April is about to give way to May and it’s difficult not to feel the onset of dread looking at the coming month.
There is a plethora of happenings, especially during the weekends, throughout the month, which equates to plenty of working weekends for yours truly. To be clear, this is not a complaint about “too much going on.” I’m not sure that is possible, although my friends in Carbondale may reserve some objections to that statement.
Given the choice between dead and bustling, I’ll take bustling almost every time, and after editing this week’s calendar, it’s undeniable that the winter doldrums are shifting to spring buzz — there are two chances to see live music in Rifle on Saturday. Again, this is a good thing in my view.
And on face value, this May does not look much different than last year. The largest difference is personal; a significant other who I enjoy spending my weekends with, and who is not fond of me carving out big chunks of time on a Saturday to work.
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That will be impossible to avoid this coming month, but that’s the job. And I will always reiterate the claim made by renowned New York Times media columnist, David Carr, that hitting the streets and talking to people “beats working.”
I will not be at every event, but here are some that I’m keeping on my radar and feel you should do the same (yes, I know the first several are in April and, no, omission of any events was not done out of malice):
SPLAT – April 29
This is the second year for SPLAT (Supporting Parachute’s Local Artists & Talent) at the Parachute Branch Library. The event (see the calendar listing) is an opportunity to appreciate local artists and their work.
An event like this further feeds the narrative about the emerging art scene in western Garfield County, which we reported on last summer. However, I believe this is more a story of collaboration than migration. In talking with a Rifle resident active in the art scene, he pointed out that many of the artists have been here for years; they just haven’t publicized or orchestrated events featuring their work.
Admittedly, neither one of my eyes is too keen on visual art, but even those as artistically blind as myself can get behind such work when it furthers our sense of community.
Farewell to Mike Morgan – April 30
Speaking of community, we have an opportunity to give a warm send-off to outgoing Colorado River Fire Rescue Chief Mike Morgan (see the calendar listing). Farewell seems too strong a word seeing as how Morgan informed City Council last week that his family will be keeping their home here in Rifle. And given the establishment of the state’s Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting at the Rifle Garfield County Airport, it seems safe to assume that Morgan will be visiting for work reasons in his new role as director of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control.
Nonetheless, it’s a big-time position that merits a big-time send-off. If you have not already done so, share your congratulations with our chief.
Hubbard Mesa annual cleanup – May 7
It feels as if there are few topics I’ve typed more stories on than Hubbard Mesa. The debate over user conflicts has been emotional at times in the past 10 months or so, but if there is one thing everyone can agree on it’s trash.
In listening to countless people speak publicly and in private conversations, I have not heard anybody share their elation over the sight of abandoned living room furniture and other garbage while out recreating. It’s quite the opposite — this is a subject that seems to garner widespread anger, no matter what activity a person does.
I count myself in that camp. The point has been made that the area has been Rifle’s dumping ground for years. I have yet to wrap my head around the thought process that would make such a disgusting and selfish act permissible in the minds of degenerates who dump their garbage here or any place other than a landfill.
Locals have stepped up in recent years, especially the High Country 4 Wheelers Jeep club and the White River Trail Runners ATV/UTV club. They have been responsible for an annual cleanup stretching back more than a decade. In doing so, the volunteers have removed tons of garbage. A reminder with additional details will be in next week’s Citizen, and you can also read our story about the event that was published earlier this year at http://bit.ly/24iX3L8.
Parachute Cinco De Mayo – May 7
About a year ago, town trustees stated their desire to host an event in Parachute that would especially appeal to the Latino population. One year later, the town is doing just that. Staff and trustees spoke with excitement last week about the approaching Cinco de Mayo celebration, which will run from 2-7 p.m. at Cottonwood Park.
The event will be family friendly and feature live music, food, beer, bounce houses, face painting and more. Look for additional details in next week’s Citizen.
Rifle Rendezvous – May 13-15
Bigger and better. That is the message the Rifle Rendezvous is sending in its 20th year. Events such as the Friday night contra dance and Saturday night bull-riding competition are returning this year. The Saturday car show will be downtown on Third Street, which will be closed between Railroad Avenue and East Avenue during that time.
I recently sat down with one of the Saturday evening acts, and the man has a fascinating story. More on that and Rendezvous details to come in the weeks leading up to the event.
Garfield Re-2 high school graduations – May 22
This is admittedly a difficult day. Bouncing from one graduation ceremony to the next and turning around to write two unique stories with halfway decent photographs is a challenge, but this is not a day I begrudgingly punch the time clock.
This is a monumental milestone in any young person’s life, and it’s a special, albeit slightly awkward, feeling to see the smiling faces of family members and the graduates. This class of local teenagers will move on to new challenges, an experience I wrote about in a column around this time last year.
While it’s important to be forward thinking, this is a day to celebrate. Let’s hope this year’s celebration is free from bouts of rain and hail (those who were at last year’s ceremonies know what I’m talking about).
If you missed last week’s story on local graduation ceremonies, you can find it here http://bit.ly/1QzAs3o.
Ryan Hoffman is about to be even busier than usual. You can reach him at 970-685-2103 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Garfield Re-2 Interim CFO is learning on the fly as he works to get the district finance department back on track