Bill Kight – Glenwood Springs, Colorado

“My hope for the future is that we all treat people like we’d like to be treated. I think that pretty much solves it right there. It’s not brain surgery, it’s not rocket science. I find when we do that as human beings, regardless of who we are, what social strata, what race, gender, religion, if you meet someone equally, on a heart-to-heart basis, you can’t go wrong.”

*Photographed dressed as Jasper Ward, first settler of New Castle, Colorado as part of the Glenwood Springs “Ghost Walk” event*

“[I’m] the Executive Director of the Glenwood Springs Historical Society & Frontier Museum. I retired from 38 years of government service in the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management – archeologist, historian, tribal coordinator, ranger, community organizer, stuff like that. I’ve always had a passion for history and so it was a perfect fit from retiring…the Executive Director moved and the job came open and I was fortunate enough to get it.”

“I’ve lived in Glenwood Springs and Carbondale for 33 years. [I grew up] in Hobbes, New Mexico then I went to school at University of New Mexico and then Eastern New Mexico University. I was a firefighter, been in all the Western States either fighting fires or hiking in the wilderness. Did a lot of travel.”

“I had the privilege of working with the Native Tribe that used to live here, the Ute Tribe, and so for 20 years I worked with them to reestablish their presence in their homeland, bringing their people back to where their ancestors lived and we found a trail that went across the Flat Tops – called the Ute Trail – that archeologists knew from stories that it existed but we were able to find it. And so that was fun I worked with the ‘Passport in Time’ Project and we worked together with the Utes to find their trail, which was a sacred site.”

“It’s our history, we’re all in it together. We make history every day. Most people don’t realize that. And when you’re the keeper of the history you find that people like to look up the history of their ancestors, they like stories about the inhabitants that lived here, because I think that gives us a frame of reference for our lives today and it can unite people. When you get people that are interested in history and you tell the stories – like we do here at the ghost walk – you don’t have to embellish it, truth is stranger than fiction. All you do is tell the story, and we’re storytellers, we have been throughout our history as human beings and so telling stories is a way to bring people together.”

“There’s something about The West, and especially here in Colorado, people who come here and visit tell us we’re friendlier, we’re open, we’re inviting, and there’s a history in The West of the line shacks that cowboys were in when they had cattle. If you got in trouble and out in the woods and you came upon that line shack you could stay there and you could eat, you could take the food there, and the deal was, when you had a chance you brought it back, you restocked the place. And that’s part of the history of the West that we’ve lost over time. But I think that’s just, again, when you know what happened in the past, I think it can help you live your life now, because you can emulate that ability to be inviting…”

“Something about that history of The West and how it was settled, people are really interested in now, I think more than ever, and it’s not so much the rugged individualism as it is how, together, people brought this town to what it is today. They brought the railroads in, they integrated in society a lot of times when that wasn’t happening in other places, so the more you know about the past, the more you can live a richer life.”

“I think it’s accepting, suspending judgment until you know someone, give them a chance until you find out they can be a friend or someone I don’t really want to get to know. I think that’s what we try to do here at the Ghost Walk is – we’re all fallible human beings, we all make mistakes, but I think there just a way of suspending judgment and listening to other people’s stories. And if you need to help people, I think you can see that in the fires that are happening and the unfortunate incident in Las Vegas, where people come together in a crisis. And I think in the West that seems to be particularly true. I’ve been in places where people have lost their house and they’re helping, they want to volunteer and help make things better. That’s a defining characteristic I think, of suspending judgment and working together.”

Limited edition print available (alpha edition):
Giclée (Archival Inkjet) print w/ quotes hand-lettered on mat in silver pen.
1.25” Matte Black Frame, 2.5” Black Mat, Archival Hinge Mount, UV Glass.
13.5” x 22” (Framed: 21″ x 29.5″)

Bill - Limited Edition Print, Alpha Series
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