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The Reading Room
Positively Karen
2014 April
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
The Wayside Chapel
I am fascinated with the history of the Gateway
Unaweep area. Actually, I should replace the
word fascinated with intrigued. I frequently find
myself opening my ¡®Gateway/Unaweep Canyon
at Some Point of Time¡¯ book. Captivated with the
sagas of the lives and times of the early settlers it
is always a surprise how fast time flies when I am
reading.
In the old day who was it
Passed by here
In Palisade¡¯s shadow?
In the mid 1940¡¯s American Sunday School Mis-
sionary, Reverend J.R. Kinney held church servic-
es in the homes of Gateway residents. There was
no formal church building. A Reverend Lawer-
ence Onan, Pastor of an Orchard Mesa Church,
heard about the lack of a building and involved
himself with local residents raising money to
build a church.
In addition to pastoring a church, Rev. Onan also
had a radio ministry. He began a broadcast ap-
peal across the air, ¡°who wouldn¡¯t give a dollar
to build a church in Gateway?¡± Before long $2000
was donated. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Lines graciously
donated the land where the church and parson-
age are now located.
Building the church was a community affair with
local businesses and individuals donating labor
and materials. High School boys earned student
manual training credits for the work they did.
They used wheelbarrows and shovels hauled
water from the irrigation ditch to mix concrete,
laid cinder blocks and nailed up rafters. Used
pews were donated from the Tabor Opera House
in Leadville, Colorado. They were sanded and
refinished by Gateway High School girls. A bell
was donated (by Les Lupton) from the old school
in Redstone Colorado.
On May 3rd, 1953, dedication day arrived. A
song was composed for the occasion by ¡®Pop
Claycomb¡¯. Sharon Henry and Lela Casto ac-
companied the Hymn on their accordions for the
dedication service. They continued to offer their
accordion accompaniment every Sunday until the
church acquired a piano.
This little church has remained active through the
years. The members provide Bible Clubs during
the school year & vacation Bible school in the
summer for the Gateway Unaweep areas. Sunday
church services are ministered by Pastor David
Dormaier. The church hosts a Valentine Dinner
for the community. Sunrise service is held every
Easter Morning and as always the community is
invited and welcomed.
In 1979 the church sponsored the making of a
quilt for each Gateway High School Senior. The
tradition continues today. Members of the Gate-
way Unaweep communities embroider each quilt
block. Church members sew them together and
quilt or tie them. The student is presented the
quilt at the Baccalaureate Service in the church.
Knowing the history of the Wayside Chapel, I
now understand the emotion surrounding me
every time I walk through Wayside Chapel¡¯s door
- love. It was the Love of God that built this house
of Worship. It lingers still.
Son Shine
The sound of the bell
As it leaves the bell
Sunday morning. -K
(Karen Schafer lives in & writes about life from
Gateway, Colorado)
Treasures From The Inbox
exactly how Jack
remembered it, ex-
cept for the box. He
figured someone from
the Belser family had
taken it.
¡°Now I¡¯ll never know
what was so valuable
to him,¡± Jack said. ¡°I
better get some sleep.
I have an early flight
home, Mom.¡±
It had been about
two weeks since Mr.
Belser died Returning
home from work one
day Jack discovered
a note in his mailbox.
¡°Signature required
on a package. No one
at home. Please stop
Thank YOU For Your Time
Over the phone, his mother told him, ¡°Mr. Belser
died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.¡±
Memories flashed through his mind like an old
newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his child-
by the main post office within the next three
days,¡± the note read.
Early the next day Jack retrieved the package.
The small box was old and looked like it had
been mailed a hundred years ago.. The handwrit-
ing was difficult to read, but the return address
caught his attention. ¡°Mr. Harold Belser¡± it read.
Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open
the package. There inside was the gold box and
an envelope. Jack¡¯s hands shook as he read the
note inside.
¡°Upon my death, please forward this box and its
contents to Jack Bennett. It¡¯s the thing I valued
most in my life.¡± A small key was taped to the let-
ter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack
carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found
a beautiful gold pocket watch.
Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched
casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found
these words engraved:
¡°Jack, Thanks for your time! - Harold Belser.¡±
¡°The thing he valued most was... my time¡±
Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called
his office and cleared his appointments for the
next two days. ¡°Why?¡± Janet, his assistant asked.
He replied, ¡°I need some time to spend with my
son, and by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!¡±
If you get email, you get stuff.
Sometimes it is spam, some-
times it is a true gem.
Here is one of those gems
worth sharing:
he said. ¡°I wouldn¡¯t be in this business if it
weren¡¯t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching
me things he thought were important... Mom, I¡¯ll
be there for the funeral,¡± Jack said.
As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught
the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser¡¯s
funeral was small and uneventful. He had no
children of his own, and most of his relatives had
passed away.
The night before he had to return home, Jack and
his Mom stopped by to see the old house next
door one more time.
Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a
moment. It was like crossing over into another
dimension, a leap through space and time The
house was exactly as he remembered. Every step
held memories. Every picture, every piece of
furniture....Jack stopped suddenly...
¡°What¡¯s wrong, Jack?¡± his Mom asked.
¡°The box is gone,¡± he said.
¡°What box?¡± Mom asked.
¡°There was a small gold box that he kept locked
on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thou-
sand times what was inside. All he¡¯d ever tell me
was ¡®the thing I value most,¡¯¡± Jack said.
It was gone. Everything about the house was
hood days.
¡°Jack, did you hear me?¡±
¡°Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It¡¯s
been so long since I thought of him. I¡¯m
sorry, but I honestly thought he died
years ago,¡± Jack said.
¡°Well, he didn¡¯t forget you. Every time I
saw him he¡¯d ask how you were doing.
He¡¯d reminisce about the many days you
spent over ¡®his side of the fence¡¯ as he put
it,¡± Mom told him.
¡°I loved that old house,¡± Jack said.
¡°You know, Jack, after your father died,
Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you
had a man¡¯s influence in your life,¡± she
said.
¡°He¡¯s the one who taught me carpentry,¡±