Recruiting and Unleashing Youthful Talent:

April 29, 2021

The Best Imaginable Way to Observe the One-Year Anniversary of the “Not my First Rodeo” There was once a small little frog, And one day he hopped on a log. Then out jumped a bug Who gave him a hug, And together they fell in the bog. There once was...

“The Thinker” Goes Western, and Also Upside Down:

April 23, 2021

Pondering Inconsistency Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradicts everything you said to-day. Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance” I used to be contentious and controversial, and then I became congenial and collaborative. Limerick’s Consistently Repeated Summary of...

The Role Of The Activated Bystander: A Rope to Hold Onto In A Frayed Nation

April 15, 2021

A Multiple-Choice Question That Is Harder to Answer than You Might Realize at First In the photograph that appears above, what is this woman doing? A.) She is cultivating inner peace through the practice of transcendental meditation. B.) She is preparing to take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). C.)...

Like a Bridge over Troubled Water: An Attempt to Infrastand Infrastructure

April 8, 2021

Before we begin, we must first understand what is concrete . . . . Timothy P. Dolen, “Historical Development of Durable Concrete for the Bureau of Reclamation” Paul Simon’s “ Like a Bridge over Troubled Water ” is my leading candidate for designation as the best known and most influential...

The Midnight Rodeo: Larry McMurtry, Me, and Our Abject Failure to Feud

April 1, 2021

A Texan Article of Faith And push will always come to shove you On that midnight rodeo. Lyle Lovett, “Farther Down the Line” Note from Coloradan Limerick to Texan Lovett : The word “always” may be important for the song’s rhythm. But it doesn’t fit with this particular midnight rodeo...

A Time Beyond Comprehension: The Afternoon of March 22, 2021

March 25, 2021

Millions of people across the country and the world unite with the residents of Boulder in dismay over the sudden ending of ten lives, and in sympathy for the bereavement felt by family members, friends, and co-workers of the people who were killed. That is really all there is to...

Protesting In The Redwoods And Moderating In The Rockies Variations On A Theme

March 18, 2021

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” William Shakespeare, Hamlet When I started college at the University of California at Santa Cruz in the late 1960s, I took to protesting like a duck to water. When I started hosting controversial speakers at the University of Colorado in the early 2000s,...

Specialist In Solitude And Impresario Of Isolation: Seeking Guidance From Henry David Thoreau

March 11, 2021

I do not propose to write an ode to dejection . . . Henry David Thoreau, Walden This Saturday, March 13, will be the one-year anniversary of the lockdown of the University of Colorado campus, when the offices of the Center of the American West closed down, and I began...

The Truth About Hollywood, And How I Finally Found It

March 4, 2021

In the late 1930s and the early 1940s, a number of people who would play significant roles in shaping popular assumptions about the American West all worked at Republic Films: the actors John Wayne, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry; the director John Ford; and the screenwriter Grant H. Nelson. In...

Earning An “F” on the Litmus Test of Principle: Why I Dedicated my First Book to a Man Who I Knew to be a Racist

Feb. 25, 2021

I am an impure thinker. I am hurt, swayed, shaken, elated, disillusioned, shocked, comforted, and I have to transmit my mental experiences lest I die. And although I may die. To write a book is not a luxury; it is a means of survival. Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, I Am an Impure...

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