Horizon Spring 2011, Vol. 12
l o cal s
ATMOSPHERES OF THE VALLEY MAKING CHANGE
insid step into the valley
photos: Chrissy Anzlovar, Noelle Gerstenecker, Liz Dearstyne
Step into the Valley Grand Junction Photo Essay
Horizon 2010 - 2011 Staff
Letter from the Editor
8 12 14 18
Locals with Tenacity
Prickly Pear Andrew Marais Overcoming a Different Kind of Obstacle Heidi Duce Light of Hope Debbie Berrones-Miller From Here to There Jaco Gerbrands, Nicholas Powell
culture Atmospheres of the Valley
22 Looking Past the Windows A Perspective on
People: Their food and places they dine 25 A Vintage View on Cinema Movies at the Avalon 28 Roasted Corner coffee shop offers more than a great cup of joe and superior subs 32 Local Shops, High Fashion You donâ€™t have to take a trip to the city to find great clothes
outreach Making Change
36 40 42 46
Hope Through Epoh, Suubi Light Gives Heat Gallery gives artists a place to blossom The Raw Canvas Little Signs, Big Message Meant for Movement The path to an affordable education Sustainable Higher Education Initiative
Horizon Staff 2010 - 2011 Assistant Editor & Lead Design
Noelle Gerstenecker Staff Member
Patience Kanda Advertising
Aaron Krabacher Writer
Horizon Magazine Letter from the Editor
Editor-in-Chief Katie Schultz
green grass & other misconceptions
hen growing up in the Valley, the old adage that always rang true was sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. Having lived in Grand Junction for all of my life, I am familiar with this concept. All my friends and I could talk about was graduating and moving somewhere else as fast as we could. There is even the myth that the only way to leave Grand Junction once you’ve lived here is to go around to the four corners of the Valley and fill a jar with dirt. I was one of those people who always thought the grass was greener. To me, I couldn’t get out of Junction fast enough. I worked hard all the way through high school, because in my head if you didn’t work hard you didn’t go anywhere. Yet, despite all this I still decided to come to Mesa State for various reasons that are now no longer relevant. The fact of the matter is I stayed. Even both of my brothers moved back to the Valley after leaving for a few years, and when I walk around campus I am now always seeing the familiar faces of people I went to high school with. Now being a senior and looking back on these four years of college, my perspective has changed. Being here in this Valley has taught me that looking over to the next hillside does not always lead to greener pastures.
Walking down the hallway or talking to friends, there is always somebody who seems to be complaining. They gripe about their jobs, or their classes, or their professors. Granted I have also been one of these people, who when asked about my day has nothing good to say either. Yet, complaining with no step to find resolution, will only lead to bitterness. It is easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day and only see the imperfections of life. Here in America we strive for this perfection. We strive to accomplish so much that sometimes we set the bar too high. Making it humanly impossible to achieve it. Everyone wants to live the“Dream.” However, sometimes it is better to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It doesn’t matter where you go or what landscape surrounds you, if unsatisfied in one place, you will be unsatisfied with them all. Some confuse this as settling. Everyone has dreams of moving to exotic locations for the ultimate job or for the big city lifestyle, but after time the honeymoon phase can wear off. The same imperfections of life will start to pop up when you least expect it. In the end, its the simple things that make life sweet, like going out for drinks with a few of your friends, floating down the Colorado River on
a hot summer day or even just sitting in a backyard wasting time. Wherever you go, there will always be something you’ve left behind that you can’t find anywhere else. That is why when coming up with this magazine’s theme we wanted to focus on the aspects that make the Grand Valley truly unique. Filled within these pages are people who are driven enough to go after uncertainty, atmospheres and culture only found by the people who live it, and organizations started by people who are taking on the world in their own way. All of this can only be found here in the Grand Valley. Once you take the time and talk to the person sitting next to you, you start to realize that it is not the scenery or the landscape or any sort of green grass that makes a place beautiful. In the end it is always the people who call that place home, that make a place truly unique from the inside out.
firstname.lastname@example.org Horizon Spring 2011 is copyrighted, all rights reserved. Opinions expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the Horizon staff, Mesa State college, and/or the Mass Communication program. The publication is a member of the MSC Media Board and abides by its policies, procedures and code of ethics. To contact the staff write to Horizon Magazine, Mass Communication Program, FA 313E, 1100 North Ave., Grand Junction CO
photos: Chrissy Anzlovar, Noelle Gerstenecker
Horizon Magazine People
pear story by Tina Rino photos by Noelle Gerstenecker
ndrew Marais of South Africa has traveled around the world and back. He lost his son 12 years ago in a car accident. Despite all this, Marais has been able to overcome these life changing events. A deep voice echoes throughout Four Winds Coffee and Tea located on Bookcliff Avenue. Behind a contagious smile, a polo shirt, khaki shorts, and Birkenstock sandals, is a man who wouldn’t appear to have gone through one of the hardest things a family can go through. Born on September 14, 1957, in Odendaalsrus, South Africa, this 53-year-old man grew up in times of racial tension and separation within his country. After obtaining a L.L.B. law degree from the University of Pretoria, Marais, his wife Gerda, and their two sons Pieter and Johan moved to the U.S. in 1985 for his first “real” job. From 1985 to 1989, Marais held the position
Prickly Pear Tina Rino, Noelle Gerstenecker
prickly of a South African diplomat in Washington, D.C. Marais, Gerda, and their two sons found a love for the United States through friends and new opportunity. In 1992, Marais and his family officially became citizens and made their move permanent. “South Africa changed a lot over the years, some bad and good,” Marais said. Life in South Africa was very hard for the Marais family because of the racial tension and the separation. Being surrounded by new friends, a career, and the love from his family, stabilized their home. Marais wanted his children to be raised in a safe environment, which he thought he would find in the United States, but safety can only go so far. In 1998, their oldest son Pieter was killed in a car accident. A life which seemed so promising was shaken. “This is probably the saddest event that could ever happen to a parent,” Marais said. Until Pieter died, Marais’ outlook on life was focused more on temporary things. Things to enjoy, things to gather, things to make, and things to be happy about. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Horizon Magazine People
“When you lose someone you love, it changes how you value things. What is important and not,” Marais said. Marais overcame this tragic experience with the inspiration and backbone of his wife. “It sounds corny, but she is the steady one and has been the guiding force for life together. She is incredibly important in my life,” Marais said. After his son’s death, 1998 had a reoccurring theme of faith for the Marais family. Marais resigned from his position as a lawyer and transitioned into construction and property development. He came to Grand Junction to practice law, but was not happy with the legal system. Marais is now the owner of Miller Marais L.L.C, a construction and property development business. Through these life-changing events, Marais has really experienced what it means to live out his faith. Marais was a Christian prior to the accident but admitted that he did not take his faith as seriously as he could have. “The loss of our son forced us to make choices in terms of how we wanted to live our lives. In a spiritual sense, it opens your eyes that there comes a time when all of us die. We all have to be mindful of that every day we live because if we are not, what will our legacy be?” Marais said. Helping others is something Marais does in order to continue with the life he’s been given. “It is hard to think of joyous and fulfilling times in life because life is hard, but I find the most joy and excitement when I get to serve others,” Marais said. Marais’ outlook on life certainly changed after the loss of his son. Spending time with his family
and other people really matters most to Marais. “We don’t necessarily need a lot, so serving others made us available for things like the Christ Center (which houses Four Winds Coffee and Tea), which is very demanding, but I have figured out that’s what matters most; not the bank balance, or car you drive or effluences we as a society tend to be addicted to.” Marais developed Four Winds to be a place where meetings can be held, students can study, and faith can be shared. “I feel privileged and unworthy of how amazing it has been being involved,” Marais said. Even though Marais and his family are 10,000 miles from South Africa, they have recently been drawn back there again. Gerda, who is a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital, got to know a woman who was part of Amani Baby Cottage, an orphanage in the northern part of Uganda. “We don’t sneer at the misery South Africa is in, but we look for opportunities to help, like the Amani Baby Cottage,” Marais said. The orphanage is a short-term orphanage that takes care of about 60 babies. Roughly, a salary of a nurse in America supports all of the children in the orphanage, according to Marais. The woman that Gerda came in contact with at St. Mary’s left her job and moved on her own to Uganda to start work at the orphanage. The Marais’ feel drawn to this ministry and want to help as much as they can through financial support and fund-raising. Marais is very thankful for the life he lives now. Through the struggles and hard times that he has
The loss of our son forced us to make choices in terms of how we wanted to live our lives. In a spiritual sense, it opens your eyes that there comes a time when all of us die. We all have to be mindful of that every day we live because if we are not, what will our legacy be?
“I hope when people think of me when I am gone they will think of somebody who did not pursue temporary pleasure, but saw me as someone looking for opportunities to give back and build up lives even in a prickly pear kind of way,” Marais said. Through family tragedy, Marais’ is overcoming it still today by not just building buildings, but by building relationships with people.
Prickly Pear Tino Rino, Noelle Gerstenecker
been through, he has reshaped into a man of influence. In his eyes, life is short, life is temporary, but our impact on life is not temporary; it is lasting. “If I could offer advice to the younger generation I would say this quote, ‘Do not be too afraid to see things for what they really are, or to be seen.’”(Hungarian Jew in the movie Sunshine), Marais said. Marais is a man who learned a lot about leaving a legacy and taking each day at a time, and wants to be remembered not as a cuddly bear, but as a prickly pear. Jaco Gerbrands, a kinesiology and exercise science major at Mesa State College, can attest to Marais’ mentality. Born and raised in Kempton Park, South Africa, Gerbrands was brought to Grand Junction to play tennis, not knowing he would meet someone from the same country as himself. Gerbrands met Marais at the Student Steak Dinner Campus Ministries hosts every year during Welcome Week. After talking briefly at the event, Marais asked Gerbrands to come to his house for dinner. “We immediately had a South African connection, but Andrew wanted to start a group with young men to encourage them to be strong in today’s society,” Gerbrands said. Marais reached out letting his words become actions as he became a mentor to Gerbrands. “Andrew has become my father figure away from home,” Gerbrands said. This is the kind of legacy that Marais will leave, and wants to leave behind.
The Four Winds coffee shop founded by Andrew Marais.
Horizon Magazine People
overcoming a different kind of obstacle
by Patience Kanda photos by Jake Johnson
itting with 20 year-old Heidi Duce is pretty much like sitting with any other young college student. Vibrant, happy, and as she puts it, “always going, going, going.” She unravels across the blue upholstered Outdoor’s Program couch — arms across the back, legs crossed one over the other. When asked what makes her special, what makes Heidi, she matter-offactly replies, “I am an amputee.” Growing up in Ouray, Colorado placed Duce in a more than perfect outdoor setting. It only makes sense that she enjoys hiking, rafting, canyoneering — a very technical way of setting up propels on dicey canyons — and her favorite rock and ice climbing. “Being outdoors is like my Mecca,” Duce said. Duce began ice climbing when
Just because I have to do something differently, doesn’t mean I can’t do it.
family friend Chris Folsom invited her, however, her parents had always conveniently forgotten to tell her until after the opportunity arose. So after turning 18, Duce took matters into her own hands and asked him herself. Folsom built a prosthetic climbing leg for Duce and she has been climbing ever since. Currently the two have started a program called Amped Outdoors. It is an adaptive program, so everyone can learn to enjoy and experience the outdoors as Duce does now. Though her parents were not too keen on her climbing, (they just think it is a bad idea for anyone) they always encourage their daughter to do anything and everything. “My parents always pushed me and treated me like the rest,” she said. Growing up with an older sister and a younger brother caused Duce to be treated just the same as her siblings. When asked if she thought she was an inspiration to either of them, she shyly looked around and smiled. “We all push each other and inspire each other,” she allowed. Though she does not consider herself to be an inspiration, many others will say that Duce is exactly that. “Heidi is a fun-loving upbeat kind of girl. She’s nearly always happy and is someone who genuinely loves the outdoors,” said Joe Talley, Mesa State senior. Born with Fibular Hemelia, Duce was absent of foot and ankle bones. At 18 months her leg was amputated. Though she would “never change it for the world,”
she said. “I’m an amputee; it makes me, me.” This past May, another staggering four inches was taken off of Duce’s leg. Yet, this didn’t stop her. Some people her age would let their car breaking down ruin summer, let alone a whole part of their body gone missing, but not Duce. Still, she managed to keep exploring the great outdoors. For example, Duce recently completed a 25-mile hike—on a leg that did not even fit her properly. Duce aspires to one day become a nurse at Shriner’s Hospital, the place that has helped her throughout all of her surgeries. Though her family has had a lot of nurses, and her father has encouraged her to take that path, Duce explains that it was also going in and out of hospitals throughout her life that has inspired her to pursue this career. After a few years of nursing at Shriner’s, Duce hopes to become a traveling nurse. This way she will be able to get the best of both worlds; the outdoors and nursing. Through it all, Duce plans to prove to people that even though she has this adversity she can do anything that anyone else can. “Just because I have to do something differently doesn’t mean I can’t do it,” she said. Perhaps it isn’t the fact that Duce is an amputee that makes her different or special. It is arguable that perhaps it is the drive, the ambition, and the passion which she possesses that separates Duce from the rest.
Overcoming a different kind of obstacle Patience Kanda, Jake Johnson
Horizon Magazine People
li ght in the darkness
story by Joe Kuper photos by Jake Johnson
ebbie Berrones-Miller is the founder and executive director of Light of Hope, a non-profit organization which aims to educate youth on the topics of teen and dating violence. This organization was not an overnight inspiration, but a culmination of work and effort throughout the personal history of Miller. Her past, her culture, and her faith are some of the key points which differentiate this organization from others like it.
Personal History of Dating and Domestic Violence
“Being a young teenager, many times growing up you’re not educated,” Miller said, “you’re young, you’re naïve, you don’t really understand and recognize the signs.”
As a teenager, Miller entered a relationship like many do, with the belief that it was love. Since this was her first love, she thought that it was perfectly acceptable when her boyfriend would talk down to her, or even escalate to slapping her. After each occurrence, she would forgive him as he professed that he loved her. The relationship continued for three years. Miller then married him at the age of 19. “Right after I got married the abuse continued… this time it was very physical,” Miller said. There were times that the abuse would include strikes to the head, which left no visible wounds or bruises. Again, as a product of her youth, Miller tried her best to make her marriage work. “I tried to love him more,” Miller said, “I blamed myself.” According to Miller the abuse only escalated after she got pregnant. “Being pregnant, and having not only one baby, but twins, he was extremely upset with me. And the abuse got even worse. It was hard to recognize myself as a human being,” she said. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Finding light in the darkness Joe Kuper, Jake Johnson
Horizon Magazine People
People seem to think that once you leave an abusive relationship, you are mentally healthy and that is not the truth. -Deb Miller
Suicidal ideation, the thought of killing one’s self, played a significant role in her life. Miller points out that many people see the physical abuse as the worst factor in such a relationship, but argues that the emotional and mental abuse leave the most lasting impressions. Throughout her 10 year marriage, Miller was hospitalized twice for inflammation to the brain. “I remember going to work and feeling like I was completely shutting down, and my head was about to explode, I ended up in the hospital,” she said. When the doctor wanted an explanation for what had happened, Miller could not recall until her memory was jogged with an inquiry about a “blow to the head” from medical specialists. “He was in the room at the time, and even then I protected him. I never filed a report against him. I was scared, I was afraid to lose my children,” she said. Shortly thereafter, Miller left him. “People seem to think that once you leave an abusive relationship, you are mentally healthy,” Miller said, “and that is not the truth. You are not mentally healthy.” After leaving her husband, Miller had no idea how to deal with her emotions, or how to rebuild herself as a human being. She sought solace through alcohol, and tried without success to hide it from her children. “When you’re an alcoholic, you don’t see yourself as so lost or broken that the children would even recognize it, but they do,” she said. Miller started down a dark and rugged road. She spent her time looking for love in all the wrong
places and getting caught in the midst of bad decisions, having lost all of her self-esteem. The escapades eventually included illicit drug use, as a way to cope. “What I know today, if I had known it 23 years ago, I would not have gone through what I did go through,” Miller said. She seeks, through Light of Hope to educate the youth of Mesa County and raise awareness for the signs of domestic violence in teen dating. “If I would have known about the signs, or about telling someone, or that it was alright to talk about it,” Miller said, “I would not by any means have been where I was then. Today, I consider myself a Survivor.” The organization Light of Hope with Debbie Miller is the result of almost two decades of planning and work. Miller hopes that, through sharing her experiences she and her organization can prevent the suffering of following generations. “I think about my family,” Miller said, “and everything I missed. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through that.”
Customized Message: Relating to a Culture One of the programs offered by Light of Hope with Debbie Miller is called Las Platicas. It is directed toward young Hispanic women. It offers Miller’s personal experiences growing up within the culture, often seen as male-dominated.
Finding light in the darkness Joe Kuper, Jake Johnson
“Our culture is very controlling. It’s almost okay that this behavior is done, and it is something that is accepted,” Miller said. “Women are expected to be there, to sit and listen, and do as you’re told.” “My former husband considered himself the ‘man of the house’, the decision maker in control of the finances,” she said. “He also controlled my mind, my heart, my spirit,” Miller said, “because of this, he completely took every ounce of life out of me.” Miller said her perspective helps her to reach the youth of Hispanic background and guide them to transcend the ethnic, cultural, and economic stereotypes associated therein. From this vantage point, participants in the Las Platicas program are more capable of confiding and trusting Miller, who is not seen as an outsider.
The Strength of Faith in Light of Hope Faith, something that Miller holds dear, is a focus that distinguishes Light of Hope with Debbie
Miller. Other organizations base their philosophies on social sciences, therapy, or peer-to-peer counseling, but Miller credits her survival to a higher power. “It is only through the grace of God that I am here today,” she said. “Faith, trust, and hope were the three strengths that pulled me through my long journey. Without faith, there is no works — you are really unable to proceed and overcome struggles. Trust to press forward and trust in God — trust to be free to laugh when I want to laugh, cry when I want to cry. And without hope, we don’t have anything to hold on to. It was hope that got me through the darkest moments of my life.” Miller also knows about the significance of the people with whom she associates. “What gets me through the day is being surrounded by positive, uplifting, God-loving persons with good attitudes. We are not perfect, I just try each day to embrace that — to uplift and treat each other with love and respect.”
For more information about
Light of Hope with Debbie Miller
and a guide to the programs offered, go to:
Horizon Magazine People
from here to there and cultural
immersion story by Katie Schultz photos by Chrissy Anzlovar
ost people know the feeling of moving away from home for the first time when they are getting ready to go to college. For some this could mean just moving right down the street. For others this could be an entirely new city. However, there are only a few who are daring enough to drop everything and move halfway across the world just to earn their diploma, something most Americans can take for granted. They are international students and whether they are coming or going they learn more about life in their short time abroad than most people do in the four to five years they spend at college. Jaco Gerbrands, a self proclaimed super senior at Mesa State, first appears to be your typical college student. He stands well above six-feet tall with a smile full of charm and charisma that makes him easy to approach. Yet once he starts to tell you his story, it turns out there is more to this college student than meets the eye. Gerbrands came to the United States from South Africa when he was just 19. He was offered a tennis scholarship in the fall of 2006 to California Baptist University in Riverside, California, and then eventually he followed his tennis partner here to Mesa State. This was one of the main reasons why he transferred schools. Then after he got here, he feel in love with the scenery and all the outdoor adventures that could take place. Like any college student, he was very excited to get away from home. It wasn’t until after the first few months that culture shock began to set in when he started to feel homesick. “Everything was new; new culture, bigger cars, bigger food. I missed the languages, I missed home,” Gerbrands said. Fortunately, some friends from Northern California recognized Gerbrands desire to go back and visit South Africa. So they bought him a plane ticket home for winter break. The first trip back is always memorable, but Gerbrands made sure his parents would never forget it either. Once he returned to South Africa, his
friends picked him up from the airport and he proceeded to his house. Yet, instead of just walking in, his friends wrapped him up in a giant box and they placed him on his front porch. His mom came out of the house and couldn’t get the box unwrapped. So, filled with excitement Gerbrands busted out of the box and gave his mom the surprise of her life. “It was very sneaky, sneaky,” Gerbrands said. Yet the feeling of homesickness only lasts so long. “After a while you just get use to not being home,” he said. Gerbrands has realized how much he has become accustomed to the United States. The last time he was able to go back to South Africa was in January 2009. On Mesa State’s campus Gerbrands is involved with several organizations. He is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Outdoor Program and the Exercise Physiology Club just to name a few.
Jaco Gerbrands came from South Africa to the US not only to get his degree, but also to play tennis.
From here to there Katie Schultz, Chrissy Anzlovar
“I feel the need to contribute and also the need to get something in return,” Gerbrands said. “It’s give and take.” After Gerbrands graduates from Mesa he plans to stay in the states where he hopes to continue on to graduate school in either Montana, New Mexico, or Oregon. He wants to study to become a physicians assistant and get his masters in exercise science, at which point he may go to his second home in the Netherlands to study. “Basically, just be a student for the rest of my life,” he said. Along the way he also wants to travel and get married, but as he puts it, “I’m not rushing anything.” Once he is done being a student, he plans to work for a sport organization, maybe even for a tennis team, in a third world country. Yet, if he could sum up his experience here in the United States, he would say to anyone never let any opportunity pass you by. “Be open to adventure; never let experience slip away,” he said. “Don’t restrict yourself. Become the adventure.” email@example.com
a view from
TOKYO Many college students share the dream of studying abroad. Most dream of being immersed in a culture and learning more about themselves than they’ll every want to know. Yet, on the other hand, this experience can be extremely overwhelming, but in the end the good out weighs the bad. Nicholas Powell, a sophomore at Mesa State, is one of the lucky few who this year, gets to enjoy the experience of culture shock. Powell is currently participating in the International Student Exchange Program provided by Mesa State and is studying at Toyo University in Tokyo. “This has simultaneously been the best and worst thing I’ve ever done,” Powell said.
Nick Powell (left) outside the Sensoji Temple.
He went to Japan not knowing a single bit of Japanese and even more frightening going to a school where he knew absolutely no one. The first few days he admits were extremely overwhelming, but once reaching the ISEP house, where all the foreign exchange students are housed, he was able to find comrades in his fellow students. However, for Powell, picking Tokyo as his destination meant more than just picking a place where he wanted to visit. For him it was all about family. One of the main reasons he picked this school was to meet his two aunts and uncle who lived in Tokyo. The most rewarding part of his experience was when he finally did meet them. “You first don’t know how you will
understand each other or how you will communicate,” he said. “There is so much to say, but we were instantly accepting of one another.” After getting over all the initial changes when it comes to the language barrier, food and the millions upon millions of people which surround him daily, Powell has been able to adapt. “ Tokyo is the biggest city with the nicest people,” he said. “I would definitely do it again. Experience of a lifetime.”
photos: Chrissy Anzlovar, Noelle Gerstenecker
22 Horizon Magazine Culture
a perspective on people: late night or dawn dining story by James Redmond photos by Jake Johnson
he light, this late at night, is distorted as if out of focus. That is how it feels looking past the windows out into the world. It is as if the world is out of focus, somehow disconnected from the building in which you sit. I sit down at a table, joining a group of friends after a long night’s work. All of us are just wanting to move past the day and put the world aside, if only for a little bit. I have ventured into these places, from night to night, from place to place. These late night diners and restaurants, having words such as, “All night” and “24-hour” proclaiming their hours proudly. These places, when taken advantage of are always just a little different than the world during the day. They are an interesting place that stands out in your mind. Some moments stand out more than others though. A woman comes, takes our orders, both drink and food. She has no face, no name to us, as if a character in a book that only exists through the actions by which she is noticed. She leaves soon, and the table is greeted by yet another occupant of this time and place. A man whose age is undeterminable, masked by his other more remarkable features. His parts are greater than the whole. His old clothes are worn hard by time, and incorrectly by him. His eyes are not fully able to focus on the table and its occupants before him. What few teeth he has left cling both to their roots and the unprotected lip and gums above them.
Without a greeting or any formalities the man from before begins to explain in great mumbled detail how he thinks his mother is being watched because he visited her. He makes it as clear as he can with his slurring and mumbling that he is not happy about how the never named or defined “they” are watching his mother. He continues for what feels like hours but is really just minutes. “I know what I’ve done, I’ve been to jail,” the man says in an attempt to rationalize his suspicions of surveillance. This proclamation of his past and justification for his paranoia has mixed results of making the patrons of this restaurant who overhear him sit up straight in their chairs. Some are looking uncomfortably at the man. Others find this to be the tipping point into hilarity, proven by the 20 something man a few feet away from me, who is now laughing uncontrollably into the girl sitting next to him.
Looking Past the Windows James Redmond, Jake Johnson
This world is closer than anyone might think. Wait ‘til the clock ticks past midnight and step into any of the few all-night restaurants to be found here in town. The atmosphere of the place is similar no matter which of the establishments you chose. While alike in feel between each other, they differ quite a lot when placed in contrast to most any other restaurant, or even the same restaurant during daylight hours.
The man rants for some time, making less sense the longer he goes on. He is now talking about his children. I can make that much out. Nothing more though, it is all lost in his whiskers and what two teeth he has to his name. He starts drawing to an end, although, you would only know it by the tone of his voice. As he winds down from his crescendo, of which great majesty and bravado will eternally be known only At night the sharp contrast of dim lights vanish to him. His words once more become just enough after a short distance into the world around above tongues to decipher his attempts at words them. What distance the light does travel before of wisdom. being swallowed is filled with a haze of light, as if “I’m here today because of Him. My Lord and it were a gas leaking from the buildings and Savior Jesus Christ,” says the man. “Thank you,” he signs that stand out now in a nocturnal world of says as he extends his hand to me from where he their own. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Horizon Magazine Culture
stands across the table. I don’t know what else to do, so I grab his hand and shake it, saying “thank you” in return. The man leaves, and the spectators finally let repressed reactions manifest. As you walk in the doors sliding to an awkward stop just short of a slam. You find a seat, or are seated. Perhaps you are going alone, perhaps you are meeting a group there. This is all interchangeable, this is not what is remarkable. It is the intangible feeling of disconnected time and space that marks these places as different from the day, and in a world of their own. If perhaps a little too soon though, the man has returned, a look of desperate determination on his face, his mouth poised, urgently ready to speak a forgotten word or two. “No, it was booze,” the man amends his decree of his reason for being here. “Lot of booze,” he adds on as if he feels the previous statement was not enough to make his point valid. Then he walks off again, at slightly the wrong angle to exit the building, correcting at the last second before it’s too late. Then he is gone, out into the night, out of this bubble of time that always seems to hold such interesting people. The table returns to its conversations, none of any weight or gravity, all the talk is just to pass the time, to keep us in a place where maybe, we are not that different. This little nocturnal world, so different from the one in which you find the house, with screen door and picket fence, is just as real, and just as close. It is, however, distant enough where it won’t find you. If you want to find it though, just wait for the sun to set, the hour hand to point up, and declarations of ’All night’ and ’24-hour’.
A Vintage View on Cinema James Redmond, Chrissy Anzlovar
a vintage view on
Cinema story by James Redmond photos by Chrissy Anzlovar
he house lights go down, and then out. The theater is lit up again by the beam of light cutting through the darkness like a knife, pouring from the projector onto a screen framed by hanging ceiling to floor red curtains. The light of the projector dances across the screen forming the opening scene of this weekly crowdâ€™s beloved old, but not forgotten film favorite. It is greeted with a hardy round of applause. This is a typical Tuesday night at the Avalon Theater located downtown.
The Avalon was built in 1923 by Grand Junction newspaper publisher Walter Walker. Originally a vaudevillian and movie theater, it is still home to a variety of performances, and its silver screen is still graced by the films of today and yesteryear. In addition to, musical performances, ballets and speeches, the Avalon shows independent, foreign and art house films for week long stints. Among these movie nights is a program called, Dinner and a Movie, which occurs every Tuesday. Participants who eat at a downtown restaurant, upon presenting the receipt, two people may enter into that nightâ€™s performance for no charge. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Horizon Magazine Culture 26
The free ticket is not the only pleasant surprise to be found at the Avalon on Tuesday nights. The movie, the audience, and even the theater itself in all of its classic grandeur add up to a very pleasant and wholly unique experience. From the moment you buy your ticket in the carpeted lobby, in which frames of newspaper articles and photos of performances hang, it is obvious that seeing a movie at the Avalon will be a different experience than commercial theaters. You buy your ticket from an Avalon employee behind an open counter (not some poor soul in a little glass box). There you can also buy popcorn, candy and even alcohol. “I (saw) Jackass 3D opening night… I have decided I’m too old for that to be entertaining… I think part of the problem was that I didn‘t drink heavily before I went… I think it is a huge mistake for any theater to not have a liquor license,” said Bryan Wade, a projectionist and caretaker of the Dinner and a Movie. Wade is the man responsible for choosing the Tuesday night films. It is not always an easy task to find the right film — something old, and still loved enough, by the right amount of people, to bring them out to a theater on a Tuesday night. “I always try to pick something that is really watch-able,” he said. “I think people today have forgotten that films were meant to be seen on the big screen… It seems like now the studios are making films not for the theater, but just to be seen on an iPod. ” To Wade, silver screen revival of older gems of cinema means so much to him. “I have seen The Seven Year Itch probably 50 times, and I enjoyed it every time I have seen it. It never occurred to me why it was called a great film, I have always been so confused at why it was so highly regarded as a comedy. Then we show it on the big screen here, it is 20 feet tall 50 feet wide, and Marilyn Monroe is just a goddess,” he said, “It plays so differently when you are watching it with an audience of 100 people, and people are
laughing at different parts. When you’re watching it this way different parts become funny because you can see more of the context of the film…When you see a film on the big screen you catch so many new things you never saw before on your home TV… That is what it is for me, I try to get those great films back on the big screen, and enjoy them the way we were meant to.” The Avalon’s Tuesday nights bring all sorts of patrons, film lovers and enthusiasts; from college students to retirees. One example is that of John and Ellen Berry, a married couple who started coming to the Tuesday night movies, after they heard a radio advertisement for the showing of The Omen. John, who is now retired from the IRS, remembered liking the movie back in the days of its release, and thought it would be a fun movie to go to with his wife who likes scary movies. They have since gone back on a few Tuesday nights to see other old classics, such as Young Frankenstein and Evil Dead II. The audience can only be considered as much of a reason to see a Tuesday night movie as the very film itself. From the friendly pre-show conversation between fans and first time viewers of that night’s film, to the whole audience quoting in unison with the projected visage of Brad Pitt on screen: “The first rule of Fight Club: is you do not talk about Fight Club.” The magic could also come from the crowd sharing a laugh about the “air speed velocity of a unladen sallow” or perhaps when half the crowd jumps as a room full inanimate objects start laughing maniacally with and at Bruce Campbell, or it just might be the whole audience intently watching and listening to a table full of criminals discuss the meaning of Madonna’s song “Like a Virgin”. Whatever it is you connect with, the whole theater feels different than the faceless commercial experience. It is more like watching a favorite movie with a room full of friends, all sharing in the experience together.
A vintage view on cinema James Redmond, Chrissy Anzlovar
I think people today have forgotten that films today were meant to be seen on the big screen. - Brian Wade
Horizon Magazine Culture
roaste corner coffee shop offers more than a great cup of joe and superior subs story by Liz Dearstyne photos by Noelle Gerstenecker
n the corner of 5th and Colorado there sits a small coffee shop. The worn sign that juts a pillar into the sky is not legible, but the block letters unevenly attached to the bottom spell out RO-ASTED. The huge patio, which once served as the base for a gas station, now serves as a place for an abundance of patio furniture. It invites you in, grabs you from the street and makes you want to sit and enjoy a good cup of joe. On the other hand, that alluring feeling could come from the music enthusiastically escaping through the poster-clad door. Either way, you are hooked. This little corner of the valley is a place no one can resist. Roasted Espresso and Subs has been on the corner for a little over a year. The shop has grown from its beginnings in a closet sized corner of Summit Canyon Mountaineering when owners Alex MacKey and Greg Indivero decided they wanted to go big. “We wanted to start dabbling in the food industry being that Alex loves to eat and I’m from Philadelphia, so we have a strong background,” Indivero said. With that in mind, Indivero and Mackey started window shopping for a location in which they could expand their business. After quite a bit of
searching, and seeing about half-a-dozen places that just were not right for their ideas, a costumer told the duo about a woman who was selling her business. The two went to look at the spot and it was right on the mark: big patio, open space and a cozy interior, plus all the business rights for a coffee shop. Since moving to the new location Roasted has caught on quick with the reputation of being the “friendliest coffee shop in town,” according to regular Vanessa Stephan, who comes to Roasted to write music and complete crossword puzzles. Perhaps their reputation has blossomed from the great coffee, or the fantastic subs, or maybe even the convenient downtown location, but Roasted seems to have a little something more that one cannot quite condense into one cognitive idea. One would be safe starting with the environment that buzzes around Roasted. “It is relaxed, yet energetic. There is always something exciting happening here. I love this place. It is a happening cultural center with cool people and no jerks. There is always music. It is always rocking and rolling. The tea and coffee is so cheap and still so good,” said Sally Boyd, a Grand Junction local who can be seen on the patio sipping iced black tea on a regular basis. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Roasted Liz Dearstyne, Noelle Gerstenecker
Horizon Magazine Culture
Alex Mackey and Melissa Asa work hard to serve guests of Roasted and to keep the atmosphere buzzing.
“We enjoy the live arts and this space has a big patio where we can entertain. We have live music every Thursday. We’ve done salsa-dancing fundraisers. An important aspect of this place is that we wanted to make a common ground, a place to make networks, make connections. Information exchange is huge here. It’s really the most open face to face social network in this town,” Indivero said. In conjunction with promoting a face-to-face network, Roasted captures aspects of what it takes to invite aspiring artists and diplomats alike. “It’s an artistic environment, even if none of us who work here are artistic ourselves. We are very supportive of young music especially. We do not mind cranking up the music first thing in the morning and having a good time,” said employee Melissa Asa. In addition to the atmosphere, Roasted hosts a diverse and interesting crowd of people every day for their morning or evening coffee and tea. “Our customers are crazy, gosh darn crazy. They are talented and funny. Everyone from the
anarchist to the lawyer comes here. It is interesting. There is no hostility here anywhere,” Indivero said. Due to the diversity brought to Roasted by the people, it provides the shop with much more than a steady rush of coffees and subs to be made. “Looking around here, what makes up the coffee shop is not the coffee shop at all, but the people that decide to make this place their hangout spot. Coffee shops have always been a hang out spot, but at Roasted, the heart of it is the original idea of that ‘hang out’. The people that come here have become the heart of Roasted,” Mackey said. In order for everyone to have the perfect hang out, however, there has to be a steady hand behind the wheel of the business. The humble employees of Roasted will not take the credit for it, but some may argue they are what gives Roasted that little extra something special. “The customer service lies at the heart of Roasted. Well it is not really customer service, it is more like customer appreciation. There is always
friendly people here. Even if you just come here to study you’re going to get a smile from somebody,” Boyd said. The employee dedication and loyalty pumps life through Roasted. “Our employees are our life blood minus the coffee. Roasted is not a co-op where as not everyone owns a piece of the business, but it’s the closest thing to one, in that minus one person on our staff would be a huge hit to us,” Indivero said. “One person is just as important as everyone else. Everyone is willing to go above and beyond as in covering shifts or running from class to get milk because we ran out.” Roasted may have one of the most dedicated staffs because they offer such a great work environment. “Over half the people we have hired have worked at other coffee shops and are tired of the mundane ‘have to look this way, have to say this’. They get the chance to open up and really blossom working here in an open atmosphere,” Indivero said. The employees provide great services, but even further into Roasted lies the two people who have believed in it from the beginning: co-owners Mackey and Indivero. “We have the dynamic duo. Alex has a lot of creativity with the business that has kept him going. He is the kind of business owner that is not afraid to take risks. He jumped into this place spur of the moment and it has definitely paid off. He’s the creative mind behind everything,” Asa said. “Greg is the face of Roasted. He is out there promoting us at school or if he meets someone new he tells them to come on down. He is our mascot. Between the two of them it’s a good combination.” After searching and searching for what lies at the heart of Roasted, one will find that no one takes the credit. Each person — customer, employee, owner — gives credit to the other, fully supporting what each is trying to achieve. So, maybe what lies at the very center, at the very heart of Roasted, is what co-owner Indivero mentioned about the place. “I love what it has morphed into: It is a small downtown family. It is like a good episode of Cheers,” he said. “You walk in here and at least one person is going to know who you are. Even if you are having the worst day possible, it is impossible to leave without a smile, at least for a minute or two.”
Alex Mackey and Melissa Asa hard at work in Roasted.
Roasted Liz Dearstyne, Noelle Gerstenecker
Looking around here, what makes the coffee shop is not the coffee shop at all, but the people that decide to make this place their - Alex Mackey hang out spot.
Horizon Magazine Culture 32
You don’t have to take a trip to the city to find great clothing
story by Patience Kanda photos by Chrissy Anzlovar
POLLUX CLOTHING tepping into Pollux is like gliding into a dream wardrobe. Perhaps, it might be the wardrobe of the imaginary older sister you never had but always wanted. The setting is elegant. The space is quaint. The clothes are adorable. Owner Ivy Parnasius says that her inspiration is simply her dream. “All I ever wanted, all I ever dreamed of was having my own shop, but I wasn’t really sure how to make that dream a reality,” she said. Having worked in retail before, she knew she had a knack for clothing. Still, she was not cemented into starting her own business quite yet. Parnasius decided she would go “to law school, hoping to graduate and get a ‘secure’ job.” It was there that Parnasius was able to decide what she really wanted, and it was not necessarily the “secure” job that she was looking for. She was very unhappy at law school and decided it would be best if she left and began to pursue her dreams. Henry Thoreau once said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” This is exactly what Parnasius decided to do. She left law school and went back to Florida where she had previously finished her under grad. Opening up a store there, did not last long because she didn’t have much funding to support the business. That, however, could not keep Parnasius from her dreams. Law school could not stop her, and neither could a first attempt going awry. Nothing seemed to direct her in any other path, than the one she had already set. She says that even though her first business did not work well, “the dream remained.” In fact, it was only four years later that Parnasius got back into the game and opened her store Pollux in Grand Junction. “Part of the reason I moved here was because of our friendly and beautiful downtown,” she said. When in search of a prime location, Parnasius says that she, “searched for months for a downtown location because that was the only place I wanted to be.” Reflecting back on her store now, Parnasius says that she selected merchandise and decorated everything down to the smallest detail because she hopes it gives, “a reason to shop downtown.” Her goal in mind
TRENDS CLOTHING A couple of stores down the street is yet another unique clothing store — it goes by the name of Trendz. “I thought Main Street needed something new, fresh, and young,” said Jes Dodson, who is the store owner. After managing Zales for seven years, Dodson, “wanted to do something different.” Different might be something of an understatement when it comes to this shop wedged between Gelato Junction and Summit Canyon Mountaineering. “Either you love it or you hate it,” Dodson said referring to the style and the appearance of the store. Glancing at the hot pink, black and silver walls, one might say that the shop is bold. “Some people won’t even go in here because they say it’s a stripper store,” she said. Not all people are quick to judge. Dodson mentions that her oldest customer is 87-years-old. A student at Mesa State College, Christina “Red” Acquaotta says that the store is best described as, “a fresh take on provocative fashion.” A Trendz shopper herself, 21-year-old Acquaotta admits that some of the clothes are not your every day summer’s dress, but that Trendz, “caters to the fun loving adult in all of us.” However, Dodson said that she wants to cater to a variety of age groups. She does not seem to take offense to those who do not quite understand Trends. “They don’t know how to take the store,” she said. For some this shock factor does not come as a surprise. With over one-hundred businesses, Trendz is in a league of its own on Main Street. “They are very clearly moving the youth of Grand Junction to the forefront,” Acquaotta said. Whatever the statement you may want to show off, Dodson’s statement is that “it’s okay to dress up when you go out.” She wants to show Grand Junction that, “there’s a time and place for every piece of attire.”
Local shops, high fashion Patience Kanda, Chrissy Anzlovar
is to, “be a fun, different and unique shopping experience.” Different and unique is almost exactly what 21-year-old Mesa State student, Lauren Bell describes it as. “Unlike big name stores like American Eagle they offer limited things allowing shoppers to be more individual. It’s like high school prom; there is nothing worse than some other girl sporting the same dress as you.” Fittingly enough, Parnasius admits to selecting, “unique merchandise in small quantities, so anything you buy you won’t see on everyone else in town.” Parnasius hopes, in the very least to make, “Pollux feels like shopping at your best friend’s closet.” “A fun, relaxed atmosphere where customers cannot wait to return,” she said.
I thought Main Street needed something new, fresh, and young. -Jes Dodson
outre photos: Jake Johnson, Liz Dearstyne, Chriss Anzlovar, Noelle Gerstncker
36 Horizon Magazine Outreach
hope subbi &epoh through
Laid back on a comfy couch, Dave Hansow would have never thought one child 10,000 miles away would so greatly change his life, but she did.
Hope through Epoh, Suubi Tina Rino, Chrissy Anzlovar
story by Tino Rino photos by Chrissy Anzlovar
ave and Morgan Hansow were tired of waiting. It had already been over a year and a half since the Hansows started their adoption process. They wanted to adopt a child from Uganda. There was no end in sight. They wanted a daughter and they wanted her badly. They had no idea who she was or how much longer the process would take. Finally, the couple turned to each other and simply said, â€œI think we should just move over there.â€? Dave quit his job the next week. He, Morgan, and their two-year-old son Asher made their words into actions as they packed their bags and moved from Montrose, Colo., to a country full of unknowns. Not long after spending a few weeks in Jinja, Uganda, the Hansow family found their new daughter Jaden. A few weeks later Light Gives Heat was launched. Through the adoption, the Hansows created a non-profit organization after seeing the amazing stories of the men and women in Uganda. A quest to find their daughter started a life changing cycle for them, and the people in Africa. There the Hansows decided to name the organization after a song by the band Jars of Clay. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Horizon Magazine Outreach 38
bigger picture in mind and are able to do more,” Wise said. The second goal of Light Gives Heat is to tell the stories of the people in Uganda through the necklaces and bags. Each necklace or bag tells “The song has a lot the story about the men and women that made it. to do with Westerners going to It’s unique to every necklace and connects a place places like Africa and allowing their light so far away to people all over the world. to shine and not ours,” Dave said. “We live in this The Hansows believe that with the organizauppity world and forget that other places have so tion, people can learn of worlds much different much to offer. Most families live in a 10x10 room than theirs. It helps them understand and appreciand are happier than Americans most days.” ate the struggles of others, and motivates them to After spending time with the women in find a way to do something about it. Uganda and listening to their stories, the Hansows Light Gives Heat offers a variety of ways to realized that if the families in Uganda had income get involved in spreading this hope. One of the they could send their kids to school. They knew ways is the spread campaign. This allows people they could help provide support for these families. to sign up online and get a variety of different They started this support by purchasing necklaces that they can sell to their friends. This two recycled paper necklaces every other week idea allows different viewpoints of the story to from fifty women with an idea and goal in mind. be told through the enthusiasm of those selling This support encouraged the idea of naming their the necklaces. products Suubi, which means ‘hope’ in Ugandan, However, it’s difficult for the hope to and Epoh, hope spelled backwards. spread everywhere. Light Gives Heat has two primary goals. The “One of the things we fight against the most first is to offer consistent income and meet real is people feeling sorry for the situation in Africa needs to the families in Uganda. Over the past four and guilty for the organization as a whole to get years Light Gives Heat has quadrupled their neckpeople to help, but the more time you spend with lace and bag purchases and is able to offer higher the men and women, the less sorry you feel for income to the men and women in Uganda as well them,” Dave said. “Their situations are horrific, but as to the volunteers that work there. we don’t feel sorry for them because they don’t Mary-Kate Wise, 25, an administrative assisfeel sorry for themselves.” tant for Light Gives Heat has seen the incredible Dave believes that when you feel “guilted” change that has taken place over the past few years. into doing something, and sorry for the people “It’s awesome because what we are doing. that are going through hard times, it raises those There is more opportunity and growth to do the who give up, on a pedestal. things we really love,” Wise said. “If things were to get better in Uganda and Light Gives Heat provides internships to stuother countries, would that mean our product dents all over the country as well as opportunities would have no value?” Dave said. “We are inspired for people to go and volunteer in Uganda. by these men and women and want to tell the “It’s encouraging to see more people get realities of their stories, not of how hard it must be.” involved through the spread campaign, the film, Light Gives Heat is located in Grand Junction and donations. With a small group of people such and with the demands that the Light Gives Heat as interns, volunteers, and employees we have a
We want to inspire people rather than make them feel guilty and realize what innovative and beautiful things come from Africa.
“There is no better medium in which to share the beauty we are surrounded by daily. Because the stories we have heard are to good to keep to ourselves,” Dave said. “We want people to get inspired watching this film there is no reason why normal people can’t do things like this.” Light Gives Heat is driven by goals to change lives, to be a part of something bigger, and letting their actions speak louder than words. “We want to inspire people rather than make them feel guilty and realize what innovative and beautiful things can come from Africa. It’s not a charity case,” Dave said. Dave and Morgan were touched by the life of their daughter Jaden, and they in turn are touching the lives of people in Uganda.
Hope through Epoh, Suubi Tina Rino, Chrissy Anzlovar
warehouse needs, they are growing from a $60,000 a year non-profit to a $380,000 non-profit, which allows more product in stores, more income to men and women in Uganda and more staff. There is a full time USA staff in Uganda who is there all year long that looks over the necklaces and sorts through the product. Aside from all of that, they also teach English and literacy classes to those who may have missed out on education. This year, there is -Dave Hansow more Light Gives Heat product in stores than there ever has been. This Christmas will be the first time the Suubi necklaces and Epoh bags will be in a store front in New York City. A third goal that has blossomed more recently this past year is their new film Moving On.
Morgan (far left) and Dave Hansow’s (far right) vist to Uganda
Horizon Magazine Outreach 40
gallery gives ar art
Three art shows have been held at the gallery this year so far, and each of them has kept with Nordine’s vision of keeping things different from the ordinary. The first of the shows introduced each artist and their style of work. The events usually challenge attendees to fter four years of teaching at an art academy in Littleton, and just one class away from com- broaden their perspectives. “The second show was the ‘Exposed Show’ and pleting his master’s degree in art education it was defi nitely pushing some boundaries in the town. at Regis University, Justin Nordine decided to We had people that were a little worried about what we take the leap of a lifetime. Moving back to his hometown were showing, but we had a great show. Some amazing of Grand Junction, Nordine opened up a working artist bands showed up. We had a huge turnout. It was a dark gallery and created The Raw Canvas. show, but it was a fun show. Both of the shows were The tattoo studio and gallery is unique. Nordine selected a handful of artists whose work is shown in the completely different.” The third show — “The Giving Walls” — did what gallery for one year. He then organizes six themed gallery Nordine loves to do. It gave back to the community. shows, which the artists participate in throughout the year. “Things are being shown here that you don’t see The show was aimed more towards children, and the proceeds from a silent auction were given to three local in Grand Junction every day. I encourage artists to be charities. With each show, the style of art and mood expressive and I challenge them. In each show, there is changes, but the attitude behind them stays solid. a theme that they work towards whether it works with “The working artist gallery is really about chaltheir art or not. They have to figure out how to incorpolenging our artists to constantly be producing new work, rate that,” Nordine said. so every couple of months there’s new artwork on the Instead of teaching aspiring artists in the classwall. It’s never the same stuff that’s just being used to room, Nordine is encouraging them to gain hands on, fill up the wall. It’s all brand new artwork that artists are gallery experience. “The Raw Canvas is an incubator for artists here in encouraged to create,” Nordine said. Nordine hopes that the concept of The Raw town. My goal is for these artists to show regularly and Canvas will grow in the next five years into something build a portfolio to start expanding outward, and not even bigger. He wants to move the gallery and studio to just getting stuck in Grand Junction with no room for a bigger location where he will give residents of Grand them to blossom as an artist, because there are so many Junction local art, local music, local beer and local wine. opportunities out there,” Nordine said. “We have so much talent in this town and I want In addition to giving artists a place to show their a place that facilitates that. By providing that we are work and build a portfolio, The Raw Canvas gives artists the giving the Grand Valley something that I don’t think has opportunity to express whatever style of art they desire. been here before. These are the small steps we are tak“It is a great opportunity. It’s growing so fast and ing to get to the overall idea. It will be a place where art with every show each artist is gaining more and more skills that they’ve never had before and it’s a great place happens,” Nordine said. for artists to join because their work is not going to be censored. You don’t have to hold anything back. If you’re an artist this is a great place to learn and grow,” said Josh firstname.lastname@example.org Meuwly, an artist whose graffti-style artwork is exhibited in the gallery.
Gallery gives artists a place to blossom Liz Dearstyne, Noelle Gerstenecker
Art by Justin Nordine
story by Liz Dearstyne photos by Noelle Gerstenecker
Horizon Magazine Outreach
little signs, big a small can messagegogesture a long way story by Katie Schultz photos by Jake Johnson
ach generation has a desire for change. Sometimes this desire can be small, like doing something different than your parents when you grow up. Other times this desire can light a fire and become a passion to change a country. Either way, most of the time a road to change is a hard and complex one. Most of the time no one even knows where to start. Well, there is one group founded in Grand Junction that has started a movement by simply holding signs. Meant for Movement is better known as the group responsible for the Stay Positive Movement. It all started in 2007. Nicholas Moore, one of the founders of the Stay Positive Movement was living in the Valley, but something in his life was missing. Looking back he personally felt like at that point in his life he wasn’t making the best decisions. To him they were very selfish. Then, one day he was driving in his car while it was raining. He was stopped at a stoplight on the corner of North and 12th when he saw a man holding a sign that he had seen standing there once before. It was a white sign with black writing that said, “Positive Thoughts.” “He was standing there with such purpose I had to pay more attention,” Moore said. He saw the man on the corner three more times holding the same sign. One of those times it was even snowing. Slowly, in the day-to-day conversations, his friends began to bring the man up. It was a constant reoccurring theme in their lives. “I started to see the affect one guy had on us and that made me want to make better decisions for myself,” Moore said.
Then, out of nowhere, the man disappeared and was not seen again. After much discussion, Moore and his friends decided they wanted to do something similar that would have the same or even greater impact on the Grand Valley. It was in 2008 that Moore with two other friends, held signs for the first time. The signs read, “There’s more out there,” “A whole universe out there” and “ It’s all in here,” with a picture of silhouetted person and a space with circles where the brain should be. Joel Adams was another huge contributor to the founding of the Stay Positive Movement. He was one of the three people holding signs that day. “It’s intimidating putting yourself out there,” he said. “But the response has been overwhelmingly positive.” From that point on the group began to grow with an idea in mind to
spread the philosophy behind the power of thought. People were allowed to hold whatever signs they wanted and some of those signs became too negative. The message they wanted to send became muddled. There was something still missing to focus their direction. It wasn’t until Moore’s friend Derek Blodgett came and held signs with them that the group found that focus. He had a tattoo that said, “Love life, stay positive,” and that is exactly what he put on his sign, “Stay Positive.” On that day however Blodgett was called into work and Moore was the one who held the sign. “I was worried there would be a mixed response by the sign,” he said, “but everyone was super receptive. We were totally excited.” From that day on the organization had a mission and it was this message that never seemed to stop appearing in unexpected places. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
Little signs, big message Katie Schultz, Jake Johnson
Joel Adams, a member of Stay Positive holds a sign on the street corner, encouraging many to stay positive.
Horizon Magazine Outreach
“The second something happens to Meant for Movement to encompass it follows you,” said Stephanie Soto, other aspects of change they wanted. Meant for Movement member. In addition to holding signs, the “Everyone (a part of stay positive) has a organization also helps give back to the community by hosting charity concerts story it seems like.” Soto shared a similar experience and other fund-raising events. Looking back when it came to on this experience the stay positive and also looking message following ahead to the future, her and appearing for Moore it all goes especially when back to the day he she needed it most. saw the mysterious “Every time man with the sign. I would be crying, “If I could see the second the first that man again I tear fell, I would would say thank look up and see a you,” Moore said. “It stay positive sign,” took time to realize Soto said. gradual change Then, one -Joel Adams the (seeing the man night when she was hanging out in front of her house made) when I look back on my life.” In the end, the thing that makes at 2 a.m. with a friend listening to Beethoven and eating popcorn, a car Meant for Movement special isn’t drove by three times. After the third time the fact that they go out and put on the car stopped and three people piled charity events and host fund-raisers, out, one of which was Moore and the all of which are great things. The thing other two were Stay Positive members. that makes this organization special They approached Soto and said that is the empowerment they give to they liked her tree in her front yard. The any individual through the power tree had painted on it a sun eye with the of thought. The root of Meant for stay positive message underneath. The Movement lies not only in its message, group of young people hung out for the but also in this power. This just goes to show that change doesn’t have to be rest of the night. “After that night, I was under the extravagant and elaborate. The power impression that it was some sort of to start a movement and make change can come from simply holding a sign. dream situation,” Soto said. However, in the weeks to follow Soto ran into one of the people in the email@example.com car that night and he explained to her what the group was about. She has been a part of the Stay Positive Movement ever since. She also remembers the excitement she felt when she first held signs. “Holding signs is like Super Mario when you eat a mushroom that makes you grow ten times bigger,” Soto said. At many points within the growth of the organization, it has seemed like once the stay positive message gets a hold of a person it always reappears, until the message is embraced. A lot of it seems very coincidental, but Moore doesn’t chalk it all up to fate. “It is magical to think of all these occurrences, but to think it is all coincidence is foolish, because this is suppose to be happening,” he said. Over the past few years, Meant for Movement has seen a lot of growth and change. Not only have they gained more supporters here in the Valley, but they also have groups popping up in various locations in California. “It is surprising and exciting (to see these groups),” Moore said. “It reaffirms what we know we can do.” The organization, this past semester has also become an official club on the Mesa State College campus. They hope that this will help them in becoming a non-profit organization one day. Along the way they also changed their name from Stay Positive
It’s intimidating putting yourself out there,but the response has been overwhelmingly positive.
Little Signs Big Message Katie Schultz, Jake Johnson
Stephanie Soto (top left), Nicholas Moore (bottom left) and another Stay Positive member spread their message to the Grand Valley.
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story by Katie Schultz photos by Chrissy Anzlovar
and Garcia have decided to not just sit around and talk about what could be, but instead are taking action. “On a daily bases, I talk to students who are struggling to pay for college,” Lopez said. “I hear about families taking he most popular buzzword in out second mortgages. It’s for reasons the state of Colorado, over this like this why it’s time this discussion past year has been “ budget.” should be taken to a statewide level.” Every institution that is funded Lopez has always had a desire to by the state is on the chopping block get into politics. He has always wanted due to the economic recession. This to make a difference and give back. For includes higher education, which in him the best way he feels he can conmost cases is first on the list, to get cut. tribute is by helping make changes to Yet, there is one Mesa State student public policy. It is for this reason that he that will not standby and watch higher is heading up the charge when it comes education get the brunt of budget cuts. to these higher education issues in the His name is Nick Lopez, senior politistate of Colorado. cal science major. He is the Associated Lopez’s partner, Garcia, also Student Government president and he believes that this is their time to step along with his fellow student, Apollo up to the plate. She has been in and Garcia, they are coming up with their out of school for the past several years, own solutions to ensure higher educaboth working on and receiving differtion in the state of Colorado will receive ent degrees. Growing up in a household adequate funding. where going to college was more imporTogether, the pair has created a tant than finding a job, coming back to 527 political action group called the school the second time around made her Sustainable Higher Education Initiative, see the flaws within the system. and its main function and purpose is “When I came back to school and to secure funding for higher education started seeing the issues, (creating the over the next 20 plus years. The idea is initiative) just felt right,” she said. “My to find a consistent revenue source for purpose was to come back to school higher education and make higher edu- and find Nick. It was what we were cation a priority in the state of Colorado. meant to do.” “Right now, there are too many Garcia has also carried on the people thinking in the short term, importance of education within her own it is time we think in the long-term,” children and home life. Lopez said. The organization is still in its Currently, Colorado is ranked beginning phases and they are still dead last in the total amount of fundputting together their core team. After ing it provides to higher education this they will work the system from the institutions. This does not bode well for bottom-up. They will meet with people current and future students, considerin the community, business leaders ing that within the next 10 years, 60 and of course students to get as many percent of jobs in Colorado will require people involved as possible. According employees to have some form of higher to Lopez, “this will have to be a grass education, according to Lopez. root movement, lead by the students.” It is for reasons like this that Lopez
Then within the next six to eight months they will have to find the revenue source that will help fund higher education. Yet, when all is said and done the work and effort that goes into this will be worth it. “We want to ensure that future students have an opportunity to succeed without financial strain,” Garcia said. Lopez points out that if Colorado does not find a solution to help fund higher education, than the state as a whole will be impacted in a number of different ways. “Every aspect of Colorado’s future government and structure is directly impacted, (if a solution is not found)” Lopez said. This task will not be an easy one, considering many politicians have tried to come up with solutions unsuccessfully. It will take hours upon hours for them to achieve their goals. “As with any political group we have a 95 percent chance of failure,” Lopez said. “The things we are trying to do are hard, but there is still a chance. We are running out of time and as students we need to come together and make a collective active voice.” For Lopez and Garcia this 95 percent chance of failure does not scare them. They unlike most are done talking. They are ready to find a solution and make a change that will benefit not only Mesa State but also Colorado as a whole. In the end, for these two it’s all in a days work.
Story Name Katie Schultz, Chrissy Anzlovar
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Horizon Fall 2012