Telluride loses one of its stars
SHARON SHUTERAN … Sad news to learn of the Sharon’s passing in Mexico. Our county judge was one of those bedrock locals who defined what was different about Telluride. What was unique … In the courtroom she had immense patience and went out of her way (I thought) to explain the law clearly and fairly to all who came before her. For years I’ve attended her court sessions. Sometimes as a prospective juror or spectator. Once on the jury through a trial. Another time sitting in on a family member’s hearing. For a couple years I served as one of the state appointees to the District’s Judicial Review Commission that gets to monitor and “grade” judges – so, I had the privilege of sitting in judgment as Sharon came up for review before the panel and answered our questions and critiqued her own behavior behind the gavel. Colorado is lucky to have such a fair system, where no one, not even judges, are immune to citizen review, but at the same time are not forced to buy their way into office, as was the case in Colorado at one time … All these years and I have to say, every time I entered or left Judge Shuteran’s court, I was impressed. To me she was a model judge … But that was only her official capacity. I also knew her socially, and she was a fine spirit. Interested in many things, a good storyteller, with a witty smile and a long history here, including running the old Excelsior Café, in the early days, when even staying in town could be touch and go. She loved to talk politics. Travel. The arts. I always marveled how she kept her private life private, with its own set of parameters, and her public life public, making decisions based on the law. Her integrity was unquestioned … It’s not often that a public official can serve the people so well, especially in the difficult intricacies of the judicial system, and still lead a vibrant, happy life as a full community member … Sharon, we miss you.
|Prepping a field at Cloud Acre|
PASTORAL LIFE … This spring, more than any other in my memory, I’ve been unable to sit behind a computer and trade emails … Imagine getting 100 a day – it’s unsustainable. If you’ve emailed me and haven’t got a message back, better go back to the telephone. I can’t seem to keep current in cyberspace anymore. It’s just not possible … But this year, at Cloud Acre, everything’s possible -- with water. For years I’ve been trying to perfect my growing system for my private spud patch experimental station, where I grow upwards of 50 varieties of potato …That’s right, 50+. I cultivate about three or four plants of each variety, and end up with 300 or 400 mounds – depending on how many potatoes I plant for myself to eat and how many to trade or sell to others. Of course, since I’m only a part-time agriculturalist and I depend on the vagaries of the weather, I lose a bunch to drought, flood, long trips, benign neglect, a failure to weed, hail, bugs, deer, and the goddess remembers what else. Farming is not for the faint of heart … But after I froze the old pond pump, it was only last year that I’d gotten my new pump outfitted with quick release couplings and fixed (actually a couple of fixes by very compassionate neighbors over the course of several break-in seasons) and once finally took spring advantage of my junior water right (thank you Wayne Goin) to the Goodtimes Waste Ditch as it flows into Foster Pond of the Maverick Draw drainage, thence into Naturita Creek, and down to the lower San Miguel River in Montrose County. Mid-April’s when it started to warm up enough this year to start Spring’s great greening up. But it still freezes over at night in early Spring. And I’d already lost one pump and several past years’ water trying to irrigate too early … This year, the quick release system let me make use of my pond allotment in the day, disengage the pump each night as the pond recharges, and hook up each morning. This year, color me Spring green.
SCIENCE NEWS … I mean it blows me away. Most o’ my private life I’ve spent deep in that right-brain intuitive-creative poet space that is my Budadaist Yogic Rainbow path. But maybe it’s the past 16 years of public service, trying to keep local government local, and away from big, or partisan, or deeply indebted, that’s made me crave science. Facts, not the fickle sway of people aroused (which, of course, in a democracy, has its place) … Anyway, I find myself at sixty-six devouring the science zines. Scientific American, in its third year in my mailbox … We’re in the middle of a party and suddenly I’m explaining the newest physics on gluons and gravitrons to my wizard Ed Joe Draw neighbor … Tonight, it’s the low-brow Science News, whose scope of popular scan summarizes hundreds of discoveries, rather than just the monthly in-depth look at a scholarly dozen or so … The rare metal Iridium has been fingered in a new catalytic process to store and transport hydrogen at low temperatures and pressures – it could be a huge breakthrough for hydrogen-fueled autos … And I learned a new word – Alkanofer \al-Kan-o-fer\ A subsurface body made of liquid alkanes, molecules such as methane and ethane that contain only single-bonded carbon and hydrogen atoms. Found on the surface of Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. Analogous to an underground aquifer on Earth.
KATHY MCDONOUGH … Marty Hollinbeck sparked a community benefit for our good friend McDonough whose home in Naturita burnt down this winter. Two Candles rocked with the Spor Brothers and friends and lots of volunteers, and featured an outpouring of family and neighbors coming for the silent auction, food and bake sales to help Kathy start to rebuild. Tradesfolk have signed up to help with construction, bless ‘em.
|Blue Cuddle basket for Kathy|
THE TALKING GOURD
the joy of catching and fixing
when writing out the new date
and notice the flow and spin
to change a zero (almost a 9)
to a ten by fronting a one
welcome now to twenty ten
on the cusp of 2009/2010