Artist, poet and physicist, oh my! |

Artist, poet and physicist, oh my!

Kay Vasilakis
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
New Castle News

Ed Jordan was born in Glenwood Springs in 1906, raised in New Castle, and was one of the first two seniors to graduate from New Castle High School in 1924. He graduated from Colorado College with an A.B. in 1928, and earned an M.S. from the University of Washington in 1930. His dissertation for his Ph.D. from the University of California was “Elastic Scattering of High Velocity Electrons by Mercury Atoms and the Agreement with Mott’s Theory.”

Jordan had an impressive teaching career at several universities from 1928-48, including being a Teaching Fellow in Physics at the University of Washington; and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, Harvard University, The University of Illinois, Urbana; and Bennington College.

Jordan built a mass-spectrograph, which was an atom-weighing machine, in 1934. The machine was the largest and most powerful of its kind. The machine was used for complicated problems of atomic research, reveals the amount of energy by the release of atom smashing, and determines the geologic age of rocks.

His participation in the Manhattan Project (code for a World War II project to develop the first atomic bomb) was solicited by scientists, but he refused to work on the project because of the bomb’s intended use.

Due to exposure to radiation, his health was compromised, and he returned to New Castle to “walk the hills.” He researched the Ute Indian trails and made rubbings of petroglyphs. His health returned and he began creating art and poetry.

Jordan passed away in 1996. He is remembered as being eccentric and private, a prolific artist and poet, and an ingenious physicist.

New Castle’s LaRue Wentz is Jordan’s niece, and she has created a wonderful display of his artwork at Patti’s Main Street Coffee House. Check out the display, which contains 25 pieces of his works, which are primitive and yet a bit contemporary, until May 15.

An artist’s reception will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7 at Patti’s and all are invited.

Just in time for everyone’s uncontrollable spring energy, the New Castle Garden Club has a whole slate of programs planned for the upcoming months. The first one, to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 3 at Niemann’s Gardens, will be “How to Care for Fruit Trees and Roses.”

Following programs include “Spring Soil Prep” at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 10 at Niemann’s Gardens; “Spring Wild Flowers” slide show by Hal Sundin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 22 at the New Castle Library; and “How to plant mixed planters for your deck and Earth Boxes” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 6 at Niemann’s Gardens. There are several more programs, so stay tuned for more information.

The New Castle Garden club’s program coordinator is Molly Kehoe, who can be contacted at or call 948-7824.

Starting April 7, residential trash and recycling collection within New Castle town limits will be provided by the successful bidder, Mountain Roll-Offs, Inc.

The trash and recycling collection day will not change. The town asks residents to please place trash and recycle bins at the curb by 7 a.m. each Wednesday. That’s right, every Wednesday.

March 31 was the last day Waste Management collected trash and recycling. The blue BFI recycling bins and green WM recycling bins are property of Waste Management, who have removed the bins. By April 6, MRI will provide its own recycling bins to each residential customer, free of charge.

Formerly, recyclables were collected every other week. Aluminum cans; tin and steel cans; glass bottles and jars; plastics #1 through #7; newspapers and all inserts; corrugated cardboard; and non-corrugated cardboard, such as cereal boxes will be accepted. According to MRI, New Castle will be one of the rare communities in Colorado with curbside recycling of cardboard.

The town does not charge customers an additional fee to participate in curbside recycling.

Within the next three months, MRI will provide a 68-gallon trash container to each senior residential customer and a 96-gallon trash container to each other residential customer, free of charge.

The town does not anticipate increasing trash and recycling collection rates through the end of 2010.

The Kathryn Senor Elementary (KSE) Go Green team is hosting a community fundraiser rummage sale from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 17, in the KSE front parking lot (rain location is in the gym).

Participants will be provided their own table and parking space to man to sell their gently-used wares, toys, sports equipment, etc. A reasonable table fee will be charged with proceeds benefiting tree-planting efforts at KSE.

For questions or space reservations, contact Chris DeSimone at or call 665-7667.

Another resounding “Hats Off” to Linda Jenks, formerly of New Castle.

Those of us who attended The Cat’s Meow fundraiser for the Rifle Animal Shelter were treated to a eclectic evening by Linda Jenks and her group of cats. They created a memorable evening of fun to benefit the humane “romantically repairing” of western Colorado cats.

From the “Stray Cat Strut” by “Frankie Boy” Breslin to the “Duetto Buffo di Due Gatti” (a comic duet for Two Cats – G. Rossini, composer) done completely in beautifully harmonic “Meows” by Eileen Leland and Jeanette Darnauer and the crowd-pleasing “Little Man and Miss Bear” bit by the ArtillumA Production Company to Sandy Vaccaro’s beautiful rendition of “Memory” (from “Cats”), the standing-room only crowd was thoroughly entertained.

Jenks reminds everyone, even if they were unable to attend, to be responsible and get your cats romantically repaired.

– Kay Vasilakis’ “New Castle News” column appears every other Thursday in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. For possible mention of a positive local event or news item, please e-mail or call 618-6689.

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