Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mountain Gazette Editorial, Defending Durango

This is an editorial I wrote and sent off to the Gazette. Hopefully they'll publish it, they get so many submissions it's a really difficult magazine to get published in. I guess that means its a good one!

Wait, don't pee on our fire!

John: After reading the fine article “When in doubt pee on the fire” by Jen Jackson, I had a few thoughts on that flame of eccentricity burning out in Durango that she was referring to. See I just moved to Durango within the year, and felt the call to defend, or at least comment on what I’ve seen there. (I should add Jen’s piece kept me happily occupied as I waited in line at the Durango post office one afternoon.)

I rolled into Durango after living in Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado for over a decade. Like many a mountain town residents the surroundings of an area are essential to my enjoyment of the place, as well as the culture of the people. In Crested Butte they have both; great rocks, trails, and mountains as well as frequent townie takeovers (a naked one caused quite a stir this summer I hear), costumed themed sporting events nearly every weekend (chainless bike race down Kebler Pass anyone?), and characters that just wouldn’t quite make it anywhere else besides a funky little mountain town.

With this ingrained in my soul, I wondered if I could love Durango in a similar way? I rolled into town waving my freak flag high, with my 220,000 mile spray painted red, white and blue Freedom Mobile Mazda MX 6. Much to my delight Durango seems to have more graffiti-ed cars per capita than anywhere else I’ve been in Colorado. “Oh, I’ve seen this car around”, is always an ice breaker when I meet new people out and about. One guy I met from Durango out at Indian Creek described my car as immediate probable cause, but well that’s Utah, and fortunately Colorado honors freedom more than Utah. (Really, a state that tries to bust people for bringing beer across a border? It’s 2011 people.)

Where do we look for companionship and camaraderie in a new town? We look for those that share our interests. I look to the climbers. One couple I’ve met is incredibly resourceful, and maybe a bit eccentric. They grow plenty of their own food, and even resole their own climbing shoes. The guy fixes his own vehicles (he’s also the new Freedom Mobile mechanic), and the woman knits all sorts of things, most notably a breast shaped pillow (really impressive you have to see it to believe it) and a penis shaped mini-hat, which sits on top of a mini-Christmas tree (year round).

There are others I haven’t met yet, only heard about, for example, a woman who goes on epic hikes across the Colorado Trail foraging for food along the way. There’s the woman I see all around whom always carries hula hoops (must be for sale?). Then you have the 23 Feet crew who embarked from Durango to make a film about “people living simply in order to pursue their passion for the great outdoors”. Check that one out (there’s a review in the last issue of MG).

There’s funky bikes, funky cars, this town has some funk as far as I can tell. On Halloween the funk was confirmed, though I didn’t necessarily agree with the winners of the costume contest at Carvers. Four men dressed as Mennonites beat out the two sexy robot girls (sexy girls should always win over creepy dudes). The best costume of the night though, one I saw while cruising the streets of downtown was a trio of guys dress as the Jabbawockeez dance crew. Challenged to prove their skills, they did, with some dope break dancing.

Anywho, I gotta go now, with some deadlines to attend to. Just thought I’d represent my new hood.

Sincerely Yours,
Luke Mehall
Durango, CO

1 comment:

Al said...

Uhhhhh!!! I gotta say, you are sticking up for what you see is right in the world man. props. appreciate your light in life!



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