Sasha Shulgin Comes to Town
by Art Goodtimes
May 27, 2010 | 1674 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DIRTY PICTURES … Welcome to the San Juans, Mountainfilm folks. With this event Telluride kickstarts its summer resort season … It’s been a very late, cold, and now wind-dried spring. A major fire (already!) took off in the Norwood area of the San Miguel Canyon, ably managed in the end (in spite of gale-force winds) by our local Sheriff Bill Masters and the BLM. Cold spring, plus fires already. If not exactly global warming, at least global weirding … Personally, I’m excited about Etienne Sauret’s documentary of Dr. Sasha Shulgin – one of America’s counter-cultural heroes, designer chemist legend and popularizer of that amazingly therapeutic chemical ally, MDMA (aka Ecstacy) … But that’s only one of the dazzling bouncelight choices this Mountainfilm weekend in Telluride’s theater of mountains, moviescreen of sky. Enjoy.

FLASHBACK … Some people eschew chaos. I tend to embrace it. And voilà, the serendipity of what turns up, unexpected, in the midden heap of my Cloud Acre studio, I find both challenging and invigorating … Like this May 9th issue (1985) of the long defunct Telluride Times. That was back in the days when I was editor (okay, the title was “Ass. Ed.” but I was the ink guy in charge of the operation), Bob Beer was reporter (Beer and Goodtimes!), and Scott and Karen Brown the publishers … Two-year-old Iris Willow’s squatting figure graced the large black and white cover, as she hunched precariously over a cactus in full bloom … The bottom front page story (which I wrote) announced that the Colorado Public Utilities Commission was expressing concern over an audit of SMPA, since the power co-op had just fired its accountant in a cost-cutting measure. The late Wilbur Binder of Naturita was SMPA Board President and Clinton Booth of Norwood (banker) Vice-Pres. The infamous E.J. Ballard ruled as general manager … The first inside calendar page sported Elks Past Exalted Ruler John Hopkins giving Elk-of-the-Year honors to former Norwood Mayor Joe Vigil (now living in Montrose with his wonderful wife Eunice) … On page three, County Planner Tom Smith was presenting a low-ball air quality plan to the Board of Commissioners to address Clean Air Act violation concerns (prior to former Commissioner Leslie Sherlock’s successful push to ban woodburners in the region) … Commissioner Raymond Snyder was voting to reaffirm that dogs be allowed in pre-incorporated Mountain Village, with former DOW game warden Lyle Bennett arguing strenuously for outlawing them … And both Paragon Ski and Sports and Rose Victorian Food Mart had quarter-page ads … Further on in the old paper appeared Bob’s story on the Telluride P&Z with Jim Burleigh and Stiff Patterson presenting a final report from the Parking and Streets Task Force, that recommended the construction of a downtown parking structure or an intercept parking lot, although Mayor John Micetic didn’t think people would use an intercept lot and Manager Joe Crain worried about limiting parking to two hours without providing off-street parking … “Exchangnik” Joel Mahnke (17) was off to Russia as part of a youth exchange program … Eric Nepsky wrote about Spain in his Grapevine infomercial … Gov. Richard Lamm was the guest speaker for Western Colorado Congress’s annual meeting at Columbine Junior High in Montrose. Also speaking at the WCC lunch was Ron Binz, director of the Office of Consumer Counsel, and Pitkin County Commissioner Michael Kinsley … The Telluride Town Council passed a street vendor policy requiring fees and special zones – Terry Tice, Pam Conklin, Micetic and Patterson in favor, with Sue Paasche, Jim Bedford and Dave Erickson out of town … The “Up Bear Creek” column (written by one “Arcturus Goodtimes”) spoke first of Kiko Martinez, the Hispanic activist targeted by the federal COINTELPRO program and charged with sending letter bombs through the mail in the early 70s. He fled to Mexico for most of a decade and only returned in 1980 to be totally exonerated of all charges. In the process, he was responsible for bringing state prison conditions into the public eye, which led Federal Judge John L. Kane to call the Cañon City prison “unfit for human habitation” … Second item was anupdate on conditions in Gen. Pinochet’s nation titled “Chili Con Carnage” … An item on the forced relocation of Big Mountain Navajo in the Hopi Joint Use Area … And finally a short recommending blurb on Manlio Argueta’s novel, One Day of Life, about Christian farm workers in El Salvador … Carole Chowen’s cat assumed a new position (as she did weekly) in an otherwise boilerplate Telluride Liquors ad … Seeing a Colorado O’Willy’s ad, I realized I’d completely forgotten that establishment … I did remember Dianna Hulburt, who covered the “School News” section, interviewing Dylan Brooks in a story where he characterizes Martha Brady’s Middle and High School play, The Game, as “a metaphor of life” … [More flashbacks to come]

LANDMARK TREES … Been following my dreams more closely, ever since the Jungian Archetype therapy theater session at Ah Haa a couple weeks ago … Not sure what inspired this one, but I dreamt that our Board of County Commissioners had begun designating “Landmark Trees” in different locations around San Miguel County. I don’t think there were any regulations or restrictions associated with the new designations. I think, instead, they were adopted merely to draw attention to certain mature old growth giants in our area – that we all might come to better appreciate them. And then I woke up … I love that dreams aren’t all psychic cables to the ace (as Thomas Merton might say), and some are merely fragments of one’s playful interior fantasies.

CSU RETREAT … As a member of the second cohort of research fellows for Colorado State University’s Center for Collaborative Conservation (CCC), I got to attend a three-day training session in Fort Collins last week (plus two days on the road) … Practitioners like myself and professors, graduate students, trainers and undergrads got to spend full days at The Nature Conservancy’s Phantom Ranch Nature Preserve in the Laramie Hills, northwest of Fort Collins, playing cooperative games, being told stories, doing role-play, listening and watching and scribbling notes around the issue of conflict resolution and lots of other juicy topics … Dr. Joshua Goldstein, a first cohort CCC fellow, is slated to visit San Miguel County in late June as county advisor and we’ll begin work on a payment for ecosystem services (PES) pilot project for area ranchers.

THE TALKING GOURD While Around Us, Nothing Echoes

All day the wind, the adamant wind
disrupted the outsides of things,
shaking the inner world loose,
and ah, such trembling beneath
the apricot canopy then.
Under the surface, I found no map,
no long list of shoulds, no dictionary,
no plot. No thought. In fact, more
emptiness than not. And no loneliness
either. Some comfort in knowing
that things are further apart than they seem,
more space than matter, more blank
than full. And every bit as holy
as I dreamed.

-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
San Miguel County Poet Laureate
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