"Harvest Festivals" Paonia by chauncenetta

Paonia Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 20 photos

My mother moved to Colorado April of 04 and immediatly fell ill. She was unable to recover and died shortly thereafter. A memorial service was held for her in Paonia that August. I did not attend, as I had said my goodbye to her upon the visit of a Monarch Butterfly in Istanbul at the moments of her passing and entrance into her grand adventure.
This is our family at her memorial on the banks of the Arkansas River flowing through Colorado, some from Oklahoma, left to right:
Uncle G.B., Aunt Judy, Cousin Donna, Brothers Dan & Zack, Niece Abigail, Sister in Law Donna, Aunt Jo and Nephew Adam.

Pick up trucks, mountains, and guns.

Chelsea visited family in Paonia whilst I was in Turkey. She has a natural affinity for country music (it's her fave), pick-up trucks and firing guns. Don't be alarmed by this picture, there is nothing wrong with it. It's a cultural heritage, that's all. Understand that 2 generations ago this was how my people got their food, way down yonder in them Oklahoma hills where my peeps are from.
I finally made it out there myself last week to attend to some unfinished family business. I'm glad I finally saw Paonia. Zach had just put his restaurant up for sale. He wants to move to Ithaca, New York to fulfill a dream he's had for some time to live in the northeast. It will be much better for my niece. A town of 1500, charming as it can be, is torture for a 15 year old. It must be meant to be as his business/residence sold on Monday, after only being on the market for two days. So they're off, perhaps in about a month to start a life anew. Good on them, as a Brit would say.

I should not have been a stranger

As stated on my homepage, Zach refers to this little town as "Mayberry on Acid." It's a dear place, very small, with one street, no building over 2 stories high. Everybody knows everybody. I went at a good time, the Harvest Festivals were going on and it was music, music, music, beer, pizza & primo bud, as documented by High Times magazine. My brother's residence is right up above his pizza restaurant wth a glorious patio in back. It seemed that most of the residents were from someplace else, having transplanted themselves to this enchanted village. In the afternoon folks gathered on Zach's patio with their guitars, mandolins, fiddles and harmonicas to jam to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dylan and various traditional and modern protest songs. Hunter Thompson lived a few miles from here until he shot himself to death last year. Zach was fortunate to have had the experience of being drunk under the table by him. Travis, my nephew, came to town from Nashville with his music producer in tow and with his dad Zach produced some glorious sounds. It was a wild weekend.I left with the impression that Paonia was always like that but was told that most of the time it's deader than a doornail.
Pay attention to Travis Mann. He is in Nashville He's a country music star. You just don't know it yet, but you will soon!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:it's isolated
  • Cons:it's isolated
  • In a nutshell:High mountains, big sky, clear air, free flowing beer, prize winning bud
  • Last visit to Paonia: Sep 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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  • craic's Profile Photo
    Sep 26, 2004 at 6:16 AM

    Very sorry indeed to read of the loss of your mother. BUT darls it is a well odd page. Memorial service, guns and pizza all jumbled up together. Oh, and a butterfly.


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