It was wild traipsing through the sets of four vignette pieces for a half-hour before the sit-down ensemble work began, with cellist Joan Jeanrenaud playing as she was wheeled through the audience and on to the stage during the dance tableaus. Quite avant-garde.
SPENCER HOT SPRINGS … No trip across the Loneliest Highway in America would be complete without a stop in Nevada’s Smoky Valley for a dip in that sagebrush hilltop pool. Since I flew to California a couple weeks ago to see my dad in Mountain View and then drove his ’81 Celica back out to Colorado, I only got one shot at Spencer … Vince decided at 87 to give up driving – not because he couldn’t drive still but because he couldn’t be sure he might not have a lapse and hurt someone else in the process, and that was something he didn’t want to live with. I was impressed. I hope I can grow old as wisely as him … And a lovely shot it was on the second day out of California, taking a shortcut from Lee Vining through Hawthorne and Luning. Arrived in the late afternoon, and soaked all to myself, the warm minerals soaking into my skin, chanting song after song to blue skies, green p-j hills, and the dusk’s sunset reds.
JUNE LAKE … Took a slight detour south of U.S. 50 to catch up with my old friends, Michael and Valerie Cohen. Their new dog was frisky and friendly. Their plucky Forest Service cabin neat as a pin … Michael, professor emeritus, was taking a break from writing and doing lots of bicycling. He’s always one for great discussions, even if the visit was a short morning parlant a trois over omelettes … Valerie had incisive comments and a brilliant new series of paintings to share. Her new book about her pioneering climbing mother should be out this year. Mountainfilm should consider bringing her here for a slide show.
GREENS GATHER … The San Miguel Greens are holding a gathering Wednesday, June 20th, before the annual Colorado Green Party meeting in Glenwood June 23 and 24. Everyone is welcome to a potluck meeting at John Wontrobski’s house at Lawson Hill. For more details, contact John or me.
BURN CANYON CALL … The Burn Canyon Monitoring Task Force will be holding a workshop in functional monitoring July 2-3 in Norwood. Cindy Hindes of CSU will teach the free two-day course, and those learning will help continue the long-term salvage logging community monitoring project initiated by the four county Public Land Partnership (Delta, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel) and carried out by Phil and Linda Miller of Telluride. Adults or students welcome. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org
PAH FEST … New Mexico came after California for me this time. Grants, the Uranium Capital of the West. I drove there for Chris Coppola’s film training festival – Project Accessible Hollywood. My buddies Bill Nevins and Priscilla Baca y Candelaria had a team flick entered into the competition, and I hung out with them for a day. To our delight and surprise Bill took first place in the cellphone video category, using a poem from my book As If the World Really Mattered (Albuquerque, La Alameda Press, 2006) … Go to www.earsxxi.com … Click on "see the winning movies" .. Watch "cellphone art"
RANDY UDALL … After New Mexico I rushed up to Keystone near Lake Dillon where the very impressive Gov. Bill Ritter spoke (he called on me for a question and invoked his “here’s one of the ponytail caucus” comments by way of introduction to my “how we gonna cut back on prison spending” question). Joan May and I both attended this annual summer county commissioner conference, and Elaine Fischer would have, except that she took sick … But for me, the high point of the three days was a great talk by Udall, the director of Aspen’s Community Office for Resource Efficiency … Three years ago Randy never would have been invited to CCI (Colorado Counties, Incorporated). But Colorado’s blue swing the last couple of elections has given progressives in this statewide lobbying association new clout … One of our liberal own, Pitkin County Commissioner Dorothea Farris, not only has made it into leadership as a CCI executive board member, but is now slated to be the next president of the organization. She was the one who invited Udall and introduced him to a hundred or so county commissioners … His message was sobering. Global warming is undeniably real. Peak oil is here and the world market crunch is on. Energy will be the lynchpin issue for the next 25 years. Solve the energy issue and water, transportation, environmental care – everything falls into place. But no fuel, no future … We ought to be restructuring our land use to reflect the coming droughts and loss of cheap mobility (that hundred-year-old phenomenon that radically changed the world); offering incentives for locally produced, ecologically disposable, non-petroleum-dependent goods and services. The time is now. Our inflating carbon footprint is like a giant dirigible about to burst.
MICK IRELAND … Won a run-off for mayor of Aspen. A rich developer tried to buy his way into office, but long-time Pitkin County commissioner, activist and progressive took over the helm of the Slope’s wealthiest ski resort. Hurrah!
SPEAKING OF LEADERSHIP … Elaine, in spite of being too sick to attend the CCI summer conference, was re-elected as President of the Western District (CCI divides the state into five districts). She also serves as vice-chair of the Tourism and Resort Steering Committee.
THE TALKING GOURD
in the mountains
shows no respect
for the rest of
who go slow
we have to accept this
even if we’re still
wet behind the wheels
hot under the hood
what people ever had
so much going for them?
©2007 Art Goodtimes