UP BEAR CREEK
Honoring One of the Region’s Finest
by Art Goodtimes
Feb 18, 2010 | 1595 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print

MOAB’S OWN … My friend Lance Christie is a most amazing man. You may have seen mention of him for occasional items in this column over the years. He’s dying of cancer. Docs say he has two to four months to live … That kind of finality often drives us into the somber and melancholy. Not Lance. He sends his private listserve friends an email message: <Once again, I was disqualified from my neighborhood's "Best Decorated House" contest due to my bad attitude!> and under it a photo of his past Christmas display – a bubble plastic replica Santa lit up from within, standing atop the roof chimney and exuding a string of colored lights, running down the side of the house and into a curled pool, like a cheery Technicolor stream of urine … Ah, yes. Lance, with his life-long dedication to upsetting the status quo and finding better modes of social and political resilience … We first met in Earth First! Back in those days Lance and his lawyer wife LaRue were the principles behind the Earth First! Foundation – supposedly the non-profit financial arm of Dave Foreman’s unruly brain-child and Pete Dustrud’s vision of a radical environmental Journal (that’s now morphed into an American eco-activist institution) ... When I settled in Telluride in the Eighties, I found they lived just over the border in Moab. We’ve stayed in touch, and I’ve been lucky to receive Lance’s regular email alerts on organic agriculture (he’s been an inspector of organic farms), on political issues ripe for action, on scientific breakthroughs or warnings or just interesting tidbits of the unusual. I often extracted items from those Lance alerts for this column … When LaRue became afflicted with Alzheimer’s, he took his circle of friends through several years of living with the ups and downs of a partner’s slow deterioration into death … Now, in the last stages of pancreatic cancer himself, Lance explains to his friends in detail his latest treatment regime with abraxane and gemcitabine. And then adds, “My Graviola, which I am already taking, inhibits ATP [adenosine triphosphate] utilization by cancer but not by normal cells. Cancer chemotherapy agents lose effectiveness when a small minority of the cancer cells develop resistance to the chemotherapy agent by developing a metabolic pump that ejects the toxic chemical from the cell before it kills the cell. This is how insects and bacteria develop resistance to pesticides and antibiotics. Graviola's effects on ATP cuts off power to run these cancer cell anti-chemotherapy pumps, and in theory should prevent my cancer from developing resistance to the agents by having resistant cancer cells survive and reproduce” … Just another update from Lance. Complex medical interactions rendered as simply as possible, so as to help the non-professional grok. And beyond that, taking the world as it comes to him and giving it back to us, reflected on, affirmed and underway – so that we can share something that rarely gets shared and if communicated at all, only under the most limited of circumstances. A most amazing man, who can take that step into the mystery, and still keep talking (and joking) with a small circle of friends … If you want to access more of Lance Christie’s brilliant insights as gathered in his published on-line book, The Renewable Deal: A Political Policy Program to Obtain a Sustainable, Ecologically Restorative, Just and Comfortable Future., go to www.earthrestoration.net


BLOWBACK … “Violent origins of continents” screams the headline in a recent Scientific American full-color feature article & I remember Princeton’s Velikovsky getting ridiculed for imagining worlds in collision… Yesterday’s hoax, tomorrow’s discovery. Such are the vagaries of the scientific method we so enshrine as sacred in our times


BROKEN THUMB … At the end of a lovely day of skiing a couple Sundays past, youngest son Gorio skied much too quickly onto sheet ice at the bottom of chair seven and started tumbling. When he was done with his cartwheels, he came up with a very hurt thumb -- the same right thumb he’d locked in a car door this past summer in Moab. The good folks at the Telluride confirmed the break, and advised seeing specialist Dr. Gloria Beim of Alpine Orthopedics who comes to town on Mondays … Energetic, cheerful and exuding confidence, she thought pins would be advisable, and so we traveled to Gunnison a few days later for the surgery. Everyone was sweet, especially Nurse Sarah and our good doc. The surgery went splendidly and Gorio is on the mend – thank you to all the wonderful medical folks involved. And to a county health plan that works.


DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICA … Polls show the percentage of U.S. citizens who believe global warming is happening has dropped from 80% to 72%. The same propaganda machine that brought you Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction is taking its toll in encouraging global warming denial.


THE TALKING GOURD

Bambino

-for Gorio, my little Leo


first break a thumb

like father like son

learn the flute’s

fragile music of bone

remember the body’s

an instrument of wind

nerves & tendons

strings & drums

you can play the curves

dance with chance

it’s fire you carry

in blood that sings

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