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Dispatch From Denver

Met up with old friend Tom Woods yesterday for lunch, the only old Sausalito waterfronter in Colorado I know of since Jack the Fluke died. Tom came to with a bad hangover in Denver while trying to hitchhike to Louisiana, quit drinking here and stayed. That was 30 years ago. Another survivor of all the worst habits, with a penchant for getting in bar brawls tossed in. We swapped lots of waterfront stories.

Still looking for a Who, a cultural identity, in this place. My impression of Denver so far is that there's a lot of industrial activity, judging from the preponderance of related businesses and vast industrial areas. There are pawn shops all over. I didn't fly with a guitar but found one in a pawn shop for $75 that is decent for the price, a serviceable beach/campfire guitar that would have fetched at least twice the money in San Rafael. In the shop there were two cops in plain clothes but wearing their guns. Very serious faces. Possibly looking for stolen items. Guns, guitars and electronic doodads were the main inventory. The indistinct cultural unevolved-ness of the place makes for a lower cost of living, and I suspect Colorado would be a gold mine for antique hunters. Too many stores, indicating a surplus, for it not to be.

Recovering from last night's “First Friday” art walk. Went with the neighbors across the street and stayed too long, saw too much, burned out while they were still rarin' to go. I'm not much of a consumer of entertainment, exhibits and such. A while back I went with my daughter and family to some museums in LA, I did see a Van Gogh one time, at least that was good. Then we went to a display of Stanley Kubrick stuff, lots of props from the movies, special lenses, scripts, etc. Ho Hum, can we go now… The one thing I liked was the typewriter from The Shining. Then we watched the movie and I saw it wasn't really the typewriter they used. Not even the same color.

Huge crowd wandering about the art district, probably seven or eight blocks. Getting a clue about the Denver cultural Who. There is a refreshing lack of observable political correctness, no in-your-face self-righteous liberals of the Northern California type in sight. Not unusual to see women in skirts and cowboy boots. Dark side of that, this is a “red” state, lots of gun culture and shops. There isn't much evidence of “hippie” in any sense. I did see a couple of interesting crazy people in one of the galleries. I'll always maintain that there's no nut case like a California nut case, but there are plenty enough oddballs and characters around Denver. And some sadly mediocre artists sitting by their stuff, eagerly hoping for attention of some kind.

People here can seem a bit testy. A guy came by on a bicycle, on the sidewalk, while we stood outside the restaurant with Tom, who commented, “That's a fine, that's a fine…” The guy's bicycle was his form of transportation, not a status item or recreational device. He even had baskets on it and wore normal clothes. He stopped, turned around, and start haranguing back, about all the people with thousand-dollar bikes and the correct costumes, worked himself up pretty good and rode off with a hearty “…and Fuck You.” All in all, kind of amusing.

This is not California.


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