Letter: Fact or not?
I wonder whether Mr. Rachesky’s letter published July 26 should come under the category of “not factual.”
I had a dream. I was standing in a crowd of people, facing the U.S. Capitol on a crisp snowy Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2017, watching as Chief Justice John Roberts swears in President-elect Donald Trump. At the conclusion of the oath of office, President Trump grasps the lower left side of his face with his right hand and peels off a Trump mask to reveal that he is in reality, late comedian Andy Kaufman.
Andy did indeed fake his death in 1984, as was rumored. But instead of returning in 20 years as he promised, he chose to wait for 32. Pure comic genius. He really pushed the envelope. After the initial shock wore off, I breathed a huge sigh of relief that Donald Trump wasn’t president and that an equally qualified Andy Kaufman was.
Then I woke up and realized Andy was still dead and Donald was still the Republican candidate for president.
Life isn’t fair.
As the 50th anniversary of Colorado Mountain College approaches, the school has never been on firmer footing.
As the first new trustee to be elected in more than three years, I have joined a board of seven trustees. Five have worked together with two presidents and one interim president. Wisely, the board three years ago commissioned a new strategic plan. Shortly thereafter, following an extensive professional search, the trustees approved hiring Dr. Carrie Hauser as president of CMC.
As a member of the CMC Foundation board for five years, I have been able to actively follow the transition of CMC through regular reports to the foundation board from all three presidents. I have attended every public CMC trustee meeting since May 2015.
After five years of working closely with CMC, I feel well qualified to state that Colorado Mountain College has been very well led by our current president. The college has been moved from a state of uncertainty to profound stability. Today the college is positioned to adapt efficiently and effectively with changing economic conditions.
Along with the success that CMC is experiencing comes increased responsibility for CMC’s governing board. Change often is wrongly viewed as disruption. The trustees must be willing to hold themselves accountable. The board must commit to move forward in a timely and competent way in order to grow and to change with new populations and needs of our communities in an uncertain economy.
Throughout my term as a CMC trustee, I intend to support our strategic plan, our president and the trustees who share my commitment to assure CMC’s excellence, relevance and financial stability far into the future.
Trustee, Colorado Mountain College
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — DeMarcus Ware said the Denver Broncos are being “precautious” with him by holding him out of practice with a lingering bad back.
Ware didn’t take any snaps during the offseason program and began training camp Thursday on the non-football injury list even though he said his back is much better than it was in the playoffs, when he had a dozen quarterback hits and 3½ sacks.
“To be honest with you, I was probably around 70 percent,” Ware said after Thursday night’s walkthrough. I was around 70 percent in the playoffs. Now, knowing everything is right and having some time off in the preseason to get everything stronger and a lot more stable, I’ll be at 94 percent when all said and done.”
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Shortly after the Denver Broncos began training camp Thursday with Jay Z’s “On To The Next One” blaring over the loudspeakers, their safeties and cornerbacks donned actual blinders.
“It’s about focusing on one thing at a time and focusing on what you’re supposed to be focused on,” safety T.J. Ward said. “You’re supposed to be reading the quarterback and supposed to have your eyes on the receiver. Just training your eyes.”
Defensive backs coach Joe Woods wanted his guys to see what was in front of them and not be distracted by anything in the periphery.
It was an especially timely initiative given coach Gary Kubiak’s opening-of-camp message to put Super Bowl 50 behind them and focus solely on what lies ahead.
“I told them we’re not defending anything; we’re chasing the next one,” Kubiak said.
Quarterback Trevor Siemian took the admonition to heart, declaring last year “was a heck of a ride. But that team’s dead, so to speak.”
“Dead? No, there’s still a few of them out here,” Kubiak said. “But I think that’s the big thing is that it’s over, it’s gone, it’s a new group.”
One that’s embarking on a new journey with eyes wide open and staring straight ahead like all those DBs.
It was apparently easier for players to put the Super Bowl in the rearview than it was for Broncos fans to let it go.
The crowd, which was quite a bit smaller minus Peyton Manning as the marquee attraction, serenaded star linebacker Von Miller with chants of “MVP! MVP!” when he emerged on the field for warmups.
Miller was in uniform for the first time since being named the game’s most valuable player after leading Denver past Carolina 24-10 on Feb. 8.
He eased his way into action after missing the offseason because of a contract stalemate.
Linebacker DeMarcus Ware (back) and cornerback Aqib Talib (leg) were held out but did some light jogging and are expected back soon.
The biggest question facing the champs is who will succeed Manning, who retired in March, 48 hours before his backup, Brock Osweiler, signed with Houston.
Mark Sanchez started Thursday and looked sharper than Siemian, a second-year pro who has the most experience in Kubiak’s offense.
“It was a great start,” Sanchez said, “but it’s only a start.”
Rookie Paxton Lynch was inconsistent, overthrowing at times as he continues to make the leap from the spread he operated at Memphis to Kubiak’s West Coast offense.
One of the requirements for winning the QB job is taking care of the football — much like, yes, last year, when stellar defense fueled Denver’s title run.
GM John Elway and Kubiak have both said they expect to be better on offense this season regardless of who’s under center. They have a refurbished O-line to go with reinforcements in the backfield and at tight end.
“The good thing is the system hasn’t changed and we have a year under our belt with that,” running back C.J. Anderson said. “The talent hasn’t changed. We still have the same talent — minus 18 — and the same playmakers.”
One of them is wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who said his agent and the Broncos are still going “back and forth” in contract talks long after Miller and linebacker Brandon Marshall signed their deals over the summer.
“It’s not frustrating. It’s actually a blessing,” said Sanders. “We’re talking millions and millions of dollars that I can earn just by the game that I love.”
Sanders has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, 11 100-yard games, 15 touchdowns and 26 catches of 25 or more yards since joining the Broncos as a free agent in 2014.
“I said it from Day 1: I’m not trying to break the bank. I want to be here,” Sanders said. “But I also want a fair deal and I want a fair deal for the production I’ve been putting out, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Notes: The Broncos waived TE Manasseh Garner (non-football illness) and signed TE John Phillips, an eighth-year pro who spent the last three seasons with the Chargers. … Kubiak is allowing veterans to sleep in their own beds this summer but if they’re tardy they’ll have to report to the team hotel for the remainder of training camp.
NEW YORK — Daniel Descalso took a calculated risk in a big spot.
And it paid off big time.
With his team trying to rally against Mets closer Jeurys Familia, the Rockies first baseman stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and nobody out.
After fouling off his first two sacrifice attempts, he found himself in an unenviable position against the NL’s save leader.
Rather than swing away with two strikes, he squared to bunt again.
The usually steady Familia stumbled for a second straight game, allowing two runs in the ninth inning and Colorado beat New York 2-1 Thursday for their seventh win in eight games.
Less than 24 hours after Familia’s streak of 52 consecutive regular-season saves was snapped, the right-hander entered in the top of the ninth with a 1-0 lead, and couldn’t hold it.
Trevor Story had a leadoff single and stole second. After fellow rookie David Dahl walked, Descalso bunted up the first base line. Mets catcher Rene Rivera watched as the ball spun toward foul territory but it stopped fair, loading the bases with no out.
“I knew it had a lot of English on it and I was looking back to try to see if it was going foul and I guess it stopped right on the line,” Descalso said.
“I didn’t want to hit into a double play. He’s got a good sinker and if I put it in play good chance it’s going to be on the ground, so I decided to take a chance and get the bunt down 0-2.”
With one out, Familia (2-3) got pinch-hitter Cristhian Adames to hit a slow grounder to the right side.
First baseman James Loney misplayed the ball and Story scored to make it 1-all. Familia then threw a wild pitch, allowing Dahl to cross the plate with the go-ahead run.
“Familia is as good as there is in the game,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “Their staff overall, you’re not going to come in here and put up big innings and big crooked numbers. You’ve got to scratch and claw for everything.”
Dealing with a rare early start to open a series because of a camp day at Citi Field, neither offense was able to do much against starters Jacob deGrom and Tyler Anderson.
DeGrom allowed only one runner to reach second base in seven scoreless innings.
Rivera drove in the only Mets’ run in the second inning with a double into the right-center field gap, but was easily tagged out at third trying to stretch it into a triple.
Anderson struck out five and walked none, allowing seven hits over six innings.
“The goal every time is to try to give up zero runs,” Anderson said. “You do realize in a game like this that if you give them up you’ve really got to try to limit them.”
Jordan Lyles (3-3) pitched a scoreless eighth for the Rockies, and closer Carlos Estevez had a perfect ninth for his 11th save.
New York loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh inning off of reliever Jake McGee. Right-hander Scott Oberg came on to retire three straight batters to end the threat.
Colorado had been 0-41 this season when trailing after eight innings before Thursday’s win, a victory which snapped a 10-game road losing streak against the Mets.
“That’s one of the better wins of the year, if not the best,” Weiss said. “Really proud of our guys.”
WHO WANTS IT?
Rockies catcher Tony Wolters and Descalso collided in front of home plate in the bottom of the fourth, both going after Wilmer Flores’ popup. The ball started in foul territory, but drifted fair. Each fielder fell to the ground after the collision, with Wolters holding on for the out. They both remained in the game.
Dahl has hit safely in his first four games in the majors, including his first multi-hit game on Thursday.
Mets: 3B Jose Reyes missed his third straight game with a strained left ribcage, hurt during his final at-bat in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday. “He was pretty sore last night when he left here,” Mets manager Terry Collins said before the game on Thursday. “I talked to the trainers before I left and they said there’s just no way he’s going to be able to play tomorrow.” … OF Yoenis Cespedes was not in the starting lineup due to a flare-up of a right quad injury first sustained on July 8. “Last night he came in when the game was over and said it was starting to bother him pretty bad,” Collins said. Cespedes was walked intentionally as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning and was promptly lifted for a pinch runner.
Rockies: OF Gerardo Parra (sprained left ankle) is set to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Hartford on Friday. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Jun. 17, retroactive to the 15th.
Rockies: RHP Tyler Chatwood (9-6, 3.65) takes the hill on Friday night. He is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in four starts against the Mets. The 26-year-old won on Sunday against Atlanta, allowing no runs over five innings despite walking eight.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (8-6, 3.36) earned the win on Sunday in Miami, his first since May 25.
The Earthbeat choir has seen plenty of change since Karen D’Attilo founded it 30 years ago, but the spirit remains the same.
No longer under the umbrella of the Windstar Foundation, the kids’ choir doesn’t draw as heavily on the work of John Denver — although you can probably expect at least one of his songs at its big performance 10 a.m. Sunday at Mountain Fair. A second camp opened up in Glenwood in 2000, around the same time Earthbeat became its own nonprofit. D’Attilo passed the baton to KC Johnson, who in turn retired at the end of last year. New to the director position is Cailey Arensman, who has been involved with the organization since she was 7 years old, first as a participant, then a junior staff member, and then paid staff with a few years off while she studied music education at the University of Northern Colorado.
“I would not be the person I am today without Earthbeat,” Arensman said.
“I think that programs like Earthbeat are so essential to igniting that love and interest in music at a young age,” she added. “Even if they don’t all join high school choir, they are learning the performance and leadership skills that will serve them for a lifetime.”
The songs themselves run the gamut from reggae to folk, sometimes with a few tweaks to keep things relevant or kid friendly. There’s usually a medley featuring a specific artist, and this year will focus on the Beatles. There are also some originals by Earthbeat students and staff.
“When I hear the kids sing my songs, it makes me really proud,” said longtime program violinist and guitar player Ellen Stapenhorst.
She’s noticed that a lot of the songs that seem to resonate have a common theme.
“They seem to connect in a really heartfelt way to songs about peace and making the world better,” she said.
The program itself also focuses more on fun and cooperation than reading music or other music specific skills.
“We try to sneak in the technical side,” Arensman said. “Your average Earthbeat camper may not be able to tell you what fortissimo means, but they’ll be able to do a crescendo, and that’s impressive.”
Mostly, 9-year-old Katie Huttenhower knows she’s enjoying herself and meeting new people.
“Singing is something that I do a lot because it makes me feel free,” she said. “It’s a way to express feelings in a way that’s more fun than just talking.”
Indeed, she’s considering becoming a mentor in the program someday.
Libby Claassen, 13, already took that step.
“I loved Earthbeat when I was little,” she added. “You get so many fun experiences, you learn so many great songs, and you have a great performance at the end.”
“Being a role model was something that I always wanted to do,” she added. “It just give kids more confidence when an older kid is helping.”
Arensman thinks that’s part of what gives the program such strength and continuity.
“Many, many kids return year after year,” she said. “A bigger challenge is reaching out to new families and getting new people involved. We really try to make it accessible.”
“How often do teenagers get a chance to become leaders and mentors to other kids?,” he said. “I feel like I was blessed to be able to be a part of Earthbeat for 21 years and have the chance to inspire and work with so many talented young kids.”
For more information, call 366-2976 or visit email@example.com.
Due to the great largess of friends and people in the wine business, I have been afforded the opportunity to taste some wines that have a little age on them.
Not ancient wines, or even wines from, say, before I took my first steps, but rather some wines that had their genesis in the summers of my youth in the 1970s and 1980s.
First, let me say that when I can sniff, sip and contemplate a wine from a time gone by, I love to try to remember my personal state at that time.
For example, while once looking at the burnt-orange rim of a ’71 Domaine Gros, Richbourg, I recalled that I was entering high school as the grapes in that glass were being harvested. My go-to wine at the time, if you could call it that, was Mateus Rose, a slightly sparkling Portuguese number that I had read was popular with Rod Stewart, who had recently released his third solo LP “Every Picture Tells a Story,” with the hit “Maggie May.”
But I digress, as anyone who knows what an LP is will surely tell you.
Savor the past
The point is that for many of us, the opportunity to taste the wines from the historic vintages of the past is one that should be savored. Old wines — similar to old people — have achieved texture, character and beauty that is a result of having been afforded time to mature.
Not all old wines, of course. But there are special wines sourced from grapes born in vintages in which the sun and the seasons smiled softly upon them and were crafted by winemakers whose deft hands gently persuaded them to perfection. These are wines that have been nurtured by owners who kept them in pristine condition for decades — never too warm, nor too cold. Just right, as they awaited the moment when the twisting of the cork and the rush of air through the bottle’s neck would announce that it was time for the wine to be drunk.
My greatest old wine experience came from a bottle of Syrah from the Northern Rhone. Hermitage, to be precise. And it was not all that old. But the 1990 Hermitage Cuvee Cathelin, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave was one of those wines that demonstrated why having the patience to cellar and keep a wine for some time — in this case two decades — can be so rewarding. This was a wine from an outstanding vintage in a place that is as regarded as a mecca for lovers of Syrah.
‘The old is better’
J.L. Chave Hermitage is a family-owned Domaine based in Mauve, France, that has been growing vines and making wines in the northern Rhone since 1481.
Throughout those 500 years, the responsibility for the grapes and the fine wines that are made from them has passed from father to son, from one generation to the next.
The reins and that responsibility are now held in the hands of a brilliant winemaker named Jean-Louis Chave, who is widely regarded as the 21st century’s master of Syrah. This wine was made by Jean-Louis’s father, Gerard, who was the 15th generation of the family to be involved in the production of wines.
The Cuvee Cathelin is made in only exceptional years. I remember the nose was still fresh with floral notes, as though I were smelling a field at the base of the mountain where the fruit was grown.
It was complex, structured, fruity, leathery, smoky, spicy and rocky. There were berries, peppers, a little chocolate and a hint of vanilla. In short, there were all of those things that make great Syrah such a pleasure to drink.
The intensity and richness were overwhelming. For more than an hour, I savored my glass of wine and observed subtle changes with each sip.
I still have the empty bottle in my wine rack as a reminder of the experience, though the moment is etched in memory.
While I do not know the Bible well, I do know a passage or two that relate to wine. This one, Luke 5:39, kind of sums up the experience:
“No man also having drunk old wine straightway desires new: for he said, The old is better.”
Kelly J. Hayes lives in Old Snowmass with his wife, Linda, and black Lab, Vino. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Muir is one of my favorite authors to read. I appreciate his body of work because so much of it is based on his experiences in the outdoors. He eloquently captured those moments when the peacefulness of nature allows the mountains to speak to us. They whisper that we’re all part of the circle of life, and our short existence in this universe is just a small blip on a bigger radar.
Contemplating life’s purpose through nature is why Muir speaks to me. I admittedly didn’t even know about him until I moved to Colorado. I spent most of my childhood reading Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley, a regional Midwestern favorite, who also had his share of appreciation for nature. My Aunt Patty taught me to recite lines from his 1885 “Little Orphant Annie” by the time I was 4. And his poem “The Ripest Peach” is one I love to read when I need a smile. It reminds me of my Glenwood artist friend Renick Stevenson, who once painted the prose on paper as a gift when I left for Flagstaff to live. I always remember Riley’s poignant words, “The ripest peach is highest on the tree.”
That can be said for many things in life, especially love.
As a naturalist as well as a writer, Muir specifically spoke of his love for the mountains. His quote “The mountains are calling and I must go …” is one of the more famous, and one many outdoor lovers wildly appreciate. It originates from one of many letters written to his sister, Sarah Muir Galloway, about his North American travels. The full quote is: “The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.”
Muir was constantly learning about the environment and discovering areas of the west that had rarely been shared with the others lacking the drive or opportunity to explore as Muir did. I often think of his bravery and determination to follow a passion that obviously burned deep inside his soul. It was one that led him to climb mountains, raft rivers, and fend for his own food before many of the national park trails had even been blazed. I love to think about how still and quiet the areas sat, even as Muir made his human presence. Luckily we still have such serene wilderness spots to offer solitude, especially here in the Roaring Fork and Aspen valleys.
Like Muir and other preservationists, I would love to see that remain.
Now that I’ve lived in the Rockies, which will always be home to me, “The mountains are calling and I must go” is a message I keep in the back of mind whenever life seems too hectic or impossible to navigate. The quote would surely make a great tattoo, or maybe on one of those wooden signs people craft at wine-and-paint parties and hang in their bathrooms.
I can relate to that fire inside Muir that attracted him to the mountains like a twirling, barefoot dancer to Mountain Fair. Being back in the mountains this week reminds me of that pull so magnetic it can make a heart ache when away and feel full as it ever could get when near. Mount Sopris has that impact on me, and as I sit and stare at her — there are many of us who believe she has strong female qualities — I can’t imagine a world outside of Colorado.
Being from Indiana and living in Colorado meant I made yearly, and sometimes more, treks back to my birthplace to see family and friends. When I traveled between my two homes, I realized living in the mountains felt as if I were protected by a bubble. Not in terms of hardships — I often felt the tightening of a mountain lifestyle budget and a fear that comes with not being able to support oneself. There were also times I felt alone, especially when I suffered those infamous mountain dating woes.
So much so I wanted to be out of the protective bubble.
That’s where I am today. Returning to a world in which I pleasantly existed has shown me that although I followed a care-free lifestyle with few responsibilities, I was likely missing out on life experiences the mountains couldn’t provide. The calling to be a mother, and to be closer geographically to my own, caused a different kind of tug at my heart than Mount Sopris could ever have. Moving back home, especially as my family experienced the loss of my grandparents, was a life calling I now know was destined. But I do know the mountains will always be calling. And I will always figure out a time to go.
April E. Clark wishes she could try women’s wood splitting at Mountain Fair. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Ah, Mountain Fair.
My parents met there. I grew up having my face painted, performing in the Earthbeat Choir, and generally viewing it as the major event of the waning summer. I was even there for the great fireball and power outage of 1998.
In more recent years, I’ve savored the occasional escape from the sea of humanity and the drunks howling outside my window at 3 a.m.
This will be my 27th fair, and while I’m still not quite ready to skip it entirely, I’m pickier about what I catch and what I pass up. You probably have a list of your own, but here are my do’s and don’ts.
If you can make it the drum circle, do. I realize that 4 p.m. on a Friday is a rough time slot for the working class.
Still, ever since the big ball of fire and power outage, the drum circle has set the tone for the weekend. Even if you don’t drum, it’s a powerful communal experience and just plain fun to watch.
Do find a competition and participate, but don’t take it too seriously. As the person generally picked last for kickball in third grade, I learned to quash my competitive side. Still, there’s something to be said for pitting yourself against your friends and neighbors, particularly when the stakes are low and there’s no one to let down but yourself.
Last year, I tried my hand at hula hooping and discovered that, while my skills might be good for Rams Day, they’re not even passable for Mountain Fair. I had fun anyway. Someday I’ll gather the courage to tackle woodsplitting, though my father set a fairly high bar on that front.
Then, of course, there’s the pie competition. I won’t be judging this year, but I still urge anyone with a passion for baking to enter.
It’s an opportunity to showcase something a little unusual or perfect an old favorite— anything that showcases the subtleties of taste, texture, crust and presentation that make pie the ideal battleground.
Submissions have been down of late, and it’s a shame. For one thing, there’s a lot more fun and prestige in judging when there’s a wide variety.
There’s also a lot more satisfaction in winning, although I honestly can’t remember how many competitors there were when my brother and I got a ribbon in the kids’ contest.
Most importantly, it’s a venerable and tasty tradition that I’d hate to see go the way of hand drilling.
Do buy a T-shirt, but don’t wear it yet. The unspoken purpose of fair swag is to show that you’ve been attending longer than the other guy. Like wine, they’re fine new but better aged. Raffle tickets, however, are best bought early, since drawings take place throughout.
Don’t stay in one place. The main stage is always hopping, but there’s plenty going on around the park and downtown.
Check the program for a variety of programming for kids and adults at the Oasis. Catch your favorite band again in the intimate setting of Steve’s Guitars.
Patronize local businesses as well as booths.
Do plan on running into your middle school gym teacher, high school crush, the surgeon who removed your tonsils and everyone else you’ve ever met.
Don’t expect to move quickly through the tide of friends and acquaintances.
Most of all, do enjoy yourself and let others enjoy themselves.
Will Grandbois may also try to sample HeyDays this year. He can be reached at 384-9105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.