Monday, December 15, 2008

Quiet Weekend

- Daily Sentinel - Christopher Tomlinson

"My boss will like it that I got Sentinel Square in the background."
- Daily Sentinel photographer Christopher Tomlinson,
overheard shortly after taking the above photo

Friday night after work I headed Downtown to the Post Office. While going down Main Street, I noticed a lot more activity than you might expect on a winter Friday evening. Many stores were open, there were carolers singing, and there was a general feeling of the community being out for something special.

I found a big part of it in the 600 block of Main Street, as the statue of Walter Walker was formally unveiled. It was a very nice ceremony, and the sculpture and it's presentation are whimsical and impressive all at once. I particularly enjoyed the commemorative program that was distributed, a small 4-page tab produced by the Free Press that included many facts about Mr. Walker and his role in shaping our area. It also included some detail of the role of the Klan in Grand Valley politics. Fortunately, there were no protests at the ceremony.

In case you're wondering why the Free Press would print a commemorative program about the one-time publisher of the Daily Sentinel, here's a quick history lesson. Walter Walker's son Preston (also featured in the sculpture) owned the paper until his death in 1970, at which time he left it to employee Ken Johnson. Johnson sold the Sentinel to Cox Newspapers in 1979. They remain the owners to this day. Ken Johnson then partnered with others to start the Free Press in 2003. They sold the paper to Colorado Mountain News Media in 2005.

Mr. Johnson was also instrumental in having Mesa State's new soccer complex named 'Walker Field' earlier this year.

It turns out that Friday evening was also the annual Spirit of Christmas Walk, held along with the annual Chocolate Walk. I walked through the Main Street Shopping Park and surrounding areas, and found several interesting shops that I would otherwise not have noticed had they not chosen to be open that evening. Among them are:
  • Author's Gallery Bookstore, 537 Main St. Loaded (literally) with used books. One afternoon I am going to have to work my way through all the stacks and beef up my collection, as well as look for those special things that hide amongst the vastness of the ordinary.
  • Planet Earth and the 4 Directions Gallery, 524 Colorado Ave. For those into local art, vintage and imported clothing, antique and custom-made jewelry (with an artist in residence) and a taste of the generally eclectic and offbeat. The owner was going through some new clothing arrivals from Peru. I thought I saw a Raspberry Beret among all of the new stuff. It was a fun visit.
  • Triple Play Records, 530 Main St. Rock Cesario's place continues to carry some of the coolest stuff in town. I've got my eye on at least 2 or 3 CDs in there, and if I can get my turntable going again the vinyl section looks equally enticing.
Since I got back to the house on Friday evening I have not been outside, except to marvel at the snowfall on Saturday night, and the manner in which the ambient light reflects off of the clouds and falling snow to give an eerie but fascinating illumination. It was 3:00 in the morning, and it looked like twilight outside.

I've been fighting the lingering effects of a cold, while finishing some online Christmas shopping and cleaning up the house for my mother's arrival on Tuesday. She'll be with us through Christmas. About the only things I haven't done are get cards mailed out and put up the lights and the tree. These are things a teenager could help with. Hmmmm.....

I'd like to thank the Denver Broncos for quietly submitting to the Carolina Panthers today in such a quick fashion. This enabled CBS to fill the remaining time with the Steelers' excellent comeback against Baltimore. What's that? Just wait 'til the playoffs? OK then.....

I'm trying to keep the holiday rush somewhat subdued, at least as much as I can. Tomorrow I will venture outside to do some shopping, get a haircut, and hit the library for a while. I may also stop in at the City Council meeting tomorrow evening.

I hope that peace and joy are more prevalent for you than the hectic nature we humans make out of the season. Have a great week ahead.

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