COURTNEY WHITE … Courtney has been a great ally and advocate for what he calls “the radical center” and I like to call “the radical middle.” Through the Quivira Coalition which he founded in New Mexico, he’s managed to forge an incredibly strong coalition among ranchers interested in resilience and sustainability, environmentalists more interested in working landscapes than winning lawsuits, and lots of us in-between. We almost had him speak here in Telluride a month or so back, but he had to cancel and now we’re shooting for sometime in late winter early spring to bring him to town to talk about the Carbon Ranch – an idea he has for using land management practices to sequester carbon in the rural countryside even as our urban carbon footprints continue to expand … Plus, I was interested in learning techniques for the county’s latest Payment for Ecosystem Services project – how we might benefit local ranchers and farmers in the face of the imminent Endangered Species Act listing of the Gunnison Sage Grouse (GSG). So it was great to attend the 11th Annual Quivira Coalition Conference in Albuquerque … Certainly, Bill Zeedyk’s low-cost methods for repairing riparian habitats and increasing water storage in adjacent floodplains was an eye-opener. Leigh Robertson of the San Miguel Basin GSG Working Group is hoping to bring Bill here for a workshop soon, and it’s something I’d recommend anyone interested in increasing water availability on drought lands might want to attend … An added plus was hearing the inimitable poet, deep ecologist and natural philosopher Gary Snyder reading his work, along with his buddy and aural historian Jack Loeffler … The theme of the conference was Inspiring Adaptation, and the many workshops and talks were both inspiring and full of ideas on how we might adapt to seems pretty clearly is a time of global warming … Keep an eye out for Courtney when he comes to Telluride. I think we will have a lot of information to share.
SUZANNE VENINO … Some of you will remember this charming woman who left Telluride for Boulder back in 89. As fellow Italians, we’d kept in touch and periodically we’d visit when I made it to Boulder. The last time we did so, several years ago now, we went out to a lovely dinner and talked for hours. The time before that we went dancing – and it was a most delightful evening that had us moving from club to club until we were both exhausted ... Just this Monday I received the tragic news from a friend of hers that she passed away peacefully last week – a close friend at her side. In the email, it was noted that one of Suzanne’s favorite quotes came from Dr. Seuss: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" … Just a couple weeks before, she’d sent me this remembrance, fitting in this time of increased public prying into our private lives. And now a last story from a true friend of Telluride … “When I first moved to Boulder it was November of 1989 and I figured I'd get a holiday job to see me through for a little while. I went to Banana Republic and filled out an application. The manager interviewed me, said she'd like to hire me, but told me I'd have to take a test first. Okay … She took me to the employee lounge, handed me a test booklet and a pen, and told me to return the test to her when I was done. I started to answer the questions and had filled out about six when I stopped to see just what the heck this test was all about … The first ten questions were about my drinking habits, the next ten were about my drug usage, and the next eighty-five questions were about my attitudes toward stealing. One question even asked me to put a dollar amount on what I'd stolen from employers … Now this was nearly twenty-five years ago, before employers did Internet searches, credit checks, or asked people to pee in a cup. Appalled, I found the manager and returned the uncompleted test, saying thanks, but no thanks, this isn't the place for me. And then as a poetic gesture – I stole the pen.”
JACKSON ORDEAN … It was great to see this former local art teacher elected to the Norwood School Board this month. Jackson taught my daughter Iris Willow when she was in the Norwood School (she’s 30 now) and instilled in her a life-long love of art. She went on to major in graphic design, and spends half her time these days out in San Francisco pursuing a deep interest in jewelry making … On top of the election Jackson had a dynamite watercolor show “Life Seen Through Watercolor” at the Livery, sponsored by ACE of Norwood. I loved his big canvases of old fishing boats in a California dry dock – great colors and textures. There were some great beach shacks in various states of dishabille. His picture of Bridal Veil Falls is marvelous, and his rendering of Lone Cone iconic. By the way, a little factoid about the latter painting – that’s Daniel Tucker walking his dog in the foreground … Catch a slideshow of the paintings at ACE’s on-line site: aceofnorwood.com
THE TALKING GOURD
a day this blue
-Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer