County Votes on Changing Era Milestones

“Before Marie and After Marie”

(Ridgway) Long-accepted era abbreviations BC and AD may soon become BM and AM around these parts if voters here have their way. The new designations, honoring the late Marie Scott, a legendary rancher in Pleasant Valley, will be adopted immediately if the referendum passes.

The proposed measuring tools BM (Before Marie) and AM (After Marie) are expected to have an impact in a community where the many of the new residents are not familiar with the generous Scott who ran a tight ship, managing her large ranches hands-on. In so many ways she lived a lifestyle akin to the 19th Century.

“If she liked you, you could have anything she had,” said Bill Domka, a former neighbor who grew up around Scott. “If she didn’t like you, you best not come onto the property.”

The icon of it all, Marie Scott outside her home near Ridgway  the 50s

The secular time capsules, indicating centuries before and after the Christian era are generally well balanced. The new eras are lopsided since Marie wasn’t born until 1896. (She passed in 1979). Before and during her life of Ridgway was still a wild place. Then, following her death it began to change – some for the good – some not, depending on one’s perspective.

“That’s only 83 years to the outsider but when one considers the impact she had locally it all makes sense,” said another rancher who worked with Marie for over 6 decades.

It is hoped that the new era milestones will encourage newer residents to embrace the rich local history of the region rather than settling for a transitory status in a poor man’s Telluride. Woman in particular don’t have to look far for inspiration. No saint, Marie exhibited the qualities necessary for survival in what was certainly a world and vocation dominated by men. She was tough enough to win and kind enough to help a lot of people along the way.

Those of us who knew her remember her fondly in her cowboy duds with that red hair and rouge on her cheeks. She wore Levis or Wranglers but never washed a pair. When they got dirty she simply bought more giving the old pairs away or throwing them in the garbage. That was her very own brand of extravagance, her luxury. Not the least bit eccentric she talked to her dog a lot, delivered steaks from Safeway to needy families at Christmas, and loved to drive her red jeep all over her land, checking cows, inspecting ditches and giving the forest service hell for one thing or another.

A classic original, she and her world will never be replaced.

– Kevin Haley


Filed Under: Lifestyles at Risk


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