DURANGO NATIVE STORIES

Durango Native Stories are living history – personal stories told by locals who have called the area home for generations. Each presentation includes first-hand recollections and historic family photographs, many more than a century old.

Hosted at the historic Henry Strater Theatre, the 2019 series featured a variety of personalities that contributed greatly to the heritage of Durango and La Plata County

2020 PROGRAMS

The 2020 schedule and speakers have not yet been determined.  Check back often or sign up for the Durango Native Newsletter for announcements.  If you have a suggestion for 2020 storyteller, send us a name, contact information, and a brief description about their life story in Durango. Contact us

WATCH DURANGO NATIVE STORIES

ROD TURNER (b. 1931)

Recorded June 8, 2017

Rod Turner’s great grandfather, John C. Turner, was a member of the Baker Expedition that first explored the area in 1860-61. Six generations of the Turner family are from Durango. Assisted by his daughter, Laurel, Rod’s stories are told with his unique perspective and sense of humor.

MARY JANE CLARK

Recorded June 20, 2019

MARY JANE CLARK

Recorded June 20, 2019

Mary Jane Clark is a founder of Toh-Atin Gallery (est. 1957) focusing on Native American and Southwestern artworks, jewelry, and rugs.  Mary Jane was born at home in Blanco, NM (about 40 miles from Durango) where her parents owned the Blanco Mercantile trading post. Mary Jane lived in Durango in 1944, as a nursing student, and settled here permanently, working at Mercy Hospital, in 1945.

Mary Jane Clark is a founder of Toh-Atin Gallery (est. 1957) focusing on Native American and Southwestern artworks, jewelry, and rugs.  Mary Jane was born at home in Blanco, NM (about 40 miles from Durango) where her parents owned the Blanco Mercantile trading post. Mary Jane lived in Durango in 1944, as a nursing student, and settled here permanently, working at Mercy Hospital, in 1945.

TOM & PENNI COMPTON (b. 1942 & 1943)

Recorded June 20, 2019

Tom & Penni Compton focused their lives on family, agriculture, and education.  Penni was born into the Lemon family, pioneer ranchers and the namesake for Lemon Reservoir.  In addition to operating their ranch in the Hesperus area, Tom taught biology at Fort Lewis College and served many community organizations including 9R School Board, LaPlata Open Space Conservancy and helped start Leadership LaPlata.

REY & CLAIR MARTINEZ (b. 1931 & 1933)

Recorded July 18, 2019

REY & CLAIR MARTINEZ (b. 1931 & 1933)

Recorded July 18, 2019

Rey & Clair Martinez are brothers, two of seven children born at home in Durango. Both men played football for Durango High School and then at Adams State College. Ray served in the Marine Corps and Clair was a Forest Service interpreter.  Both brothers taught in the local schools and coached sports for decades.

Rey & Clair Martinez are brothers, two of seven children born at home in Durango. Both men played football for Durango High School and then at Adams State College. Ray served in the Marine Corps and Clair was a Forest Service interpreter.  Both brothers taught in the local schools and coached sports for decades.

H. PRESCOTT BLAKE (b. 1932)

Recorded July 18, 2019

Prescott Blake moved to Durango in 1933 at age two when his father was hired as a linotype operator for the Durango Democrat newspaper. Prescott is a colorful jack-of-all-trades, hunter, fishman, and owned a local plumbing company for 30 years in addition to working with other contractors on major projects.

AMANDOR TUSCON (b. 1939)

Recorded August 22, 2019

AMANDOR TUSCON (b. 1939)

Recorded August 22, 2019

Amador Tucson is a descendent member of the Southern Ute Tribe. He’s the founder, musician, and singer for the Latino band, “Tucson y Los Amigos.” Amador is best known as the owner / operator of Tucson’s Barber & Styling (est. 1968) where he and his son Isador provide classic haircuts today.

Amador Tucson is a descendent member of the Southern Ute Tribe. He’s the founder, musician, and singer for the Latino band, “Tucson y Los Amigos.” Amador is best known as the owner / operator of Tucson’s Barber & Styling (est. 1968) where he and his son Isador provide classic haircuts today.

PERYL KELLEY SCHAAF (b. 1924)

Recorded August 22, 2019

The daughter of two homesteading families, Peryl Kelley eloped and married another generational local, Olga Little’s nephew, Ernie Schaaf, at age 15. Peryl’s work career started at age six as a homemaker for her family while her mother was away teaching at remote one room school houses. Peryl transitioned to a gas pump attendant at her father’s station during the war and eventually served as a Bank of Durango vice-president.

Durango Native Stories are recorded and edited by Durango Government TV

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Jack Turner

All programs are hosted by Jack Turner, a 5th generation local and creator of Durango Native Stories. He is the author of the award winning book “Landscapes On Glass” with foreword by President Bill Clinton.

Location

Henry Strater Theatre (699 Main Ave; Durango, Colorado 81301)