Saturday, July 13, 2002


Once again, many thanks to Jerry Silvio of the Laramie office of the United States Forest Service for the information I'm passing on here.

There are now two fires burning in our Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest: the fire upon which I reported yesterday that is now known as the "Bear Mountain South" fire, and another that is actually in Colorado called the "Hinman" fire.

The "Bear Mountain South" fire, which is 12 miles southeast of Encampment, has grown to 400 acres and is burning heavy timber on steep terrain. The same six residences and six commercial buildings are still threatened and are still being protected by county volunteer fire crews.

The incident management team from Montana has arrived. The group will use ten 20-person hand crews, 12 engines, three bulldozers and five helicopters, as well as air tankers making retardant drops.

The Hinman fire, first reported yesterday afternoon by, among others, the Saratoga Parks and Recreation Board (that being the Minister of Fun, Officer Aimee, and myself, who were heading south for some hiking) is believed to have been started a few days ago by lightning.

The Hinman fire is burning between the Coulton Creek and Hinman drainages about 20 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. By nightfall last night, this fire had grown to in excess of 500 acres. Like the Bear Mtn South fire, the blaze is going in heavy timber on very rugged terrain. Access is limited and there are reports of extreme fire behavior, including torching, spotting (Mass transfer of firebrands ahead of a fire front) and significant downhill runs.

A lot of residences and commercial property are threatened. No one has been evacuated yet, but everyone has been notified.

Four 20-person hand crews, three helicopters, five engines and an incident management team have been ordered and should arrive today for the Hinman fire.

Once again, the weather forecast calls for sunny skies, moderate winds and hot temperatures.

Friday, July 12, 2002


Well, it’s happened at last, and it’s sort of a relief for many of us, who at last have a location and a region upon which to focus the anxiety we’ve been just sort of stewing in since April, when the first big wildfires hit Colorado.

As of yesterday afternoon, we are host to the #2 priority fire in the Rocky Mountain Region.

The Bear Mountain fire, right near my buddy Dick’s favorite hunting grounds, currently covers about 200 acres 12 airmiles southeast of Encampment, according to a news release I received from the US Forest Service just now (12:45 p.m.).

Crews are seeing torching and crowning in the treetops (torching happens when a tree is in the vicinity of flame and lights up as though on its own due largely to the heat – in wildfires like this, fire does not have to physically travel to spread; direct contact with something already burning isn’t necessary. Imagine being able to light a candle by waving a match somewhere near it).

Even the aspen, normally something of a barrier or at least a retarder of forest fire because normally these trees are so damp, are burning up.

Local volunteer firefighters are providing structure protection for six residences and six commercial buildings. There are two heavy lift and two medium lift helicopters providing water drops on the fire. The news release also indicates that some slurry drops (big planes that pour that cherry red fire retardant on the fire) should also be available soon today.

Meanwhile, a national Type 2 management team from Montana is on the way, along with additional fire and hotshot crews who are en route to the Encampment area to help build firelines.

According to the Forest Service release, this fire was first reported at 3 p.m. Thursday and was burning about three acres of land and heavy timber.

“Conditions were so dry and hot that an hour later it had grown to 75-80 acres,” the release says.

Weather forecasts for the weekend call for sunny skies and hot temperatures.


I’ll do my best over the weekend to keep everyone posted on what’s going on up there, since the newspaper only comes out once a week.

Thursday, July 11, 2002


Some days are just meant to humble us. Oh, we see it coming; too long a string of good fortune (I just typoed “goof” for “good.” I’m sure that means something) and we get suspicious. We feel we are being set up for a pratfall. Soon it becomes excruciating and we start suspecting all of our friends of plotting sillily against us. We get downright paranoid. We stop answering the phone lest we fall for the Prince Albert joke or something. We stop accepting dinner invitations. We retreat into small, dark corners of our houses and cower, driven mad by good fortune and the promise of its departure. Soon our friends and neighbors start asking one another, whatever became of old so-and-so? and nobody has any idea. Our mailboxes start to overflow and our lawns become buried under so many newspapers that have landed like giant thudding snowflakes on our unwatered grass....

Where was I? Oh yes. Some days are just meant to humble us. And today, for your humble blogger, is one such day.

In the last 24 hours I have been in various and entertaining ways burnt and stunned and yanked to the ground, wakened rudely by rude smells and terrible sounds, bonked and gashed severely on the head and just plain humiliated in general (for of course the most spectacular of these occurrences happened in front of spectators).

It all started last night when I was enjoying a peaceful evening on the lawn at Kate’s Landing, and my buddy revealed he just happened to have a supply of our favorite cigars on hand.

Now, on paper, I hate smoking. I am thoroughly indoctrinated as regards its effects on health, well being, sex life. I have made regrettable, regrettable deals with my own dear personal dad (up to and including removing the stud I wore through my tongue for five very happy years, gift of my last boyfriend in Boston, who was a body piercer, for my 24th birthday, amusing plaything, dirty little secret, storage facility for Lifesavers... I can’t believe how much I miss it) to get him to stop smoking. I avoid certain bars because they are too smoky. I get a little upset every time I find myself dating a pack-a-day man (though I have never ended a relationship over this).

But here’s the thing: I love cigars. I love them sentimentally and sensuously, love their look, their feel in my hand, their taste, their accoutrements, the memories associated with them (yes, I’m one of those who mark important occasions with a cigar: my first fish caught ice fishing, my high school graduation [which was also my first CUBAN], both of the times I’ve gotten engaged, the new millennium [smoked many cigars with the members of Gyrating Bhtch at the Mueller Millennial Meltdown]), the relationships I’ve built over them. I love cigars.

So when my friend pulled one out for me last night, of course I was delighted, and thought nothing of leaning over and letting him gallantly light it for me.

Then a gentle breeze picked up and began gently wafting around us, gently stirring the leaves and making them sing, gently inspiring the willows on the bank to bow and curtsey, gently jingling the chimes...

And gently blowing my long, thick hair right into the flame.

Next thing I knew, I was stunned and channelling Michael Jackson while my companion simultaneously laughed his ass off and tried to help me put out the flame.

Nothing serious, I’m not even scorched, and to look at me you can’t even tell I’ve lost any hair because I have so much. But still. MY HAIR CAUGHT FIRE.


Those wacky, wacky gods, and their wacky, wacky sense of timing, I remember thinking as I settled back at long last to enjoy the damned cigar already (after having sensibly pulled my hair back into a knot) (you didn’t think I was going to pass up the smoke just because of a few little flames, did you?) (something had to kill the aroma of burnt Kate fur that was lingering in the air).

Then I remember thinking, well, I had something like this coming. I’ve been way too smooth lately. Too much has been going my way. I have gotten smug and comfortable and have succumbed again to the silly notion that I can just sail through the rest of my life on this wave of contentment – and this little incident was my friendly reminder that it wasn’t so.

Apparently I needed more, however!

Cut to, oh, about 2 a.m. I awaken to a hideous smell. At first I think one of the burners on the stove must still be on and something is melting. Then I remember my hair. Must be that. But no! It’s a trespasser of sorts...

You see, there was a skunk right outside my window. And my beloved dog (really!) the Collie of Folly, Molly, whose color scheme is not unlike a skunk’s herself, and now I know why, had taken umbrage at the intrusion on my behalf.

But instead of politely asking, shall I just shoo off this interloper for you, Kate dear? She just made a dash for it, trying to use the big room’s window as a doggie door.

Problem #1: It was not open widely enough to allow her eager egress.

Problem #2: There is (or was) a rather substantial curtain hanging over that window.

There was, however, no stopping the Collie of Folly. Skunk, begone!

Please note: all of this is mere interpolation on my part. My own direct experience of this event involved my awakening slightly to the odor and then bolt out fight-or-flight AWAKE with the curtain rod and various sharp little hangers protruding therefrom clocked me over the head.

The bleeding stopped fairly quickly, but now there was a little problem of light pollution; I’m directly across from a street light, and suddenly my nice dark slumber had given way to freaking Las Vegas in my living room. If I wanted to sleep again, the curtain would have to go back up.

Nothing doing; the curtain rod (brand new just last week after a similar case of Folly) had been twisted into some weird new wire sculpture that could have taken the 3-D prize at last weekend’s arts festival. Phooey.

So I lay fuming in my bed for a few hours and waited with dread for the inevitable dawn. Eventually I dozed, but then, then, OH GOD, IT BURNS, THE BURNING, IT BURNS.

Photon torpedoes were shooting through my head. White hot lasers lacerated my eyes. My scalp was on fire (no wait, that was hours ago). Oh Jesus the SUN. Turn it off!

The Collie of Folly, meanwhile, was quietly whimpering on her couch. She’s basically a passive solar collector on four legs. Serves her right.

Never have I felt such a burning need to make the trip to yon hardware store. Must get curtain rod. Must get curtain rod. Unendurable. The pain. The horror.

Then I wrecked my bicycle (still making do with that ancient front tire – and I don’t think I got the brakes aligned right when I hastily threw the thing back on there). Right in front of the store. In front of a parked pickup, which I narrowly missed hitting on my trip to the ground. Thank god no one saw THAT, I thought, dusting myself off, checking for embarrassing tears in the pants and that sort of thing, and gimping over to lean my bike against the store.

Then I looked into the pickup again. And there they were. Lawnboy and the Sewer King.

I was never going to live this down. Ever.

What could I do? I sailed into the hardware store and bought a new curtain rod. For good measure, I also bought a pair of “Loppers” I had vague notions that my project for this weekend would be tackling the overgrowth of willows on the riverbank that mess up the fishing from my backyard. I thought a pair of pruning shears might do, but then the King and I fixed on those “Loppers” and if you think what finally sold me on those “Loppers” was that I really like the idea, the sound, the word “Loppers” then you have learned much about me indeed from reading this page.


The “Loppers” cheered me up immensely.

Then on my way home I wrecked on my bike again. This time only a long legged rat grazing on my neighbor’s lawn witnessed my fall (too bad; it was far more spectacular than my earlier performance at the hardware store). I turned over my bike on the spot and tightened up the offending nuts. Sheesh.

Upon my arrival at home, the Collie of Folly was apoplectic, and enthusiastically tried to help me hang the curtain rod by choosing to lick my very ticklish instep every time I perched myself on the back of the couch to reach the mounting brackets way up there.

Mounting brackets. Mounting brackets (I keep typing “mountain” for mounting. It’s that kind of a day). Not that I knew what they were called. I know NOW... Because they were bent out of shape. Bent beyond recognition. No curtain rod would ever hang from these again.

Meanwhile, searing, scorching solar radiation bathed my bod. I could feel the hairs on my arms and legs crisping. I could actually see the flesh toasting. Soon my dog would think I was a midday snack, nicely browned like a sausage.

Back on my bike, back to the hardware store. Five different employees all took a stab at figuring out what it is I’m looking for. At one point I resorted to drawing the thing on my hand. At long last the King Emeritus of the hardware store made some sense of my babbling and together we found new mounting brackets for my new curtain rod.

All before coffee!

To which I went with relief. Because I had learned my lesson about gloating over how good I’ve got it. Namely, don’t do it.

Uncle! Uncle! Uncle!

Wednesday, July 10, 2002


At a recent convention of the Wyoming Association of Municipalities, I attended a workshop on communicating with the public, a sort of free-for-all brainstorming/gab session about dealing with the news media, with public comments and complaints, and especially with crank provocateurs.

I was especially entertained by my friend Jeanne, the mayor of Jackson, who has a whole stable of crackpots dogging her every move in the newspaper and elsewhere (and some of them work for the newspaper). People who never attend a council meeting or ask a question of anyone who has anything actually to do with town business nevertheless exfoliate her weekly in the pages of the town’s two newspapers (who fan the flames of controversy as much as they can to beef up circulation).

I was so jealous.

So imagine my delight when I opened our own local media outlet this morning after coffee. The classified page of this week’s Sun is one of the greatest things I have ever, ever read! It’s so wonderful that I’m going to treat you all to a sampling.

What follows are two verbatim box ads on that page. Masterpieces!


“It seems ironic, no shameful, no tragic that as the town of Saratoga’s population continually goes down, the town government seems to think that the dwindling population of hard working citizens needs more police supervision at an ever greater cost.
“Saratoga seemed to be quite, safe, and certainly nice and more friendly place to live when the police force was more like Mayberry’s rather than the Police State it now resembles.
“The Town Council and ultimately the Mayor has the final say in who the police force is comprised of and what direction it takes. Remember the Council, Mayor and the Police Force works for you the citizen, not the other way around. If you have any views on this, contact The Bob and H.A.N.K.g. For a New Mayor Fund.
Local elections are coming soon... you can make a change!

(H.A.N.K.g = High time for A New Kind of government)

Note to out of town readers: Hank is also the first name of our current mayor.


“A casual observer reading the weekly police reports regarding dog enforcement would be under the impression that our police department is woefully understaffed.
“It seems we need a lareger police department to not only enforce all the dog laws to the letter, but to also enforce the many other very important laws that effect our everyday lives.
“Heaven knows that we do not want to go unpounished tohose unlawful folks who stop to talk in the middle of the street or jay walk to talk to a neighbor. Such unlawfulness must not go unpunished!
“We must keep a vigilante watch on our neighbors because they must be violating some law. If you see a neighbor violating a law, no matter how trivial, please contact the local police department as they are probably busy taking care of the more important business of ticketing dogs.
“If you have any views on this, contact: The Bob and K.C. For a larger More Intrusive Police Department Fund

(KC = kinder and caring)


I just wish this Bob person would come to a council meeting once in a while and stir the pot in person. Or better yet, run for office. Council meetings are so boring it’s all I can do to pay attention and not write smut stories while I sit there on the dais. I’ve been tempted to start making up really and seriously ridiculous ordinances and shoving them through just to see if anyone is paying attention or cares at all.

(Of course, I could never top the “missile” ordinance about which I wrote a few weeks ago in terms of sheer outrageous uselessness. By the way, the thing passed on a 4-1, with me being the only “nay.” Next time you shoot a BB at a deer or a feral cat, better hope the projectile’s kinetic energy poops out before the extent of your property does)

But that’s just pie in the sky wishing on my part. I guess I’ll probably have to settle for the classified page.

Can’t wait for next week!

Tuesday, July 09, 2002


Oh, bah. It's not the Bird Lord but the Sewer King from whom I must aspire to get a new tire. And he doesn't have one in stock, so I have to wait until Friday, which means I must put the less wretched of my two OLD tires back onto my bike with a new tube inside and pray the whole apparatus doesn't blow out as I race from meeting to meeting through the rest of this week.

Of course, I could just wait it all out and walk for a while, but walking is too damned slow. I can break the speed limit (with impunity: the police here never train their radar guns on cyclists) on a bike. On foot, an arthritic bee can lap me. Phooey.

Monday, July 08, 2002


Every once in a while a day comes along that I can only describe as a "theme day."

Today was one. And what a theme.

The main topic of discussion at coffee this morning occasionally foreshadows the rest of my day in tone if not in detailed fact, but today, today if my coffee boys started calling themselves my psychic friends I'd get creeped out and then start a 1-900 line and put Miss Cleo out of business.

I don't remember what got everyone rolling, but the weirdass gods who preside over our conversations decreed that today was the day that the coffee boys would swap horrible tire stories. Tires that blew out on the road to Tulles. Tires that are defective right out of the factory. Tires newly bought from the Bird Lord (he who once or twice a year plays host to a new variety of poultry in his yard - see my poetic entry on New Year's Day), taken out on some of our truly horrifying county roads, stock trails and two-tracks and consequently blowing out the same day and having to be replaced (at a rate only slightly faster than the Bird Lord's own tire replacements). The joy of taunting one of our number, a former CEO of Bridgestone-Firestone, with compliments for the products of Goodyear & Co. Tires, tires, tires.

I sat amongst my friends amused but mostly silent, for I had no tire stories to tell. Clearly, I have led a deprived and colorless life, I thought, and smiled a cold and polite smile to hide my depraved jealousy as gem after gem was brought out, examined, dished over.

Meanwhile, at the store of the Bird Lord, Erin Go-Braless, her sister Karin-Go-Braless, her mother Jane-Go-Braless, and future brother-in-law Gigglepuss were all dickering with said Bird Lord over some inner tubes. They wanted to float around on the surface of the lake where sister, mom and FBIL are camping, and as everyone knows, for aimless floating old truck inner tubes are just the thing (they have since been donated to the Kate's Landing Grown Up Playground and Tent Farm for use of the denizens thereof in the very nearby trickle that in better years we call the North Platte River. My home is almost perfect). I learned of this and giggled at the coincidence.

Then as we were getting dinner (to be consumed at grandpa's picnic table – more memories in the making, always more) the topic of a certain brand new pair of bicycle tires came up, and how they've been sitting behind the dining room table for a few weeks awaiting employment, and wouldn't it be great if KGB and Gigglepuss put them on my bike!

The old tires came off easily. The wheels less so (of course I was out of WD-40). The inner tubes seemed undamaged and so good enough to use again. We were almost to the step where the new tires and the tubes go back on the bike (and discussing how best to get the tubes reinflated, since I currently do not have a bicycle pump) when the Minister of Fun, who fancies himself (correctly) quite the bicycle mechanic, happened along.

His solution of course was to load up the tires and the wheels and haul them into the town shop to air them up. What could be simpler?

But, this is my brother Chilly, and when Chilly and I get together something weird always happens.

First, it turned out that we had managed to introduce minute holes into the inner tubes while we pried the ancient mismatched tires that I'd ridden nearly bald off my bike. No problem; Chilly had a patch kit. We patched away and all was in readiness.

Front wheel: In goes the tube, on goes the nozzle for the big electrical air pump, pssssssssssst! in something like two seconds, the tube and tire are at a perfect and ideal 40 psi. Slick! I remember saying, or words to that effect. We'll be done in no time.

The second tube, also patched in one spot, was neatly in place within the second tire when disaster struck! The nozzle was applied, the air had just barely, and we're talking a very tiny fraction of a second here, begun to flow when there came a godawful firecracker of a noise and Chilly, who like me startles easily and rather spectacularly, I don't call him my brother for nothing, children, EXPLODED into wild and comical action before instantaneously recomposing himself at the side of my now burst tube and brand new bike tire.

It wasn't even blown at the patch, the tube. A brand new spot was blown, and the sidewall of the brand new tire with it, as clean a split as if someone had presented it pre-slashed for my riding inconvenience.

So now my bike sits in my driveway, upside down, its partially reassembled wheels waving in the air like my dog's legs when she's napping, motionless and as sad as I am sitting here at my desk when I long to be out on my nightly midnight ride through the streets of Saratoga.

Sure hope the Bird Lord has another 26" tire, and a tube, in stock. It's a long-ass walk out there.

And now I have a tire story. Yay.

I just sent in a batch of articles for the 2002 edition of Wyoming Next, a publication aimed at persuading graduating high school seniors and junior college students to stay in our state. These are fun little articles to do and the magazine pays very well, so I'm happy to crank out whatever sort of foolishness they want, but one of my assignments damned near drove me nuts.

They wanted me, of all people, me, your humble blogger, who is also the chamber director, a town council member, a speech coach, etc., to (snicker) (chortle) (guffaw) give the kids some advice on time management.

I know, I know.

So, I started doing what I usually do for this magazine, consulting the business press and whatnot for general interest articles on my subject with an eye towards couching them in the sort of weird semi-youthful/pop-cultural language that Wyo Next and similar publications pay me for, but being the power slacker that I am, the advice I was finding and considering passing on to my young readers made me want to retch.

The horrible combination of the old Protestant Work Ethic combined with the new managerial "stockholders first" philosophy and assorted other modern ills (I just heard about a suit filed against Wal Mart over its policy of requiring sales employees to work overtime off the clock) is creating a whole new class of datebook drones, a tyranny of time commitment to which most of these books and articles I was seeing seems to be preparing students to submit without complaint or proper preparation. Keep 'em too busy, too frantic, too worried over money and they'll never stop to question the pap and crap we're feeding them about what the good life is or what constitutes a good person... aw, I sound like Tyler Durden.

Point is, these kids are going to get enough of that kind of "advice": keep a date book, plan adequate time for projects, give yourself five minute mini-breaks to "recharge your batteries," blah blah blah and they're going to wind up blaming themselves for their migraines, failed marriages, whatever.

So why not plant a little time bomb while I've got their undivided attention?

Such is my internal apologia for the article which follows. I've still, in other words, got a streak of defensiveness about the advice I concocted and which, to hell with it, I'm going to try like hell to follow.

I wonder if they'll actually pay me for this. Somehow, I doubt it's what they were looking for. But here it is, just so it gets published somewhere:

Master your calendar instead of letting it master you.
By Kate Sherrod
I’m going to give you a piece of advice that is probably exactly the opposite of what most time management gurus will tell you.

When it comes to time management, the important thing isn’t keeping minute track of appointments or planning out how much time each project is going to take or even focusing on prioritizing deadlines.
The important thing is YOU.

Yeah, it’s a good idea to keep a datebook. It’s awfully embarrassing to have a lunch date scheduled at the very same time you’re supposed to be getting your hair cut AND have a job interview. And if you know it’s going to take you three or four hours to do the research on a project it’s a good idea not to only give yourself 20 minutes.

I’ll tell you something, though: datebooks have a way of becoming tyrants. Even with my secret, which I’m going to share with you, there are still times I open up mine and scream!

There is no shortage of work in the world, no shortage of people who think they have a right to your time, your energy, your resources. And only YOU know how much of all of those things you have.

But here’s the thing: your time, your energy, and your resources are only as valuable as your own current level of well-being. If you’ve been running yourself ragged to meet a deadline or juggle ten commitments or whatever silly pie-in-the-sky promises you’ve made to yourself and others, you’re not going to see any quality in your work OR your play.


That’s right.


Every month, open up your datebook and block out eight hours of sleep a day. Block out at least two hours each day in which you will do NOTHING (you can always decide to do “something” with it later, whether that’s see a movie, take a nap, or go out for a cup of coffee with a friend). Plan the fun stuff FIRST and be RUTHLESS about conflicts with your personal time.

THEN, schedule out your work hours (if you have a regular hourly job), your meetings, your volunteer work, whatever other demands on your time. Believe me, your boss and your fellow volunteers and your friends and your significant others will appreciate you a lot more if you’re showing up to your responsibilities rested, prepared and with a good attitude.

They’ll only call you a slacker out of jealousy.

Sunday, July 07, 2002


In days of yore was the heyday of the troubador, that traveling bard, that singer and tale teller who regaled village after village with news and ideas and dearly loved stories that never grew old. His coming was remarkable in and of itself; his ability to transform the village green or tavern or throne room where he played into another world entirely made of him a treasure. He could make anyone forget himself awhile as they heard old, old favorites and new little nuggets of his own making with equal credulity, openness, love.

I'm inviting you all to come and hear a 21st century troubador sing. His name is Warren Keldsen, and if he can transform the evening I just had, imagine the wonders he can work for you.

Not everyone is going to react to Warren the way I did; a lot of why he "rang psychic cherries" with me (in David Foster Wallace's phrase) in the Lazy River Cantina Friday night and tonight is based on his choice of songs, his taste in material to cover. With the exception of an unfortunate (but audience-demanded) Jimmy Buffet piece, his every selection was something which spoke to me, of the past, the present, the future that could be or the future that could have been. Good songs, warm and emotional in and of themselves, but given new colors by the way this boy sang them (to be honest, even the ridiculous "Wasted Away in Margaritaville" seemed quietly meditative and worth hearing when he sang it; had I not the instant gut-level hatred of the tune that I have, I might even have enjoyed this). His voice is warm and quiet and intimate, and his style of performing engages absolutely everyone in the room on a personal level so that upwards of 40 people could each believe he was singing to him or her and him or her alone.

He has, too, that undervalued but invaluable talent for gauging exactly when to pull off a "wow" stunt to wake up the distracted drinkers in his midst. He might suddenly pull his guitar behind his head and play backwards, or he might just pull a Hendrix and play it with his teeth or he might just wander out into his audience, or he might just suddenly quiet things down to a whisper. Whatever he does, it's always just what was needed to bring us all back into rapport with him.

Beethoven supposedly once remarked that good music is like hypnotism in its ability to dominate the listener's mind and draw it into the state of the composer's, the performer's. Keldsen has more than a little of this quality, but it never feels like domination or even like seduction (though his Dave Matthews-flavored vocals are very seductive). It's more like sympathy. He has no idea what specific cares a listener has brought into the room where he is playing, and doesn't need to. He can work an alchemy to make them into if not joys than at least things that can be accepted, if not transcended.

I've been to a lot of fucking amazing live performances in my day, seen luminaries like Juliana Hatfield and my beloved King's X and the wryly hilarious Dead Milkmen and the incendiary Sam Black Church and the overwhelming Only Living Witness (not to mention the trippy, hippy Phish) in venues the size of Saratoga's own Lazy River Cantina, but I've never before felt the way this one guy, with his little guitar and his harmonicas and his voice, made me feel this evening. I walked in the door agitated after a street dance plagued with too many cops, too much trash, and music that I was sick of about six if not 14 years ago (the opening trio excepted; that stuff I could stand to hear more of, but please, no more AC/DC covers ever), not to mention plenty of people who were unshakingly convinced that all of the above was somehow my fault.

I left with a wholly different sense of enjoyment and calm and readiness to accept whatever came my way that is really pretty new to me. I had spent two or more hours simply watching and listening to another person pouring out his heart, to me alone it often seemed. Sometimes I sang along with him, sometimes I just sat there silently staring into that quiet middle space between myself and the rest of the world, forgetting myself completely and just serenely, yet passionately, being alive.

Thank you, Warren. Please come again, and often.