Scattering Doug’s ashes in Cali
by Art Goodtimes
Jun 11, 2009 | 826 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

IN MOURNING … He wasn’t much on ceremony. Had done his share of derring-do. Spent twenty-five some years in the Hell’s Angels, for chrissakes … But he’d had a change of heart in his fifties. Quit the legendary motorcycle club. Stopping drinking & smoking & lots of other less than healthy things. Got a job driving truck for a steel supply warehouse … He took up weight-lifting & then drumming. Even went to West Africa & brought home some djembes … All our youth, Doug played the rebel to my goodie two-shoes. At six he knocked me into the kitchen the first time Dad put boxing gloves on us. As the oldest, I was humiliated. But in school I excelled. Was the honor student. Doug was the one in hot water with the authorities. So we both harbored grudges of one sort or another early on … But he was handy in a playground fight. Wasn’t afraid of the biggest kids – would square off with anyone if challenged. I admired that. Maybe secretly at first. But in later years, after I gave up the leading role in our familial Christian morality play & left seminary for the delayed adolescence of Sixties’ San Francisco, I realized we’d both become outlaws. He agin the law & me agin straight society. That came home most viscerally one day at a peaceful demo in Berkeley when a phalanx of highway patrol wielding batons came charging down the street after a rag-tag line of protesters & I was forever radicalized. It made me understand that there were lots of ways one gets marginalized, even in a democracy … Dirty Doug, as the Angels knew him, had lots of run-ins with the Man. But he never kow-towed or kissed ass – things I learned to do with bullies and certain “peace officers” -- out of a sheer sense of survival. So, as I evolved into a hippie rainbow counter-cultural non-conformist, my admiration for my little brother grew. Several times I went to visit him in Lompoc. San Jose. Cupertino. In later years I’d bring my kids (his nephews & nieces) who climbed all over his tattooed arms, hung from his bulldog neck. And he was gentle and loving with them … It became a trope in my offspring’s childhoods. In the middle of wrestling or tickling or some catch-game in which they’d been-caught, all they had to say was “Uncle Doug” – and open sesame, they’d be released. His name became the “magic word” that would undo what had been done – a game we all loved to play … I guess that’s what I miss most about Doug. We never got to play together much after childhood. Except when we were drumming. And maybe that one night we sat joking & watching the Man burn at Burning Man … And so it’s time to let the fire burn out. That wild rebellious fearless decent brother of mine. Honoring his passing. Letting him go … It’s a lesson those of us elders racing into our sixties are regularly challenged to do – letting go of family, friends, things. Learning to embrace the tornado. The nuzzle of clouds up against the peaks … One of my greatest heroes, Utah Phillips once said, “Every so often you have to wake up & jump off a cliff.” And, sooner or later, whether we’re dragged kicking & screaming or choose to leap holding each other’s hands, we all do.

CSA … Indian Ridge ’s Community Supported Agriculture operation in Norwood had our first distribution last week. What a pleasure in this cool & wet spring to enjoy crisp spinach, fresh eggs, scallions, salad greens, bread & granola straight from the farmer/baker.

SMPA … In spite of high winds that cancelled its announced outdoor location, a good turnout jammed Ouray’s Community Center last weekend for the 70th anniversary of another local cooperative, San Miguel Power Association. Maybe it was because of the prizes [your fearless spectator won $50 off his next electrical bill!] … But most certainly because the days of power too cheap to meter are gone and the theme for this year’s annual meeting was “Energy Efficiency: Taking Responsibility”. Imagine SMPA touting a ratepayer/owner initiative bylaw change & almost a dozen alternative energy programs to investigate. Everyone joined in a nifty techie instant survey interactive. Many alternative energy groups had display booths ... Make no mistake, SMPA has jumped fully on board the Governor’s New Energy Initiative – something Terry Selby was trying to get SMPA to move towards almost 30 years ago … Telluride’s Wes Perrin (Board President) did a masterful job as emcee – most appropriately as he’s been the primary agent of change at our local electrical co-op -- joined by directors Michael Safter and soon-to-be Rube Felicelli. Providing plenty of community backup were Skip Baldwin, Dan Chancellor and Edwin Schlapfer along with Kim Wheels of TNCC (The New Community Coalition, which has partnered with SMPA on several energy programs) … And answering even tough questions with aplomb and knowledge, Manager Ritter proved that (on the whole) things have only improved since the days of Manager Ballard … Plus, who would refuse the reusable cotton bag of take home goodies – LED night lights, miniature thermometer, compact fluorescent bulb, and literature …I was glad I attended. Particularly, as I expect SMPA may be moving into a leadership position in Colorado, like our electrical co-op neighbor, Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA), which has garnered statewide recognition for its innovative energy policies.

SUNSET CAFÉ … If you wondered what happened to culinary intern Adrian Musgrove who worked at 9545 in 2003, he’s not gone far. Count him a chef at the gorgeous new Ridgway eatery incorporated into the Chipeta Sun Lodge with its dazzling Kiva Room, where Beth Paulson and the Ouray County literary folks had me for dinner, or at least hors d’oeurves -- that is, I performed a handful of poems as part of a three-course meal in a progressive literary evening, Art Beat, that included jazz and paintings (marvelous time talking with Tim and Sheila Manzagol of Shining Mountain Herbs and my painter friend Judith Graham of Silverton) … Adrian gave me a quick tour of the facility with its panoramic upstairs deck and elegant settings. Definitely a new stop on the way-to-Montrose circuit.


from “13.7 Billion Years

in the Making”

…Bless each long finger

and each stubby toe

the long arms for reaching

legs for dancing

the smooth cupped

yes of breast…

-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s

poem in the Ah Haa Inspired show

at the Daniel Tucker Gallery

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