Archive for July 3rd, 2011

On The Road in Colorado.

Jul. 3rd 2011

I  noted in a previous post, I’ll write an stream-of-consciousness piece based on my impressions regarding time spent in Denver and Golden, Colorado.

Let it rip.

Let if fly.

Shame on a Colorado legislator who cast a NAY vote when the song Rocky Mountain High came up for a vote in the Colorado legislature. The vote was for this particular song  to become the second official song  for the great  state of Colorado. Her rational for casting a NAY vote stems from Nancy Regan’s manta………….”Just say NO to drugs.”

Say what?

This elected official  thought the song Rocky Mountain High promotes  drug use.

Granted. When I was in Colorado, I did not stand around a campfire.  The song notes  “everybodys high” around a campfire.  Yet, if you read liner notes by musicologists, the “high” John Denver is referring to is euphoria created by being one with nature. Nature will do this to you. Nature makes one feel ethereal and ebullient. You don’t need drugs; just clean air and a brilliant Colorado day. Does any else agree with me?

Rationality won out. There is a plaque with the lyrics of Rocky Mountain High carved into stone for visitors to read. I do not know the exact location of the tribute. Readers. Fill me in.

I feel fat. Most everyone appears trim—and riding bicycles. In fact, I saw rent-a-bike kiosks around Denver. I almost tried one, yet I walked. This was equally green. By the way. The rental bikes are a cool share of cherry red with big, fat ass bold tires. They come equipped with a basket attached to the handlebars. Tres retro.

My tour of the Denver Museum of Art’s Mud exhibition was delightful. It was a tour of 3…. and the 3 of us acted up. I think we did more laughing and conversing than moving  at the pace the docent wanted us to move at. I was with a Denver native and her 90+ year-young mother.  This combination was toxic–in a great way. We let loose and rendered interpretations of each piece of art on our private tour. In short. We let the mud fly. If the Mud exhibition is still on while in Denver, see it. There is one instillation piece where the artist encourages you to walk on intricate interlocking  clay-fired tiles. Clinking. Sound is part of experiencing art. The clink of clay tiles. Brilliant. I wish I knew the name of the artist to give he/she due credit.

Friendly, unpretentious people. I met sincere people while in Colorado. Hello nice couple who sat next to me in a bar in Golden, Colorado! When you folks went out for a smoke, I took pictures of a ski, placed above the bar, with small beer sampling glasses affixed to the ski. You gave me the tip about going to Woodys for pizza. Thank you.

Pizza at Woody’s in Golden Colorado. Dining al fresco. The long bar-like counter faces the street. All-you-can-eat pizza and salad for under eleven dollars.  This was not a Pizza Hut buffet. It was wood-fired pizza. Narly. I went up for seconds. I restrained myself when it came for thirds. Would have burst like the blueberry gum scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Ba boom, Ben!!

The Coors Brewery Tour! My impressions? Huge factory–little, if no workers. The place is run by machines. Science without the fiction. Sort of sad because there was a time when such a large enterprise would employ hundreds if not thousands of people. I witnessed 3 men in a booth, overlooking huge copper vats, standing in a glass enclosed room looking like 3 Homer Simpsons at work. A 4th worker I saw in the factory was overseeing a  packing production line. He stood above belt that spit out cans of Coors Lite. The machine gave the cans a rude push, then they went into a 20 pack. Or it a 24 pack? I am a tap beer drinker.

Thanks to the elementary school age boy and his sister who heading to the Family Day activities at Denver’s Pride-Fest with his family. He gave me a high five and exclaimed, “Happy Pride Day!”  This is one cool kid who will grow up to be one cool adult. I think of the late Robert Palmer. Mr. Palmer noted, “It takes every kind of people. To make the world go ’round.” How true. I respect diversity. I respect social equality. Love makes a family.

A lacrosse tournament in Denver. No. I was not running around with a stick and silly shoulder pads. It was a youth lacrosse tournament. A bevy of participants were staying at my hotel. Can you say, “open lobby?” Can you say “teenagers running around the open lobby?” Can you say “unsupervised at all hours of the day and night?”  Can you say teens chuckin’ (slang for throwing) things down at patrons eating in the restaurant from balconies above?”  OMG.

Micro-brew beer. I had a nice meal at a brewpub  in the historic sector of Denver, just a stone’s throw from the stadium where the Colorado Rockies play. I did think for 2 seconds about going to the game. Yet pondered the fact, this restaurant/bar will clear out once the game starts.  I will have a mile high of elbow room when the baseball game begins.  I tend to take my shoes off at restaurants and bars. A habit. I feel more comfortable. Merrills off. Peach Cobbler on for dessert. Right-on!

Parking for $7 dollars on the weekend in Downtown Denver. In Berkeley, California I paid 25 center for less than 15 minutes at a meter–and landed up with a parking ticket that looked more like the winnings of a lottery ticket. Oops.

Hello, Izaak. Delightful chatting with you at 6 AM while waiting  outside the  doors to a store about to open. You are a long distance trucker. I am a long distance traveler. We come from different backgrounds yet share so much in common.  Thanks for ending our conversation with a slap on the shoulder and noting, “I can tell you are a good man. ” I returned the gesture and the same  phrase. Yes, we are moving forward as a nation despite what follows.

“America. I want to kick you in the ass.” That is part of a lyric of an original song played by a busker on 16th Street. I met a delightful woman tethered to an oxygen tank, her dog by her side, holding an accordion. She had enough gusto to fill Madison Square Garden in New York City.  I asked her to play me a tune. She obliged—yet it came with a disclaimer. She said, “I don’t know your politics–but this is a political song. What the hell if I offend you. Here it is……” She fired-up up her accordion and when into full performance mode.

The song was about her disenchantment with the direction America is heading. Very original lyrics. I landed up spontaneously singing the chorus.

Ben. On a street in Denver, Colorado. Singing to an accordion played by a spunky senior citizen/musician. You rock Denver street musicians. No Free Bird or Zeppelin here. Just song about giving ‘ole American a swift kick in the hiney.

Chess. Chess played in public on 16th street. Upright pianos too. You can walk up to many colorful pianos and play music on the public pianos. All the pianos were painted by artists. All unique. Delightful to hear a cacophony of different musical styles, played by the citizenry, as I strolled down 16th Street–which is designed for foot traffic.

Driving on a curvy road outside of Golden and driving up the lookout to where Buffalo Bill Cody is buried. Not many guard rails. Lots of people riding bicycles. Kite gliders above. A raging river below. Nice.

Swimming in a pool, in the rain. Millions of droplets creating circles then dissipating into nothingness. Zen—Ben.

Photography. Street photography. No formal sit down shots. No setting up sets. No flash umbrellas or light meters. Very relaxing. I created a bevy of work artistic work on this Colorado adventure.

From  the road, in Colorado.

No. I am not high drugs; just high on the beauty of Colorado.

Brendan Ben Feeney

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