A Love Letter to the Sopris Shopping Center
When I came back to teach at CRMS in ’70, we had to drive to Glenwood to Safeway to shop for “fresh’’ food. After I stopped teaching in ‘72, I bought a house on the Crystal and I believe it was in the Fall of ’72 or ‘73 that Circle Super opened up and we had a real supermarket! It felt like Carbondale had really arrived at being a town.
Later, in the ‘70s, Mr. C’s opened up and I started buying my beer there. It was located to the left of Ming’s. After the disastrous sale of my business in ’83, I went to work for Dale and Susie Titus managing it. It was small and the parking lot flooded in the spring so we moved over to the City Market shopping center. Mr. C’s eventually became Sopris Liquor & Wine.
After I moved back to Carbondale from Denver in ’92, I was thrilled that Staci Dickerson had opened Sounds Easy Video & CD Exchange in a small space! Annie Fynn and I became good friends with Skip Naft, who later became KDNK’s Program Director, since we all were movie buffs. He turned us onto so many great indie films. When Stacy moved into the anchor space where Ragged Mountain is now, and expanded her inventory, we were regulars!
The most remarkable business there was Sezan, a top flight sushi bar and Japanese restaurant that opened in the mid ‘90s. Annie I became good friends with Kawa San, always eating at the sushi bar. In my time in Carbondale, I can remember when there was no place to eat dinner and look at us now!
My final retail job was at Life Cycles, which I called “Vicious Cycles.” It was my idea of retail hell since Steve Wolfe had us play lame Christmas music starting in early November! Recently, I have become a great fan of Ming’s and I’m glad that they are moving and continuing!
This is as much a love letter to all the people who had a business idea and then the courage to actually start one. As someone who owned a business for 11 years, I know what it takes to have a good one and what a bad one smells like! It’s also a thank you for providing spaces where so many of us hung out, or met looking for a video, or eating, and did something people love to do: communicate with each other.
Wick Moses

Praise for The Gillespie Street Angels
In this difficult time of pandemic, incredible financial inequality and a divisive/dysfunctional national government, it is inspiring to discover a well-organized health operation serving the citizens of Pitkin County.
Due to my age, I was among the first to be treated at the Gillespie Street makeshift medical outdoor facility set up on the Aspen Music Tent parking lot. All those wonderful young people working in freezing weather were extremely efficient, polite and well-rehearsed for performing their various duties. Indeed, their performance was just as outstanding and inspiring as any given in the Music Tent during the summer.
Furthermore, their commitment to doing a professional job will save lots of lives. For this reason, I call them “The Gillespie Street Angels.”
I strongly urge health personnel from the other three counties in the Roaring Fork and Crystal Valleys (Garfield, Gunnison and Eagle) to get permission to visit the Gillespie Street operation in order to replicate it in their own counties.
Clay Boland Jr., retired CMC professor of Communications and Humanities

Thanks from the birds
Roaring Fork Audubon (RFA) extends a big thanks to RJ Paddywacks for supporting RFA with its annual bird seed fundraiser. Locally-owned Paddywacks donated 20% of its sales toward this important fundraiser, helping our all-volunteer board bring awareness to local conservation issues facing our native animals, especially the birds. Our hope is that awareness and education transfer to protection. Please join us in supporting RJ Paddywacks!
Mary Harris, RFA president

Holiday Baskets Program
The Holiday Baskets Program, run entirely by volunteers, recently completed its 39th year of providing new gifts, toys and clothing to 250 families — approximately 1,000 people— in need in our valley. We also gifted $25,000 worth of food gift cards. As one can imagine, this was a different year of operating since we were not able to utilize the large numbers of volunteers who usually participate. Nevertheless, the response was amazing; more families were adopted than ever before. The monetary contributions were so generous that we have sufficient funds remaining to supply families with additional food gift cards later this winter! I wish to especially thank our Steering Committee: Elaine Bonds, Marsha Cook, Kathy Dreher, Elizabeth Parker and Bobbi Teliska. They spent many, many hours and lots of energy matching families with Adopting Angels and making sure that all the gift bags were ready on pick up day. We are extremely grateful to Mike Garbarini who put all the applications online so that we could operate virtually. We also greatly appreciate St. Peter’s Church in Basalt for providing space in which to coordinate and distribute the thousands of gifts.
Anne Blackwell, chairperson

In defense of Lauren
All the liberal letters denigrating Lauren Boebert’s 2nd Amendment support are mere extensions of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Gun-haters believe limiting law abiding citizens’ gun rights will decrease crime.
These same naive souls ignore the tens of thousands of murders that have been happening in Dem controlled hell-holes for decades.
I greatly appreciate the breath of fresh air Lauren brings to the stinking swamp that is Washington.
Bruno Kirchenwitz

Changing of the guard
As a liberal, independent businessman, I once again see that a republican administration is passing on a shattered economy, rife with societal and social unrest, to a democrat.
In `94 it was HW Bush with his little Kuwait war and protests, passed on to Bill Clinton who presided over seven years of mostly-balanced budgets, peace and prosperity.
VP Al Gore’s loss to GW Bush in 2000 set the U.S. up for Sept. 11, 2001, when George Bush randomly lobbed missiles into Taliban sites in Afghanistan for a year, bringing the Cheney-Rumsfeld formula for perpetual warfare into fruition.
Bush handed off massive debt, the Iraq War, unrest and banking practices that caused house values to plummet — for the first time ever — to Barack Hussein Obama.
Obama and Biden quickly initiated FEC banking curbs on mortgage bundling, funded a trillion to infrastructure improvements and instituted a radical departure toward national health insurance. They kept a lid on the right’s favorite wars, while slowly building the economy and environmental regulations back to strong, healthy confidence. Relative calm, despite seething racial undertones on the right, was maintained.
Trump squeaked the electoral college, taking the country’s strong economy and social calm and then, by repeatedly demeaning people and kicking ant pile after ant pile, he freed our most debasing instincts and he turned the U.S. into a howling basin of social unrest and mind-blowing federal budget deficits. Despite no foreign wars — except Bush’s — he now holds the U.S. on the brink of civil war with a planet in the grips of a pandemic and a climate on the point of no return for habitability, as he hands the country over to smiling Joe Biden. I suppose the conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh will be busy for a while longer.
John Hoffmann

Book review
“The Iron Curtain Over America” by John Owen Beaty, 1951, is a book for all history buffs and is just as relevant today as when first published. It can be purchased as a hard copy or downloaded as a pdf.
Steve Campbell
Glenwood Springs