The article “Lucky Strike” by Peter Tuttle in the April issue, with its descriptions of Trinidad, Colorado, and Glenn Aultman, brought back special memories. My wife, two youngest daughters, and I spent four days in Trinidad in 1992 on a research project concerning my great-grandfather, who was a county commissioner there in the 189Os. Part of the research involved a family photograph taken in the Aultman studio.
We found the Aultman Museum, where we met Glenn and were thoroughly charmed by him. Referring to a computer printout, he gave what help he could with our picture and then invited us to a slide show he was to give that evening at the Trinidad State Park campground, where we were staying.
Glenn’s slides were made from photographs taken in Trinidad by his father at a time when it was a booming town and a mingling place of diverse peoples. With its telephones, paved streets, trolleys, streetlights, refrigeration plants, waterworks, and fine residences, it was clearly as progressive in the 189Os as any growing city in America.
Speaking softly, Glenn wove his slides and words together and brought the turn-of-the-century town to life again. Then he put us in it. We were spellbound.
Too soon, the campfire burned low, and Glenn’s spell began to fade. Yet it lingered as we walked through Trinidad the next day and saw it as Glenn had showed it to us. Not just the buildings but the sheer vitality of the people and the town together through time. We had been touched by a master storyteller who worked as well with history as his expert father did with light.