HOWARD GREAGER … San Miguel County lost its best storyteller and cowboy historian with the passing of Howard Greager … Born in Placerville and a resident of Norwood for many years, Greager managed to assemble lots of the old stories floating around Wright’s Mesa and Lone Cone Country, and put them into a series of marvelous books – In the Company of Cowboys, The Hell That Was Paradox, The Mind of a Fox, We Shall Fall As The Leaves, Posey’s Spurs and Smoke From Old Campfires and Forgotten Trails. They can be ordered direct from www.greager.com/books or in local bookstores … On top of his accomplishments as a writer, Howard was a very gracious gentleman who loved to share what he knew with others. Condolences go out to his wife Betty and son Craig and his many family members … Although it is a time of sadness, it’s heartening to know that folks will be reading Greager’s stories for many years.
TALKING GOURDS … Peter Waldor and his family have been coming to Telluride for years. And now he’s come out with a marvelous collection of wilderness poems that one author has called “spare, trenchant, whimsical.” He’ll be our featured reader for our monthly poetry club meeting at Arroyo Telluride the first Tuesday of August, the 6th at 6 p.m. Bring a poem or two of your own or a favorite author to share about this month’s theme: Mushrooms. Or just come to drink wine and listen.
UPROOTING … On Monday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. the Western Colorado Center for the Arts in Grand Junction is hosting an Ecstatic Evening of Poetry & Trees, with the visual art of the amazing Meredith Nemirov of Ridgway and the poetry of Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer of Placerville, Wendy Videlock of Grand Junction, Jack Mueller of Ridgway, Danny Rosen of Fruita and yours truly … It’s free.
COUNTY AUDIT … It was quite pleasing to hear our Certified Public Accountant, Peter Blair of Blair and Associates of Cedaredge, give the county a very positive audit last week. In presenting his management report, he praised Financial Director Ramona Rummel and, speaking to the board, said: “You’ve done a great job with financials” … In these hard economic times, it’s good to know county government is wisely managing the public purse. It’s not sexy and the information that may seem boring to some, but it’s important.
TIGER MOSQUITO … Danny Sanchez of Norwood saw our article on this invading species of insect that carries West Nile and other viral scourges and managed to trap a specimen and freeze it. He’s sending it to Dr. Chet Moore of CSU for identification … If positively identified, it would be the first confirmed sighting of this new invasive species in Colorado.
WEEKLY QUOTA … “Every now and then an astronomer needs to leave the office behind, travel somewhere remote, away from the urban hullabaloo – preferably somewhere with high elevation – and confront the night sky in all its naked beauty.” – MIT physics professor Anna Frebel in Scientific American (Dec. 2012)
NORWOOD HARDWARE … Home builders and contractors in the West End of the county are lamenting the closure of the local hardware retail outlet. It’s last day is Saturday, Aug. 3 … There are some good discounts being offered. But it hardly makes up for the closing down of one of Norwood’s premiere retail shops.
VENEZUELA … It appears the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry has given up trying to normalize relations with the U.S. after Obama’s nominee for U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, pledged to work against “repressive regimes” in her Senate confirmation hearings, according to The Week (Aug. 2 issue). She specifically cited the “crackdown on civil society” being carried out in Venezuela … However, Venezuelan officials responded that if any country is repressive, it’s the U.S. because of “the illegal prison in Guantánamo, the killing of civilians by drones, and the lamentable persecution unleashed against Edward Snowden” … And to be honest, they have a point. It’s hard to justify the Obama administration’s stance on all three of those issues. Many of us on the left thought these kind of repressive policies were just the product of the Bush administration and his Neocon advisers. But, as we’ve seen over Obama’s second term, Guantánamo has not closed, as was promised. Over 700 civilians, including some 400 children, have been killed by errant drone strikes in foreign countries, in flagrant contravention of international law. And it’s Obama who’s going after Edward Snowden for blowing the whistle on vast government spying on its own citizens on an unprecedented scale … It’s getting harder to trust the federal government to tell us the truth, since they clearly have abandoned the high moral ground long ago, both Democrats and Republicans.
THE TALKING GOURD
Mother and daughter
in the Lizard Head Wilderness,
on their knees picking chanterelles.
It will be late before they return.
What is more priceless than a heavy
basket of mushrooms.
I keep out of sight because
I would be frightening.
- Peter Waldor
-from his book The Wilderness Poetry of Wu Xing
(Pinyon Publ., Montrose, 2013)