Thursday, July 31, 2008

Taking in the Sights of the Rockies

Here's a couple photos taken by two of our friends who came to visit last week. Lisa took the picture of the bighorn sheep on a hike up Mt. Ida she made with Jeanine. Toni took the picture of an osprey having a trout dinner on the shores of Shadow Mountain Lake when she hiked up to the fire lookout tower on Shadow Mountain.
It's wonderful to have friends visit and even better to see them enjoy the beautiful country around here that we call home. I've been up to the fire tower many times and even made it to the top of Ida about ten years ago but I never got pictures like these. Maybe the animals like to pose for good looking women. Make sure to click on the pictures for a blow up shot.
Don't forget your camera MJ

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's Just A Damn Shame We Can't Have Any Fun Up Here

One of the nice things about summer is getting to see good friends who come to visit. Last week we had a tee pee party with friends from Iowa and a friend of Jeanine's, Lisa, from Rhode Island and now our buddy Toni is here from Ohio! We enjoyed a nice hike in RMNP and dinner at Daven Haven and then sang along with Nilsson at home afterwards.
Lad Barber took us on a nice cruise around Grand Lake this afternoon. It's always good to see everything from the lake, it's a great perspective. Lad was great and it was Toni's first time out on the lake! Then we had lunch at Miyauchi's snack bar and off to Denver... to DIA and tearfully send the Tonester back to Ohio. We had a great visit and I miss her goofy self already. Next week another good friend from Ohio will be out to visit...the one and only MJ(Mary Jo) or 'little s--t' as I call her.
Even though summer is a busy time, it's so great to see good friends and family. Sometimes you even feel like a tourist yourself, just by showing them around and doing things you don't always give yourself time to do. We love to show off our little town and the beautiful country around here and there's no time like summer time in GL. Well the coyotes are howling outside(really!), so I guess it's time call in the dog and piss on the fire..or piss on the dog and throw him on the fire, anyway......come up and see me sometime.
PS. no animals were killed or harmed in the filming of the picture above...only some ear drums and a few brain cells.

Monday, July 21, 2008


As we get older I guess we find ourselves talking more and more about the good old days. I know I do and I wonder if things really were more fun back then or if it's just me. This weekend was 'Buffalo Bar-B-Q Days' in Grand Lake and it was always one of best times of the year; not anymore (at least in my opinion). There was no 5k run on saturday for the first ime in over 25 years and they haven't had 'Western Week' as a prelude to the weekend for many years now. When I first came here in the 70's we used to have canoe races, greased pole climbing, wheel barrel races from bar to bar and even a fast draw contest where you had to draw-shoot-holster-drink a shot-draw and shoot again- holster....all for the fastest time. There were horse races and John Henry Rhone got hanged about five times a day. The parade on Sunday was hokey but a lot of fun. Everyone had a float and there were marching bands, the Shriners in their little cars, synchronised lawn chair marching and (my favorite) the bagpipe band. Pictured here are Dustin and Patrick Barnes dressed up as Chuck Schmuck and myself. They're both in their 20's now and will probably kill me if they see this picture.
Every bar and restaurant and business made great floats for the big parade. Louie Heckert had his jeep with the loud speakers on top to announce the goings on and they actually had REAL buffalo that was barbecued over night in a pit. Celebrities such as Miss Colorado or the Governor or a Denver TV personality were always in attendance. There were great water fights between the rafting companies and the Grand Lake Lodge, the Pub, Squeaky Bob's and every one who could tote a squirt gun or a water balloon. One year even the Grand Lake Fire Department waited on the last corner to ambush the Lodge's old fire truck! Most years it rained like hell and, of course, mother nature always won those water fights.
This year was just lame! Oh, Louie's jeep was still there (thanks to 'Peter the Painter'), the Rotary still had a pancake breakfast and there was a small water fight between the Lariat and Pancho's at the very end, a few horses and at least the Colorado Rangers were there to stage a gun fight or two and throw some folks in the pokey. Other than that, it was nothing like in the past.Maybe it's just me but I do miss the good old days...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rainbows of Hope

Today was a great day! For starters I woke up and that's important these days. Then I met with Stephanie Ralph, from the Granby Library, and Tonya Bina Munn(who is married to my 'brudder from another muddor '...Scott Munn and that's a whole different story. Anyway Tonya is a reporter for the local newspaper and was there on business. So, getting back to this morning...we all met at the library to talk about the 'Ribbons of Hope' campaign. We told Tonya about what we hope we can do to fund the library's goal for a collection of books, DVDs, brochures, etc. These resources would be available through the Grand County Library District for anyone wanting guidance regarding breast cancer. The song I wrote (Ribbons of Hope) is now recorded and Peggy Mann sang her heart out on the recording and it inspired me to do something with it. I had heard through Jeanine (she would be the woman that shares my strange little world with me) that the library wanted to start this resource 'center' and I figured maybe I could raise some money to help by selling a CD of the song. Then I thought about T-Shirts to go along and it's blossomed into a very positive thing.
Well, getting back to...(where was I?) Oh yeah, we gathered to have a photo shoot for the article in the paper with Byran Hetzler (also from the newspaper) and no one showed up ( I felt like I was at a gig with Walter).
And then something magical happened...this incredible rainbow appeared in the eastern skies and low and was a 'Kodak moment' (settle down Stevie Ray).
So check out the Ski Hi News today and see if we made it. I think the web site is
I know I've been pushing this thing a lot but I believe that the rainbow was just another sign that this 'Little Ripple' might just turn into a wave!
ps. pictured is Peggy Mann(the first 'n' is silent) and some guy from the witness protection program.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Viva la ?

July 14th in Grand Lake...not just another night, it's Bastille Day at Caroline's Cuisine!! A tradition Jean Claude has entertained for many, many years. There is always a fantastic menu of french cuisine, music and of course the 'Can-Can'. This years band included Bobby Walker, Brad Pregeant, Patrick Brower and 'NO SHOW' Walter Holland(who , naturally was not in attendance) la vie!
I haven't attended 'Bastille Night' at Caroline's for a few years but it was just as I remembered. Lots of good friends(some of them even French) like Martine, Lydia, Serge and, naturally, Jean Claude. 'Pierre le Painter' was sporting his berret and mustache and ooh la laaing all the french wenches. Dancing and singing the french national anthem (I just hummed along), plenty of smiles and good vibes. It was fun to be a Cormier for the night. Viva la France!!!
post script... all out thoughts and prayers are with Zack Peterson and Jim and Suzi

Friday, July 11, 2008

More on Ribbons of Hope

The response has been great so far. Hopefully we'll meet our goal by October thanks to everyone's generous support! Thankyou

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Old Friends

I got a phone call this morning and my caller ID said Texas! Well that got me wondering. Is some one from Dumas calling to bitch about the Mike Williams song I sang with Chuck Schmuck? Could it be a hippie from Kerrville? No, it was my good friend John Jerke who lived in the Kaufman House one summer in the early 70's with me, now residing in Dallas and who I worked for on his farm outside of La Salle, Colorado in 1975 - 79. (Take the county road off highway 85 at the Peckham grain elevator, go 6 miles east and there you are!) I came from a 'Leave it to Beaver' suburban Denver background and met John in college at UNC in Greeley. He was raised on the farm but that wasn't his future. Through a set of circumstances we ended up back on his parents farm for a few years after college because neither one of us could find jobs in our "field" so we wound up in another
of the potato, corn and sugar beet variety. I look back on my 'farming days' with fondness and a great deal of respect for those who still toil in the fields in their air conditioned, computerized tractors. We had an old Ford, a Massey Ferguson and a Case. They had no cabs or covers, but we worked the fields in our 'cut-offs and had great tans by April to try and impress the college girls at the Plantation bar in Evans.(they thought we'd been in Florida). We learned a little bit about welding because stuff broke down all the time and I think we spent more time fixing things then we did harvesting.
The picture here is Geri Lou(my sister), Morgan Whaley(my singing partner from those days) and Jerry(Beau) Nelson and his wife taken in the beer garden at Squeakey Bob's sometime in the 70's. They all came up in the conversation today so I thought I'd picture them here.
I don't have a picture of John or the days on the farm but the memories of those days are perfectly clear in my mind. It was wonderful to visit with him today and laugh and talk of days gone by. Sometimes, one can get a little bummed about getting older, but when you have the chance to visit with an old friend, you remember those 'good old days' and that there is nothing more dear and special than a friend! I believe a true friend is one that no matter how long it has been since you've seen them; there are never regrets for not staying in better touch, it's just great to see each other, shake hands, have a good hug and laugh and reminisce about the 'good old days'!!
Good to see ya John...stay in touch.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

'Ribbons of Hope''s finally here!

The CD is done, the T-shirts are here, we have the perfect place to 'Make a Little Ripple'!!
As some of you may already know, this whole idea happened last fall the day before the 'Race for the Cure' run in Grand Lake. The spirit of this race always inspires me. All the people who work so hard to make our little event a reality every year and contribute to the Komen Foundation.
Well, anyway, I wrote a song for the race and Peggy Mann and I played it before the start and afterwards. Everyone loved the song and said I should record it. Well I did and thanks to friends such as Peggy, Brad Pregeant, Larry Bishop,Allan Blackwell, Ray Camenga, Hatter, Vesta at Elk Creek Art Gallery and many others, it's now a reality.
The Granby library had contacted Jeanine a while back and asked for her help and input to an idea they had to start a Resource Center in the library with books, pamphlets, brochures, maybe helplines and even funds for mammograms to help women in Grand County with questions and support in regard to breast cancer. The song was already in the works and I thought that any proceeds from the CD and shirt sales should go to the library's resource center project.
They have already started by having people contribute books and with any luck and the support of good folks like you blog readers, they will have a little more moo la to help them on their way. Stephanie Ralph and Penny Hamilton are the ladies to talk to in regard to the library's goals.
This whole concept started with George Harrison and his concert for Bangladesh. He said anyone can do it, no matter how small, you can use music to help people and bring happiness and support to those who need it. My friend 'Beau' Jerry Nelson did this in Greeley back in 1972 or so and my musical partner, Morgan Whaley and I played for his little fundraiser and I've never forgotten how magical it can be to help out by doing something you love like playing music!
My song, "Make a Little Ripple" is about that very thing. I wrote that for a video for the United Way a long time ago and the message still rings true. Peggy and I did a concert in Grand Lake a few years ago to raise money for the 'Nursie Young' scholarship fund at Middle Park High School and it helped to kick start that to a program that is still going strong.
THAT'S THE HOKIE POKIE, ladies and gents. That's what it's all about! The people in Grand Lake and Grand County know that little ditty and are about most giving and generous folks you'll ever meet. I thank you all and I know we can make that little ripple into a 'big ass wave'.
If anybody reading this wants to make a little ripple in their own way in the fight against breast cancer and all cancer, please feel free to use the Ribbons of Hope song to help. This has nothing to do with the Komen foundation but they are certainly welcome and encouraged to use the song if they want also, and so so are all of you.... That's what music is for...that's the Hokie Pokie, that's what it's all about!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Jim told me if the flyover happened it would be around 10:55 today. They were right on time and I was able to get a few pictures. I'm glad they were able to fly over Grand Lake today, it makes the Fourth even more special!

The town is hopping with tourists so I'm taking a little break here at home before I have to venture into the melee to play music this afternoon and evening. They say "make hay while the sun shines" so I might as well hitch myself up and go for it. I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday and I'll see ya back here on the blob later. Happy birthday USA!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thunder Over The Rockies

Last night I received an e-mail from my good friend Maj. Jim Reeman. It seems our chamber of commerce here in Grand Lake forgot to get in touch with the Colorado Air National Guard and formally request a flyover by Jim and his fellow pilots in their F-16s. They've been doing flyovers here on the big holidays for years and it's great to see the big jets thunder over the mountains and our magnificent little lake below! I forwarded his message stating that Grand Lake wasn't on the list for a flyover this Fourth of July to as many people as I could. With their help and Mac and Scott Munn doing the same, I hope we can make a last minute, grass roots effort to get us on the list.
Jim has a cabin on Grand Lake and although he has served many years in the guard and done numerous tours in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia.....I think he really looks forward to doing the flyovers here and then driving up from Buckley to spend the weekend here in Grand Lake with his family and friends. I'll look forward to having him join me on stage for rendition of 'Sympathy for the Devil' by the Stones and hope he got to see us all from the air earlier in the day. Good luck Jim! I hope the last minute scramble to the computer helps. I look forward to hearing the roar and thunder of F-16s this weekend. It makes me even prouder to be an American!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Toss Me A Blanket

It's time to stop and smell the roses, or the Columbine in our case. Summer is finally here and the mountains are showing off their stuff as they always do in their own, sweet time. "I thought summer would never get here!" I must confess, the weather has been absolutely beautiful the last two weeks (Blame that on El Nino). The wildflowers are blooming, the pelicans are back on Shadow Mountain Lake and once again " the world is spinning in greased grooves" (thanks, Mr. Steinbeck)!

There are many songs that have been written about this time of year in the mountains. Some of my favorites are 'Ripplin' Waters' by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Michael Murphey's 'Carolina in the Pines' and Jon Cook's 'Grandma's Cabin'. It's aways a 'catch 22' kind of thing where you're busy with work that only comes around this time of year and you also want to get up to the hills and enjoy the things the tourists only seem have time to do.(That's why they're here!)

I believe I'll take an afternoon off before the Forth of July craziness hits and hike up to Bert's Bench, soak up the sights and quiet sounds of the waters making their way down stream to Phantom Valley and enjoy the lazy wind in the trees carrying the smell of pine and a peace that is found only in the few precious places we get the chance to cuddle up to. Toss me a blanket.