UP BEAR CREEK | Words of Wisdom From the Young
by Art Goodtimes
Jun 10, 2013 | 1285 views | 0 0 comments | 89 89 recommendations | email to a friend | print

 SENIOR ESSAYS … Kudos to the Watch for publishing (sans ads) its annual roundup of essays, poems and artwork by the Telluride High School Seniors of 2013 (26,013 ANAC). Living in Norwood, I don’t always get to know the young men and women matriculating out of Pandora’s box canyon. Their pieces told me a lot. About them and about Telluride. And while I was fascinated by the diverse accounts and enjoyed the whole lot, a few really grabbed me … Slator Aplin’s moving piece on grappling with social and human issues on the worksite … Jack Clark’s account of rafting the Colorado through the Grand Canyon was fascinating, terrifying and “truly magical”… Beecher Cooney’s photo … Angelina Distefano on her brother’s mom’s tragic death … Hayden Fake’s overcoming fear in ski racing, inspired by his mom’s fight against cancer … Jonathan Gerald’s Theatricalomo Sapien … Edwin Gonzalez Martinez’s little brother … Kira Hamblin’s KOTO dj-ing … Rachel Hampton’s passion for extreme skiing … Ryan Hanley’s sad story of losing her dad and coming to terms with it … Jessica Hild’s rings of life … Keith Hill’s overalls … Toni Hill’s first hike … Griffin Hirsch’s lovely account of lessons she’s learned from her amazing dad … Bridger Johnson clicking the safety off … Maria Alexa Kavanaugh’s “knife-edged precision” in ballet and the roundness of free-movement dance’s “tribute to my ancestors” … Conor Keenan’s honesty (his mom is best friends with my poet buddy Danny Rosen of Fruita) … Brendon Kelley’s wrestling with stuttering … Wyatt Murdy’s roads less-traveled … Ryan Niebruegge’s gender games with cross-naming … Charlotte Ratei’s “big guards wearing uniforms of gold” … Kristen Rutz’s merry-go-round of moving that wasn’t so merry … Conor Snitko for being himself, we love you back, my friend … Chloe Tresten’s saga of Bandit … Dorosi Valle Flores’s fascination with our plein air master Roger Mason … Emma Walker-Silverman’s outstanding essay describing a very difficult social truth-telling while in Turkey, where she bravely describes a moral dilemma and how she dealt with it … Keenan Zeller’s gorgeous illustration … Lovely of the Watch to include the Telluride Mountain School’s four seniors too … Of course, Sara (no “h”) Friedberg’s account of growing up “hippy” –  watching muskrats surface on the pond instead of attending school for the first three elementary years – was a hit at Cloud Acre. And, yes, of course, starting out from a leaky inflatable hot tub, she’s learned to take nothing for granted … World class ski champion Keaton McCargo makes me admire her all the more when she says her “successes are only what they are because of my failures” …We had Chase Lambert’s family to thank for a most lovely graduation party … And Claire Ricks writes so well, I asked her to share a poem as our Talking Gourd this week – her first publication, but I guarantee you it won’t be her last … If I had space, I’d have cited each and every senior’s contribution. An amazing class with some amazing stories. Thank you.


‘BETS’ PATTERSON … Our sad thoughts go out to Jenny and “Stiff” and all Elizabeth’s friends and family. Death is always a mystery. But when it comes to one so young, it wrenches our hearts.


MARIO ZADRA … It feels like the passing of an era, losing one of San Miguel County’s most iconic ranchers … If you haven’t seen Judy McGowan’s loving photo portrait book about Mario, check it out <www.blurb.com/b/1188288-mario-zadra> ... I’m sorry that Montrose County’s failed attempt to ram through a water reservoir on Zadra ranchland up Saltado Creek caused him grief towards the end of his life … May he rest in peace.


URANIUM … Will it be our brave, new, black swan, techno future? … Thank you Edwin Schlapper for countering some of the celluloid gloss of Pandora’s Promise with hard facts. Those of us who oppose nuclear energy are a minority, I realize that. Both major political parties, and even some “environmentalists” now believe in the atomic genii. So your public letter was a good antidote … In a way, I’m glad Mountainfilm screened Pandora’s Promise. We need to try to understand the arguments that have persuaded both sides of the aisle in Congress, and the president himself, to champion nuclear energy. Plus, the film has been stimulating discussion beyond the theater, which is always good in a democracy (if often messy) … Just the other night at a visit over wine I was arguing with a “liberal” friend, who’d resonated with the arguments in the film. A formidable debater, she made some excellent points, although her sources weren’t citations but scenes from the film … I guess as a kid who grew up reading “Atomic Mouse” comics, who really believed there’d be energy too cheap to meter, the disillusionment was intense. I came of age in an era stretching from White Sands and Operation Ploughshare to Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and now Fukushima. I’ve never forgiven the nuclear boosters for lying to me as a kid … These days it’s like we’re all infected with some alien scorched earth hoarding instinct that keeps pushing us into those grand potlatches of resources and lives we call wars. Or terrorism. Or homeland security … And in order to keep the runaway train of capitalism on track, we have to use it all up. All those resources that keep us comfortable but have transformed our carbon footprint into an extinction meteor … “Use it or lose it!” … Why not, instead of using every bit of nature’s gifts, we left some things, like coal and uranium in the ground, and simplified our lives. Reduced our use. Practiced real conservation. Started thinking whole cycles, cradle-to-grave, full-cost accounting. And didn’t jump for each new techno-lollipop coming out the door.


GMO NIGHTMARE … They told us it couldn’t happen. Now they’re hinting at sabotage. But voilà, the worst fears of the farm belt have come true. Roundup-ready wheat finds it way into a farmer’s field miles from and years after any planting … I hope now folks will hold Monsanto responsible for the grave economic dangers of genetically modified organisms – not to even speak of the ethical and moral issues involved.




Religious Order


Eucharist marks

Our desperate order

Waiting in line

Dazed ahead

To accept the

Insurance policy

Of older times

Wafer after wafer

Dropping onto our

Salivating tongues


Stained light

Filters through

The quenched air


As all plots lead deathward

Seat belts buckled in

A concise destination


Unacceptance leads

To the repentance

Of sins

One last grasp

At the ground below


Faster now


Claire Ricks



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