Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002  content presented by Telluride Today .com About The Watch

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 Angel Baskets Program Now Reaches Almost 600 People, Volunteers Needed

 It might seem like it's always been a part of the Telluride holiday season, but Angel Baskets, now in its 21st year, got its start with San Miguel County Social Services.

Back in 1981, then-staffers Davine Pera and Bernice Garber organized holiday baskets, complete with food and presents, for seven families.

‘A Little Bit of Art, a Little Bit of Science’ in John Hopkins’s Glass Pieces,  By Martinique Davis

 What started five years ago as a hobby has taken over half of local artist John Hopkins’ garage space. 

Koffee with Kandee,  'A Feeling of Celebrating Together Is Very Unique in Today’s World’

 The Old Wilkinson Library has been transformed into a state-of-the-art daycare facility.  Everything – tables, paintings, art supplies – is very low to the ground.  It takes a minute to sink in:  everything is built to a child's height.  There is a station for washing dishes, because everyone helps with the chores.  We sit at the largest table, which comes to about shin level. The chairs are comfy, if you're the width of one cheek. Earthsong Kinderhaus teacher Jaia Stidd sits comfortably; she's completely present in the moment, and it's contagious.

 Kandee DeGraw: You left Telluride for a long time, right?

Jaia Stidd: Too long….

THS Sophomore Schuler Gets On-the-Job Training As a Vet, By Martinique Davis

 Telluride High School Sophomore Sutton Schuler wields the kitty nail clippers like a professional.  Her patient, a seven-year-old gray cat by the name of Shadow, is in the Telluride Veterinary Office to get a routine tooth-cleaning.

Early Snowstorm Catches Drivers Unaware

Thanks to heavy rains that turned to snowfall and formed treacherous icy slush, San Miguel County Sheriff's Department Commander Eric Berg says his office responded to seven accidents on Keystone Hill Saturday night, three on Dallas Divide and two on Lizard Head Pass.

Angel Baskets Program Now Reaches Almost 600 People, Volunteers Needed

 

It might seem like it's always been a part of the Telluride holiday season, but Angel Baskets, now in its 21st year, got its start with San Miguel County Social Services.

Back in 1981, then-staffers Davine Pera and Bernice Garber organized holiday baskets, complete with food and presents, for seven families.

Last year, Angel Baskets brightened the holiday season for 154 families, reports Lila Kirsh, one of its longtime organizers, reaching "almost 600 people.”

“ It has grown a lot," Kirsh understates.

And while the flurry of visible activity won't start until Nov. 23 – that's the date when Angel Baskets turns the Old Library into its own variation on Santa's workroom – "You should see the garage of my house already!" Kirsh reports.

There are two ways to participate: Go to the Old Library after Dec. 2 and collect some of the paper "angels" – each one with information about family members, including their age, size and gift preference – and go shopping in the true holiday spirit. Or volunteer.
"We need lots of help," Kirsh says, which means "lots of volunteers.”

"You don't have to schedule specific hours or for a certain amount of time," she says. "Just show up and sign in – we'll take any living body."

As to how one gets on the Angel Baskets list, Kirsh says: "All our referrals are from social services. You have to be a poverty level person, or be on some sort of government assistance.

But there's no hard-and-fast rule, she adds. For example: A basket went out to "one woman who called one year; she was very poor, her husband had just died, and she had three kids."

One big change this year: Instead of the full turkey dinner baskets have traditionally delivered, this year's baskets will feature almost as many hams as turkeys.

"We need some canned hams," Kirsh muses. As to the reason for the switch: "Some people – especially some of the older people – didn't even have a pan to cook the turkey in."

Another change has been in the works for awhile: The baskets come with coupons good for milk, bread and butter – "the things we can't pack," Kirsh explains.

Baskets get distributed to the furthest reaches of San Miguel County Dec. 21, but volunteers will be needed any day now.

Those anxious to get started can take food donations to Wilkinson Library, which is offering its traditional Food for Fines program now through mid-December.

The library will accept one non-perishable food item for every dollar's-worth of fines. Patrons also have the option of writing a check to Angel Baskets for the amount of their fines.

To volunteer, call Kirsh at 728-3512. For information on the Food for Fines program, call Smith at 728-4519.

THS Sophomore Schuler Gets On-the-Job Training As a Vet, By Martinique Davis

 

Telluride High School Sophomore Sutton Schuler wields the kitty nail clippers like a professional.  Her patient, a seven-year-old gray cat by the name of Shadow, is in the Telluride Veterinary Office to get a routine tooth-cleaning.

When Schuler finishes clipping the cat’s claws, Veterinary Technician Laura DePalma motions her closer to the sleeping feline’s open mouth.

“I start with the hand scaler,” DePalma explains as she picks up a small metal tool.  “I just go quickly, see, first trying to get the big stuff off,” she says, as she begins to clean the cat’s teeth.

Bending over the anesthetized cat in her facemask and colorful scrubs, Schuler indeed emits the air of an experienced veterinary assistant.  She turns the cat over deftly upon request, and doesn’t flinch when DePalma shows her how to remove a decayed tooth.

Though she walks the veterinarian’s walk and talks the veterinarian’s talk, Schuler is not yet a licensed animal physician – she is, however, getting valuable experience and training in the field of veterinary medicine thanks to her mentorship at the Telluride Veterinary Clinic with Dr. Lisa Molloy through the Telluride High School’s Mentorship Program.

“It’s all interesting,” Schuler says of the various tasks she engages in at the vet’s office, which range from watching Molloy perform spays, neuters, and tumor removals to assisting with dental cleanings to filing X-rays.  “Every day is different, and what I’m learning is so new,” she says.

Schuler says she chose to take a mentorship with the vet clinic as one of her elective classes this year because the experience will help her to decide if she truly wants to pursue a career in the veterinary field.  She admits that she has dreamed of becoming a veterinarian since childhood, and concedes that her mentorship at the Telluride Vet Clinic is a building block on her path to a possible career in veterinary medicine.

“I may not necessarily go into small animal medicine, but the field is definitely interesting to me,” she says.

“There are a lot of similar concepts in small and large animal medicine, but there are a lot of different procedures,” Molloy responds.  “But a mentorship with a vet’s office is great experience, especially for veterinary school applications.”

Schuler just began working on her final project for her veterinary mentorship – an in-depth research project on cancer in animals. 

“Cancer is a serious disease not only in humans, but in animals as well,” says Schuler, who helps out in chemotherapy sessions with patients at the Telluride Vet Clinic on a weekly basis, and will use her experiences there as a stepping stone for her exploration of cancer treatments for animals.

Schuler explains that her research will uncover different causes of the disease, signs of cancer in animals and different treatment methods, including chemotherapy.  She plans to compile her findings into an informative pamphlet about cancer and its effect on animals. 

Schuler says that she seriously began considering the field of veterinary medicine when she first got involved with riding and showing horses, her favorite pastime.  Her love of horses evolved from a Telluride Academy course one summer, which led to her purchasing her own horse soon thereafter. 

Schuler explains that it wasn’t long before she got involved in showing horses; now, she is a prominent figure in the regional horse showing circuit.  Her work with Paints (a specific breed of horse) garnered her the title of Reserve Champion for the Grand Junction Horse Showing Association – one of the highest honors awarded in her level of competition.  She adds that she plans to become more serious about showing horses, enter even more shows, with the eventual goal of qualifying for the World Horse Show.

Through her involvement in horse showing, Schuler has spent significant periods of time at her horse’s stable in Montrose, called Cedar Creek Stables, over the last two years.

“Being around the barn, and especially being around the full-time vet there, really got me interested in veterinary medicine,” she explains.

Molloy, who was also involved with horse showing before becoming a veterinarian, has had many mentors spend time in her office over the years.

According to Molloy: “I think the Mentorship Program is fantastic.  We sometimes seem to get so focused on our one job, and having a student around brings some fun to the office.  A student adds so much energy and enthusiasm – they ask good questions and keep us thinking.  It’s fun to be able to teach as you go, because I love teaching.”

At that, Dr. Molloy turns to her student.  “Do you want to help me with a neuter?”

“Sure!” Schuler chirps, and follows Molloy into the next room to get started on their next patient.

Koffee with Kandee, 'A Feeling of Celebrating Together Is Very Unique in Today’s World’

 The Old Wilkinson Library has been transformed into a state-of-the-art daycare facility.  Everything – tables, paintings, art supplies – is very low to the ground.  It takes a minute to sink in:  everything is built to a child's height.  There is a station for washing dishes, because everyone helps with the chores.  We sit at the largest table, which comes to about shin level. The chairs are comfy, if you're the width of one cheek. Earthsong Kinderhaus teacher Jaia Stidd sits comfortably; she's completely present in the moment, and it's contagious.

 Kandee DeGraw: You left Telluride for a long time, right?

Jaia Stidd: Too long….

KD: When were you first here?

JS: I moved here five years ago, lived here for three years and then I left for a year and half. Now I am back.

KD: What did you do while you were gone?

JS: I traveled for a while and then just landed at the Waldorf School in Clearwater, Florida. It was a miracle. I just loved it. It is beautiful how it all worked out. My sister and a group of women … committed to the Waldorf education started a school and then I was asked to join in teaching at this school.

KD: Lisa Silver is your sister?

JS: Yes, she is president of the board at the school. We had been talking back and forth about the Waldorf school I was at and plans for a Waldorf program starting here. I made a trip out to telluride for Bluegrass Festival, met with the school board and truly felt their commitment for Waldorf education. I knew that it would be an honor to be part of this pioneering Waldorf program.

KD: Why?

JS:  Well, I felt like I needed to come back. When the truth comes to you, you know it. I had been a part of a pioneering Waldorf school in Florida and felt I had a lot to share in beginning a Waldorf program. My teaching experience was in the Waldorf early childhood program and that fit perfectly with what EarthSong Kinderhaus needed here.  The day Waldorf came into my life, the miracle began. I try to bring that to the children every day! This is my love, and I feel like I should be here. These children needed me.  They pulled me here. This has been a great opportunity, a great opportunity to be in the first stages of a Waldorf school. I am so happy and I am so challenged

KD: What is it about Waldorf that appeals to you?

JS: It is an alternative education that addresses the whole child. It addresses the child academically, spiritually and emotionally. Waldorf educators say, “We educate from the heart, the hands and the head.”  It is one of the only education systems that has such an old lineage, that incorporates the concept of working with a child where they are developmentally  

The age that I am working with is two years, nine months to around six-years-old. Children at this age are experiencing and learning out of goodness, beauty and truth. So in the Waldorf classroom that is what we provide for them, an environment based on goodness, beauty and truth. When you enter the classroom that is what you see and feel all around you. Waldorf education supports that every child at this age learns purely by imitation, imitating their environment. As Waldorf teachers, we strive to create an environment worthy of imitation

KD: Is it hard to step up?

JS: Yes, you have to step up to the plate every moment….

KD: Do find yourself becoming a better person, because you have to, for them?

JS: Absolutely. Rudolph Steiner gave us a form to follow – a form that feels so natural in me.  In the course of the day, the teacher works as the center. What she thinks, feels, and wills streams out to her children as they approach her. The center, the teacher, gives form to this with activity. Not by her demands, but by her very being.  What takes place in her being streams out in her actions; the child sees her and wants to do that, too.  And there lies the foundation for the education in the first seven years. What the teacher does and how she does it works decisively in the development of the child. That is why Waldorf education feels so strongly about the effects of media on children in the developmental stages of birth to seven.

KD: TV.

JS: I am constantly in that struggle with fantasy and media with children. Of course, I would never want them to feel bad that they are bringing media in the classroom, so I just redirect it into a fantasy image. It is very challenging, but so rewarding. I love to observe children’s play. [For example], as a log becomes a cash register, these chairs lined up are a train and they are all really in the train. It is real to them. It is just so beautiful to see that. 

When you instill that in children, it goes with them forever. If that creativity is alive in them, then, when they get to the academics, say first grade, they can take that creativity with them. Then it isn’t just rote memorization, but they have a way of making learning creative and fun for themselves. It really assists them forever. Learning is fun. A Waldorf program is in every moment and every action, building for the academics.  That is one misconception about Waldorf education:  “Oh, they don’t teach reading.”  But we are teaching the foundation for reading in every aspect of the program. A large part of the Waldorf teacher training is in the art of the spoken word – speaking very clearly and slowly so that the child begins to hear the whole word as it would be written or read. In our seasonal Circle material we are preparing for comprehension in reading with the amount of recitation we do. The word becomes an image. The pictorial speech of the fairy tale is language education in its highest sense. All this is building the groundwork for reading and all facets of academics. 

KD: Now, the school is called Earth Song Kinderhaus. Why is that?

JS: In that Waldorf incorporates each and every season of the year, and what is happening on the earth, at that time, the word “Earth” seemed so important. Also, much of the curriculum is presented in song, singing in the pentatonic scale. Children at this age absorb instruction that is presented in the form of song, with ease. So “Song” also became was important part of the name. Kinderhaus is the German word for an early child hood program; thus was born EarthSong Kinderhaus … and this space reflects the name beautifully.

KD: Yeah, it does. You did a great job renovating it.  So you have half of the old library and the other half is rented out to events. Do you rent it from the town?

JS: Yes.

KD: Are you subsidized by the town?

JS: No, they rent it to us at a reasonable amount. Starting a non-profit school is a hard venture. We are very grateful; we wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise. 

KD: You are full?

JS: We hope to be, in January. We had a lot of young children who weren’t two years, nine months yet when we opened. We are accepting applications for January enrollment now.

KD: Who is on the board?

JS: Corinne Creel, Audrey Mosher, Melissa Glenn, Dr. Laura O’Neal, my sister Lisa Silver and myself. We would like to expand our board. The board is always looking for members from the community that support Waldorf education.

KD: Who is Rudolph Steiner?

JS: He was an Austrian philosopher, educator, scientist and freethinker. He was asked by the Waldorf cigarette factory (laughs), right after the war, to work with the morale of the workers and their children. It was his insights from that challenge that led to Waldorf education. He was a man that committed his life to humanity.

KD: World War I, right?

JS: Yes. He was asked to start a school to help with the morale of the workers and for the children and so that is what he did.  He had great insight into what children needed and where they were developmentally. His insights have been researched scientifically time and again. That was in 1930, and now there are 800 Waldorf schools in the world and about 400 in the United States.

KD: How did Waldorf weather the Second World War?

JS: A lot of the schools were shut down, [as] it was very broad thinking.  Rudolph Steiner had a lot of courage and will and determination.

KD: So it wasn’t a government-approved school?

JS: No.  Steiner just had incredible perseverance.  He has written many books, hundreds of lectures (gestures to bookshelf with several titles by Steiner) and began anthroposophical medicine, biodynamic farming, architectural design and alternative building methods, and, of course Waldorf education.  So he has had a great impact on our world. 

KD: What would you like the people of Telluride to know about the school?

JS: With where education is today, where children are today, and with the violence in our schools, there seems to be a loss: for reverence, for the world, for the earth, and for each other. What Waldorf education stands for is to rebuild that which is lost. That is the word we use a lot: reverence. Every movement in the classroom is with reverence.

If I move this chair, it is gently. If I crack an egg, it is gently. Reverence for everything. I think that it is a really beautiful gift for children, because there is so little of it in our society. I think that is also why this ties in so nicely with the Hallows Eve Festival we just had. In Waldorf education, the way that we teach is through rhythm. That is, the rhythm of the day, rhythm of the week and rhythms of the year. The festivals are how we bring the yearly and seasonal rhythms alive for the children. Old European festivals gave children that sense of community, a sense of heritage. This too seems lost in our culture.  A feeling of celebrating together is very unique in today’s world.

‘A Little Bit of Art, a Little Bit of Science’ in John Hopkins’s Glass Pieces, By Martinique Davis

 

What started five years ago as a hobby has taken over half of local artist John Hopkins’ garage space. 

Hopkins’ garage used to store old house effects. Now, the area is home to a glass cutting table and large kiln, the workspace where Hopkins designs and fires his always-original fused glass art.

Hopkins’s colorful fused glass wares, on display at The Local’s Gallery on Colorado Ave., are each an individual experiment in creativity, he says.

“It’s a little bit of art, and a little bit of science,” Hopkins explains of his fused glass method. “There is a bit of chance involved in all my projects.  I’m not 100 percent sure what will happen when I put a piece in the kiln.”

He points to a deep blue and red glass piece, which he says started as a vase, but ended up as a candleholder due to the tricky nature of the glass fusing process. To create a piece of fused glass art, Hopkins begins by arranging an assortment of different glass pieces together, creating a collage of colors and shapes.  He then fires the piece at an extremely high temperature, above 1,400 degrees.  The rest, he says, is often left to chance.

“It’s all a part of the creative learning process,” he says.

Hopkins’ inventory varies in almost all facets, from eclectic chess, tic-tac-toe and backgammon playing boards to elegant decorative plates, from small pocket mirrors framed with opaque pastel glass borders to the tall “Big Bang Theory” piece displayed in the gallery window.  The “Big Bang Theory” is made of an old, legless coffee table that Hopkins transformed into a freestanding wood-and-fused-glass piece.  The “Big Bang Theory” highlights windows of transparent glass overlaid with thin firework streaks of color exploding from glass globules, with each pane fitted into shaped spaces in the wood.

“I don’t want to mass produce things,” Hopkins says. “It’s much more fun to try and create something different, and experiment to see what will happen.”

Hopkins is currently working on a massive “waterfall” piece, which he explains will serve as an artistic feature in a local home and will span the length of two floors. 

“I’ve never made a waterfall,” he says, “but that is the creative process that I love about fusing glass. I know that something will happen.”

He adds that since he has now been experimenting with fused glass for a few years, he is starting to get a feel for what will work and what won’t work – and is thus experiencing fewer failures.

“I make as many failures as successes,” he admits. “It’s only the successes you see here!”

Hopkins says that one of the beauties of working with glass is that it is reusable; he often reuses already-fired glass for certain projects, which often results in inimitable pieces.

Though he is new to fusing glass, Hopkins has always been attracted to the world of art, he says. In his three decades in the Telluride area, Hopkins has been President of the Telluride Arts Commission, has served as chair of the Telluride Commission for the Arts and Special Events, and has also spend many years working full-time in world of theatre as a drama teacher.  

He first got involved with fusing glass after taking a class through Telluride’s Ah Haa School five years ago. 

“I got hooked,” he explains, confiding that his background in theatrical arts, especially scenic and lighting design, helped paved the way for his love of glass art. 

“The way light and color work together, and how light moves through transparent materials, has always interested me,” he says. “So glass art was natural for me.”     

What started as a class soon became a hobby.

“The Ah Haa class was just an experiment, but the next thing I knew, I had bought a little glass and a little kiln,” Hopkins recalls. “Then I got a little more glass, and a little bit bigger kiln, then an even bigger kiln… and in the process, I’ve lost half of my garage – but it’s a lot of fun.” 

It didn’t take long before Hopkins was selling his diverse fused art pieces at The Local’s Gallery.  Hopkins was one of the original artists to show his work at the gallery when it opened last winter.

“The Local’s Gallery gives a lot of us an opportunity to show our art on Main Street.  Without the support of Dori [Cavillo, owner of the Potter’s Wheel, where The Local’s Gallery is located], all these artists wouldn’t be exhibiting their work,” Hopkins says.

The Local’s Gallery is looking for more artists to participate. For more information, contact the Potter’s Wheel/Local’s Gallery at 728-4912.

Early Snowstorm Catches Drivers Unaware

 Thanks to heavy rains that turned to snowfall and formed treacherous icy slush,

San Miguel County Sheriff's Department Commander Eric Berg says his office responded to seven accidents on Keystone Hill Saturday night, three on Dallas Divide and two on Lizard Head Pass.

Conditions were so bad that at the peak of the snowstorm, Berg says, "We had a patrol car go home" to the Trout Lake area, where the officer lives – so he "could change his clothes, because he was soaking wet. When he tried to come back out, about half an hour later, he couldn't get out – they had to plow to get him out."

Berg presumes there were a few accidents his officers didn't get to, judging from some "very interesting tracks" off the road. "It looked like people hit the bank, and got themselves out, or passersby pulled them out.

"Keystone Hill was very, very bad," he says. "And up above Mountain Village to Lizard Head Pass," where at one point snow was falling "at five inches a minute – the plows couldn't keep up."

The first snowstorm of the season often catches drivers unaware, Berg and Bates emphasize, with far too many vehicles unequipped with the mandatory snow tires or chains.

Furthermore, Berg points out: "A lot of people are driving with the wrong mindset." Saturday night was a case in point; he dealt with several drivers who "broke down on Keystone, and just left their cars – they were sobbing, and just losing it.

"Some drivers were not emotionally or physically prepared for the storm they encountered."

Beyond that: "The three sets of tires I examined" post-accident "were not adequate."

Berg has a few tips for snow-driving: "You should feel pretty good with chains or new studded tires," he says. Beyond that: Keep your speed down; do not brake in the curves, but rather, before you get to them; and try to use the transmission to hold your speed, rather than the brakes, by going down a gear.

"Going down Keystone in second gear is totally appropriate," he adds. Furthermore: "If you have the option to select overdrive, it's better not to use overdrive. Your wheels have to be turning for you to be able to steer. Keep your speed down and your tires rotating, and control the vehicle.”

"And seatbelts, seatbelts, seatbelts,” he adds. “A lot of cars go off the edge, and people say, 'I was afraid my seatbelt was going to kill me.' It's a lame, lame excuse."

Perhaps less obvious is this suggestion: For sedan and pickup drivers especially, Berg suggests adding "extra weight behind the rear wheels," allowing "the rear to grab in a little bit." Because the front end is heavier than the rear, it will maintain traction while the rear "spins out, so if you have extra weight back there, it's a real good thing."

And then, too: "Everyone should be prepared to spend a few hours out there," so carry blankets and extra clothes.

Meanwhile, the Colorado State Patrol reports that more accidents occurred in Ouray than in San Miguel County.

There was one injury accident Saturday afternoon, at 4:44 p.m., when a Chevy Suburban driving "while it was snowing" on roads that were "icy and snowpacked" on Hwy. 145 at mile marker 73, says Colorado State Patrol Sergeant Clark Bates. The driver, a Broomfield resident, was transported to Telluride Medical Center by ambulance.

CSP responded to just two other accidents in San Miguel County over the weekend, both single car accidents, one when a Ford Explorer slid off Hwy. 145 near mile marker 62, "rolling one time" and coming to rest on its wheels, "facing west." The other was a pickup eastbound on Colorado Hwy. 62, which slid, crossing the road "in the opposite direction of travel."

 

 

 

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11/04/02

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View to the West

Peter Shelton

 

All We Are Saying . . .

 

A couple of Saturdays ago, Ellen and I went down to Montrose for a noon rally and peace march. A diverse-looking crew gathered in the little park at the southwest corner of Townsend and Main. An older woman in a BERKELEY sweatshirt sat at a table featuring progressive literature. A small boy waved a hand-crayoned sign that read: KIDS FOR PEACE. 

There were at least two dogs, a few familiar faces from Western Colorado Congress, three strings of prayer flags, two skateboards, eight or ten body piercings, and one girl in knee-high, six-inch platform boots, a tartan miniskirt, swinging a school lunch box.  Otherwise there was a lot of gray hair. Vietnam-era gray hair.

When about sixty people had gathered, the march moved out east on Main Street headed by a colorful banner that said, WAGE PEACE.  We stayed on the sidewalk, but the two skateboarders zoomed out into the street, dodging traffic and carrying a cardboard sign that read: BUSH AND DICK ARE DIRTY WORDS. 

For a while we sang the John Lennon standard, “Give Peace A Chance.” But for the most part, marchers walked purposefully in silence or quiet conversation. We went out the south side of Hwy. 50 to the farmers’ market then back on the north side. The second time around, we picked up another twenty or thirty marchers who had driven in from Paonia. We were a small band, a little self-conscious – who wouldn’t be in a conservative, West Slope town – but hopeful, certain even, that others felt a kindred horror at the administration’s drumbeat.

Mostly, people just stared at us. Shopkeepers offered shy smiles. A few Montrovians indulged the urge to straighten us out. One guy shouted from his pickup cab, “If you hate this country so much, why don’t you leave?” Another man got out of his car and into the face of a woman holding one end of a string of prayer flags. “You people are sick!” he fairly spat. “You need to grow up and support the president.” She maintained a beautiful calm. Far more common were honks of encouragement, waves and smiles and peace signs flashed from vehicles rolling through the intersection. 

The whole thing sent me back to a peace march I participated in back in 1969. Nixon’s secret, illegal invasion of Cambodia had just become public, and organizers across the country called for massive, simultaneous demonstrations. In San Francisco, the route went up Market Street from the Bay to Golden Gate Park. Marchers filled the four-lane artery from sidewalk to sidewalk for miles. I remember, having gained a high point, looking back at the sea of heads and shoulders behind me, bobbing in a single undulating singing praying hopeful ribbon. Nine hundred thousand feet walking together. Four hundred and fifty thousand minds focused as one. Similar-sized marches in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere set the table for the war’s eventual end and Nixon’s inevitable disgrace. It was a powerful thing.

Our little nascent, serious, exuberant Montrose peace movement contains a seed of the same satisfaction.

 

Up Bear Creek

by Art Goodtimes

 

Tracking the Elections from a Safe Haven

 

AND THE GOOD NEWS IS … We live in San Miguel County … Unfortunately, the rest of the state, and the nation, seems in dire straits.

 

LOCALLY … David Glynn’s showing surprised me (38 percent). For barely campaigning, he gave Vern a bit of a run for his money. One has to wonder what might have happened if the Dems had mounted a real campaign for the Colonel’s seat … We’ll certainly take another look at home rule, although Mesa County voters handily defeated a home rule measure (83 percent against), and its drawbacks still seem to outweigh its advantages, given the many uncertainties of the charter commission process … Dem stalwart Doris Ruffe certainly dominated her race with Green challenger Oak Smith. All those years of service paid off, and citizens elected her by a huge margin … In fact, the same was true for all incumbents in the county … If one were to hazard a guess of the electorate’s thinking, it would have to be that the county is currently in good hands, and no changes are needed … And it was great to see Sheep Mountain Alliance’s bonding for the Valley Floor pass, along with the Telluride Clinic’s referendum and the Telluride School’s expansion measures … Voters seem to be approving of local government direction … Not so in neighboring Montrose County, where financially strapped commissioners lost another shot at overturning Tabor. Expect ongoing budget woes there.

 

NATIONAL ID CARDS … That’s just one of the many bills that’s been languishing in the House. But, given the GOP seizure of the U.S. Senate (what were the Greens thinking? – although it took more than minor party spoilers to stop Wellstone), expect the worst ... ID Cards. Hard release language. Reversing Roe vs. Wade … Welcome to a Liberal’s worst nightmare. Welcome to the partisan tyranny of the (manipulated) majority (yes, Alexis, it’s called empire). No more checks & balances. One party (like Mexico used to be) under God (and the emergent dream of an American Baptist theocracy) in control of all three branches of national government. Executive. Legislative. Even the judiciary. It’s showtime! The Texas Fed ascendant … Not a pretty picture.

 

TAKINGS LEGISLATION … With the state, like the Fed, totally in Republican control, you can expect a legislative nightmare in the next session. The next two sessions … Imagine lots of new laws that won’t be very felicitous for this unique county.

 

THE DEMS … did dismally in the state. Lost the Gov AND the Senate. Again. Reaffirming a senator with an environmental record among the worst in the nation – so much for those that say environment is a big issue in Colorado … Salazar was the only bright Dem spot. Again. While the leader of the short-lived Dem Senate went down in flames trying for a U.S. Rep seat.

 

THE GREENS … showed that they still don’t have much of a chance on the state stage. And even local races are an uphill battle. No magic bullet for change there.

 

PEACE WALK & VIGIL … Come gather on Monday, the 11th of November, at noon thirty in Elks Park. We’ll circle to honor all those victims of terror and war who have passed on before us. And to speak out for peace … Not so much for the TV cameras (although that’s important too – and thank you to Chris Myers and all the Telluride Peace Brigade who made it out to San Francisco to give public witness on our behalf for peace, even as our country moves towards attacking another nation in a pre-emptive first strike) … Here each month we do it for each other … Those who want can also join us in a walk from the steps of the High School to Elks Park, starting at noon … Make your lunchbreak a prayer. Come join us.

 

THE BIOREGIONAL EARTH FESTIVAL CIRCUIT … We're starting to develop a bioregional cycle of earth festivals in southwestern Colorado in which poetry, if not the primary focus, is a welcome guest. Earth Festivals, of course, being one of the many books by Silverton mountain guru Dolores LaChapelle. And bioregional … Headwaters happens every early fall (and #13 starts tonight at 8 p.m. in the Kebler Room of the Western State Student Union with a Goodtimes invocation). Lots of good old-fashioned academic panels and papers, followed by a talking gourds circle on Saturday night. Come join the motley regulars – Salida’s Ed Quillen, Denver’s Laura McCall, that inveterate roustabout Randy Russell, Steamboat’s Townsend Anderson, Alamosa’s Aaron Abeyta, Ignacio’s Sage Remington, and Gunnison’s own George Sibley and Maryo Ewell … Then come late January/early February, in the dead of winter, it’s SPARROWS – Songs Poetry And Relations Raise Our Winter Spirits. It’s Salida’s third annual Colorado performance poetry festival, with San Miguel County ably represented by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Elle Metrick and yours truly, Jude Jannett is the inspiration for this event … Fire Gigglers happens in early June. Sponsored by a society of poets steeped in the veneration of San Francisco poet Lew Welch, the Fire Gigglers hold their annual gathering in the Wet Mountains of Custer County. Mike Adams of Lafayette is the host … Chinese Mountains is the name Dolores LaChapelle of Silverton gives for her annual by-invitation-only gathering in an undisclosed corner of the San Juan Mountains. That’s in July … Then at the end of August it’s the Telluride Mushroom Festival. Lectures, forays, free fungus fair, poetry shows and a parade down main street. In its 22nd year … Then the weekend after Labor Day it’s Talking Gourds, in its 14th year. Sept. 4-7. Climbing peaks. Doing performances. Holding the event’s trademark talking gourds circles. In Norwood, at Ah Haa West and on the Uncompahgre Plateau. By invitation … And in October Walking Words at various Telluride restaurants. Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and the Telluride Writers Guild host poetry and food in ample proportions … Plus, monthly, on the second Thursday, at 7 p.m., Gourd Circle performances and readings at Ah Haa are also sponsored by the Telluride Writers Guild … That’s a full seasonal year of events. Earth Festivals to get you back in touch with your wild side.

 

STILLPOINT … That’s the New Mexico Daibutsuji Zen retreat center started by Ivan Scheier, 78, who’s looking for someone to pass it on to. Email him at <www.zianet.com/hhilbert/torc.html> … Thanks to Martin Thomas & Lisa Menna for bringing this week’s gourdpiece from Ivan to us.

 

© Copyright 2002 Art Goodtimes

 

THE TALKING GOURD

 

once before

and once more soon

 

I know a meadow

in the snow & moon

 

slanting its face of flowers

in the wind & thunder

 

in the wind & under

cold black air

 

I will sleep there

soon & forever

 

in the phantom place

of the highlands

 

where moonbeams slide

down cold white

 

flanks of stone

until they melt & boil

 

blue into rivers

up where the air’s

 

too clear for the

smoke of the mind

 

& rocks too hard

for grinding

 

let soft flowers sleep

in their forever shadows

 

under sometime snows

in the neighborhood of

 

heaven hope

waits for summer

 

 

-Ivan Scheier

Truth or Consequences, NM