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The Spot Magazine

July 2012


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The Spot Magazine

July 2012


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The Spot Magazine

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The Largest Reggae Music and Apparel Retailer on the Western Slope

design by GUESSWORKS 970-314-5016


INSIDE THIS ISSUE

KEEPING UP WITH SUSTAINABLE ROOTS PAGE 10

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SERENDIPITY BY: CHUCK CASTLEWOOD


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SEXTROLOGY BY: JYOTI PAGE 20

BRINGING IT BACK 1981 PAGE 24

DESERT ROCKS MUSIC FESTIVAL. PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE? PAGE 36

A SPOT FOR POETRY PAGE 46 A NIGHT OF BLOOD AND NOIR PAGE 50

MURAL JAM 5 PAGE 56


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KEEPING UP WITH SUSTAINABLE ROOTS

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March 24th we took several of our students on a trip to the Amazon basin. We spent the whole day canoeing around in the Napo River heading for different areas of interest. We started off with a hike in the jungle, then went to a museum where we were shown different traps the native (Quechua) people used to hunt over the years. Next we piled back in the canoes for a trip to a Quechua village where the women are working to preserve their cultural traditions and the forest in which they live. They performed traditional rituals and talked about life as a Quechua. Our students had a great day experiencing parts of their country they would have never had the opportunity to experience before. Talya, Joslyn and Megan all said their goodbyes to Cosanga and we now have Stephani here working her tail end off. Stephani has impressed Cosanga greatly in the last month with both her knowledge of

the Spanish language, and her ability to make one excellent flan. The structure of our second greenhouse was (finally) completed June 24th. We just have to prepare the soil, put seeds in the ground and four more families will be on their way to home grown organic vegies! One of the most beautiful parts of this work is to listen to the dreams of the people as they build the greenhouse structure. “I’m going to plant so many herbs, my soups will be the greenest soups around!” The first greenhouse we built has been experiencing some difficulties. First off, the engineer that built the greenhouse didn’t do such a great job putting the plastic on. So now the plastic has to be taken off and put on again. Then the drainage in the road behind the greenhouse got blocked up, causing the whole greenhouse to flood. We were able to work with the local government to replace the drainage system and

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it should be smooth sailing from now on. The structure will be fixed in no time and the six families benefiting from this greenhouse will be back in action. The school year is ending and we are preparing for “summer” activities. Since we are located on the equator there really is no summer here but the kids get a few months off of school anyway. We are planning a vacation class for interested students complete with art projects, walks in the jungle, trash clean up days, and tree planting activities. We also hope to take some students to the coast for a few days of travel and a few days of community work. We have been working here for two whole school years now, completed two greenhouses and have become an integral part of community structure. Our big hope for the remainder of the year is to legalize ourselves in Ecuador, and just keep doing what we are doing.


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SERENDIPITY BY: CHUCK CASTLEWOOD

I heard a metallic pop. The seat shifted back, and the handlebars moved forward a bit. Believing my KTM 640 was coming apart, I stopped dead in my tracks. As I looked around at the desolate scenery flanking the Carretera Austral, I thought about Augusto Pinochet’s soldiers, many of whom lost their lives in the 1970s during the ten years it took to construct the 1,300-kilometer dirt and gravel track through Chile’s southern reaches. I briefly considered the possibility that I might be joining them. The chassis on my KTM 640 splits open in the center to provide easier access to the mechanical guts, and it’s held together by two heavy bolts. Removing the seat and poking around, it was clear that somewhere behind, one of those bolts vibrated out. The metallic pop was the remaining bolt, which sheared off under the stress of unrelenting 14

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beatings from the road. My plan was to hide the bike in some thick green brush just offtrack, stash my gear, and walk the dirt road in search of a cabin. An occupant might have a bolt or two they’d be willing to sell. Standing there, feeling a little helpless, a backcountry van driven by a young Austrian couple rolled up, offering help. As fortune would have it, their fully-equipped adventure rig was packed with tools, including a battery-powered drill, which was necessary to drill out the hole which still held the remnants of the sheared bolt. Most incredibly, the Austrians had a plastic tool box filled with a wide selection of spare bolts. Two bolts, in fact, which fit my chassis like a factory part. Only ’’KTM’’ stamped on each bolt could have made that situation more unbelievable. What are the odds of finding this convenience in a place as isolated

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and lonely as this? Serendipity, defined as making desirable discoveries by accident, seems to be on my side. Pinochet might not have thought it at the time, but his men were building a veritable playground for future adventure riders. On top of the scenery, here I have the sensation that I am riding near the very end of the world. The stars at night are more than I ever imagined one could see, simply because the only neighbors are vast, unoccupied spaces – the south Atlantic and the South Pacific, and of course, the giant ice sheet of Antarctica. The nearest city, with its imposing lights, is days away. Services are scarce. People, too. It takes 1,300 kilometers to cover a distance of only about 800 kilometers as the crow flies; at a consistent cruising speed, I cover only a few hundred kilometers in eight hard hours on the road. Towering


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peaks and glaciers shift in and out of focus as I swerve to avoid ruts, loose gravel, the occasional passing truck, and some darting critters I could not name. Every few hours, a cluster of wooden shacks appears and disappears before my brain can even register the desire for a hot shower. As it is when riding just about anywhere on Earth, things are happening on the bike, but the romance is elevated when you’re near the end of the world. At the immediate level, like a computer’s operating system, my mind is constantly managing the controls and reading the road surface for hazards. As if in a meditation, the processes within the mind are totally aware. When something enters the picture which requires a step-up from meditation, be that a glacier-topped volcano cone, or a road washout big enough to swallow a bike, the stepup happens.

That’s not what’s makes the riding interesting, though. While the mind is occupied with these operating functions, in that internal space the stream of thought is so eloquent; there exists an uncommon clarity, inspired, in part, by the idea that I’m a world away. Here, in that space within the mind, the steps to achieve all the love and success one would desire seem so evident. When the riding stops, I’m back to being me. Just a guy who doesn’t really know where he’s going. Just a guy who isn’t much of a rider. Just a guy, in some ways, who’s thrown in the towel and thrown his fate to the machine-like gears of passing time. With a start, I realize I’ve reached the Pacific Ocean. And I know, with a clarity as crisp as the midnight light from a zillion Patagonian stars, that I made the right decision when I turned down that job offer last fall. I could be in a posh office sitting with guys wearing Dockers.

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Instead, at a tiny store in front of a sinking sun, I picked up a blonde Escudo in a liter-size bottle to pair with the pasta I’ll cook over my camp stove. Next morning, braking ahead of another curve, downshifting, then powering out, sucking up dust from the occasional passing truck, my mind was moving between the women I’d left and the women I’d lost. Religion, its absurdities and its practicalities. Banks and bankers. Still beaming from yesterday’s run-in with the Austrians and their bolts, I was shifting up, or down, I don’t recall, when the clutch lever went limp and floppy. Nothing to do except apply the brakes to a full stop, and let the engine stall out. Looking it over, the aluminum lever gave out where the little plastic plunger, just up from the lever’s hinge, does its pivot and pushes in to activate the hydraulic point. Who packs a spare lever? The next


few days would be a lot of chugging along in first gear. Temuco, Chile – at least 1,500 kilometers further north – is the next likely location where a lever might be on offer, or at least, a fixed address where I could put one on order. Curious to know what happens if I just kick it the shifter up to second gear, while rolling, I gave it a pop, and voilà, it worked. Then, a rough pop up to third. I figured out that the KTM, being born of racing machines, doesn’t really require the clutch. The thought that I was stuck in first gear gave way to the realization that I could shift, sort of, with a little finesse on the shifter and the throttle. In novice style, I was managing with the new shifting technique. When I stopped at a wide turnout for a bladder-break, serendipity showed up again. A rider appeared on a workmanlike KLR 650. After a hearty handshake and an agree16

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ment to speak English, I found out Christian Hessing was packing a solution. Out from his saddlebags came a roll of high-tensile wire and an epoxy he called ‘’liquid metal.’’ There in the cool air, by a teal-colored, glacier-fed river, the German used his Leatherman tool to tightly wire the clutch lever onto the pivoting actuator. We re-installed the re-built lever, and it worked like new. Enough to go another few thousand kilometers, at least. Better yet, another friend I wasn’t searching for found me when I needed him most. Christian and I would spend several days riding together. An accomplished mountain guide in the Swiss Alps, Christian knew motorcycles like Stradivari knew violins. Fluent in four languages, degrees in engineering and geography, mountaineer extraordinaire, he even completed the original course of Paris-Dakar and had years of

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Africa experience in his quiver. Married once, father of two, he always displayed the perfect mix of bravery and discretion on the road. Not long after our first meeting, I was following Christian’s lead when I quickly pulled over for a 30-second adjustment to my cargo. Tightening a strap, I looked up and there he was, straight away, asking if all was OK. I made a mental note: Loyalty. Henceforth, I watched out for him, because he was watching out for me. Admittedly, one time I wasn’t watching Christian well enough, because I was caught out gawking at the Patagonian panorama. I rear-ended him, fairly hard. My bike sustained some front fender damage. After a quick inspection, thankfully, his bike was unscathed. Any other guy (myself included) would have given the stink-eye. Christian, always on an even keel, probably wouldn’t have minded


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if I’d trashed his bike. In fact, he would have taken some Teutonic pleasure in another resourceful roadside repair. The adventurers I meet on the road, be them riders, backpackers, or hitch-hikers, all have commonalities. They are bright, curious, intensely independent and selfreliant, and there is almost always a history of athleticism. Some are a little tormented by one event or another from the past. Outwardly, they are all looking for adventure, but the truth is, ’’adventure’’ seems far too simple. Through their wandering, all seem to be actively searching for a greater understanding of the mix of fate and free will. They are testing their intellect and physique against the capricious nature of the world itself. They never speak it specifically, but it seems they’re all out here looking to experience serendipity.

For most of my earlier life, I set big objectives and drove like a force on nature. I fought the current. The results were mixed, at best. Down here, some how, some way, serendipity arrives. Before my epic journeys though the Americas began two years ago, I didn’t get much of what I wanted. Perhaps that’s why I took off in the first place. Here, I’m not sure I know what I want, but everything I need shows up right on schedule. The gears of Latin America seem to crank out results just on time. Latin America delivers. The day was getting long and the road north had deep brush on both sides. Christian and I could not find a good place to pull out, set up, and sleep unseen. Scanning as we cruised, I spotted a narrow, high culvert. Backing in, we concealed the bikes from sight. Just behind: A flat spot to throw our bedrolls, with a knockout view

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of the Pacific Ocean. Little islands resting in front of an orange sky. Luxury is normally thought to mean fine cars, big homes, or a flashy wristwatch. For me, luxury means I am free from those traps, and free to let my body and mind wander without limits. If I could be thought of as greedy, it is only for experiences. I will die one day, and the library of thoughts and images stored in my mind are the only things I might hope to take with me. Consciously I tried to feel every place I’ve ever discovered, simultaneously. My human mind is too simple. That serendipity could only be reserved for the gods.


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SEXTROLOGY BY: JYOTI Gemini-May21-June-21- You are all about fun this month! Let’s do everything today, you will say! Time to throw a party, a biggen’. Make the most of this summer by remaining socially connected. Big adventure and sexy romance are in store for the saucy twins! You will attract energetic people at this time, all others need step aside for now. Aries- March 20-April20- You enjoy the fantasy of being the “first” in intimate relationships. Play that field, if single! If involved, come up with creative new ways to keep this sensation alive in your relationship. Everyone benefits from this playful, and perhaps naughtier side of you. Get the hiking boots out of the closet and dust off your bike. It’s time to get active!

Taurus-April21-May21-Your standards are high, old-fashioned and idealistic, concerning any type of serious, intimate commitment. You are perfectly connected with that. If you hold out too long, you may end up lonely and longing for “the one” well into your golden years. Just sayin’. When in a relationship, you are ever-adoring of your lucky mate. Take a risk now!

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Leo-July-23-August-23- You are on the prowl for someone to be the center of your love-universe. You can’t meet anyone sitting at home on the couch. Enjoy this month’s social events by accepting ALL invitations. You have been missed. Intimacy may seem to allude you at times, giving you ultimate free time to get to know yourself. Bring your juicy self out to play and see who’s waiting!

CancerJune-21-July-23- You are the master of change, and times, they are a changin’. You will be quick to react to a whirlwind of change at this time, and will find yourself happier for it. Breathe and relax as you enjoy different types of experiences in intimate relationships. Let the house get a bit messier than usual Virgo-August-23-September-23- Talk and go have some fun! less, do more. Become active this

month and work on creating better health for yourself. When you are run down, there is little energy for socializing. Share your time and space with others on the same path and have a really fun time! You love summertime. Share the love with everyone you know! Drink more water. Better hydration, better sex. ;)


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LibraSeptember-23-October-23-As the scale, You are the center of your own world. Others are drawn to you because of this, but may expect to become an instant part of you. Understand this magnetism that is You, and understand your partner or potential mate. Remember to drop the idealism when getting to know someone. If you create an idea of how someone else is or should be, You may miss out on someone wonderful. The drawing board may Sagittarius-November22- Debe getting thin. cember22- You are gentle, with a child-like wonder to the world around you. Others may find you difficult to read, as you rarely get to the point of your intent concerning intimate connections. You are sexual by nature. You may be persuaded with or through sex. Be mindful of this. Learn to communicate verbally first, to avoid hurt feelings. Take a road trip soon! Scorpio-October-23-November-22- You know what you want. This month, you ARE love potion. Generously drizzle yourself on the ones you love. Casual affairs may be a usual scenario for Scorpio, but at this time you are greatly drawn to one person in particular. Let them know in the creative, generous ways that you seem to always have up your sleeve. Get regular sleep at this time to ensure stamina. It’s gonna be a busy month. Capricorn-December22- January-20- You often push yourself to prove something to others. Take time now to relax and enjoy being you. Don’t hold back when others complain, as they are used to your compliance. Be kind and be You, no matter what. Laugh as often as you see fit. When you are happy and relaxed, your mate will delight in your hearty sexual appetite.

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Aquarius-January-20-February-18You tend to be more cerebral than most. Take a break from the time machine that is your mind and take a look around. You are surrounded by color, music, and beautiful people. Friendship is important to you, but don’t miss the boat on a potential intimate encounter by friend-zoning everyone. You can always return to the safety of your thoughts but you can’t always get a second chance at romance.

Pisces-February18-March-20You’d like to be swept off your feet. If you’re “sitting down” in your ideas about intimate connectivity, there is no chance of being swept anywhere but under the rug. You are deeply sensitive and tend to attract mates that love this about you. Speak your mind. Others want and need to know where you are at emotionally, even if it is often up and down. You are magic.


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BRINGING IT BACK

1981 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday. It is the 1981st year of the Common Era, or A.D.; the 981st year of the 2nd millennium; the 81st year of the 20th century; and the 2nd year of the 1980s decade. he 52 t s e s a n rele days within a r I – y 20 d444 Januar ns held for agan succee f e o ca Ameri of Ronald R e President osh th es minut y Carter as ing the Iran d m ingJim ed States, en it killed e r the Un is. a s is orker Space tage cr 9 – Three w test of the 1 ga March jured durin in bia. and 5 m u l o eC Shuttl

March 3 0 Reagan – U.S. Presiden is t Ronal d a Washi shot in the che st outsid ngton, D e .C Hinckle y, Jr. Tw . hotel by John op Press Se cretaryJ olice officers a ames Br nd wounde ady are d. also

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June 5 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 5 homosexual men in Los Angeles, California have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems (the first recognized cases of AIDS). August 1 – MTV (Music Television) is launched on cable television in the United States.

August 12 - The original Model 5150 IBM PC (with a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 processor) is released in the United States at a base price of $1,565.

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August 24 – Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, after being convicted of murdering John Lennon in Manhattan 8 months earlier. September 17 – Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes to win his first World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship in Kansas City.

December 28 – The first American testtube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.


http://www.facebook.com/EnrahJewelry http://www.etsy.com/shop/Enrah

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Tales from the First Annual Denver Comic Con & Rocky Mountain Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels Nathan Herald

Over Father’s Day weekend, Downtown Denver was witness to an unholy alliance of (allegedly) unwashed masses, fan boys, and shared interests – no, I’m not talking about a Rockies game, I am speaking of the first annual Denver Comic Con. I was there, I survived, and I am here to tell my tale.

My compatriot in crime – “Logan”. The blurry 3-story building in the background is the local burlesque club.

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I had been asked to present a paper at the Rocky Mountain Conference on Comic Books and Graphic Novels, and as a kicker, I got free admission to the Comic Book Convention. So, I packed up my van, threw my kid in the passenger seat, and trekked approximately 300 miles in 90 degree weather with no A/C to be part of this nexus of nerdity, this gathering of geekitude, this historic event that could only happen once. What follows are my daily updates from both ROMOCOCO, as well as DCC. Day 1 Hell of a first day at ROMOCOCO. Get to downtown from Arvada, only to discover I left my wallet at the house we’re watching! Ergh! Sat in on some awesome panels (will cover more later), had a weird lunch (salad was arugula<sp?> and dandelion, chicken was moist, juicy and bland as all get out). Skipped out on a few panels to retrieve wallet, went back downtown and hung out on the 16th street mall for a while, then went to Mile High Comics. Day one started out with “Logan” and I racing across town to avoid being late for the pre-con. We managed to park right across the street from the hotel where the panels were being held, and that’s when I discovered I had forgotten my wallet. Fortunately, “Logan” was smart enough to bring his. We got up to the meeting rooms and snuck into our first panel. Over the course of the day, we learned how to use sequential art to enhance literacy, discovered why we like animal characters in comics, and the disparities between traditional Arthurian Legend and the graphic novel Caliber. We studied the realistic endings in Bill Willingham’s amazing series Fables, and lamented the

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death and reinvention of Bumblebee™ in the Transformers franchise. Explanations were given on how to teach Alan Moore’s Watchmen to a English lit class, how teachers can use comics to save an intro to lit class and how important comics and graphic novels are to the art classroom. After that, “Logan” and I ran back across town to retrieve my wallet. Returning downtown, we actually managed to get our same parking spot! Feeling like trip down the 16th street mall was in order; we wandered the area for a while, taking in the sights of homeless people, street performers, and tourists. Finally tiring of the mass of humanity, we split for Mile High Comics.

lectable toys. They even had original Star Wars toys (from the 80s!) in their original boxes. In addition to all this cool stuff, they also had several artists on hand – Barry Kitson (Amazing SpiderMan, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulks), James O’Barr (The Crow), as well as Jason Aaron (Ghost Rider, The Other Side, PunisherMAX, Wolverine, Scalped), not to mention, Michael Uslan, who has been the driving force behind the Batman franchise for the past twenty-plus years. To top it all off, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in close to twenty years. So, after 3 sweaty, entertaining hours, we left for our home away from home with a bunch of flyers and two books.

Got to Mile High Comics (Which is in this enormous warehouse - think 30k square feet - freakin’ huge!), and discover they’re hosting the latest showing of New Era Wrestling. It was actually a dream come true. As a kid, I used to watch WWF before it got all ‘artsy’ and really enjoyed it. Let me tell you, in person, watching these guys job for fans, they’re doing something they really enjoy, even if they’re not making a whole lot off of it. Childhood glee? Had it in spades watching these guys go at each other. So, as it turns out, DCC was also having their pre-registration night, so the place was packed. The line to sign up was at least 500 feet long from the back of the warehouse to near the entryway. Behind the registration table was also a food spread that had to be at least 30 square feet filled with cold cuts, cheeses, wraps, chips, dips, cookies, I mean holy crap – there was enough food for two third world countries. Not to mention the fact that this had to be one of the biggest collections of col-

Day 2 whew... ROMOCOCO may be over, but the DCC rages on for another day or two. [I] Presented this morning with Jonathan Alexandratos and Nick Sousanis (moderated by the eminently gracious Rob Weiner). The presentations were awesome, although I made one minor error - I stated that Art Spiegelman had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (it was actually the Pulitzer). During the Q&A afterwards, a gentleman corrected me, then had to split to do an interview. I didn’t think about it much at the time, but when we broke for lunch, “Logan” & I were hanging out at our table and we were joined by James “Bucky” Carter, Chris Angel (one of the awesome folks who put everything together - both ROMOCOCO & DCC - world class work Chris!), Grant Thomas, and the gentleman who corrected me. While he was speaking to Grant, he self-referenced himself, and it clicked. I looked at him, and asked


Pics from Mile High Comics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kurt Khaos (Internet Champion); High Maintenance; Nameless tag team â&#x20AC;&#x201C; guy on right is dressed as pikachu

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“Are you Scott McCloud?” He replied an affirmative, and I narrowly avoided squeeeeeing to the point of restraining order. We had a pleasant lunch, while Bucky discussed where we’ve come from with graphic novels, and where we’re going with them. Day two started out much like day one – namely, forgetting my wallet, again! Fortunately, “Logan” and I remembered before we got all the way across town, and were able to double back and grab it before it was too late. Once we got back down town, we got an even better parking spot than the prior day (gotta love LoDo during the week). We raced across the street, raced upstairs, and waited for my turn up on the stage. As my panel started, I discovered that I was sandwiched between a Ph.D. and a Ph.D. candidate, speaking to a room full of Ph.Ds and teachers – no pressure. Post presentation went really well, aside from the literary faux pas I managed to pull. From there, went to lunch, where I met two of my idols – Scott McCloud & James “Bucky” Carter. After lunch, “Logan” and I ran across the street to check out the convention center, which ended up being a trip around the center (they were still setting up for the DCC). We came across some really cool street art and

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“Logan” insisted that the artist was going to be at the Con. Day 3 I was so friggin’ tired from the con that when we got back to the house, I went straight to sleep. Day 4 Alright. It’s a little late, but here’s the update from yesterday: Decided that since it was the full day, I would do a little cosplay. Remembered conversation with Vicky [redacted] a few weeks ago that I looked like Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski. Had sandals and shorts that basically matched. Figured a quick trip to wal-mart would fix the v-neck shirt and bathrobe. So, quick trip to wal-mart netted me not only v-neck shirts, but a universal charger for the battery to the camera, but no bathrobe. Figured we could hit a Target to get the bathrobe. After finding a Target, a fruitless search turned up no bathrobe. No worries, did a quick search for GoodWill. Got a fix on the closest one, drove there, and discovered that it was an outlet store


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Street art from near the Denver Convention Center.


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- no clothes on racks, no breakdown by department, Just row upon row of rolling bins approximately 3 ft wide by 6 ft long with anything and everything dumped into it. After a half-hearted search, We decided it was pointless (and possibly hazardous to our health), we looked for a real GoodWill - not an outlet store. Managed to find a real store. Still no dice on the Bathrobe front. Throwing my hands in the air, I decided that I would find the closest costume shop near the convention center - The Wizard’s Chest. Fantastic store, well stocked, but no bathrobe. Feeling extremely frustrated, we decided to head towards the convention center. Seeing a Neiman Marcus across the street, I decided I would give it one last shot. As we tried to find a parking spot, I noted there was also a Nordstrom’s nearby (not all that surprising, we were in Cherry Creek). Walking into Neiman Marcus, it was readily apparent that they didn’t have any sleepware for sale. Besides, I was totally out of my element - the salespeople have apparently be taught to sneer politely without even speaking to you. They manage to do it with just their eyes. Figuring I had nothing left to lose, I walked across the Cherry Creek mall to Nordstrom’s. Still wracked by feelings of inadequacy, I walked over to the men’s section, ready to just give up on the whole thing, when I turned a corner, and found a rack of bathrobes. Hallelujah! I was saved! Seriously, what was a couple of bucks for a day of walking around like “The Dude”? Robe in hand, We drove to the convention center, I got dressed, and we walked to the convention. “Logan”, the heretofore unmentioned other, decided to peel of and check out the gaming at the Hyatt, while I went to the convention floor. Within moments of entering the building, people started calling out “Hey! The Dude!” This went on for the next. 6. hours. I must have had at least 50 people stop me to either comment on my costume, ask me for a photograph, or even ask me if I had found my rug, or where my white russian was. Needless to say, I got lots of pictures, I met lots of awesome people, and I had a blast. I can’t wait until next year. Denver Comic Con was a huge success, The folks that put it all together, all the volunteers - you guys all rocked like Woodstock, Lollapallooza, and the Last Waltz all wrapped 34

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together in one tasty event that will be even bigger next year! Yeah! The convention itself exceeded everyone’s expectations. About half way through the day, the Fire Marshall was in attendance because the convention was on the verge of exceeding capacity (20,000 people in one area!). I managed to meet the amazing Jimmy Gownley, who just finished up one of the greatest graphic novel series for kids ever (Amelia Rules!), met what felt like a zillion artists, hung out with local comics legend Steve Moore (Top5 Comics), saw some of the most insane costumes ever, and bought lots of stuff. I saw (but didn’t talk to) Kristin Bauer, from the HBO series “True Blood”, Jasika Nicole from Fox’s “Fringe”, Nick Gillard who choreographed all the Jedi fight scenes in the new Star Wars Trilogy, James Marsters of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Smallville” and “Torchwood”, and Steven Seagle, creator of the Ben 10 franchise and Generator Rex. I actually was able to meet Chandler Riggs (A.K.A. Carl Grimes), who is really damn short for being 12. There were also full scale replicas of the General Lee, the Jeep from Jurrasic Park, Kitt from Knight Rider, and Ecto-2 (the “green” update to the Ghostbuster’s transport). While I missed the presentation, the Zombie Survival Tactics program was so huge, it spilled out of the room it was assigned to, and ended up blocking off half of the convention center assigned to it. I could list all the different programs that went on over the course of the weekend, but it would just be easier to post a scan of the panels. Sunday found us making one last trip down to the convention hall for souvenirs and a last, lingering look at what 20,000 nerds managed to wreak on the convention center. For being the last day of the con, it was still pretty packed, but deals abounded like nobody’s business. Several vendors we ran across were slashing prices, mainly because they didn’t want to lug a lot of that stuff back, so “Logan” and I scored some killer deals on graphic novels that have been difficult to find (Groo, anyone?) Finally, conned out, broke, and ready to go home, we loaded up our new treasures into the van, got on the interstate, and began our trek back over the mountains. Post con conversations with the organizers have revealed that the Denver Comic Con wildly exceeded everyone’s expectations, will be happening


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again next year, and (as a possible indicator of future success) at the close of the Con, it was announced that Stan “The Man” Lee (creator of the most iconic Marvel characters – Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, etc.) is confirmed for DCC 2013. You can bet I’ll be there, along with many other True Believers, primed and ready to get our nerd on again. In the words of Stan, Excelsior! *** below are a couple of links to many more photos than I could ever hope to take myself. They remain property of their owners. http://blogs.westword.com/showandtell/2012/06/photos_the_women_of_denver_com.php (The Women of Denver Comic Con) http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2012/06/18/denver-comic-con-2012-in-pictures-cosplay-gallery/ (Incredible costumes and/or sexy women) http://www.9news.com/news/photo-gallery.aspx?storyid=272876 (9News extensive gallery)


DESERT ROCKS MUSIC FESTIVAL PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE? 36

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ABOVE: TIMMI CRUZ

July 2012

PHOTO BY: SUMMER ESTELLA


The Willimas Brothers Band. Photo By: Summer Estella

What lies in the future for Desert Rocks Music Festival? For the answer we will have to look into the past. For seven long years the festival was held at Area B.F.E. just south of Moab Utah. The location was perfect. With the LaSalle’s as the backdrop and a beautiful Utah sunset every night you could not find a more majestic place to have a music festival. Yet every Memorial Day weekend people would flock to the festival and there was a price to pay for the perfect setting, weather. Yes not one year of perfect weather. From flash floods to wind storms, Desert Rocks Music Festival (DRMF) has scene it all. This year at the new location was no different, but who would have thought that the festival would have moved. Now with any thing that grows so does the space. I am sure that some would say the new venue is better than the old and the same for the opposition. Either way that’s up to you. As for me the new location had it’s advantages but my heart and the heart of the festival will always lie at area B.F.E. I must say that the Cosmonauts that run the Jenk Star Ranch where exceptionally gracious hosts and my deepest thank you goes out to them, for opening up for all the happy souls to come, party, and celebrate consciousness. DRMF has had a long term loyal family made up of 38

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friends, bands and fans from the beginning that have helped this festival become what it is today. From all of the heads that booked the bands, building the stages, the back stage tents, hospitality, bands, the volunteers, and all of the fans that come from near and far. When it comes to all mentioned above shout outs must go to; J.R, Luke Benson, Dave Spencer, Mama Kass, Red, Lou Stephens, Uncle Nate Watson, James Williams, The Williams Brothers Band, Wisebird, Stonefed, Ashley K, The Williams Brothers Band, and so many more that should be mentioned but this article would turn into a novel. See when DRMF started out so many years ago, it was just a part for some friends. There were 300 or so people and that included the staff and the bands. Now, well over 3000 attend. Over the years there were many memorable moments. One that sticks out to me the most would be the flash flood. What started out, as an overcast day would turn into one of the craziest, wettest parties in history. As the crew scrambled to move fences, dig ditches to reroute the water, David Gans and other musicians tended to the stage, all the while some of the fans got out their kayaks and started boating around the stage and festival grounds. There were


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The Willimas Brothers Band. Photos By: Summer Estella

July 2012


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Photos By: Summer Estella


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Photo By: Summer Estella some real troopers that hung out during the rain and floods and when the weather cleared up they got to hear some of the most kick ass music in the world live. Other great moments like sunrise family jams, James and his red chair, keg stands in fat suits at six in the morning, are the kind of memories that people not only come back for they bring their friends. As for me over time it is watching the growth of bands that have always been there. Wisebird, Stonefed, and The Williams Brothers Band just to name a few. This year seemed to be a whole new festival built for the future yet built off the past. Now the new location is beautiful in its own right, so don’t let me take anything away from the Jenkstar Ranch. Located on the east side of Green River Utah, the Jenkstar Ranch is one of the coolest places you could through a music festival. Now having been around the block a time or two, the stage set up could have been a little different to hide from the wind and sand. The new location was spacious and it made for a lot to do. Some people would say too much, but on the other side when the huge sand storm rolled in early Saturday night, there were some cool little hideouts for people to still get down and have some fun. Another nice addition this year would be the beach. Just two miles down the road was 500 feet of nice beach space to cool off and party during the hottest parts of the day. In the past you had to hike a few miles back to Left Hand and party at the potholes. Now don’t think that is a bad thing. It’s not. The hike out to Left Hand was an adventure through the brush and along the stream. Once you got to the potholes the party was on and the body got a chance to cool down enough to recharge for that nights festivities. There were a few downfalls that came this year. Be-

sides the wind and sand storm that killed many tents and easy ups, there was a dark force that seemed to linger around, the Grand County Sheriffs. As a not so nice backdrop to the stage on the hill above the festival, the sheriffs set up their mobile command center to show their presence in the most uncomfortable of ways. Using a trailer mounted with satellites, atv’s and binoculars. I’m sure all they really got was a weekend of entertainment wishing they could have as much fun as us. The sheriffs even put up a speed trap camera on the road that takes you out to the Jenkstar Ranch with the only posting of the speed limit being a really small sign at the beginning of the road. And you could hear story after story being passed around the campground of the fuzz pulling people over. We had planed to go get a comment on the festival from the mobile command center but by the time we got up there they were packed up and gone as to beet the hippie traffic that was headed back to reality. I’m sure the small town of Green River got a lot more than they were expecting with some stores running out of ice and cigarettes. When 3000 hippies come and invade your town the local economy must have a major bump and I’m sure it did. All in all the pros out weigh the cons. But, what is to come of the Desert Rocks Music Festival? I don’t know. No matter what happens we have a lot of amazing memories from every year. I cannot help but to say a special heart felt thank you to my partners in crime. It seems that every year at this festival our bond grows stronger and deeper. To everyone else that was at the festival this year or any of the past. You have all been apart of something special. So for that, I thank you too.


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Photo By: Summer Estella


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Above Photo By: Summer Estella. Bottom Lynsey Marsh

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: Lynsey Marsh

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A SPOT FOR POETRY Skeptic My words are here to captivate Spoken in a delectable voice. In a Hollywood step I’ll navigate the distance – Take it all in and in a stride; Always on the verge enchanted And the love is forever free.

Horizon She lifted her head up From the pale immediate To see the horizon, The future – her dreams – Half an introduction away And herself walking forward To meet it.

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970-YO-YO CLUB EVERY SUNDAY 11-1 YO-YO CLUB EVERY SATURDAY AT THE MESA COUNTY LIBRARY AT 10:30AM


A Night of Blood and Noir By Douglas Morgan Sumner The wet smack of his bleeding face slamming into the concrete-covered earth reverberated justifiably within Jackson Dillard’s ringing ears. Through the vision of his now “onegood-eye,” the one that wasn’t completely swelled shut, he watched as the newly tailored fedora that Martha had bought him, was blown away by a hawkish Louisville gust. Through the dark shadows of the alley and out into the lamp-lit blacktop of Broadway it rolled. The incredibly expensive hat, the height of fashion for 1942, was now being crushed by a passing Packard. Its beautiful grey felt smashed into the street so badly that the flattened hat was obviously unable to be saved. Jackson might have felt its loss more intensely, if he hadn’t needed to focus on his pain, which kept his mind centered on his present predicament. As it was, only by focusing on the pulsating mal-sensations of his broken jaw could he keep himself from passing out and feeling the acutely frigid bite of January’s wind while it swept unimpeded through the Ohio Valley. This is just a setback, Jackson told himself, still clinging to the misguided belief that the righteousness of his cause would somehow prove him the eventual victor. Stubborn beliefs die hard, even after watching one’s own blood beginning to freeze on the city cement. “How’s that feel mister?”, the granite voice hovering over him asked rhetorically. While, mostly, Jackson heard giant cathedral bells banging in his head, he did recognize that the baritone mocking belonged to gang leader Jimmy Drake. “Ironman” Drake, (so nicknamed because it was widely rumored that he beat his Mafioso predecessor to death with a tire iron) was a man that most people hoped to avoid meeting in dark alley situations. But tonight, “Ironman” was the one person that Jackson had idiotically

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decided to seek out. Jimmy Drake bent down to Jackson’s prostate level, grabbed the back of his hair and lifted his head off the ground just far enough so the deep voice could whisper ugliness into Jackson’s swelling ear. The two thugs standing next to Jimmy both chuckled with sadistic satisfaction. A strange sense of accomplishment swelled through the beaten hero. This was the first time Jimmy had actually sullied himself to touch Jackson. He was becoming somebody noticeable. “That’s what you get for trying to make off with another man’s squeeze,” “Ironman” said. Jackson wanted to give a smart retort, perhaps something like Bogey might have said in that picture-show where he secretly met Martha last week, but he could only cough up a little blood and moan. Even that must have been noticeably painful because Jimmy Drake smiled wryly before he viciously slammed Jackson’s head into the ground and then pulled it back up just like he was dipping an oar into the Ohio River. Again Jimmy whispered sickly-sweet nothings to him. “You are one dumb son-of-a-bitch, you know that?” At the moment Jackson agreed. “Ironman” Drake continued, “I mean, I’m not like most guys. I’m enlightened. I know it’s 1942. It ain’t the Middle Ages anymore. Hell, women are working in factories for Chris sake. Whoda thought that? As an enlightened man, I decide to see whoever I want. So it’s only fair that I give Martha a little leeway. I mean, that girl’s a helluva a free spirit; one of the main reasons I dig on her. So contrary to whatever belief you might have had, I’m not stupid. I know once in a while she takes a shine to dumb yokel like you. God knows why, but she can pick some dumb ones.” “Ironman” paused for a second, and drew even closer to Jackson’s ear

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before he continued, “But you my stupid, stupid friend, you must be the asshole of the century. To come into my club and issue me ultimatums, threatening to take Martha to the cops if I don’t let her go. Even for all my modern graces, that, my friend, I cannot abide. I guess we all have our little old fashioned streaks. I mean, somehow I can’t sit idly by when some dumbass accountant is just so damned rude to me.” Jimmy slammed Jackson’s face back into the cement, this time grinding it ever so much more against the paving. “I hope Bruno and Frederick here taught you some sorely needed manners.” Jimmy looked up to his henchmen. “What do ya think boys? Did he learn his lesson?” “Only if you say so Mr. Drake,” the one called Frederick answered. Jimmy slammed Jackson’s head on the ground once more before standing up. Then he took out a handkerchief from his coat pocket and wiped Jackson’s blood from his hands before throwing the soiled handkerchief on Jackson’s moaning countenance. “I think he gets the idea boys,” Jimmy said, “Com’n, let’s get back to the shindig.” As Jimmy began to walk out the alley, he turned back and said. “It’s a shame about poor Martha. I’m really gonna miss her. Can’t have her dragging any more morons onto my doorstep. Too bad she’s seen so much of my business. I don’t imagine this ends well for her.” Jackson felt fiery anger grow in his craw. He wanted to jump up from his ineffectual prostration and slug Jimmy. He burned to hit “Ironman” just once, but after this beat down he couldn’t even crawl towards the gangster. Until this precise moment, Jackson had continued to see himself as Bogart, thinking that all he had to do was take the punches: to go the distance. If he did that then he could still pull


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this thing off, but the inability to affect his reality proved that he wasn’t some film star on celluloid. He was a flesh and blood loser lying broken on the ground, oozing life in this awful alley. “Ironman” and Co. had just taken too much from him. What really made Jackson sick was just how easily it had been taken away by Jimmy. Martha was worth the fight, worth the beating. Jackson believed that with each aching breath he struggled to make. He would even have taken this pulverizing again, if he thought it would do some good. But never in a million years, never did he fathom that Jimmy Drake would actually harm Martha for his actions. Now, however, with the unblemished unfairness of the world shining over him, Jackson realized that “Ironman” Drake could do as he pleased, and all a beaten accountant could do was bleed to death in a godforsaken alley. He was almost hopeful when he heard Bruno ask Drake, “What about him boss? Should we take care of him for good?” Jackson wished he could smile; he wanted to die. “Don’t worry about it,” Jimmy dismissed Jackson entirely; “He’s nothing.” All hope faded into the blackness of the Louisville night, Jackson’s good eye watched Jimmy swagger away towards Drake’s Place. Jackson’s time as hero, as Martha’s shinning knight, was over, but not before Frederick turned and laid a heavy kick in Jackson’s gut. The sharp toe of his polished wingtip acted almost knife-like as it stabbed through his soft flesh enough to bruise his internal organs. “Remember, don’t wanna see ya round here no more,” he barked as he spat on Jackson’s bleeding face. What little stimuli passed through Jackson’s pain barriers: the sounds of laughing women and drunken G.I.’s about to ship off to the pacific, a shadow of light cutting the black night as the thugs opened the door

to their boss’s nightclub, the taste of blood that most losers recognized as failure. Each told Jackson that he was left alone with his shame in the alley. Jackson groaned and tried to stand, but whatever equilibrium he had once had was stolen with the last few punches that Jimmy laid into his cranium. After wallowing in his anti-triumph, Jackson finally gave up trying to be a hero. A few minutes later, the world as Jackson knew it was black and gone. Somewhere, within Jackson’s eternal consciousness, was summoned retribution. Firelight, shadowy sinew, cold glare of razor tusk rending flesh from the writhing bodies of the damned: aspect to aspect, the universe swirled from one strange sight to the next. All the while, a pulsating hunger from hidden beasts mocked Jackson’s being. He could feel the eyes of jackal-headed demons that salivated over his threadbare soul. None of this made any sense, but for some reason Jackson knew innately what was happening. Somehow he was floating through limbo, firmly pressed, like a poster on a window, against the astral plane that separated him from the burning agonies of all hells ever devised by deity or man. On the other side, a demon rose from the abyss, clenching a familiar countenance within its jaws. “Martha?” Jackson whispered in terror. He desperately tried to move that he might save her from her agonies. At the mere sight of her, Jackson wanted to pull himself into hell so that he might take her from torture, but his ineffectual damnation had followed him from one reality to another. Just as he had been unable to act against “Ironman,” whatever force now held him stalwart, facing the open portal to hell, would not relent in its grasp. All he could do was watch as her raven hair turned white when

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she came face to face with the giant salivating oxen-snouted demonic horror assigned by Beelzebub to slowly strip her soul into shreds. The demon seemed to smile as it bent down and wrapped its long tongue around her bodice, whipped her into the air and then crunched her between its massive jaws. The festive lightheartedness that had once exuded from her laughter was turned to frozen sludge as all hope and love were extinguished by the gnashing maw that ripped through her. Jackson tried to call out to her from his horrible perch. If she could hear his pleas she didn’t answer, but he saw in her eyes only the desire to die eternally: to let the agony, just beginning, to end once and for all. Still, as Jackson began to cry for his lost love he realized that such sweet respite was never to be hers. A regenerating body left her again at the mercy of the sword-tusk bite of the demon. Martha felt the indignity of being endlessly healed only to be stabbed and severed time and again. Her mouth was constantly agape in agony, her tongue perpetually stiff in a grotesque curl of torment. More than once, Jackson watched her bite it off in hopes that she might somehow end the pain, only to witness her tongue instantly grow back. Ghastly visages of swirling phantoms drew closer around Jackson’s disembodied soul, constricting him and creating a barrier between him and the vision of the laughing demon. He vainly tried to reach out, desperate to remain. If not to save Martha’s soul from anymore torment, then, at least, he yearned to stay close to her. The angry dead spirits, however, took hold of his extremities and began to pull him in every conceivable direction. The snapping and tearing of his limbs was excruciating. Breathlessly, Jackson tried to scream.


“Clang,” the bedpan fell to floor. “OHH!” the blushing nurse in the hall exclaimed. She pushed herself away from someone who was standing intimately close to her. Beside her, a man in a brown trench coat, said, “Looks like our boy’s awake,” then followed the nurse to Jackson’s side. The white-clad nurse gave a calming, “Shh, sshh, now.” and was desperately trying too hard, in her embarrassment of neglecting her patient for a moment of hallway amour, to force him to lie back down. Jackson resisted, his mind was still focused on that trapped existence in Limbo. As he looked at his new surroundings, however, it was clear that he was no longer floating on the outer ethereal fringes of consciousness, but instead sitting upright in a snug clean hospital bed. The sudden sterile whiteness of everything in the room, from bed sheets to wall paint, hurt his eyes, and it took a minute before he could recognized the face of the man now standing behind the fussing nurse. Jackson wanted say, ‘Dan?’ but the only word he could utter was, “Daa…?” “Yeah, it’s me buddy,” The trenchcoated man answered. “Don’t try to talk. They got your jaw wired up. Just take it easy now. April here is gonna take care of you.” he indicated of the nurse. “She’s sure taking good care of me.” Dan winked at Jackson. “Why Detective Killian…,” the nurse coquettishly blushed before she turned back to Jackson, “Never you mind your friend here, Mr. Dillard.”, the flustered nurse said as she attempted to fluff his pillow. “Just relax now.” Jackson laid back and, for the first time since he had awoken, felt the pain left behind by the beating Jimmy Drake and his boys had inflicted upon him. He felt as though he had actually been to hell. That’s when he remembered his dream. Jackson tried to

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wave Detective Daniel Killian of the Louisville Police Department, close to his bed, but Dan began to ramble. “Don’t know what happened to you buddy. Some drunken recruit found you last night in an alley where he was puking up his bar tab. Yeah, can you believe it? Poor sod is shipping out to Fort Knox today for basic. I can’t imagine the hangover he’s facing…but there he is getting close to God and there you are lying in a total bloody mess nearly dead on the ground. Can’t suppose you can tell me what happened? My guess was muggers. Why else would you be there?” Jackson tried to wave Dan down, but the detective was still talking a mile a minute. “Still one look at you and I’d have to say that this beating looks personal. You been getting under anyone’s skin?” Jackson tried to answer but Dan began on another tangent. “Course you haven’t. Why you’ve never been one to anger a fly….” Dan turned towards April the nurse and began to recount some childhood story about the time when Jackson and he decided to steal candy from the Sears and Roebuck on Fourth Street and Jackson got cold feet. “Before I could even get my hand into the licorice jar, Jacky here was apologizing to Mr. Winters behind the counter for what we were going to do…” Dan would have continued for an hour if Jackson hadn’t snapped out and grabbed his arm with ferocity enough to startle April, who was lost in the blue eyes of Dan the storyteller. “OHH!” She gasped for the second time since Jackson was awake. “What is it Jacky?” Dan asked, also alarmed at Jackson’s new found intrepidation. Dan and Jackson had been best friends since short pants and graduating from high school together. Because they were almost like brothers, Jackson’s strange actions concerned Dan all the more. Dan’s attention

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was now deeply intuned to what his friend wanted. If it wasn’t for their tight bond, Dan would have never been able to understand what Jackson was trying to say because all Jackson could seem to manage was, “Meersha Keen…” “Martha Kane?” Dan asked. Jackson nodded. The look on Dan’s face told Jackson that all he feared had actually come to pass. “Don’t know what your connection to her is, but some drunks found her floating in the Ohio last night. Jesus in a wheelbarrow, what the hell have you gotten yourself into Jacky? I better go get a pad of paper so you can write to me what you know. April you know where I can find one?” “I’ll show you,” the nurse said and they both turned to leave the room. On the way out, Dan pinched her behind. “Oh, Detective Killian,” she blushed again, “please behave.” Dan turned back to Jackson. “Gotta love this war kid,” he said, “the woman-man ration is five to one. Leaves all the good ones for us, huh?” As he entered the hallway, Jackson could hear Dan call, “Hold up April honey, I might only need paper. Ya see I’ve always got a great pencil with me.” Left alone with nothing but his deathly thoughts, Jackson couldn’t help but ruminate on the last few days. A woman had come to him for help and now she’s dead. Every move, every step that had led him from the fearful timbre in Martha’s voice, to the alley behind Drake’s nightclub, had been a wrong step. As the pulsating pain of his body crescendoed, the agony of knowing the consequences of his actions overshadowed any physical anguish that Jackson might have experienced.


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The Largest Reggae Music and Apparel Retailer on the Western Slope

design by GUESSWORKS 970-314-5016


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MURAL JAM 5

PHOTO BY GABE “SPECK” GOYNES Mural Jam 5, presented by Super Rad Art Jam and Grand Junction City Parks & Rec, kicked off the summer with a weekend of skateboarding and painting at Westlake Skate Park on Saturday, June 16. This annual event gives both skateboarders and street artists the opportunity to display their skills and techniques. The day started with Grand Junction’s only skateboarding competition sponsored by Traz Snow and Skate. Austin Shephard organized and implemented the competition and provided prizes from Traz to first through third place in three categories; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Throughout the day, music was provided by DJ Sean “Mooch” Symons. After only four hours of playing, the generator died. Ben Bradham arrived with a fully powered generator soon after, saving the day. 56 The Spot Magazine jULY 2012

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After the skateboarding concluded, mural artists were ready to get to work. 20 artists participated in the mural competition, including some who traveled from Denver for the event. Jamie from Apex Body Piercing and Rebel Yo-Yo’s was on site selling Montana spray paint for the artists. Artists competed for a People’s Choice cash prize. By the conclusion of Mural Jam 5, Westlake Skate Park has a new look and some happy young skaters with new gear. If you were unable to attend the event, it is worth the trip to view the new artwork. Special thanks go out to Jess Rigg and Loki Outerwear for their continued support and for providing tents, Good Grub for providing food and beverages to patrons, and to Jeff Stoddart for his exceptional photography.


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PHOTOS BY GABE “SPECK” GOYNES


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