One of the County’s Elders Passes
by Art Goodtimes
Jun 18, 2008 | 545 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Up Bear Creek

DORIS RUFFE … Doris was one of the first people I met in county government, back when I came to register my car in San Miguel County in 1980. In those days, I’d been on the road a while, traveling around, searching for a place that fit my vision. Telluride caught me (of course), and wouldn’t let me go … And Doris and Gay at the Clerk’s Office were a couple of the happy surprises that sealed it for me. Coming from California I was used to big-time bureaucracy, where the law often as not runs you in circles, if you don’t fit the standard mold. And if there’s one thing I’ve never done, it’s fit the standard mold … So, I think there was some complication with Betzi’s car, possibly the title, and it was going to take months and all this new paperwork. Who hasn’t been there? Except, at that point, Doris talked to Gay and between ‘em figured out a much simpler way that made it all work and met the letter of the law. I was kind of stunned. After all, here were two new hippie transplants with no history of community attachment and these two government types were going out of their way to make things work for us. I remember thinking, hey, this is the kind of place I want to live … And even when Gay retired and Doris decided to run for office, she didn’t take offense at me, even with my friend Oak Smith deciding to run against her as a Green. I felt obliged to support a fellow Green Party member. I explained it to Doris, and she was completely okay with it (I’m not sure I would have been!). And after, when she won easily, she never held it against me. Every so often I’d go in to visit and see how things were going in her office, and she’d usher me into her corner room and we’d visit and talk about county things in the most cordial of terms … Doris had deep roots here, and in Placerville. And she set a standard of fairness to all that I think it’s good to remember. Thank you, Doris. You’re one of the reasons I made my home in this county, and I think I’m probably not alone in saying that.

IMPEACHMENT … Hurray for Dennis Kucinich for introducing an impeachment bill into the House … Not that it’s going anywhere. Even if the House were to pass such a bill, there’s not even a majority of Dems in the Senate to convict (thanks to Lieberman), let alone a two-thirds majority. Plus the Dems are focused on winning the election for the White House and larger numbers in the House and Senate. An impeachment battle would be distracting, and might even engender some sympathy votes for the Repubs … That said, somebody ought to make this administration accountable for taking our nation to the brink of disaster on both economic and military fronts … My dad hopes that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the whole rotten gang ought to be tried as war criminals internationally. And that’s something I could support.

WORD HORDE … Did you know that English has 995,112 words in the language (give or take a few handfuls), or did as of March 22, 2008 at 1:16 p.m. (PST), according to Paul J.J. Payack of the Global Language Monitor? So, don’t expect to know them all, ever. It’s just not possible. But for some of us wordheads (like my good friend Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and i), it’s fun learning a few of the odder ones … My fav word for the week is boondocks means a provincial, backwoods – a remote kind of hideaway, thick with brush and lacking in sophistication. An Ozark friend of mine used it in an email recently. It’s often shortened into the slang “boonies”, and makes one think of southern dialect but actually its roots harken back to the shameful Philippine-American War where it was adopted and adapted by occupying American soldiers from the Tagalog word, bundok, meaning “mountain.”

WEEKLY QUOTA … “Confusion is an order we still don’t understand” –Jack “Budada” Mueller of Log Hill Village.

CONSPIRACY DU JOIR … While all you readers of the Denver papers or the New York Times (or all the helpless hoi polloi who depend on the boob tube for their news) heard that Defense Secretary Gates sacked Air Force honchos Wynne and Moseley for ”lack of effective oversight” in the wake of several unauthorized nuclear flights, web theorists have a bit of a different spin … At and , the headline reads Cheney and Air Force Generals Implicated in Nuke Theft, Part Two. It’s quite a story … Some readers at the Military Times website scoffed and others applauded. And one of the members of Liberty Forum added, "The rival nuclear chain-of-command that was responsible for the Minot nuclear incident, REX REDUX, and associated events is as follows: Vice President Dick Cheney, Chief of Staff David Addington, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley, Gen. Lawrence Stuztriem, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Strategic Studies Group – CHECKMATE, Dr. Lani Kass, ex-Israeli Air Force, Cyber Warfare, US Air Force, CHECKMATE, Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, Commander 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, Col. Bruce Emig, Commander 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base (relieved of command after nuclear incident), Maj. Gen. Stephen Goldfein, Commander Air Warfare Center, Nellis Air Force Base."


Rosemerry Whispers

*Closing Circle, Talking Gourds, 2008.

And who in the room didn't dream to be

for an instant or thousand that coming child.

To be consecrated to life by such a spirit

of water and time. To sleep in the echo

of the lull and rise. In that eden of song.

Rosemerry whispers another word

for heart. Closes her eyes and smiles

as we repeat it. Heart. Heart.

Outside, the day uncurls from itself,

raises its hands to the sky. Rosemerry

sings and the walls of all that is stone hard

ache begin to fall away. This day is one

of windows. And we are mirrors of windows.

Heart. Heart. Inside, the child


-Susan Culver


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