Friday, February 29, 2008

The Sledding Hill

The road in front of my house makes for a great sledding hill in the Winter. Unfortunately, some people just don't know how to sled anymore. This morning, for example, I go outside and discover a large truck with a wood chipper jack-knifed behind it taking up the whole road!
This is not proper sledding etiquette. There was no room for anyone else to get by and enjoy the best part of the hill (the bottom). That's where you really pick up speed and can whiz right by my place and on to the finish!
The correct way to conquer the hill is to start at the top with a toboggan or saucer, get a good running start, and fly like crazy as fast as possible. This business of starting at the bottom and going as far as you can until you start sliding backwards and end up sideways is just not cricket!
Leave it to the pros on sleds with their dogs chasing behind to do the screaming and shouting.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Bench

Bert McLaren first told me about the bench about ten years ago. Bert had a lot of history with Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake. He and his brother, Dick had been Park Rangers and their father, Fred was a ranger for 36 years.
Bert used to talk about a place above the old Holzwarth Ranch where you could hike up to an old bench that looked out over Phantom Valley. He said there was a jar under some rocks next to the bench with notes people had written over the years and he used to love to hike up there to sit and read them.
I eventually found my way to the bench one summer and wrote a song about it, as I'd promised Bert a few years before. The song will be on the new CD this spring. I also wrote a song about Bert's old guitar, along with my friend Jon Cook, which is on the 'Live at Pancho & Lefty's' DVD. I miss Bert and his stories and am forever grateful to have known him.

"I found the jar of memories
'neath rocks to keep them safe
beside the bench I'd searched for
worn gray and frail with age"

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Humpback Stallion

When Ronnie Roo and I built this coral years ago, we thought it would be high enough to keep a horse in with no problems. We also didn't figure on using it in the Winter, but let me tell you this new horse is so tall he can just step right over it. With the snow now piled up to the top rail in places, he just comes and goes as he pleases.

I'm not sure what breed he is, maybe I'll ask Jon Cook or 'The General'. He's kind of ugly and doesn't mind very well, but I've kind of taken a like'n to the old boy. I wonder if they make a saddle that can fit a humpback stallion? I shouldn't need a bridle though, as I can just hang on to his antlers when they grow in this summer!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Walter Holland - Band's Best Friend

I've been extremely lucky to have worked with some very talented muscians over the years, and one of them is the 'one and only' Walter Holland.
Walter found his way to Grand Lake almost twenty years ago through a mutual friend...Eddie Phillips. Eddie and Walter had played music together in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and 'The Pub' here in Grand Lake had hired Eddie to play there. Eddie called Walter, who was now living in Boston, and he agreed to come out to play with Eddie for a week.
That was twenty years ago and Walter's still here, lucky for us! He has played on all my CD's and did the horn arrangements also. Walter has played all over Grand County and even dared to 'road trip' with Mac and me to places like Colby,KS / Flagler, CO. & Davenport IA.
He's been a member of the 'NO NAME BAND', 'MANGO CHUTNEY', the 'Walter Holland Quartet' and '9-TOED BOB & THE STRAGLERS'. I guess Walter has probably played with almost every muscian in Grand County at one time or another. His services are always in demand. I'm proud to call him my friend and look forward to seeing him this Saturday Night at the Lariat for 'Jimmy Buffett Night', our annual cabin fever breakout.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ladys? Flyfishing in Grand Lake

Sometimes living in Grand Lake takes some creativity to accomplish a goal. Take for instance a time many years ago when the Grand Lake Metropolitan Recreation District offered flyfishing lessons for women. Well there were several men who wanted to learn to flyfish but were told there were no classes for men. No problem; with the help of the theatre's costume department and several 'toddies', DW, JD, Aligator Al and myself dressed ourselves for a fine day of fishing with our unsuspecting instructor...'Ranger Sam'. We showed up just a few minutes late and while Sam was busy getting the 'real' ladys ready, we snuck up and surprised the hell out of him. After a long visit with uncontrolable laughter and the threat of some kind of 'sex test', we retreated to the security of our favorite local tavern and swore ourselves to secrecy regarding the whole affair. I believe the statute of limitations has long past and so I have decided to break the silence and report the episode here in my Blog. So remember; living in a small town with little oxygen and too much alcohol sometimes takes a bit of creativity to survive!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The 'Chicken Hat' Lives On

Yes, the legend of the Chicken Hat lives on. Saturday night at midnight (Sunday morning) was Lisa's birthday! Lisa is one of the bartenders at the Lariat and, under protest, was forced to don the infamous 'Chicken Hat' in order to satisfy the wishes of a rowdy crowd demanding she wear the hat and do the chicken dance on her birthday!
I'm not sure when this ritual began, but it's been a tradition at 'The Rope' for many years and many celebrations. From birthdays to anniversaries, weddings, batchelor and batchelorette parties, the 'Chicken Hat' has adorned the heads of many an unsuspecting victim.
I believe Dan Jones or a friend of his first made the hat (this is probably the second or third reincarnation). It's good to know the celebration still continues and Lisa can be proud that she is just the latest in a long line of 'suckers' lured into testing this fowl weather gear. Congratulations Lisa and many more Happy Birthdays from the Lariat hen house!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Chuck Schmuck

Many's the time I think about my friend and mentor...Chuck Schmuck. Chuck and I played music together for many years in Grand Lake and even a few 'road trips' to places like Flagler CO, Colby KS. and even Vail. He loved music so much and was always ready to play, unless he'd had a few too many 'Whooskeys'.
I sure do miss our times at the Lariat or the Beer Garden at Squeaky Bob's. He always kept me going no matter what. If the crowd wasn't into the music, he'd always bring 'em to life with a rousing Gut Bucket solo or his one and only rendition of 'You Gotta Have Skin'.
On nights like last night, when things are a little slow and no one's paying any attention to the music, I always look over my shoulder to his old Washtub hanging on the wall with his picture inside and it picks up my spirits and gives me a smile. Chuck made lots people smile and was one of the truely memorable characters of Grand Lake.
Chuck ran for President (twice) and in an election year like now, I wish more than ever he was back on the campaign trail raising money with dollar a plate dinners of macaroni and cheese. He used to say "There's alot of graft and greed in Washington, and I want my share".
Thanks Chuck! You're always beside me in spirit, still upliifting my soul.

Friday, February 22, 2008

East Inlet Trail - Rocky Mountain National Park

Yesterday (Thursday), Jeanine and I hiked up the East Inlet Trail to the second meadow (pictured left). The picture on the right shows Adams Falls in the dead of Winter with just a trickle of water flowing silently beneath the snow. The temperature was about 30 degrees with a little sun peeking through the clouds now and then. Nice day for a stroll up to one my favorite spots. The second meadow has been the inspiration for some of my songs, including 'Make a Little Ripple' and 'Never Summer..forever Home'. This Winter has been especially cold and snowy so far without many days like today. It felt good to get out and breathe some fresh mountain air. I hope tomorrow is as nice, although more snow is in the forecast.

Thanks again to everyone who checks this now and then...Corm

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Total Lunar Eclispse

This is a view of the total lunar eclipse as seen from Grand Lake. This incredible shot was taken at approx. 8:25 pm Mountain Time.Lots of people (3 or 4) were out on the boardwalk to witness this incredible event which won't happen again until Dec. of 2010! On second thought, I guess those people were outside the Lariat smoking, but looking skyward as they puffed away. It was trivia night at the Lariat with nine-toed Bob hosting. 'Mixed Nuts', whose team consists of Bernie and Phil McGinn, Flembob and Jim Cervenka took the overall honors. Our team, 'The Killer Bees' tied for second place (always the Bridesmaid). This morning finds some sunshine, which is far better than the snow that was forecast! Today could be a good day for cross-country skiing or a trip to the 'Big City', Granby, that is. That's all for now. Thanks to everyone for reading this blog and posting comments. I've gotten some good one's already.....Corm

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Indian Winter?

This Winter has dumped quite a bit of snow already. Our big snow snow months are yet to come (March & April). As you can see, the Tipi looks more like an upside down snow-cone these days. Now is a good time to plan a little get away to 'Somewhere with a Beach'.

Today's cloudy but not as cold. There's a full eclipse of the moon tonight, but the skies will have to clear to see anything. A good day to work on songs. I'm working on a new one called 'No Bad Days' that has a bit of a Caribean feel. Guess I can dream of warm weather anyway.

That's about all for now. Probably go to the Lariat tonight to play a little Trivia with 'Nine Toed Bob' and the gang. Later, Corm

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

This is the view from Barefoot Beach Belize on Caye Calker. Jeanine or Jaa(as we refer to her in Belize) and our friend Lana Weeks will be going there in March for 5 nights. If I have all this blog stuff figured out by then, I will try and update the blog during our travels. This will let folks know what we're up to and also help to keep a journal.