Culture

The Middle Distance
2:43 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

The Middle Distance, 12.19.14: Doll Baby

 

The tree lights twinkle silently on Christmas morning in our Kentucky living room. Beneath the lowest limbs, glassy-eyed baby dolls, circa 1960, lounge among piles of soft new pajamas and socks, awaiting the arms of three little girls.

I believe these are the happiest days of my mother’s life, when she sees us with our new dolls. It’s true that we asked for them, but in a roundabout way. 

“What do you want Santa to bring you?” she asks. 

“A football and shoulder pads,” says my older sister.

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Culture
11:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Strawberry Fields, Forever: The Long and Winding Legacy of a Beatles Classic

The Beatles
Credit Library of Congress

 

Scott Freiman is a composer, producer, and creator of the lecture series, “Deconstructing The Beatles.” He’ll be at Colorado College tomorrow night to deliver a lecture from this series entitled, “A Trip Through Strawberry Fields,” which tells the story of the groundbreaking Beatles song, "Strawberry Fields Forever." Colorado College English Professor Steven Hayward spoke with Freiman about the lecture, and about how the music of this iconic band changed popular culture forever.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Disney: It’s Not Just a Small World, After All

Bing Images

For a landmark wedding anniversary one December, we did what many people do to celebrate an accomplishment. We went to Disney World.

We always meant to take the kids, but somehow it didn’t happen. And, actually, it wasn’t our idea. We thought Florida in December sounded good, and planned to visit relatives, among other things. They suggested spending a day at the theme park.

Disney, without kids, we asked? Sure, they said. People (like them) do it all the time!

So we went.

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Culture
5:51 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

The Middle Distance, 12.12.14: The Dark That We Must Blind

Credit Noel Black

It is nearly mid-December and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Lights twinkle on wreathes; shiny red bows crown doorways; cartoon reindeer and snowmen and Santas grin cheerfully from festive store windows.

The darkest day of the year approaches, the winter solstice, and candles in windows flicker against the black night.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun December 7, 2014

THE THRILL OF DISCOVERY: EXPLORE THE NATURE OF KAUA‘I

PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

The flotilla of fat blue and yellow inner tubes sorts itself into single file as we enter the first of five tunnels on our downhill journey through former irrigation ditches on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i.

The waterway’s banks are lined with tropical blossoms tucked into mosses and ferns. Sunlight flickers through the forest canopy.

Then, darkness.

In the tunnel, our tubes bounce off each other and the walls like blind bumper boats, causing them to spin uncontrollably, twirling downhill in the tepid water.

Then I hear someone screaming with laughter.

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The Middle Distance
9:06 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

The Middle Distance 12.3.14: Remembering Kent Haruf

Kent Haruf

This week Colorado lost one of its finest native sons, but not really. Kent Haruf — born in Pueblo, raised on the eastern plains, schooled in Canon City and most recently a resident of Salida — died at his home last Sunday, but his legacy remains in the books he left behind.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun November 30, 2014

SNOWSHOEING – Winter’s Quiet Sport

Bing Images

Our small band of trekkers chuff-chuff-chuff across a snowy meadow at 9,000 feet on a crisp winter morning. A cloudless cobalt canopy stretches from mountain range to mountain range.

A plump brown mouse darts across the crusted drifts, seeking a seed or other edible tidbit. A snowshoe rabbit, startled by the hikers, darts for better cover.

When the hikers stop, the only sound is their breathing.

This is snowshoeing -- winter’s quiet sport.

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The Middle Distance
4:46 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

The Middle Distance 11.28.14: All The Light We Used to Have

“McAllister House Interior” by Norman Sams, 1965. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 101-4758.

Nearly every wall of my mother’s house is lined with tables, bookcases, or a chest with drawers. And every time I come for a stay, I go through all of those drawers, one at a time.

Before the sun is up, Mama picks up the morning newspaper from the front porch, then pads down the carpeted hallway and pulls my bedroom door closed so I can sleep a little longer and she can fix her breakfast in peace. She feeds the dog a fried egg and makes a half pot of weak coffee, then reads the Galveston Daily News from front to back, clipping a recipe or a coupon if there’s a good one.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun November 23, 2014

PLIMOTH PLANTATION: The Real Story of Thanksgiving

Mayflower reproduction
PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

Thanksgiving automatically brings to mind all the stories we learned in school about how the Pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom, landed on Plymouth Rock and were saved from starvation by friendly Indians.

Much of what we think we know is wrong. Or at least off-kilter.

“The story we get about the Pilgrims was actually constructed by the Victorians, after the Civil War,” says Kathleen Curtin, former historian at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass.

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The Middle Distance
5:24 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

The Middle Distance 11.21.14: Word to the Birdman

There are plenty of good reasons to see the Alejandro Inarritu film Birdman, currently enjoying the kind of pre-Oscar buzz that, once you’ve seen the movie, will make you giggle.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Souvenirs: Beyond T-Shirts

Credit Google Images

 On an end table in my living room sits a chubby, six-inch-high blue pottery owl with huge eyes. His name is Bernard.

Bernard was also the name of the slightly plump, doe-eyed waiter who brought us strong coffee and a genuine smile every morning on a trip to Cancun some years ago. When I saw the owl, reasonably priced in the hotel gift shop, I had to have him. Twenty years later, every time I pass by him, I think of how friendly and sweet our waiter—and the people of Cancun – were.

Now, that’s a souvenir.

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The Middle Distance
5:43 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

The Middle Distance 11.14.14: Migrants

“Vietnamese Girl” by Alvaro Cardona-Hine, Cardona-Hine Gallery, Truchas, New Mexico (www.cardonahinegallery.com)

I was reunited with a friend this week. From the time we last parted ways — the fall of 2007 — until now, she has lived in Denver and I have moved from Colorado to south Texas and back.

She exists as a painting, a portrait made some 30 years ago on the frozen plains outside St. Paul, Minnesota, by an artist born in Costa Rica, relocated to the midwest via Los Angeles. Her face betrays her Asian roots — Vietnamese, relocated to the United States after fleeing her homeland in a boat.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun November 9, 2014

Union Station: On the Right Track

Credit PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

The newest hot spot in Denver also is where the town got its start: at the railroad station.

The newly renovated Union Station in downtown Denver echoes the past and celebrates the present. The historic 1914 building has undergone a $54 million renovation that incorporates public spaces, 10 local restaurants/bars, three retail shops (with more to come) and a spanking new 112-room luxury hotel carved out of what once were offices, a drafty attic and, frankly, empty space.

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The Big Something
6:12 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Rocky Mountain Women's Film Fest Begins 27th Year

Friday night, November 7th, 2014, the twenty-seventh annual Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival begins tomorrow night and runs through the weekend, here in downtown Colorado Springs. Wish We Were Here Intern Lauren Antonoff sat down and spoke with Linda Broker, Executive Director of the festival.  

Click HERE for more info.

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The Middle Distance
5:52 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

The Middle Distance Celebrates 200 Episodes

This week's Middle Distance marks the 200th episode. Congratulations and thank you, Kathryn, for all you have done, and continue to do in the community! —Noel Black, Producer, and the KRCC Staff

I get irritated with writers who only write about writing. How can someone who doesn’t write essays or memoir or short stories or poems or novels, or even news stories have anything useful to say to someone who wants to tell a story?

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The Middle Distance
4:57 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Youth Documentaries to Premiere at FAC: An Interview with Tom Shepard

Tomorrow night at the Fine Arts Center, the Youth Documentary Academy will premiere films produced by their first class of local high school students. Podcaster Ryan Lowery sat down and spoke Colorado Springs native and Academy founder Tom Shepard, a documentary filmmaker who now resides in San Francisco, about the school and the films.

Click HERE for more information.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun November 2, 2014

New Zealand: A Visit to Middle Earth

Statue of Gollum (aka Smeagol) sits in the median on a busy street in Matamata – near where “The Hobbit” and the Rings trilogy were filmed.
Credit PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

As winter creeps into Colorado, it’s spring in the southern hemisphere. Time to head south! Way south.

Movie-goers, even occasional ones, can not visit New Zealand without experiencing a keen sense of 

  déjà  vu. A sense of familiarity overcomes visitors as they explore the sharp-peaked mountains, braided rivers, primeval forests, volcanic mud-pots and plump, emerald hills dotted with snowy sheep.

You can’t help but look for Hobbits.

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The Middle Distance
6:50 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

The Middle Distance 10.31.14: In The Heart

Something remarkable happened in Colorado Springs over the last year. It happens all the time but often remains beneath the radar: someone with a dream pursues it with focus and determination and a vision is realized.

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Culture
4:45 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Author Scott Anderson on the Legacy of T.E. Lawrence

T.E. Lawrence

Scott Anderson--seasoned war correspondent and author of the novel, Triage--will be speaking tomorrow at Colorado College. His most recent book, Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, and the Making of the Modern Middle East, tells the story of T.E. Lawrence, an Oxford educated archeologist who helped shape the Middle East as we know it during and after World War One. Colorado College English professor Steve Hayward spoke with Anderson about his work.

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Colorado Traveler
12:20 pm
Sun October 26, 2014

Fright Nights! Visit historic Colorado hotels for a haunting experience

Brown Palace
photos courtesy of the BROWN PALACE

At some Colorado hotels, not all visitors check in. Some don't even require rooms. Still, they may overstay their welcome – by as much as a century. 

Many of Colorado’s historic hotels have ghosts – or at least ghost stories.

Take Denver’s Brown Palace, for example.

Corrinne Hunt, former hotel historian, once compiled a list of ghost stories, dating from the elegant hotel's construction in 1892.

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The Middle Distance
5:15 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

The Middle Distance 10.24.14: More Than a Feeling

Credit by Marina Eckler

A tectonic shift occurs with aging. After walking and running and snoozing and gunning through six decades, out here in the middle distance I notice that I finally know how I feel when I’m feeling it.

Those of you self-aware beings who’ve been raising your consciousness since the ‘60s might chuckle at this insight. Where have you been all your life, you might ask, besides in your own skin?

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun October 19, 2014

Colorado Traveler - Road Food 1

Metate Room at the Far View Lodge
Credit nationalparkstraveler.com

One of the delights of traveling – in Colorado or anywhere – is finding great local restaurants. They don’t need to be the fanciest, or most expensive – and often they’re not. What they do offer is good food at good prices or something unique that sets them apart from the predictable mediocrity of fast-food and chain restaurants.

During the past 30 or so years of traveling our state, I’ve found a few that are must-visit venues when we’re on the road. I’ll even time my lunch stop to coincide with them – even if lunch has to be at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m.

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The Middle Distance
3:06 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

The Middle Distance 10.17.14: How The Gilmore Girls Saved My Life

Gilmore Girls

   

A student talked to me recently about his storytelling style. Film is his medium, and though he resists it, he tends naturally toward tightly constructed romantic comedies with snappy dialogue and happy endings. “I think I should just embrace my clichéd self,” he said. I told him that during my newspapering days, my co-workers, hard-nosed reporters, often teased that I covered the tearjerker beat. Sometimes, I said, we just have to admit what we’re good at whether we like it or not. 

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Culture
2:51 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Bestselling Author S.C. Gwynne on the Unlikely Ascent of Stonewall Jackson

Confederate General Stonewall Jackson

S.C. Gwynne, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated best seller, Empire of the Summer Moon, will be speaking at Colorado College tomorrow night about his new book, Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson. The book, which tells the story of Civil War General Stonewall Jackson’s unlikely rise to greatness, currently sits at number 10 on the New York Times Best Sellers list for non-fiction. Colorado College English Professor Steven Hayward spoke with Gwynne about his career as a writer and journalist. Listen to the interview above.

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Colorado Traveler
12:23 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

FORT COLLINS: Bikes, Brews and Fall Football

Credit PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

Lots of folks around Colorado head to Fort Collins on fall weekends to cheer on the CSU Rams.

And though you could just go up for the football game and come home again, consider making it a weekend getaway.

Football weekends bring crowds and lots of energy to the town, which buzzes with excitement on game day.

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The Big Something
4:57 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Embracing the Dark: Radiolab's Jad Abumrad on the Creative Process

Radiolab Producer and MacArthur Genius Award Winner Jad Abumrad will give a live presentation at Armstrong Hall on the Colorado College campus this coming Monday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m. KRCC’s Noel Black spoke with Abumrad about how he produces Radiolab and what to expect on Monday night.

For more information and tickets, click HERE.

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The Middle Distance
4:47 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

The Middle Distance 10.10.14: The Secret of Great Stories

Book Sale -- Myron Wood
Credit PPLD Image Number: 002-5818.jpg

 

  In her masterpiece, The God of Small Things, Indian novelist Arundhati Roy says this about stories: “The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen.” 

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A Sense of Place
2:45 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

A Sense of Place, Episode 5: Cattle and Conservation in the West

Cattle grazing at Lasater Ranch outside of Colorado Springs.
Credit www.lasaterranch.com

    Ranchers and environmentalists have long been perceived as adversaries, with those in favor of livestock grazing on one side and those not in favor on the polar opposite. Over the past few decades, however, the two have worked towards changing this perception. In this episode of "A Sense of Place," producer Max Hittesdorf explores the evolution of the rangeland conflict and how conservation and cattle can in fact support each other, despite a history of opposition.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun October 5, 2014

Paint Mines and Other Rocky Spots in Colorado

PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

Rocks. I love rocks. My mom and my sisters love rocks. We don’t know why. We just find them fascinating.

Maybe that’s why I find the Paint Mines so intriguing.

About an hour east of Colorado Springs, just past the town of Calhan, you’ll find the Paint Mines Interpretive Park. Just past the county fairgrounds, you’ll see signs directing you to it.

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The Middle Distance
6:03 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

The Middle Distance 10.3.14: Goodnight Garden

Credit by Benjamin Vierling, bvierling.com

Goodnight garden.

Goodnight tomato vines, gnarly and black, pulled and piled to rot. Goodnight mutilated squash, shriveled eggplant and peppers and beans. It was great while it lasted.

Goodnight lonely beds, stripped and turned, tossed and raked. Quiet now, isn’t it, after all that nourishing? Just relax and let me feed you. I promise a feast of manure and leaves and compost. Your work is done. For now.

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