Glenwood’s Carleton Hubbard earns singular honor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Carleton Hubbard, known to his friends as “Hub,” recently received a singular honor, literally – he is, he believes, the only man ever to earn a 60-year membership pin from the Lions Club in Glenwood Springs, the town where Hub was born.A member since he was 20 years old – Hub recently celebrated turning 80, and he joined the Lions in 1949 – he joined at the suggestion of his dad, who was one of the local club’s charter members when it was formed in 1921. And Hub now has outdone his dad in terms of longevity as a Lion.Hub is the grandson and great nephew of two men who moved from Vermont to the Glenwood Springs area in the mid-1880s and, a couple of decades later, discovered Hubbard’s Cave. Situated high on the southern wall of Glenwood Canyon, below the colorfully named Dead Man’s Gulch, the celebrated subterranean complex draws spelunkers and traditional tourists from far and wide.Hub’s grandfather, a teetotaler named Charles Hubbard, knew the famed gun-slinging dentist, John “Doc” Holliday, but “didn’t have any desire to become a close friend at all.” Holliday, who suffered from consumption, or tuberculosis, died in his room at the old Glenwood Hotel on Grand Avenue, which subsequently was destroyed by fire.Both his grandparents arrived before the Denver & Rio Grande Western Rail Road had made it to Glenwood. Grandfather Charles Hubbard, who suffered from catarrh (a respiratory ailment) and came for the healing waters of the hot springs, had worked on the railroad in Vermont and planned to pursue the same career here.Hub said his granddad’s willingness to relocate was likely spurred by “the cold winters and not much going on in Vermont.” Plus, he said, word had reached Vermont of the gold and silver strikes in the Rockies, sparking interests of all kinds in young men.Hub said his grandmother, with her infant son (Hub’s dad, also named Carleton) in tow, came on in 1887 by trekking in wagons to Wolcott, over Bellyache Ridge and down into Eagle, then on to Gypsum and over Cottonwood Pass to the Roaring Fork Valley.Ultimately, Hub’s dad became the clerk of Garfield County, a job he held for a decade before he bought a local abstract office from a man who wanted to move away. That business, which Hub joined after graduating from high school and attending about a year in college, ultimately became Stewart Title, a name familiar to just about any homeowner in the valley.Hub, who only left the valley for military service in the early 1950s, said the main benefits of being a Lion were “companionship with the other guys. You know, they were all businessmen, and Glenwood was a lot smaller then,” populated by perhaps 3,000 souls and with nothing but farmsteads in West Glenwood where Hub now lives.Over the years, Hub followed the example set by his dad, who was district governor of the club and traveled widely, including a 1939 trip to Cuba with wife and son beside him.Hub rose as high as “zone chairman” for the Lions, meaning he was in charge of overseeing the clubs in northwestern Colorado, at the same time that he worked his way up to chairmanship of a regional trade organization, the Land Title Association of Colorado.The Lions, besides being a place for men to meet, had a strong civic service streak from the beginning, putting up the town’s Christmas lights every year; cutting down Christmas trees and selling them out of a lot at 9th and Grand; building a fence around the local rodeo arena down by the river to prevent freeloaders from avoiding the purchase price of a ticket; and creating Strawberry Park (a.k.a. Sayre Park) as a place to hold the annual Strawberry Days festivities, family picnics and other events.It must be noted that his mom, Ada Hubbard, was named Strawberry Queen in 1915, as proved by a striking black-and-white photo of her, dressed in her royal finery, that hangs on Hub’s walls with numerous other images from days gone by.Hub and his wife, Mim, have three kids, several grandchildren and one great granddaughter spread out through Denver, Wyoming and Arizona, but he proudly notes that until recently the Hubbards were ubiquitous in the Glenwood schools.He explained that starting in 1892 with his father (and perhaps a couple of years earlier with one of his dad’s cousins), and continuing until 1978 with Hub’s youngest daughter, “For about 90 years there was a Hubbard in the local public schools.”As for his tenure as a Lion, Hub mused, “I’m proud of it,” both for his own longevity and for the club’s record of civic works, including his proudest achievement, “keeping up that park.””It’s not quite as active as I would have liked to see it,” he added, noting that the club is dominated by men in their 50s or older who still take on projects around town but who are less physically active than they once were.”Our main focus now is eyesight,” Hub said, explaining that the club regularly holds vision clinics for local children.Still, he said, there are younger members joining up, with new ideas and energy, a sign that the club will remain a force in the community for some time to firstname.lastname@example.org
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