Mobile Junction December 30, 2009

Church lassoes wayward souls

• The congregation is called “the watering hole.”

The pews are patches of dirt, and appropriate dress might have mud or hay on it.

The Round Pen Cowboy Church holds services every Sunday just like any other church, but this is the only service in Mesa County held in a barn.

“There’s a real need for this here,” said Colton Walter, who founded the cowboy church and is its pastor. “A lot of cowboys don’t feel comfortable walking into a traditional church.”

Walter started the church in June that is housed in a horse barn on Ron and Mary Groves’ ranch at 20 and K roads in Fruita.

Walter, a horse trainer, said he tried to think of everything ahead of time before opening the church, including installing heaters in the winter, a misting system for the heat in the summer and moving services back to 1:30 p.m. so cowboys can tend to their animals in the morning.

But, he said, he knew he’d “probably get bucked off and have to get back on.”

About 35 curious people showed up for the first service, Walter said, but more than 100 people attended the church’s cowboy rendition of the story of Jesus Christ’s birth for its Christmas service.

Even the music is done in cowboy fashion with banjos and fiddles carrying hymns for the service.

“You got to keep it cowboy,” Walter said. “Think George Strait with a Christian twist.”

Filmmaker loses gear to thieves

Local documentary filmmaker Larry Cappetto said he had never before left his equipment in his car.

But he said he was too tired at the end of the day Nov. 23, and he left about $3,500 in film equipment in his rental car outside his Las Vegas hotel with the intention of retrieving his things later.

“I was devastated,” Cappetto said, recalling when a hotel worker called his room a short while after leaving his car to tell him thieves had broken into his car and made off with his gear.

“I think the thing that bothers me the most is my privacy was invaded,” he said.

Cappetto has made nine films under a series title “Lest They Be Forgotten” since 2002, documenting the experiences of war veterans, with an emphasis on World War II veterans, as they tell them.

One veteran featured in Cappetto’s film on veterans residing in Las Vegas had a romance with Norma Jean, better known as Marilyn Monroe, from 1946 to 1950, and Cappetto said he intended to make a documentary on the man and his relationship with the Hollywood icon.

On the day he was robbed, Cappetto had interviewed people who knew the couple, including 1940s actress Barbara Knudson, and had collected photos to be used in the film from his interviews.


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