Celebrate mushrooms in all their guises
By Art Goodtimes
SHROOMFEST … Don’t miss the wildest parade in the Four Corners region on Sunday, Aug. 17. Hundreds of people costumed like fungi marching down Telluride’s main street … And if mushrooms interest you at all, there will be five days of workshops, lectures, forays and the free identification tents in Elks Park. A Chef ’s Cookoff and mushroom-infused beer to sample. Kid’s classes. Things for the whole family … For more info, visit www.telluridemushroomfest. org
THE TALKING GOURD
If I could see blindly,
If I could see blindly,
If I could see blindly,
— Aama Harwood
VISITING FAMILY … I had my oldest child, Iris Willow, visiting me at Cloud Acre in Norwood last month. Together with her fiancé, Bert Fan. They’ve been living together for seven or eight years now in San Francisco, but Bert finally proposed on a vacation they made to Iceland this spring. They set a Memorial Day wedding date for next year, and are planning to let me officiate as minister (and dad). It’s of course exciting … Marriage is a complicated thing in our society. For gays it’s a right they’ve long been denied. So the push to be treated equally has focused on the injustice of marriage laws in this country. Happily, that is turning around. For paleohippies like myself, it’s tricky. Back in the Sixties we tried to see if we could bypass the dipole yoke and experiment with various alternative intimacy arrangements – serial monogamy, polyfidelity, group marriages. While most of those experiments weren’t successful, traditional marriages have been hard to uphold for a lifetime. Many of us jumped into marriage too soon and found ourselves breaking up. Some of us seem to have even emulated our People magazine icons and survived multiple marriages … So, it’s actually been refreshing to have my children take their time entering into a life contract with another. But in their 30s, after years of being partners, it’s time for Iris and Bert to make the leap . A n d really, as a Universal Life minister who’s married dozens and dozens of folks over the years, I understand marriage as a coming together of families, as much as a joining of two souls. By holding a ceremony, a couple announces to the world and to all their relatives that a new clan is being formed. I like to emphasize when I officiate that a wedding is really for the families. It’s a fun but formal way to get everyone on the same page and establish proper relationships between in-laws, as we call those who are connected through marriage rather than blood or friendship … Having Bert as a new son-in-law is exciting to me, just as I hope having Iris as a daughter-in-law will be exciting to Bert’s parents and sister … So, it was great having Iris and Bert out here in Colorado to hang out with my sons Rio and Gorio and with me. My daughter Sara got to spend time with Bert when she went out to California last month (I tried to make that get-together, but car troubles kept me in Colorado) … Thanks to a lovely dinner with the Waldor family in Telluride, we all got to see this year’s fireworks – a great show after several years of disappointing cancellations. And we’ve taken hikes up around Lone Cone and visits to the Ouray Hot Springs and Orvis (two of Iris’s favorite memories). We even had a great dinner at the Bon Ton in Ouray, a family ritual that used to be an almost-weekly occurrence back in the ‘90s, when Iris was little. She even ordered lasagna – our favorite dish there for years. I had salmon ravioli in a white sauce that was heavenly. How many restaurants can you point to that you’ve been eating at for 25 years that still have the ability to surprise and delight? … It was a short visit. But rewarding. And at breakfast one morning at the Happy Belly Deli in Norwood we caught up with John and Lori Herndon. Lori was the head teacher and instigator for what we called the Sage Hill School in Norwood back in the day. Iris and a handful of her friends attended this alternative-education experiment. For Iris it was her eighth grade, and I think it really prepared her well for Manzano High School in Albuquerque where her mom Betzi Hitz lived … Old memories and future ones – family get-togethers are great for that … I hope all of you, dear readers, get to enjoy some special time with your family this summer.
R > G … Inherited wealth is outpacing growth in the economy, says Thomas Piketty in his Capital in the 21st Century. Even the Democrats have seized on income disparity as one of the nation’s biggest issues … Meanwhile the Republicans continue to stick their trunks in the mud, throwing it at political rivals and sorting out diamond tax writeoffs for the wealthy. My party, the Greens, are, at best, a state party pretending to be national. But social justice is a key pillar of the international Green movement. We take income disparity seriously. So I’m proud of that … Still, I don’t need a French economist to break this news to me. I’ve been watching America’s middle-class income slide for most of my life, born as I was in the post-war boom. But data helps. And Piketty has the data that shows the 1 percent is really screwing the rest of us, and that outcome is built into our economic system. MARK VARIEN … It was a lovely wild card I drew one Seventies’ blue day, hitching up to Telluride from Flag. A ride with a brilliant young “archie” (archaeologist) working on the McPhee project in Dolores … The same (now Dr.) Mark Varien of Cortez was announced as executive vice president for the new Crow Canyon Research Institute at the Society for American Archaeology’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, this past spring. Congratulations, old friend … Catch Mark’s TED talk on “Lessons Learned from the Pueblo Indians of the Mesa Verde Region” at TEDxSonomaCounty2014 on You- Tube.
Art Goodtimes is a five-term county commissioner in San Miguel County, Colo.