NAMING … You gotta love Jeff Burch’s new self-published soft-cover coffee-table gem, The Peaks of Telluride (available at Between the Covers). Stunning full-horizon photos. Names for mountains you maybe once knew or hadn’t ever heard of. Cutting edge research like the newly-uncovered journal of Juan Antonio María Rivera by Spanish Brig. Gen. Mariano Alonso Baquer which appeared as “En busca del río Colorado: La exploracíon de Antonio María de Rivera desde Santa Fe, año 1765” in Revista de Historia Militar (Madrid, no. 97, 2005). “Hi-stories” from local history buffs Dirk de Pagter, Rick Trujillo, Senior Mahoney, George Greenbank, Johnnie Stevens, Ricky Denesik and Jack Pera. This is possibly one of the best $40 holiday gifts to ship to anyone interested in Telluride … But to tell you the truth, all the “unnamed peaks” made me sick … How come Club 20 Coloradans – so proud of their state and yet often dismissive of federal interference in local public land management – have meekly submitted to the federal monopoly on geographic naming? Who cares what the U.S. Geological Survey names or doesn’t name the mountains we live with? Their maps aren’t the only maps floating in cyberspace … It’s time we locals took back the landscape … I’ve set up an open Facebook group, Peaks of Telluride, if you want to begin talking about this, or to start suggesting names for all the “unnamed” peaks in Jeff’s book and elsewhere around the region. It would be great if folks took photos of the peaks in question and posted them along with their nominations … The guys in D.C. making the calls don’t live with these peaks. The people – who are supposed to have the power in a democracy – are the ones who should be deciding on appropriate names for the peaks that surround us … Maybe local governments will want to step in and pass resolutions giving local peaks our local names. Maybe someone will create their own map of locally named peaks. Maybe there will be many maps. However it plays out, it’s certainly high time we took back naming rights from our federal government.
BYRON “WHIZZER” WHITE … This was one of Colorado’s most famous native sons to make waves on the national stage. At the University of Colorado Boulder he was a star halfback who made the All-American team. Drafted into the NFL by the Pittsburgh Pirates (now the Steelers), he led the league in rushing in his rookie year (1938). He attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1939, came home to play for the Detroit Lions in 1940 and 1941, and then enlisted in the Navy and worked as an intelligence officer. … After WWII, he chose law school at Yale instead of a football career and graduated magna cum laude. He practiced in Denver and was appointed by Pres. Kennedy to the Supreme Court after serving as Deputy Attorney General under Bobby Kennedy. He served at the nation’s highest court from 1962 to 1993, and died in 2002. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954, named NFL Man of the Year in 2000, posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003, and had the Federal Building in Denver housing the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals named after him … But, when a bunch of Coloradans tried to get a mountain in the Rockies named after him a few years back, USGS shot it down … If Whizzer can’t get a mountain named after him in Colorado, who can? No one, as long as the Feds are calling the shots.
JOHN WINSLOW … One of the more brilliant, if eccentric, geniuses I’d met through Shroomfest, this Eugene veteran of the County Fair ran of the best natural vitamin operations in the country (his “Cognitol” was a morning must for staff every year he came). His research on Nymphaea caerulea amazed us. If you’ve never sniffed the Sacred Blue Lily of the Nile, then you haven’t experienced olfactory nirvana … This gentle good man passed this fall, though word just reached us. Bless him, as he blessed us.
WES PERRIN … Kudos to San Miguel Power Association for creating a $10,000 memorial scholarship in Perrin’s honor. A board member of the electrical distribution cooperative for 14 years, three as president, Wes was a champion of renewable energy and energy efficiency. We worked together on the San Miguel Energy Research Group (SMERG) in trying to explore alternatives to an overhead powerline Tri-State wanted to build from Nucla to Telluride. Although no feasible alternative was found, the groundwork developed in that exercise paved the way for many of the current green energy efforts on-going today … A fitting memorial for a green energy leader in our region.
THE TALKING GOURD
Snow frozen deep in drifts
between her yurt, my studio
Kids in the house. Pets in the sheds
The moon. Everything’s kind of chill
But the well's out. A breakerbox
malfunction. Had the portable
heater knob turning the wellhouse
lightbulb on & off, like some kind of
Houdini dimmer. Hot tub’s kaput
along with some expensive
energy-saving fluorescents. I love
when electricity goes pop
in the dark of a frigid day of