Have you had a chance to enjoy reading a book by Grand Junction author Al Look? With the recent downtime, I think it's past time to reread of few of his works.

During my recent move, all the packing and unpacking uncovered a handful of books I've collected by Al Look. He was a good friend of my grandpa's, and I remember meeting him several times during my younger years. Along the way, Al Look gave me a few of his books.

Al Look, a longtime Grand Junction resident, when not working at the Daily Sentinel, was active as a columnist, local historian, amateur paleontologist, geologist, archeologist, and fine arts painter. He was so active around the valley it's no mystery why the City of Grand Junction would declare June 16, 1972, to be "Al Look Day."

Well, here I sit on a Friday, very much aware I won't be going out to the clubs to listen to bands, not in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. For that matter, it doesn't seem any of us will be going to the gym, either. Here it is, our chance to catch up on those things we've been meaning to get around to.

Two of Al Looks titles in my possession include "Unforgettable Characters of Western Colorado" and "In My Back Yard." The book Unforgettable Characters of Western shows a copyright date of 1966. In My Back Yard was copyrighted in 1951.

I can recall Al Look giving my brother an autographed copy of "In My Back Yard" sometime back in the early 1970s. The gift of that book launched my brother's interest in paleontology. Later, that interest turned into a career path.

The other book waiting to be reread, "Unforgettable Characters of Western Colorado" was given to my grandpa, Robert Grant. The inside cover was autographed and includes a message to my grandpa. Somewhere along the way, I got my grubby hands on it. I can only assume that it was me, sometime in my youth, who was responsible for scribbling all over the message.

Waylon Jordan
Waylon Jordan

I'm really looking forward to rereading these. To be perfectly upfront, history is not my thing. I've never really enjoyed the topic. For some reason, though, these books are really calling out to me. Things have been stressful these last few months. It seems tonight it's a glass of wine, a not-so-comfy chair, and a couple of books by Western Colorado author Al Look.

Some of his other titles include:

  • John Otto and the Colorado National Monument
  • Utes' Last Stand at White River and Milk Creek, Western Colorado, In 1879
  • Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains Where Vacations Never End
  • Harold Bryant: Colorado's Maverick With a Paint Brush
  • S'fact: 1001 Interesting Facts About the Colorado Plateau
  • 1,000 Million Years On the Colorado Plateau
  • Hopi Snake Dance
  • U-boom: Uranium on the Colorado Plateau
  • Bits of Colorado History
  • Grand Junction 1881
  • Grand Junction Lions Club: The First Fifty Years 1921 - 1971
  • Utes of Western Colorado
  • Sidelights on Colorado: A Glance at Colorado History Without Depth, Details, or Direction

Please look around your house. If you've been around the valley long, it's entirely possible you have some of his books, too. When things are up and running again, you'll find all of the above titles at Mesa County Public Libraries.

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