Slam! Bam! Thank you, Ma’am
By Art Goodtimes
DINNER WITH DIONYSUS … What a wallop! Like nothing I’ve seen in my 30 years following theater in Telluride … And I was prepared to be underwhelmed. A play by committee? About a European tradition? With limited “free” seating for an exclusive few on opening night? It took me repeated soirees at the door just to get inside with my crew … But forget all that. This was as clever and lascivious a romp as I’ve every seen on our local stage. Even Telluride Theatre’s dazzling version of “Hair” paled in comparison. The dancing and choreography and special freeze effects and blitzkrieg dramatics – it all took my breath away … We were there to see Pamela Sante, and she was great. But, gramercy, the whole darn cast was great. I mean terrific. Each part a facet of a very funny diamond. Tragic-comic, really … But, no “Dinner with Andre,” this. We dive right into the legendary cult of Dionysius from the conceit of an elite dinner party – a kind of “Exquisite Charm of the Bourgeoisie” with Pinot Noir and lechery. Even homophagy … There was the hilarious tworound rap face-off between Jesus Christ and Dionysius. The wine-besotted whirlwind dance of maenads and satyrs. I loved it all … And so did the audience. Jumping into a standing ovation at the end inside the intimate program room of Ah Haa School for the Arts at the historic Rio Grande Southern Depot … Kudos to the brilliant Sasha Sullivan nee Cucciniello for her direction, to her husband Colin as Dionysius, and to each of the cast – their parts, their transformations, their carriage and canters – all were wonderfully done! … Five thumbs up.
THE TALKING GOURD
Hey, bro, pass the bowl
No more need
& celebrate Dr. Anya
— Captain Barefoot
OHV DEATH … Finally, it happened. I’m just sorry it took the accidental death of a “spunky” 14-year-old from Florida on an Ouray County road to highlight how inappropriate it is not to require driver’s licenses or some kind of training certificate for Off Highway Vehicle users on our high alpine jeep tracks … Gov. Hickenlooper’s newly reorganized Department of Parks & Wildlife continues to hide behind a contested legal interpretation from state Attorney General John Suthers – insisting we must get rid of county rules requiring insurance and a driver’s license for anyone driving OHVs on San Miguel County’s high alpine roads, or they won’t share with us any state OHV money for our Alpine Ranger program … What kind of blackmail is the state playing, while young lives are lost to unsafe regulatory conditions?
SHROOMS … Thanks to Steve McHugh, I’ve finally realized that one of the common mushrooms that grows all over my property in Norwood is a choice edible. Well, kind of choice. They taste good, are pretty easy to recognize, and are literally underfoot in my garden grasses – Marasmius oreades (or at least something close to that species, most of us joining Lincoff as lumpers more than splitters). What’s commonly known as the Scotch Bonnet mushroom wasn’t on my radar all these years as a fungophile … But I’m pretty conservative about eating new species. It took Steve walking through the picking, cleaning, cooking and eating to finally accept marasmius as a wonderful edible … That’s why Telluride’s Shroomfest each August is so valuable to regional residents – you actually get to go out and find edibles in the field, bring them back to the ID tent at Elks Park in Telluride for an expert look-see, and then you can cook them up and eat them on the spot. I don’t think there’s a better way to learn about edibles than that.
HOWARD GREAGER … San Miguel County lost its best storyteller and cowboy historian with the passing of Howard Greager … Born in Placerville and a resident of Norwood for many years, Greager managed to assemble lots of the old stories floating around Wright’s Mesa and Lone Cone Country, and put them into a series of marvelous books – “In the Company of Cowboys,” “The Hell That Was Paradox,” “The Mind of a Fox,” “We Shall Fall As The Leaves,” “Posey’s Spurs and Smoke From Old Campfires and Forgotten Trails. They can be ordered direct from www.greager. com/books or in local bookstores … On top of his accomplishments as a writer, Howard was a very gracious gentleman who loved to share what he knew with others. Condolences go out to his wife, Betty, and son, Craig, and his many family members … Although it is a time of sadness, it’s heartening to know that folks will be reading Greager’s stories for many years.
RASTA TOM … Friends and family of former Tellurider Thomas A. Herzog held a celebration of his life this summer on his land at Haycamp Mesa near Dolores, where he’d built his cabin and shop. A fine carpenter, he came to Telluride in the early ’80s and developed a reputation for craftsmanship, exquisite ironwork and jewelry … Diane Adelson, also a former Tellurider, had become his loving partner. She nursed him through the final illness that claimed his life last month … His family was quoted in the obituary that ran in the Cortez papers: “A Renaissance man with a quick, wry sense of humor and a legacy of selfless giving, his motto was ‘One Love.’ His Harley often sat in the warmth of his solar-powered living room” … He will be missed.
PES REPORT … The report I co-wrote with Linda Luther, Dr. Joshua Goldstein and Shayna Brause regarding San Miguel County’s successful Payment for Ecosystem Services pilot project is finished. It was the final requirement of my Colorado State University’s Center for Collaborative Conservation fellowship I received in 2010. The paper details the entire process of paying ranchers and county landowners to allow a Colorado Natural Heritage Program botanist to inventory for rare species on suitable private lands. Two new populations of one rare plant was found – one clump significant enough to draw an A rating from CNHP (indicating hundreds of plants in good condition) … The San Miguel County Open Space Commission is considering a more expansive PES project to help ranchers in doing habitat restoration for the Gunnison sage grouse, given the success of the pilot.
Art Goodtimes is a San Miguel County (Colo.) commissioner.