis
Marilyn Monroe Found Dead
Andy Warhol Exhibits His Campbell's Soup Can
Martin Luther King Jr. Makes His "I Have a Dream" Speech
Beatles appear on Ed sullivan show
Cassius Clay (a.k.a. Muhammad Ali) Becomes World Heavyweight Champion
Civil Rights Act Passes in U.S.
Hasbro Launches GI Joe Action Figure
Nelson Mandela Sentenced to Life in Prison
New York City Great Blackout
Malcolm X Assassinated
Los Angeles Riots
U.S. Sends Troops to Vietnam
Mass Draft Protests in U.S.
First Super Bowl
Three U.S. Astronauts Killed During Simulated Launch
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis
Robert F. Kennedy is fatally shot in Los Angeles having winning the California Democratic presidential primary
The Apollo Eight completes a flight around the moon at year's end.
Neil Armstrong Lands on the Moon
Senator Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopecne plunge off Chappaquiddick bridge. Kopecne does not survive
The Manson Murders shocked the nation
Computer Floppy Disks Introduced
Kent State Shootings
London Bridge Brought to the U.S.
The first attempt for the Christo Valley Curtain. A 400-meter long cloth stretched across Rifle Gap by artists Christ and Jeanne-Claude
Mark Spitz Wins Seven Gold Medals
Pocket Calculators Introduced
Terrorists Attack at the Olympic Games in Munich
Watergate Scandal Begins
Paul Getty Kidnapped
Sears Tower Built
U.S. Pulls Out of Vietnam
U.S. Vice President Resigns
The Rifle Bears Football Teams wins their 2nd State Championship 8-6 over Yuma (first State Championship was in 1961 over Louisville)
Eisenhower Tunnel is built between the Continental Divide
Mikhail Baryshnikov Defects
Patty Hearst Kidnapped
U.S. President Nixon Resigns
Arthur Ashe First Black Man to Win Wimbledon
Pol Pot Becomes the Communist Dictator of Cambodia
First Ebola Virus Outbreaks
North and South Vietnam Join to Form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Blackout hits New York City
Non Smokers win court battle with Eastern Airlines which required Eastern to have at least 65% non smoking seats
The space shuttle Enterprise, sitting atop a Boeing 747, went on its maiden flight above the Mojave Desert
Senate Gives Canal Back to Panama In 1999
900 Jim Jones Temple Cult Members Die In Murder Suicide In Guyana
Accident At 3-Mile Island Pa., nuclear Plant Threatens Area
Voyager sends photos of Jupiter
Vietnam Takes Over Cambodia
Carter Severs Diplomatic Ties To Iran. Khomeini Militants Hold Hostages
US Olympic Committee Votes To Boycott Moscow Summer Games
125,000 Cuban Refugees Released By Castro Arrive In Miami
Failed U.S. Rescue Attempt to Save Hostages in Tehran
Washington Volcano Mount Saint Helen Erupts
Iraq Invades Iran
John Lenon Assassinated In New York
Pac-Man Video Game Released
1st ever Rifle Chamber Chili Cook-Off Competition
Assassination Attempt on U.S. President Reagan
Assassination Attempt on the Pope
First Woman Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court
Prince Charles and Princess Diana are married
Walkway At Kansas City's Hyatt Regency Collapses, 111 Die
New Plague Identified as AIDS
Personal Computers (PC) Introduced by IBM
The Colony Oil Shale project came to a sudden and dramatic halt, a day that will always be remembers as Black Sunday in Rifle.
Vietnam War Memorial Opened in Washington, DC
Reagan Announces Defense Plan Called Star Wars
Sally Ride Becomes the First American Woman in Space
Soviets Shoot Down a Korean Airliner
U.S. Embassy in Beirut Bombed
On a Challenger mission, Navy Capt. Bruce McCandless and Army Lt. Col. Robert Stewart become the first humans to fly free of a spacecraft
The Soviet Union boycotts the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.
TWA Flight 847 is hijacked by Hezbollah. on June 14th
Challenger Space Shuttle Explodes
Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
Ferdinand Marcos Flees the Philippines
Iran-Contra Scandal Unfolds
U.S. Bombs Libya
U.S.S.R. Launches Mir Space Station
DNA First Used to Convict Criminals
New York Stock Exchange Suffers Huge Drop on "Black Monday"
Pan Am Flight 103 Is Bombed Over Lockerbie
U.S. Shoots Down Iranian Airliner
Berlin Wall Falls
Exxon Valdez Spills Millions of Gallons of Oil on Coastline
U.S. President Bush Announces That He Doesn't Like Broccoli
Hubble Telescope Launched Into Space
Nelson Mandela Freed
Operation Desert Storm
Copper Age Man Found Frozen in Glacier
Collapse of the Soviet Union
Official End of the Cold War
Riots in Los Angeles After the Rodney King Verdict
Use of the Internet Grows Exponentially
Cult Compound in Waco, Texas Raided
World Trade Center Bombed
The Colorado Rockies become the first regional major league baseball team
O.J. Simpson Arrested for Double Murder
Nelson Mandela Elected President of South Africa
Channel Tunnel Opens, Connecting Britain and France
Oklahoma City Bombing
Sarin Gas Attack in Tokyo Subway
Mad Cow Disease Hits Britain
Two Royal Divorces
Hale-Bopp Comet Visible
Hong Kong Returned to China
Pathfinder Sends Back Images of Mars
Princess Diana Dies in Car Crash
President Clinton Impeached
India and Pakistan Test Nuclear Weapons
Killing Spree at Columbine High School
Fear of Y2K Bug
The Euro the New European Currency
JFK Jr. Dies in Plane Accident
NATO Attacks Serbia
Panama Canal Returns to Panama
911 Terrorist Attacks
An American businessman is admitted to the Vietnam France Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam with the first identified case of SARS.
Martha Stewart and her broker are indicted for using privileged investment information and then obstructing a federal investigation. Stewart also resigns as chairperson and chief executive officer of Martha Stewart Living.
US Troops invade Iraq
Explosion of Space Shuttle Columbia
Saddam Hussein Captured
Asian countries from Indonesia to India were deluged by an enormous tsunami after a 9.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It was the third strongest earthquake ever measured, and the ensuing tidal wave killed more than 230,000 people
The Rifle Bear's Football Team wins their 3rd State Championship verse Sterling 7-6.
Hurricane Katrina strikes the Gulf Coast
Arsonist Robin Jay Clifton sets 4 fires to buildings within Rifle, including then Rifle Fireside Lanes Bowling Alley and Rifle Amoco Service Station
Nintendo releases the Wii
The population of the United States reaches the milestone of three hundred million, taking only forty-two years to gain one hundred million people since the two hundredth million person was added in 1964.
Nintendo releases the Wii
The first iPhone was introduced by Apple
The Madoff investment scandal broke in December 2008 when former NASDAQ chairman Bernard Madoff admitted that the wealth management arm of his business was an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
Swine flu pandemic Declared by WHO
Lockerbie Bomber released
The Gulf of Mexico oil-spill disaster, caused by a rig explosion, took 11 lives and caused 185 million barrels of crude oil to spill into the waters off Louisiana.
A 7.0 earthquake devastates Haiti
33 miners were rescued a half-mile below the earth's surface after survived underground for a record 69 days after a mining collapse
Apple founder Steve Jobs Dies
US brings Troops home from Iraq
Grand River celebrates 50 years of delivering healthcare to our communities!
Marcus Welby M.D.
Number 1 Song of the Year: Mr. Acker Bilk – "Stranger On The Shore"
Academy Award winning Best Picture: "Lawrence of Arabia"
Sesame Street First Airs
#1 Song of the Year: Roberta Flack – "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
Academy Award winning Best Picture: "The Godfather"
M*A*S*H T.V. Show Premiers
Rocky receives an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture
Best New Artist of the Year Starland Vocal Band
Star Wars Movie Released
E.T. Movie Released
Michael Jackson Releases Thriller
#1 Song of the Year: Olivia Newton-John – "Physical"
Academy Award winning Best Picture: "Gandhi".
"Doogie Howser M.D." first premiered on TV
"Rescue 911" first premiered on TV
Academy Award winning Best Picture: "Unforgiving"
#1 Song of the Year: Boys II Men – "End of the Road"
Forrest Gump receives an Academy Award for Best Picture
Los Del Rio's – "Macarena" is the #1 Song of the Year
Titanic Most Successful Movie Ever .
#1 Song of the Year: Nickelback – "How You Remind Me"
Academy Award winning Best Picture: "Chicago"
#1 Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year: Kenny Chesney
Academy Award winning Best Picture: No Country for Old Men
Average Income per year $5,556.00
Average monthly rent $110.00 per month
Tuition to Harvard University $1,520.00
Average Cost of a new car $3,125.00
Eggs per dozen 32 cents
Gas per Gallon 28 cents
Factory Workers Average Take Home Pay with 3 dependents $94.87
Price of a New Home averaged $18,200
First-Class Stamp, $0.04,
Cost of a gallon of regular gas, $0.31
Cost of a gallon of Milk, $0.49
Average Cost of new house $39,300.00
Average Income per year $14,100.00
Average Monthly Rent $200.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 44 cents
Average cost new car $4,250.00
Foster Grant Sun Glasses $5.00
First class stamp $0.10
In 1980 a new house cost $68,714.00
Average income per year was $19,170.00
Average Monthly Rent $315.00
average cost of new car was $7,210.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.19
Hands Free Operating Car Phone $788
Cheer Laundry Detergent $1.59 19 inch Color TV $399.95
Average Cost of new house $89,330
Median Price Of and Existing Home $75,500
Average Income per year $22,100.00
Average Monthly Rent $375.00
Average Price for new car $9,005.00
1 gallon of gas $1.09
Movie Ticket $2.75
US Postage Stamp 22 cents
Bacon per pound $1.65
Average Cost of new house $123,000.00
Average Income per year $28,960.00
Average Monthly Rent $465.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.34
Cost of a first-class stamp $0.25
IBM PS1 Computer From $999.00 - $1,999.00
Average Cost of new house $113,150.00
Average Income per year $35,900.00
Average Monthly Rent $550.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.09
US Postage Stamp 32 cents
Average cost of new car $15,500.00
Loaf of Bread $2.02
Ground Coffee per pound $4.07
Loaf of Bread $1.15
Dozen Eggs $0.87
Average Cost of new house $134,150.00
Average Income per year $40,343.00
Average Monthly Rent $675.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas $1.26
Average cost of new car $24,750.00
US Postage Stamp 33 cents
1 LB of Bacon $2.97
Ground Coffee per IB $3.44
Loaf of Bread $1.72
Dozen Eggs 89 cents
Barrel Of Oil Tops $17.00 per barrel
Average Cost of new house $297,000.00
Average Median Income $46,326.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas $3.18
Average Cost of new house $232,880.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas $2.73
US Postage Stamp 44 cents
Dozen Eggs $1.37
Loaf of Bread $2.49
Price Of Gold Per Ounce ( August 27th 2010 ) $1,237.00
Price Barrel Of Oil ( August 2010 ) $73.00 per barrel
Cost of a gallon of Gas $!!.!!
The Clagett Family Story Part One
My father, Oscar Frederick Clagett, was born to parents Dr. Dudley Malcom Clagett and wife Mary Addie in 1882. He was their fourth and only surviving child. In that period infant and young children's mortality rate was very high. Even though their father was a doctor, there were no immunizations for childhood diseases, no pasteurization of milk, or any of the miracle drugs of today. He was the "apple of their eye." When he was two years old, a family moved to their small northern Missouri town with a two year old daughter named Effie—(our parents were told early that no grandchildren would ever be namesakes—Oscar and Effie!) John Stevens was president of the town's new bank, and the families became close friends. The children were early playmates, started first grade together and both sets of parents fondly entertained visions of a possible future marriage. But Oscar set his mind very early on a medical career, following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps. After graduating from high school, he was sent to an academy in a nearby larger town with wider education courses. He entered University Medical School in Kansas City at age 18. Medical school then comprised only of three years with no subsequent internship required. At age 21, following graduation, he rented an office, shared by an older doctor, in the small town of Jamesport, Missouri, 40 miles from his parents' home. There he began his medical career. He looked very pink-cheeked and boyish—only shaved two times a week. With high school graduation, Effie studied one year in the Speech Dept. of Northwestern University in Evanston. But her mother developed cancer and it was necessary for Effie to assume the management of the home and care of her mother and 10 year old brother, Burtch. The young couple had maintained a romantic relationship with an "understanding" that when Oscar could afford it, and she would be free of her obligation to her family, they would marry.
About a year later, when Mrs. Stevens realized that death was very near, she sent a message to Oscar asking him to come see her. She told him of her plan that he and Effie should marry immediately, and assume the care of the young brother. She felt that Effie would be sacrificed to the role of a spinster, otherwise, caring for Mr. Stevens and the boy. Oscar remonstrated that he was not yet in a financial position to support a family. But she was insistent that this was the only solution offering the best future for her daughter. Four days later they were married at her bedside, and she died two days later. The three of them departed for Jamesport by train to start a new home with the responsibility of a very spoiled and indulged 12 year old boy, who had suffered several serious illnesses during his mothers' long illness.
The Clagett Family Story Part Two
He became a malingerer when the prospect of having school work presented itself. He would beg off from attending, and would spend pleasant days in bed cuddled with games and favorite delicacies by his indulgent sister. After several episodes, Oscar rebelled at the exploitation of his young wife. One evening when he arrived home and Effie asked him to carry an appetizing tray to Burtch for his supper; He proceeded to pour castor oil over the plate of mashed potatoes and roast beef, and carried it upstairs and said "If you're sick, you certainly need to be medicated." The next morning Burtch was up early, ready for school, with no further relapses. But at about age 16, when he rebelled against some house rule and threatened to run away, my father offered to help pack his traveling bag, giving him $5.00 for a starter on his road to independence. He got as far as a friend's house, spent the night, returning the next morning very penitent with no further serious rebellions. I tell you these stories to demonstrate what mature wisdom that young couple dealt with teenage problems. I was born a year following their marriage in 1905, followed by a brother, John Malcolm, 18 months later. Two years following his birth, by a second brother, Oscar Theron, who at age three, dubbed himself "Jimmy" and was thereafter known as Jim Clagett the rest of his life.
My father's practice grew, with busy office hours and long drives by horse and buggy to outlying farms with no hospital facilities near. He bought the drug store below his office and hired a pharmacist to run it, but would "cover" a late dinner hour for the pharmacist, and frequently these evenings Mother would bring all three of us down to the store to wait for Dad to see his last patient. We would be allowed to go next door to the movie and usually sit through a couple of film repeats, and all three for the ticket price of 10 cents for children over six years. Dad would tiptoe in the darkened theater to gather us up from the front row where little Jimmy would be asleep with his head in his big sister's lap. The winter that I was 8, Dad developed a severe bronchial infection. As his symptoms accelerated, and with the threat of the spread of tuberculosis, he consulted a city specialist. He was advised to give up his practice for a couple of years and live an outdoor life in a high dry climate to regain his health. My Mother was pregnant with their 4th child, but Dad immediately investigated possibilities for moving west. An old friend was visiting in town from western Colorado where he was in partnership with an engineer to develop a reservoir on a high dry mesa of unbroken sagebrush acres above the little village of Carbondale. He convinced Dad, with his glowing prophecies of how productive this land could become with irrigation systems.
The Clagett Family Part Three
Dad promptly departed for the area, and purchased 36 acres with a tiny two room shack, only 20 acres having been cleared and cultivated. He returned home filled with enthusiasm, closed his office, arranged for a freight car to be loaded with the family possessions, for the trip west, after the new baby arrived, due the last of January 1913. His medical partner purchased a ranch adjacent to ours for his daughter and new husband. He suggested that his 18 year old son could accompany Dad on the train trip to help with the loading and unloading for the six day freight journey. The freight cars were termed "emigrant cars" with all the household possessions filling half of one end, topped by sleeping bunks for the two men, a coal heating stove in the middle with a chimney through the roof in the center, and farm animals in stalls in the second half. Helen Louise, our new sister, was born January 30th, and a couple of weeks later the house was emptied and our possessions stowed in the freight car. Quite a number of patients, in lieu of paying up unpaid accounts in cash, persuaded Dad to accept in payment a small jersey cow, an old blind white horse, and six hogs to give him a start in stocking the new ranch. Dad, and helper Vic Thompson, left the middle of February on a very cold morning. Mother and the four children were to visit the paternal grandparents, and then Mother's older sister's family in Trenton, MO, until Dad would deem it suitable for us to join him. Burtch had finished high school and was attending dental college in Kansas City.
The little two room shack with a narrow lean-to kitchen was in desperate condition. Dad's first priority was to make it more habitable. He was a complete greenhorn about ranch life, had never milked a cow or ploughed a field, and had so much to learn. He and Vic undauntedly attempted to strip off the old building paper from the walls and cover them with wall paper only succeeding to achieve a somewhat cleaner aspect. There were no barns or enclosures, only a dirt roofed potato cellar for the animals. The water supply had been a cistern covered with a wood planking cover, at the rear of the house, which accumulated melting snow and spring run-off from the hills. It would settle, becoming fairly clear, and could be drawn up in buckets on a rope for drinking and domestic purposes. The wife of the previous tenants was very obese and one day some boards buckled under her weight and she had been down in the water several hours before a makeshift ramp was constructed to haul her out. The contents were foul and undrinkable and all of our drinking water had to be hauled in tall cream cans from a spring several miles distant, an arduous chore.
The Clagett Family Part Four
The rest of the family was due to leave by train on the last day in March, accompanied by Dad's father to assist Mother with the four children. Mother had been instructed to be sure to de-train at a cattle loading siding—no depot—at Catherine, a few miles east of Carbondale at about 11 p.m. and that Dad would be there to meet us and take us to a nearby home where he had arranged lodging for us for the rest of the night. The train conductor was very reluctant to let a young woman, with four children, one a tiny baby, and an aged man, to be left at such an unlikely spot at night, but Mother was adamant. So, with many misgivings, he pulled the switch to halt the train, and we climbed down, and the train sped off, leaving us in total darkness with high mountain slopes looming on each side, and only a few stars twinkling directly above. Off on the hillside came the eerie wails of coyotes, the like of which none of us had ever heard. With the baby in her arms, and the other three clutching her skirts in terror, my poor young Mother thought her world had crashed. Granddad was struck dumb in utter disbelief at his son's apparent insanity. But off in the distance we heard Dad's voice calling to us as he galloped up to gather us in his arms. The train was late, and the March night very cold. Thinking he would hear the train whistle in time to run back to the tracks, he had returned to his friend's house to get warm. So, we were all reunited. The next morning, after a hearty breakfast prepared by our friendly hostess, we drove up the muddy, winding, mountain road several miles across barren sagebrush land to the little shack. My Mother valiantly tackled the job of settling us in, with two double beds, with a pull-out trundle bed for me, and a cradle contraption that hung over our parents bed, all in one room. In the narrow add-on kitchen, Mother cooked for weeks for the building crew that Dad engaged to construct a house and barn.
Dad's intention had been to regain his health, put a major portion of the ranch into cultivation for a couple of years, hopefully to realize a good profit on its sale, and to return to medical practice in a Colorado college town—(with 4 children to educate). But World War I was raging in Europe, and the probability of America's engagement. The farmers in the U.S. had been ordered to raise grains and potatoes to be shipped to troops and war-torn countries. With so many men drafted into military services, there was little chance of being able to sell the ranch, so we remained there for 5 years.In the fall of 1915, the Spanish influenza epidemic seeping across the nation, reached the Rocky Mountains. Carbondale had no doctor, and as family after family succumbed, with all too frequent deaths, the Town Council came to Dad to urge him to help out in the crisis.
The Clagett Family Part Five
He explained that he had no license to practice in Colorado, that in these years Medical School graduates were not accorded reciprocity with other states. They called the State Board of Medical Examiners in Denver, explaining their dilemma, and requested that a temporary license be granted permitting him to practice in this emergency until The State Board's annual exams on January 4th. Our potato crop had not been harvested, so arrangements were made to rent the ranch with the stipulation that the renter, under Mother's supervision, would wind up the potato harvesting. Dad moved to Carbondale to minister 24 hours a day to the victims who were in quarantine, and to get to ranch homes in a 10 or 15 mile radius. He was provided with a team and buggy and a driver, or as snow fell, to a sled. Often the only chance he had for sleep was riding from ranch to ranch. A ranch wife would be ready with hot food and drink for them, and in a few instances, they returned carrying a corpse back to the funeral home. The disease was particularly lethal in those high elevations.
The rest of the family moved down to Carbondale on Thanksgiving weekend to the only house Dad had been able to rent for the six of us. Immediately Dad came down with unmistakable symptoms, and our house was quarantined, as one by one we all contracted the influenza. The 4-year-old girl died on December 23rd, and Mac my older brother was desperately sick. But they had burned their bridges by renting the ranch, and Dad was committed to the Boards starting January 4th. He was "fumigated" out of our house with complete dousing of bacterial soap and change of clothing. He caught the train from Glenwood with many misgivings at leaving Mother so deeply grieved, and Mac still not out of the woods. But by a miracle he passed the exams. We remodeled a big old hotel into office space with a separate entrance and extensive living space for the family. We lived there until 1923. We all felt the loss of the baby sister, and my parents were eager for another child. When they were each 40 years of age, Betty Burtch joined the family circle in 1921. I was 16. She was adored and spoiled by all of us.
The Clagett Family Part Six
An opportunity in 1923 to buy the practice of a long time physician in Rifle seemed a good decision. I had finished high school and was teaching at a rural school on Divide Creek above Silt. The two boys were in their second year of high school. The baby was two years old.
The new practice was a busy one with a 50-60 mile radius and no hospital nearer than Glenwood Springs. Babies were born in homes. Often in the spring, when creeks overflowed their banks, a rancher would have to transport Dad and medicine kit by horseback to the house. When a first baby was slow in emerging and it was a long way back home, Dad would sometimes have to stay 18-24 hours, sleeping on the foot of the patient's bed in snatches. Our family was accustomed to the doorbell or telephone ringing in the night to call Dad out to treat a patient. I don't remember a single Christmas Day when Dad didn't have to leave in the middle of the "stocking opening" or Christmas dinner. When my brothers were 12 and 13 my Mother taught them to carve the turkey.
Patients requiring surgery or hospitalization were taken to Glenwood Springs or Grand Junction. Dr. Ben Porter had a small hospital in Glenwood Springs and the two men became good friends. One fall they decided to attend a week-long Symposium on Infectious Disease Management at the Mayo Clinic. Their wives took a somewhat dim view of the financial expense involved, seeing all hopes of new winter outfits "going out the window." To mollify them, the men said they would share a lower Pullman berth for the two night trip to Rochester. A flip of a coin gave Dr. Porter the inside portion of the berth. On the twisting tracks to Denver, Dad spent the night hanging on to the mattress or flying out into the aisle. One evening, after an all day session at the Symposium meeting, they learned that Harold Lloyd was appearing at a local movie in "The Freshman." They decided to attend, but were late. They were ushered to the very front row in front of the orchestra pit, empty except for the musicians' instruments and music racks. When the climax of the film appeared on the screen, when Harold Lloyd carries the football to the wrong goal post, Dad was convulsed with laughter on the edge of his seat. Dr. Porter smacked him, laughing heartily, across the shoulders. Dad went flying down into the orchestra pit, knocking down all its paraphernalia with a great banging and clatter. The house lights came on and the audience jumped to their feet in consternation, when Dad climbed up in the most abject embarrassment, but unhurt except for his dignity.
The Clagett Family Part Seven
During the Depression years, the only way we were sure of having food on the table were the farm products ranchers provided instead of payment---eggs, butter, cream, fryers, halves of beef, venison roasts, potatoes, turnips, ect.
In 1929 tragedy befell the family. Jim had finished pre-med and was in 1st year of medical school in Denver and Mac was in his 4th year of chemical engineering at C.U. The job market in these depression years was very bleak for graduating students, particularly in engineering fields. But, Mac had been interviewed by a DuPont Chemical Co. scout in January and offered a position in their research lab in Old Hickory, Tenn., and to report immediately after graduation. So with these favorable aspects he came home for spring break in March and he and his high school sweetheart were married. They honeymooned in Grand Junction for the rest of that week, then Mary returned to her teaching job in Rifle and Mac went back to Boulder to finish out his college career. The local fraternity in Boulder had a tradition that all engineering students should climb the Flat Iron, a high precipitous cliff formation near the campus. On a sunny, clear Saturday morning, Mac and another student started the climb, ascended easily, and about a third of the way down, with Mac leading, his companion asked him to pause on a ledge while he snapped his picture. The young man saw Mac fall to instantaneous death through the camera view finder. It was a crushing blow to all of us, but my poor parents could never find reconciliation for such a senseless waste of potential.
When he was in his late 60's Dad suffered a moderate stroke from which he recovered quite well, but he closed his office and retired. For the next several years he spent much of his time and energy in efforts to help Rifle obtain a hospital (his dream). With the Hill-Burton funding, passed by Congress to help fund small hospitals, to be matched by community funds, it seemed the possible realization of his dream. Their first accomplishment was to utilize the Quonset huts of a former C.C.C. camp, pulling several of them together to make possible space for ten beds, a small operating room, a nursery, and kitchen. The enthusiastic response that was aroused was very heart warming, and it became a most unifying experience for Rifle citizens, as almost every individual became involved. One older woman, who had been a restaurant cook on very meager wages, volunteered to give up her Sundays, her only day off, to cook that day for the hospital saying "I want to do it for Doc Clagett who never let me pay for his services."
The Clagett Family Part Eight
Malignant hypertension, leading to kidney failure a few years later, which might have been controlled when beta blockers were developed as treatment for hypertension, took his life in 1954, at the home of my brother in Rochester after a month of hospitalization in a Mayo hospital. Twelve years past his death, his dream of a community hospital reached fruition with a modern 35-bed hospital. It was named Clagett Memorial Hospital and my Mother cut the ribbons at its dedication. It has served that area well for nearly 50 years, but the increased population makes it no longer adequate and a new hospital with a new name is under construction. We are told that perhaps a wing, or at least a room will still bear my Father's name. My Mother, both physically and emotionally, was unsuited to be a pioneer rancher's wife, but she loved my Father devotedly and struggled to meet the demands of that rugged life with real gallantry, but with the ever constant hope that Dad would resume a medical career soon. Neither of them had ever lived on a farm and their inexperience often made for cruel errors. Their relationship was a rare & devoted one and set a fine example as we grew up, in its depth and constancy.
My Father was a selfless man, dedicated to his profession, but also first a humanitarian in every sense—he loaned money to people, was arbiter of many domestic squabbles and the supporter of all community projects. I've always been proud he was my Father.
Ms Wanda Speck
Don't ever be afraid to come to the Rifle Nursing Home because they are ready to help you." Wanda is thankful to have such a great facility like EDMCC, she would suggest this facility "to anyone who needed help with anything." She says the workers are wonderful and they do anything she asks them to. She says she doesn't think there is anyplace that could beat it. Wanda adds that everyone she speaks with is very kind and funny and she loves Dusty, stating "you can't find a nicer guy than him." Her opinion about the food? "superb!" "The facility is nice and clean, and there just isn't anything bad I can say about this facility." She adds that the decorations are beautiful and they make her feel great whenever she looks at them. Lastly she adds that this is the place that she would like to have as her resting place. P.S. "I love all the maintenance people because they do a great job with everything they fix.
Eileen Pressler, ER Nurse
I am a native of Silt, Colo graduated from Rifle High School and attended nursing school in Colo springs, graduating in 1970. My husband, who is a native of New Castle, and two toddlers moved back to the New Castle area in 1977. I received a call from Sunny Dunn Linn to ask if I would like to work at Clagett Memorial Hospital. I interviewed with Carol Ballinger, I was scared to death, as she seemed like a formidable woman. I was hired to work part-time . In those days, we worked every area of the hospital: OB, Monitored bed, ED Acute care recovery room. Wherever we were needed. It was a great learning experience. We had no Director of nursing, no CEO, few Drs. and were struggling, I feel, as a district. We worked 3- 8 hr. shifts, I worked 3-11, which was my favorite shift. Later I worked the day shift. I have many interesting stories especially in the OB department! We had a one room ED, which was not nearly as busy, in those days, I remember my first CODE, I was on alone and had to call the Dr. in! We had to mix all our own IV's, administer the neb TX',s etc. because we did not have coverage in those areas. Times have certainly changed. I have come from doing everything by hand, to the computer. Now I know how my parents felt and when my Dad would start a conversation with:" in my day". I worked with Joan Pretti and Cleo Castle back than ,to name a few. I have observed the expansion gradually unfold to the present and I am very proud to have been with the district for all these years.
Joan Pretti, ER Nurse
Seems like yesterday I was invited out for a ski week! I had spent a summer at Glenwood Springs in the 70's with Karen a classmate and absolutely loved the area! I was working at a county hospital in Iowa and requested the time off and flew out.
Karen Lorenzen and Mary Martin-Meisner were already full time nurses at the hospital. The week was absolutely great and we enjoyed a wonderful week of skiing. I met the director of nursing at the hospital-Bev Slaughter. She gave me a tour. Everyone was so friendly there!
Before I went home Bev offered me a full time nursing position to start when I could come out. I went back to my job and gave notice and accepted the position. I started that following month. Upon arriving, I found out that all Drs. had quit except one- Dr. Hill. Yikes...what did I get myself into I thought! It was a good move though and we were known as the three single nurses on the hill. Our apartment was right across from the hospital. Whenever they needed staff they would look over at our apartment and if the light was on give us a call to work.
GRHD Community Relations Director 2011-Present
It wasn't too long after I started at GRHD in the summer of 2011 that a team of us began working on a really fun project in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness. The "Pink Glove Dance" video was a great way for me to meet the staff at GRHD.
It certainly wasn't easy being the "new" person and asking people I barely knew to have them put on pink surgical gloves… and "dance" on videotape! I'm sure many of them thought this was a completely insane idea! But, as more and more of the staff got involved, it became clear that this was turning into a labor of love and the result was a video that showed the commitment and caring from our staff and a lot of creativity too! We all shared a lot of laughs and good times as we came together for a cause bigger than ourselves, the prevention of breast cancer. For me, it was a great way to make new friends and get to know the incredible people here at Grand River! If you haven't seen the video you can still catch it on YouTube GRHD Pink Glove Dance
Robert Salti, GRHD Lab Tech
When I was hired in 2009 my Director thought it would be a good idea to get to know the community that I help serve and that I now live in by walking in their annual Parachute Parade. We would just be walking in a big circle handing out paper hats to the crowd. I am from New York so when someone says "parade" I think of large floats and decorated automobiles. What a surprise! The parade was small and very personal, the memory I have is having so many people come up to me and thank me personally for my part in their healthcare. It felt good to have so many people that I didn't even know thank me just for being part of the GRHD "team". A great memory to share...
Gary Riddle, GRHD Plant Operations
I began my association with Grand River Hospital District over 30 years ago, working as an outside contractor on the District's mechanical equipment.. It has been my pleasure, over all of these years, to work with so many caring and dedicated GRHD Staff Members. As an outsider, I was treated with respect and professionalism by almost everyone that I dealt with here. I was welcomed into your group in so many ways and was made to feel like a true member of this GRHD Team. Whether bowling in the "Hospital League", playing slow pitch softball on the Hospital Co-Ed team or occasionally attending GRHD Employee Christmas parties, I was always made to feel welcome, and part of your organization. Because of my comfort level with this outstanding group of people, I had no qualms about leaving my old employer and becoming a true employee of GRHD, two years ago. Looking back, I have no regrets about that decision. I joined a quality organization many years ago and am very happy to still be a part of Grand River Hospital District. It is with great pleasure that I wish a very happy 50th Anniversary to this Organization and to all of the wonderful people who make up GRHD, both past and present.