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Monday, July 25, 2011


Prepping for Shroomfest
At Cloud Acre

-for Ty Allchin

Got back this late July weekend
Mowed the fallow field weeds
Have yet to mound the spuds
though watering daily

Not sure I can promise
a rainbow for our parade
But home from the gathering
the boy and I appear to be

rained out of an early
morning climb of Sheep
Mountain big brother Rio
& I had planned for months

& first reports from the San Juans
say some chanterelles already
& maybe a few boletes
(Leccinum, for sure)

Capt. Barefoot Broadside                                          Union of Street Poets
Vincent St. John Local / Colorado Plateau / Aztlán
 Kuksu Brigade (Ret.) / San Francisco

Pandora's Box #2

Pandora’s Box
v. 1 #2  

a Monthly Column on Poetry from the Western Slope's Poet Laureate

by Art Goodtimes

On the Road

Traveling socks sand
into shoes
Grain into cedar

Builds all around grit
Great stuff
to spend the rest of

the year
smoothing into meaning
polishing into ink

POEM OF MY OWN … Summer is a bad time to start things. I started this column as a monthly in May, but June was travel prep and July vacation. I was on the road until just this evening  (actually got to hear Canned Heat’s version of “On the Road Again” on the radio when we were driving through Hoquiam) …The intent is to begin with a poem of my own, chat about various poetry items, and end with a featured poet … So, let’s take it from the top here at the end of July, with an August version to come soon.

JOHN NIZALOWSKI … My good buddy, poet, professor, book reviewer and biographer (whose youngest, Isadora, is my goddaughter), John Nizalowski of Grand Junction has published a new chapbook of poetry, The Last Matinée (Turkey Buzzard Press, Kittredge CO 80457, 2011). And he’s holding a free poetry reading in celebration of the book, along with publisher and poet Padma Jared Thornlyre, at Planet Earth & the Four DirectionsGallery in Grand Junction, Friday, July 29th at 7 p.m. … Highly recommended. 

POWELL’S … No visit to Portland would be fitting without at least one stop in Powell’s – one of the biggest and most successful independent bookstores in the nation … Checked the used poetry stacks and found lots of great titles. Almost got a couple books about legendary SF poet Jack Spicer, but settled for a staff pick: Apropos of Nothing by Richard Jones (Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, 2006). Brilliant work. Simple, clear, metaphoric and with what the book jacket rightly calls “luminous interiority”.
MALPAÍS REVIEW … Just got my block-buster copy of this litzine’s summer issue -- the Malpaís Review, where “the Badlands are everywhere.” Into its second year, MR is edited by Gary L. Brower with help from Dale Harris – both fine New Mexico poets in their own right ... This issue features a mini-anthology of Latvian poetry in translation; featured sections on the poetry of Mario Benedetti, Sy Hoahwah, Lawson Inada and Wayne Crawford; and lots of good work by names I know (Don McIver, Don Levering, Ann Valley-Fox) and names I don’t (Kale Baldock, Dee Cohen, Juan Antonio Masóliver) … Highly recommended.

RACHEL KELLUM … I first met this excellent poet from Brush, out on the eastern plains, this past winter. An ivory black scarf around her neck, as daring as any avant-garde Isadora, Rachel read her powerful poems at the Karen Chamberland Poetry Festival in Carbondale, while centered in a Tai Chi stance --
calm, quiet but deeply inviting … We’ve been exchanging poems via email, and it’s been a delight to find such a powerful new voice. She also paints, raises children, and teaches at Fort Morgan Community College. A super-woman for sure.

RED BIRD … For years G. Leonard Bird was my inspiration for poetry on the Western Slope. He taught at Ft. Lewis College and had been an editor for the Rocky Mountain Literary Review when I came to Colorado in ’79. His book, River of Lost Souls from John Brandi’s Santa Fe-based Tooth of Time Press, was powerful good medicine … We became friends. I lectured in his class. He brought students to my Talking Gourds poetry events. In the last years of his life, this fine teacher/writer/peace activist and his wife Jane alternated between Michigan and San Miguel de Allende … He passed away last fall, and this summer a memorial was held June 4th at Ft. Lewis, with poetry and music. I was unable to attend, but sent a poem … Many of us will long remember a wonderful man who gave his all to his students and inspired a whole generation of poets and activists.


WAY OF THE MOUNTAIN … Mountain Gazette is archiving the Way of the Mountain poetry page that I started this spring in their publication – inheriting the MG poetry editor mantle from the late Karen Chamberlain of the Roaring Fork Valley and before that Peter Anderson of Crestone.

GOURD CIRCLE POET … Traveling to Portland for a political meeting, I got to visit an old friend I hadn’t seen in years, Eric Walter. A fine poet, one of the original founders of the Fire Gigglers, a gifted musician and father to a son (Jacob) the same age as my boy (Gorio) … The four of us spent a lovely day along the Willamette River visiting the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry with its WWII submarine tours, IMAX theater, dazzling science exhibits (it was the first time I’d seen an actual diorama of a fetus in a womb through each week of a pregnancy) and interactive stations that kept us all busy for hours (I learned my left hand has a stronger grip than my right) … After years in Colorado, Eric had moved back to Portland where he’d originally studied theater at Reed College, and began focusing more on his music (he and his son had just finished playing a Renaissance Faire when we came to visit). An admirer of Dolores LaChapelle, he’d let his connection to the natural world take center stage in his poetry. The poem below is from his last chapbook, Sounds from the Old Lodge (Castle Rock Publ., Prescott, AZ, 2004). He’s hoping to have a new chapbook out this year.

In the church of deep woods
old, aromatic
cedar and doug fir
pine and hemlock

stretch cool veils
of shade
over rock and rill hymns

gardens of vanilla leaf
cow parsnip and skunk cabbage

where black bear roam
etch their passing
in bark

and elk, deer
raccoon congregate
at river’s edge

in prayer
for the rare human
pilgrims that arrive

humble, and always
very tired

copyright Eric Walters

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mountain Gazette #180

Way of the Mountain #180

         Publication and performance are the twin pillars of the poetry world. Personally, I’m a fan of crossovers, but I dig reading written poems and I love hearing performance poetry – slam, hip-hop, open mike. Or the Gourd Circle – a gathering of friends for dinner and several rounds of telling stories, poetry & song.

But poetry can be more than just outreach to an audience. For some it is valuable personal practice. Valerie Haugen of Glenwood Springs falls in love with a new poet a day. Lorine Niedecker. Amy Lowell. Gerard Manley Hopkins. Their words, insights and stylistic breakthroughs inform her poetry. Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville has made a lyric practice of writing a poem a day. After going on three years of this, she’s become a master of capturing language and experience. Both great personal practices. And both poets take advantage of the Web’s blogosphere to “publish” their work and explorations.

Another bright exploratory star flames out … Gregory Greyhawk was one of those giant souls, huge-hearted, a string of his own hockey teeth pearled around his neck. Brilliant, erratic. I loved being around him. Anything could happen, and sometimes did …. Just ordered his book, Wailing Heaven, Whistling in Hell (Howling Dog Press, Berthoud, Colorado, 1996) … Gonna miss the wrap of his big arm as we caromed down a Denver sidewalk, and the wild grin of his gap-toothed smile.
-Art Goodtimes
Cloud Acre

Remembering Karen Chamberlain

lanky stalk of grass
singing in the autumn wind
your voice packed with seeds

-Carol Bell
Ft. Collins

Cool Dad

My dad, who never blows his cool
the day i left for Vietnam
sat down to a stack of homemade buttermilk pancakes
and poured vinegar on them, by mistake.

-Dennis Fritzinger
Earth First! Journal editor


As for us, yes, the young still go to war,
And wars continue at the speed of darkness,
Not the world wars you expected, but the others,
Wars of despisals in our countries, in our cities, in other countries and cities.
Promises and solidarity collapsed, and in the confusion
justice circles this sweating planet, looking for somewhere to land.

-Jackie St. Joan
excerpt Letter to Muriel Rukeyser at the End of the 20th Century

Rainforest Bedroom

…jaguar has moved into the bedroom
meadowlarks are nesting in the corner
sunfish swim in the water glass on the nightstand
black widow makes a web in your shoe
the bed is a jungle
and it’s raining emeralds

-Galaxy Dancer

While Considering Demolition

I ask my teacher
about walls.
She says, Notice them.
I ask,
What´s on the other side?
 She says, You are.

-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Up Bear Creek / 21jul50011

Up Bear Creek

by Art Goodtimes

Travels with Gregorio Rainbow Oshá

ON THE ROAD … Each summer I look forward to traveling with my youngest son. It’s the high point of the non-school year for both of us … Of course, I rarely do anything singly. Seems like double-tasking is de rigeur for my busy life as pol, poet, poppa and spud farmer. So, rather than just a vacation, I often combine business and pleasure. This year was no different … The Rainbow Gathering at Skookum Meadows in Skamania County, Washington, was one major focus. The annual meeting of the National Association of Counties (NACo) at the Portland Convention Center was the other. Both were in the first part of July. Both were in the Pacific Northwest. Marrying the two together seemed natural, although one involved my wild hippie countercultural society and the other our shared mainstream law&order cultural matrix. Perhaps polar opposites for some. But I subscribe to the dictum, “All power to the paradox,” as my poet friend Jack Mueller would insist.

LATE START … The intent this year was to leave Cloud Acre at the end of June and get to the Rainbow Gathering for its start, July 1st. But no such luck. It took Gorio and I two full days of packing to get ready for our trip, and to secure Cloud Acre with friends to feed the cats and tend the fifty some potato varieties that I grow each year. Shoehorning gear for both camping in the wilds and formal political meetings into a tiny Honda Civic was no easy task. We made it fit, but didn’t start our journey until the day the gathering was supposed to start … Gorio and I agreed to not rush, and enjoy our travels as much as our destinations … So, the first night was spent in Fruita, at Danny Rosen’s North 19 Straw Bale Observatory, where it just so happened three of our favorite poets in the world were having a campfire evening – Rosen, Wendy Videlock of Grand Junction and the aforementioned Mueller of Log Hill Village in Ridgway. An evening spent quoting lyrics, explicating the nature of memory and drinking fine liquids of various sorts made for a great (if late) start to our journey … And in the spirit of not rushing, Gorio slept into the afternoon before we got back on the road. Ah, the vacationing life…

GREEN RIVER … The Green River Coffee Company has become a favorite stop in a long desolate stretch of Interstate (with starkly beautiful scenery). Great coffee. Wifi (although they charge a small fee to plug in). Good sandwiches. And a relaxed, bookish atmosphere … You hardly feel like you’re in Utah. And the java is organic. 25 East Main St. And if you park down a side block, you can even find a little shade.

LA GRANDE … The second day we made a little better time, driving from a so-so motel in Salt Lake City to a must-stop eatery on any Northwest journey. A few years ago, just by chance, we stopped in La Grande and found ourselves seated for dinner at Foley Station. And what a dinner it was! Some of the tastiest, most creative food I’ve had and for a very reasonable price … Over the years, it has become a destination cafe for me. I like to plan my trips around dinner or breakfast at Foley Station in La Grande… This time we found a small very cheap (under $50 for 2) but clean motel on the outskirts of town – Quail Run Motor Inn. The sound of the rail line across the road added rural flavor. The proprietors – a lovely Indian couple – kept the grounds in excellent shape, and were very friendly … But the high point for us was dinner at Foley Station. The meal was excellent, although the male waiter was a bit slow and we were a bit cranky, so he didn’t get the big tip he could have gotten. But I’d recommend this restaurant to anyone anytime. Even with slow service … Our only regret was that they’d decided to close for the 4th of July weekend, so we didn’t get Sunday brunch like we’d hoped.

SKOOKUM MEADOWS … Gorio’s middle name is Rainbow. It’s where his mother and I first met. And he’s been going with me every other year since he was born (the gathering is held in national forests around the county and alternates between the east coast and the west coast – with our attending only when it’s in the west) … Since we got to the gathering so late, we had to park miles from the event, and ended up walking for hours and hours, camping outside the gathering, and only making it into the site for the 4th of July peace circle … But still it was inspiring. And other than the Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) from their D.C. “unified command,” it was a very peaceful gathering. I heard later from a local county commissioner in Skamania County that the LEOs failed to coordinate with the local sheriff, alienated all the local people, and made many silly and ridiculous arrests … Once again, it was the Feds out of control. Must be some sort of lesson there.

PEBBLE MINE … Poet friend Cameron Scott, whose fine poem is our Talking Gourd for this week, says that Telluriders may be familiar with this “big plain suck ass of a mine” in Alaska from the award-winning film by our local filmmakers, Red Gold.


Pebble Mine

Growing up we used to throw pebbles
over power lines.

Rotation of shoulder, whip of forearm.
Our laughter scattering into the grass.

Laboring through the heat of rules
without rules, some of us took aim
at magpies and windows.

Then staring down at our dirty socks
we would ask forgiveness
for the windows.

-Cameron Scott

Monday, July 18, 2011

Up Bear Creek / 14jul50011

Attending a healing gathering for peace

RAINBOW … Every year it’s a different spot, and a different event. This year’s gathering on the flanks of Mount St. Helen’s in Skamania County, Washington, not far from the mountain town of Cougar had its own flavor. Parking was far from the camp – some four to five miles. Gorio and I made it close, but we ended up camping outside the gathering, in a lovely spot in the trees. We walked into the camp on the 4th and made it for the noon circle, although because of late snows the big meadow was actually a bog, and there were several circles, which meant things were a bit disconnected. But we did dance around the peace pole in the second meadow, and we did meet up with our good friend Jim Rosenthal from Norwood … A lovely (very cold) stream wound through the forests, meadows and camps of the site. Chuck and Linda Parry, formerly of Telluride, were there with their Bread of Life kitchen – feeding thousands of people. Jim volunteered and helped them, as he’s done for several years. We’d hoped to join them this year, but we weren’t able to get our load of stuff into the site, due to the distance and a late start. Still, we got great hugs and lots of loving energy from everyone. And met up with a number of special friends … Rainbow’s healing love energy continues strong, even with 20,000 strangers gathering in the woods year after year. And that’s a beautiful thing, no matter how hard the way in can be.

BUDGET … In his proposal to balance the federal budget, Columbia Law School professor Michael J. Graetz’s first recommendation is to enact a value-added tax (a tax on sales of finished goods and services) such as exists in 150 countries worldwide. Exported goods are exempted from the VAT, making them more competitive in the world market against our goods, which have our domestic business and raw materials sales taxes built into their cost … His second proposal is to exempt families earning $100,000 or less from the federal income tax. He would drop the corporate tax rate to 15-20% and get rid of the earned income tax credit (naturally, since people under $100,000 income wouldn’t pay income tax), instead providing lower-income families with relief from the VAT burden through payroll tax credits and other tax mechanisms.

GREEN PARTY … It’s a good measure of a group if it can weather controversy and conflict. The state Green Party has had its share of both, and for the last year or so been mired in internal issues … But a day-long meeting in Longmont last month served to heal some of the rifts and provide majority support for a restructuring of the party … I was pleased to be elected co-chair, along with Poudre Valley Green Bill Bartlett, for the next several years (an earlier election was only temporary). For more info, check the state Green website <>

CARBON TAX … Back in February, I wrote about a carbon tax proposal by my friend Lance Christie of Moab (who’s now passed on, bless him). His proposal was for a carbon tax of $300 per ton of CO2. Bryan Cashion of Montrose wrote back to question the math on that figure … While supportive of the idea of a carbon tax to lower people’s energy usage, Bryan was critical of the numbers Lance had proposed. Pointing out that my 60 kWh per day for the month of January that I myself used at Cloud Acre (“Confessions of an Energy Pig”) would have cost me an extra $434, if Lance’s proposed carbon tax had been in effect. It turns out that one kilowatt hour of use translates to 1.606 pounds of CO2, according to one source. Multiply that times 30 days in a month, and understanding that 2000 pounds equals a ton, I suddenly have a very large power bill (with the tax) – something in the neighborhood of $600 for one month … Clearly, even phasing such a tax into place over several years would be pretty onerous for small power users, like myself … So, anyone out there have a better figure on what a realistic carbon tax might be? (and thank you, Bryan)

WEEKLY QUOTA … "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou (thanks to Facebook friend Tammy Ruppert of Minnesota)

THUMBS DOWN … Former California Governor and U.S. President Ronald Reagan, “Mr. Teflon”, whose Hollywood charm and 20-mule-train “Mr. Clean” look (while pimping for General Electric) made him an American icon of the Right (in an ironic spin of the universe at its most resilient, it’s Ronald’s John Hancock that seals my Bachelor of Arts degree); when, for those of us on the Left, it was the Raygun administration (so named for his boondoggle Star Wars proposal to militarize space) that began the rise of what many are calling the “imperial presidency”, starting with his illegal drugs-for-guns Contra operation -- funding guerrilla thugs to terrorize the Nicaraguan countryside, killing doctors, nurses and teachers, in a proxy war with Russia … Now comes even our own progressive hope for president, Mr. Barack Obama, continuing to bomb Tripoli without seeking congressional approval, as our Constitution and the War Powers Act demands … Left / Right – it doesn’t seem to matter. When it comes to power, both sides of the aisle are seduced and act unilaterally … Someone in Willapa Bay on our trip to the Northwest suggested that the Tea Party and the Green Party ought to unite and form the Green Tea movement, and see if we can get our federal union back in control of the people, instead of the banks and the military-industrial complex.


Father Sebastian

Father Sebastian sits
in the burn-black corridors of his mind
and hauls out his spiny dreams.

He wants to become a mirage
scrambling over the desert
just out of reach,

to whisper like a loom
when it licks
velvet threads,

to be a hawk
whose search for a mate
flogs its iron wings,

or the beast of evening
when it crawls over trembling hills,
casting rosaries around its feet.

-Carol Bell
Ft. Collins

Up Bear Creek / 7jul50011

Nabhan on Immigration & Deep Ecology

GARY PAUL NABHAN … I was at a conference with this Slow Food hero in Fort Collins recently, and I asked Gary if he’d share a few poems with us. Since we don’t usually run long poems, I’ve taken the liberty to fit a couple of his into my column’s prose style … Both vignettes find moral lessons in lyrical expression -- from one of the Southwest’s great visionaries.

WE ALL HAVE IMMIGRANT BLOOD … “Stick em up,” was how Papa always greeted me. “Stick em up” … Papa -- my Lebanese grandfather -- escaped being conscripted. That is, trapped in the Turkish army to fight against his own people. So he came into the United States illegally, to live the rest of his life. Thirty years after settling his family in the Indiana Dunes, his oldest daughter talked him into getting citizenship, his sons and daughters already teachers, sheriffs and such … A speaker of Arabic, if he tried today to do exactly what he did a century ago, he would have been sent back home … My great grandfather, too poor to pay for a good ticket to ship out with the rest of his family from Marseilles to Ellis Island, took the cheaper ship to America, which left him in Vera Cruz. Realizing his mistake, he wired his family to join him in Mexico, where they would hopefully gain enough money to travel together to where other relatives had congregated in Juarez and El Paso. But before they arrived in Miami to take the steamer to meet him, my grandfather died of malaria, put nameless and numberless, in a dirt grave by a few other Syrian immigrants to the New World … The father of my order, the Ecumenical Secular Franciscans, was an Umbrian named Francesco di Bernardone from Assisi. When young he was imprisoned when found riding on the land claimed by another city-state. When he was older, he left Italy to join the Crusades, but ended up imprisoned in Egypt by a Sultan, a believer in Islam, who could have killed him. But they worshipped together, prayed together, and sooner or later Francesco was released. Within a few years, all Christian prisoners were released, and they went to visit the Holy Places without risk. Those same Holy Places today are divided by walls which look so much like the walls which run between Sonora and my home.

TEAMING WITH LIFE … (for Mitch and Cindy, on graduation day at Unity) … I have grown tired of the idea that our species can save the world by itself … I have begun to wonder if when we stand alone, we have the guts to do anything that will work to keep this planet healthy, rich, resilient and wise … I have had to concede that we desperately need to acknowledge we need a support group, one comprised of many other species, if we are to make it through the floods, droughts and weather shifts, the scarcities of fossil fuel and fossil groundwater, economic downturns, ecologic collapses, misfiring synapses, freezes, sneezes and fits of uncertainty that the next few decades will bring to all of us … We need to turn to them and say, “My name is Homo tonto, and by myself, I stand defenseless before the crazy range of temptations, disruptions, cataclysms and global aneurisms which are careening down the turnpike and heading our way. Mates, I need help.” … We need help from the thousands of microbes -- beneficial bacteria and such -- which make up 88% of all the cells on our bodies and tongues and ears, in our guts and noses and mouths, and even between our toes and hair follicles, that may keep us from succumbing to diseases, that may help us digest our food, that may shield us from ultraviolent radiation and other forms of damnation we have hurled at ourselves. We need to acknowledge their presence, ask for help … We need to forget thinking of ourselves as individuals, and try to remember that each of our bodies (and maybe our minds) are nothing less than communities, nothing less … We need to get down on our hands and knees, and ask the earth for forgiveness for having tried to simplify all the lives hidden in each teaspoon of ground, for having treated them like dirt. We need to open our eyes like the wisest microscopes giving thanks to all the archaea, protozoa, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, slime-spewing molds, algae and fungi, gastropods and arthropods, earthworms and nematodes, not to mention salamanders and snakes, gophers and groundhogs, moles and voles that garden with us each and every time we plant a seed or tree, for they are the ones that bring us our daily bread … And what about the ones who grow on living walls, cultivated rooftops, septic tank leach fields, hedgerows, windbreaks, artificial or natural wetlands for sewage treatment and flood abatement, when do we ever give them the nod that we’d be wallowing in waste if not for them? Or the frogs, the toads, the warblers and whistling ducks? How do we think we’d make it through any day without their fascinating rhythms and riffs to boogie us along? … And what of the phoenix birds, the unicorns, the white whales and jackalopes and bigfoots who somehow fly around in our ecological imaginations even when science cannot fathom where they nest? … What would we do without these friends and allies, these mutualists and inquilines, the mentors, advisors, ombudsmen, nurses, emergency room doctors, rescue workers, scavengers, detritivores, mop-uppers, mayhem-calmers, hangover curers and clowns? …
Where would we be without the genius of the team? How would we survive?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Up Bear Creek / 30jun50011

Up Bear Creek

by Art Goodtimes

A great new indie film by a friend

TENDERLOIN … Back in the Seventies (which were really part of the Sixties -- at least the first half), I spent summers traveling. Mostly hitch-hiking (loved those college ride boards). Sometimes with a cheap car (which, combined with cheap gas, made such adventures affordable on a dirtbag budget) … One year I made it to the nation’s capital. Stayed with a buddy from the seminary who was into film, Michael Anderson. The seminary had been a strong bond, and most guys who’d left were generous with each other. I stayed a week or so … Lots of images flood back from that time … Hitting a kitchen cockroach the size of a small rabbit with a frying pan, and feeling the frying pan bounce off the hard shell, as the critter skittered into the shadows … Joking with the streetwalkers in front of Michael’s digs and taking late night solo ambles all over town, tensed for any trouble (none came) … Waiting out a tornado watch, the sky’s clouds turning an angry obsidian, on the lawn of a Maryland barn-turned-sound studio & basketball gym … Beating a serious big city leftie (buddy of Michael’s) at chess, to both our astonishments … Drinking Stolichnaya vodka into the night with a clutch of Russian engineers, toasting everything under the sun -- quite delightful fellows … It was 1976. It was summer and I was adventuring. I’d just come Tenderloin: Live or Start Dying to D.C. from a demo at the Bicentennial Celebration in Philly, that I’d bussed down for from Maine and then missed (not unpleasantly lost in Fairmount Park and the Museum of Art) … A few years later Michael stopped by my second-floor railroad apartment in Noe Valley on a pass through San Francisco, where I lived. I wasn’t home. But he left a 3x6 foot Russian poster of the Red Army hammer & sickle outside my door. Having been called a “commie” more than once for my liberal communitarian views, I loved the poster. In fact, still have it. Out in my own barn now … Michael and I have stayed in distant touch. He’s continued on in film. Heard when he got blown up in a car in the Middle East on assignment. Seriously injured. His buddy killed … A couple weeks ago he announced a new film on the upper-class seminary listserve (we have two – my class has its own). I wrote him, bought a copy. And watched it the other night … What a sweet film and quite well done. An indie, <> featured a lovely, well-written story (damaged vet takes slum hotel manager gig to escape unraveling marriage and falls in love with his kid), great character actors, nice editing (quick cuts, multiple camera angles), and a sad/happy/almost triumphant (if unresolved) finish. Nothing flashy. Just strong performances, a strangely appealing camaraderie among disparate characters, and a modern day morality play of the most appealing kind … Kudos to my buddy Michael. Highly recommended.

SAL PACE … State Representative Sal Pace (D-Pueblo) is coming to town for a Pancake Breakfast that the San Miguel Democratic Party, under the leadership of Brian Ahern, is sponsoring on Sunday, July 3, at the Elks Lodge in Telluride from 8 in the morning to just past noon. Vets and kids under 8 are free … Not only does Sal have a sibling in Norwood, but he was John Salazar’s able rep for several years. Once he got elected to the legislature, he’s quickly risen to House Minority Leader. And now I think he’s eyeing a race with Scott Tipton in the Third Congressional. Go meet Sal and get to know this rising Dem leader.

CREDIT CARD JUJU … It’s interesting how the credit card companies try to sell you insurance against loss and your mistakes, but they aren’t so good about compensating you for their mistakes … Like the credit card company that withdrew $2741 dollars from my account on a $27.41 bill, that I had paid in full (luckily, I have check duplicates) … I got a rude awakening when I went to the ATM to withdraw $100 and found I had “insufficient funds.” It took a few hours of detective work to realize what had happened. My bank had hit me up with several overdraft fees, but quickly cancelled them, when they heard my story … The credit card manager at the phone bank was nice. But looking at my check, he explained that a computer had misread my check, although it was quite clear in both boxes that the check was written for $27.41. He tried to make me feel like it was my fault. Then explained it would be three days before I could withdraw money from my account. And at no point offered my compensation – and when I finally broached the subject, he gave me $10 for a points program the credit card offers as a “bonus” to its customers … A couple hours detective work. Three days inconvenienced by not being able to write checks on my checking account because of their mistake. And a guilt trip besides. Welcome to the wonderful world of plastic, where even their mistake is your mistake (the real mistake is having a credit card at all…)

RARE METALS … Jim Burnell of the Colorado Geological Survey gave an excellent presentation to a very small group last week. His talk wasn’t advertised in any calendar I could find, not even in Ouray County, where it was held. A shame, because it was excellent. There appears to be a number of critical and strategic minerals (C&S) in our region, some of which deposits are recoverable … But why would we want to go back to such an extractive industry, even if it is our heritage in this community? Because many of these C&S minerals (tellurium, vanadium, indium, germanium, gallium, selenium and more) are critical for expanding our alternative energy options, and at present China has a trade monopoly on many of these – strategically not a good situation … I think we need to bring Jim back to speak in Telluride, since his information is going to have increasing relevance for our future in this county.


Artu Detour

Isn't this life a whirl?
A tornado?
A rude awakening & end?