The Huerfano Journal is proud to announce that longtime journalist Jo Cross has joined our team. She brings with her over 80 years of family connections to the newspapers in Walsenburg and La Veta
HUERFANO- My parents, Daniel Franklin and Hazel Cross, came to the area in the 1930s. How my family came to Cuchara is told in the book, River of Friendship, which my mother, Hazel Cross, wrote in 1959-60. Cuchara grew and expanded in the next 10 years, and the Hermosa Club asked mother to update the book. She suffered her first stroke that same fall and asked me to do it. The revised edition came out in 1969-70.
During our years in Cuchara (1931 – 1980s), my mother and I contributed to news about Cuchara. Mom wrote “Cuchara Camera” through the 1930s. I wrote the “Up the Valley” column, as did my niece, Nancy (Colvin) Christofferson. Several others did, as well, but it continued most consistently when Barbara Edwards took it over in the 1980s. At that time, I was writing for The Valley Voice, later called The Signature.
The Methodist minister never had a vacation, as there was no one to fill his pulpit. He asked dad to fill in for him. Dad preached two Sundays each year, for I don’t remember how many years. Our family was always involved in Cuchara activities, along with other families in the early years.
We rented our cabin for years from Mrs. Benston of Trinidad. She finally agreed to sell it to us. Our neighbors to the south in Texas Lodge were Mrs. Staniforthe, her daughter Agnes, with her two sons, Ben and Stan (we always called brother) and their cousin Billy Staniforthe (Beba). We soon became acquainted and planned activities for all the Cuchara kids. We hiked to the haunted house, up the Scout trail to the T-rock on the rock wall, up Trinchera to watch the sunrise; to Chapparel Falls, then to Indian Cave where we sometimes found arrowheads. We organized scavenger and treasure hunts, and rode to La Veta on the oil truck for ice cream cones.
After 35 years of teaching in the high schools of Nebraska, I returned to La Veta in 1976, and became involved in local politics, until I began losing my vision early in the 1990s. Having taught journalism, I retained my interest in newspaper work and resumed writing and making crossword puzzles.
I am quite proud that seven of my journalism students at Lexington, Nebraska entered the University of Nebraska with their scrapbook collection of their stories and were accepted as freshman to the newspaper. Usually they could work on the paper during their junior and senior years. We were cited by the Collegiate Press on one of the outstanding high school papers in the United States.