… Wander over to the elegant Galaxy Theatre this weekend to listen to legendary New York City mycologist and stand-up philosopher Gary Lincoff as he explores the fungal twilight zone with “The Mushrooms of Gliese 581c” – the planet some 20 light years away that is said to be most like Earth. Kat Harrison is back, with more tales of psychedelia. And co-director John Sir Jesse, deeply interested in fungal nutrition and medicinal properties, is bringing several herbalists of note, including my good friend John Winslow of Om-Chi Herbs, who will have a vendor booth connected to the event … If you’ve missed this uniquely Telluride tradition, with its wild presentations, bountiful forays, and annual main street parade, make this the year to come see what’s popping up all over town.
BEVERLY CUSICK, PT, MS, COF… If you missed Billie, our friend and Lawson Hill inventor/mom-of-the-incredible-Ms. Ting, talking Thera-togs on the “Dr. John” segment of Fox Channel-31 News last night, you’re in luck. Tune in to the podcast at www.theratogs.com … FAQ&A … What are Thera-togs? They’re revolutionary new flexible fabric training casts for pediatric neuromotor therapy as well as sensorimotor rehabilitation after brain injury, stroke, orthopedic or neurosurgery … What does PT, MS, COF mean? … PT means a licensed physical therapist. MS is for her master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and COF means certified orthotic fitter, allowing her to dispense orthotics commercially.
PAUL HOMER … Dr. David Homer’s dad, a fine poet and dedicated Chicago lawyer, was in town last week. I was delighted to be able to honor him with a snippet of his work from a longer poem as last week’s Talking Gourd. The whole poem is called “Marseilles Harbor – 1945” and appears in his latest book, Impressions From A Curmudgeon (www.booksurge.com). Delightful verse goliards drawn from pen of a quite successful man-of-the-world … Highly recommended.
ROB FUNKHOUSER … I remember a lot of things about Rob – not just his escapades at Epoxy Sister parties. I remember when he lived in Norwood, just up the road from me, and battled furiously to prevent a gravel pit from opening up in the residential area of Wright’s Mesa, where he lived … But most of all I remember him for his presidency of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition. He was a “tireless advocate of free access to public lands for everyone,” as WSNFC co-worker Kitty Benzar noted. And I can attest to that. He’d send me emails. Call and talk strategy. I once took a resolution to the National Association of Counties at his urging to oppose fees for public land usage. I was unsuccessful, but Rob was tireless. Failing on one front, he sought out another, and another, and another … He was a bulldog for the common folk trying to fight their way through the system, trying to prevent the Disneyization of our western public lands. And he was a very gracious man, attuned to the social complexities. Sad news. We've lost a champion of the people.
TONY HERBST … One of the Telluride originals, when I came to town, in the late 70s. His cartoons caught my eye in the old Telluride Times and he had a roguish sense of humor. I didn’t hang out in the bars and catch all his stories, but his tales were legendary … His passing is one more last note in the chamber orchestra playing an end to Telluride’s outlaw era.
MARK UDALL … Everywhere I turn these days, I see Mark Udall – announced Dem candidate for retiring Sen. Wayne Allard’s U.S. Senate seat … If the Dem tsunami, which has claimed both houses of the state legislature and now the Governor’s chair, continues to gather strength in the 08 elections, Mark will be a shoo-in over Republican ideologue Bob Schaefer … I got my copy of the new gay and lesbian journal, Equality, and there’s a lovely full-page on Udall that begins: “What a rush to be able to replace the U.S. Senate’s biggest backer of the Federal Marriage Amendment with a key supporter of equality” … Each month, the Council for a Livable World (founded by Leo Szilard) focuses on one or two political races around the country with a mass mailing. For July, Mark is featured, along with Tom Allen, who’s challenging incumbent Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) … Now let’s just hope the Greens don’t decide to run one of their quixotic candidates against Mark next year.
HILARY … You know, personally, I like Obama. But I was impressed with Hilary’s stump speech in D.C. to the National Association of County Commissioners – all the right tropes, and nicely tailored to the local government crowd. And even more impressed with the personalized campaign message I got from her staff in the mail a few weeks later. With that kind of organizational detail, savvy and big bucks, I think the presidency is hers to lose … That said, it’s startling to learn from Alexander Cockburn’s corner of her not so progressive past. Did you know Hilary started in politics as a Nixon campaigner in 1960, and then became a Goldwater Girl and president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley? And that she served as an intern for Gerald Ford and a campaigner for Nelson Rockefeller? … No old leftie there.
© 2007 Art Goodtimes
THE TALKING GOURD
Poem for America, July 4
I too love jeans and jazz and Treasure Island
and John Silver's parrot and the balconies of New Orleans.
I love Mark Twain and the Mississippi steamboats and
Abraham Lincoln's dogs.
I love the fields of wheat and corn and the smell of Virginia
But I am not American.
Is that enough for the Phantom pilot to turn me back to the
I need neither oil nor America herself, neither the elephant
nor the donkey.
Leave me, pilot, leave my house roofed with palm fronds and
this wooden bridge.
I need neither your golden gate nor your skyscrapers.
I need the village, not New York.
Why did you come to me from your Nevada desert, soldier
armed to the teeth?
Why did you come all the way to distant Basra, where fish
used to swim by our doorsteps?
I only have these water buffaloes lazily chewing on water
Leave me alone, soldier.
Leave me my floating cane hut and my fishing spear.
Leave me my migrating birds and the green plumes.
Take your roaring iron birds and your Tomahawk missiles, I
am not your foe.
I am the one who wades up to the knees in rice paddies.
Leave me to my curse.
I do not need your day of doom
(translated by Khaled Mattawa)