DINNER WITH DIONYSUS … What a wallop! Like nothing I’ve seen in my 30 years following theater in this burg … And I was prepared to be underwhelmed. A play by committee. About a European tradition. With exclusive limited free seating for opening night – it took repeated soirees at the door just to get inside with my family … But forget all that. This was as clever and lascivious a romp as I’ve ever seen on our local stage. Even Telluride Theatre’s dazzling version of Hair paled in comparison. The dancing and choreography and special freeze effects and blitzkrieg dramatics – it all took my breath away … We were there to see Pamela Sante, and she was great. But, gramercy, the whole damn cast was great. I mean terrific. Each part a facet of a very funny diamond. Tragic-comic, really … But, no Dinner with Andre, this. We dive right into the legendary cult of Dionysus from the conceit of an elite dinner party – a kind of Exquisite Charm of the Bourgeoisie with Pinot Noir & lechery. Even homophagy … There was the two-round rap face-off between Jesus Christ and Dionysus. The wine-besotted whirlwind dance of maenads and satyrs. I loved it all. And so did the audience. Jumping into a standing ovation at the end inside the intimate program room of Ah Haa at the Depot … Kudos to the brilliant Sasha Sullivan nee Cucciniello for her direction, her husband Colin as Dionysus, and each of the cast – their parts, their transformations, their carriage and canters – all were wonderfully done! … Five thumbs up.
OHV DEATH … Finally, it happened. I’m just sorry it took the accidental death of a “spunky” 14-year-old from Florida on an Ouray County road to highlight how inappropriate it is not to require Driver’s Licenses or some kind of training certificate for Off Highway Vehicle users on our high alpine jeep tracks … Gov. Hickenlooper’s newly reorganized Department of Parks & Wildlife continues to hide behind a contested legal interpretation from state Attorney General John Suthers – insisting we must get rid of county rules requiring insurance and a driver’s license for anyone driving OHVs on San Miguel County’s high alpine roads, or they won’t share with us any state OHV money for our Alpine Ranger program … What kind of blackmail is the state playing, while young lives are lost to unsafe regulatory conditions?
ROTARY … I was delighted to be invited back to a Rotary luncheon to share poetry – this time from my latest book, Looking South to Lone Cone (Western Eye Press, Sedona, 2013)… It’s certainly wonderful what Rotary does for the San Miguel County community, especially helping our youth with their education and living overseas … There’s a big benefit golf tournament coming up, if you’d like a lovely painless way to be philanthropic (though painful, if you played divot-digging like I do) … Keep an eye out in the papers. Or come to the luncheons and join the club.
MOSQUITOES … I got word from medical entomologist Dr. Chet Moore of CSU that the specimen that Danny Sanchez of Norwood sent him was not an Asian Tiger mosquito. Rather, it was Culex tarsalis, often called the “Rice Field mosquito”, because it is so common in rice-growing areas. It is also found associated with irrigated pasture, sod farms and other areas where water can stand for a week or so – time for the mosquitoes to lay eggs and the larvae to finish their development ... At first glance, that might seem like a good thing, since the Asian Tiger mosquito is a carrier for a lot of very bad diseases. However, Dr. Moore explained that C. tarsalis is the primary vector in the Rocky Mountain region for West Nile virus ... Dr. Moore praised Danny’s packaging job, as the specimen arrived in “perfect condition.” But Dr. Moore wanted to be sure I mentioned these simple precautions anywhere C. tarsalis is found (which definitely means Norwood and perhaps elsewhere in the county) ... “Remind folks,” he explained, “about keeping door and window screens in good condition (reminding kids not to stand in the doorway letting the mosquitoes in -- as my grandson recently did). Also, personal protective measures -- such as repellents (deet, picaridin, oil of lemon, eucalyptus, etc.), long-sleeved shirts and pants in the evening hours -- are a good idea during the West Nile season. There is one West Nile case reported from Delta county so far this year, and we have a case here in Larimer county just this past week” ... Dr. Moore recommended that folks remain on the lookout for the striped Asian Tiger mosquito – particularly during the middle of the day. The Rice Field mosquito is mostly active between around sundown and midnight. Adds Dr. Moore, “They will sometimes bite in shaded areas, but that’s usually a sign there are lots of them around – not a good sign from the disease standpoint. If you happen to come across more specimens biting during the daytime, I would still be interested in having a look at them” ... So, if you see a striped mosquito in the middle of the day in San Miguel County, capture it in a small jar, freeze it, and we can send it on to Dr. Moore for identification.
THE TALKING GOURD
Sappho, we know so little & love Lesbos
so much. Tantalized by history’s tidbits
tossed us. How the ancients raised
the roofbeams for you
How Christian mobs burned the library
at Alexandria & empire looted empire
War always pyrrhic, trade imperial
Art in the leftovers
What’s left us of you mixes Aphrodite
& Diana. Athena & Pandora. You tease
You flirt with her. With him. You
mix it up