Remembering Nine Eleven & America’s Never-Ending Wars
by Art Goodtimes
Sep 09, 2010 | 1335 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SAN MIGUEL PEACE WALK … It was an immediate response to the terrible catastrophe in that first year of the new Christian millennium, when our enemies struck back at Pax Americana and felled the Twin Towers -- inflicting shock and awe on New York and the world. On the 11th of the very next month, October, 2001, a handful of us gathered to walk down the streets of Telluride, our San Miguel County Seat. Both to remember and mourn those fellow citizens fallen in the collapse of the iconic Manhattan skyscrapers (as well as those cut down by wars happening continuously all around the globe) and to call on our government not to respond in vengeance but in a compassionate search for healing and justice. That latter call went unheeded by our federal government, but our walking vigil served to remind us here locally in the San Juans that we as a nation were at war, our solders were dying, and civilians were being killed in our name … Not just talking peace but giving witness. The same as a lone protestor I remember from New Haven (Connecticut) in the Seventies when I lived there for a winter. One man, standing in silent protest, every Wednesday at noon, with a sign, calling for an end to the Vietnam War. I joined him once or twice. But his hour-long vigil went on once a week for several years … And nine years later, here we are in Telluride, a handful of us continuing to walk for peace, once a month, on the 11th. Sometimes just one or two stalwarts. Sometimes a crowd, beating drums and carrying signs. Giving witness … This Saturday at noon we’ll meet once again under the clocktower at the County Courthouse and walk down Colorado Avenue. And afterwards the Wilkinson Library will host a special movie in conjunction with that monthly peace walk … Walking one’s talk is a mark of integrity. Acting for peace. Not just spouting politically correct rhetoric. The monthly peace walk is a concrete visualization of our community’s healing intentions and our continuing calls for peace … Become a witness. Walk with us.

FISHING … It was the last trip of the summer for dad and his 12-year-old son. A summer of single-parenting had challenged both the boy and the man. Juggling work and play, cooking and housekeeping, nurturance and conflict is nothing new for any number of single moms these days … I love the button someone gave me and that’s still pinned inside the cab of my red & white-spotted mushroom truck, “The Blessed Virgin Mary was an Unwed Teenage Mother” … Gorio and I had done a lot of car trips. Hours of talking. Hiking. Reading each other to sleep. We’d become each others’ cartoon sidekicks. Batman & Robin. Simpson & son. Plotting adventures. Bouncing ideas and questions around like tennis balls. But we’d come to the last weekend before the start of school. Two-thirds of the homework was done. We hadn’t camped as much as we’d have liked, or made the cookies we’d hoped to pass around our corner of Wright’s Mesa. But the chanterelle alfredo had been scrumptious, and we had one more night of camping planned – and a little fishing … Now the camping went well, in the Fruita backyard of a poet friend, soft grass, few bugs. We slept until the sun’s morning broiler nudged us out of the tent … But I’m not a fisherperson. My dad was. And Gorio had gone fishing with Grandpa Vince once or twice. And he’d loved it. But I’d long ago turned my back on the angler’s way, and so I was ill-prepared for my son’s last planned hurrah of summer. Of course, as Benjamin Franklin said, “Failing to prepare is preparing for failure.” And in that department I was quite well-prepared … On our way home from a night of star-gazing at four of Jupiter’s moons and several Messier objects in the adobe arc of poet/astronomer Danny Rosen’s backyard observatory, Gorio and I stopped at the new Cabela’s in Junction to pick up some gear we were missing. By the time we’d broke free of the Book Cliff mall’s feeding frenzy and were hunting casting spots on the Dolores River, it was late afternoon. We were sitting in our new folding chairs examining new fly fishing gear and trying to figure out how to assemble and operate new hook, line and sinkers. In the end the new spinning reels left us tangled and despondent. So, we packed up, having made but two desultory casts and caught one submerged stick, before throwing in the towel as the line unreeled and knotted most intricately at our feet … Alas, no trout for dinner this trip … But the boy comes down from Telluride to stay with me in Norwood on school-year weekends, so there’s still a chance. Perhaps a colorfest run up to Miramonte … Anyone willing to give lessons for a klutzy and very busy 65-year-old on the fine art of reeling and unreeling, contact me – on the fly, so to speak.


"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

- Maya Angelou

(thanks to Facebook friend Tammy Ruppert of Minnesota)

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