Who Knew?…

After even more obsessive-compulsive digging, I’m finding lots of cool stuff about Leadville.

I thought I was cannily choosing a small, gritty, off-the-beaten-path western town with a colorful history for a backdrop. Well I did. Leadville doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of nearby Aspen, for instance. But it has been featured in several movies ( Day of the Dead, Under Seige 2, Silver City ) and has been quarantined in a novel and sequel ( Plague Year ). So apparently Leadville has quite a history with fictionalized catastrophic events. We’re right at home, then…although it might be hard to top zombies, politicians, Steven Seagal, and the plague.

In real life, Leadville was visited in 1882 by Oscar Wilde, who was doing a lecture tour. ( seemed like a good idea to his booking agent? )

Per one account, the stage crew at the Tabor Opera House decided that Oscar was a bit of a sissy, and pushed him off the stage and into the orchestra pit. And yet he went on to deliver a rousing lecture on art asthetics and Benvenuto Cellini, which was somewhat coolly received.When the audience asked why he hadn’t brought Benvenuto along with him, Oscar replied that it was because he was long-since dead; and they wanted to know who shot him ( common enough in Leadville ). After the gig, the crew took Oscar out drinking, and they all became fast friends. At a nearby saloon, there was a posted sign reading ” Please don’t shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.” Oscar quipped that it was ” the only rational method of art criticism that I have ever come across.”  He also did some impromptu silver mining, and had a new vein named after him. Not bad for a guy in stockings, breeches, and a purple smoking jacket.

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Editor’s desk…

I’ve been street-viewing Leadville quite a bit lately, and I suspect that we might be at the Manhattan Bar, or possibly the Silver Dollar Saloon; both on Harrison Ave. Visualization of the place is key with me. If I can’t see it, I can’t write it. Actually already have the place set in my head, just been looking for something in the real world that seems a good match. I have been quite surprised that there are so many places to choose from; since mining has declined in the area, I suspect that eating has taken its place as the main local industry.

Have tried mightily to attach video content of Leadville, to no avail. I suggest that you do a bit of google- touring of your own and get a feel for the place. I find it quite helpful. There’s a spot called the Golden Burro that has a cool live web cam feed, but might be a bit upscale for us… please let me know if any of you find yourselves drawn to anywhere in particular. Or maybe Doc Holliday’s Bar and Grill ? ( apparently Doc and Jesse James were both quite fond of Leadville back in the day).

And the favorite local sport seems to be ‘skijoring’- a guy on skis being pulled along by a guy on horseback. Seems safe enough…what could go wrong with that?

Chirp…Cake or Death…Chirp…

Eddie Izzard bits done with Legos. The Queens Anne and Mary love this… can’t imagine why. Watched a lot of Eddie while Verizon was down at my house. No phone , TV, or internet. Absolutely uncivilized. But we barely pulled through, thanks to English transvestites and Stevie Ray Vaughn. The Queens are a bit envious of Eddie’s wardrobe, especially the shoes. ” Dress to Kill” still holds up well in spite of its age. Great stuff. And the new biography ” Believe” is quite good, too.

Frighteningly quiet on the novel front. Methinks I may have inadvertently miffed G and C. Ah, well. Barn door’s wide open now. May as well leave it. I know that lots of people would like this if they only knew. How to contact them? Think…think, damn you, think!…

Editor’s Desk…

Sorry about the lost time. In addition to real-world issues of my own, we lost: two days waiting for Glenn; two days waiting for Clark; three days waiting for Verizon to repair the fiber-optic line that a WM truck managed to snag and pull right off my house. For the second time, no less. And, in spite of that evidence, a Verizon supervisor who patently refuses to believe that it’s even possible. Where would the world be without incompetent middle management?

Anyway… speaking of incompetent middle management, I have New Rules to announce this morning.

Seems that some of us will only write for our own particular characters, and ignore all else. Annoying, yes. Preventable, no. But rather than have to lose  more time due to this, we will now dispense with sequential entries.

As of today, you can put up an entry whenever you want to. This opens the floor completely, and eliminates waiting for those with an agenda.

Please maintain the  ” multiple of 50 wds. ” rule. Any entry that does not comply will be trimmed back to the nearest multiple. And please  indicate your name and word count in parentheses.

Please feel free to write with complete freedom. Write for any aspect of the project, or any character or situation that you find within. Or add an entirely new aspect, should the spirit move you. Should editing prove necessary, I will inform you as to why.

All are welcome. This is not a closed project. Please feel free to bring other closet writers into the fray. All is fair in Leadville, CO.

That is all.

OK Fine…

Well, it’s all over now but for the crying.

Damned Lakers and their offensive rebounds. It was a good game, though. No honor lost at all.

Have a nice summer break, Kobe. We’ll see you again.

Today at Rag Central; The Celtics will be happy to help out with the Choir, provided that they can stage Handel’s Messiah for December. Bach considers that stuff to be modern jazz. More rules flaunted, and they also want to sing wearing sunglasses ala Roy Orbison. Turns out that most basketball guys have Handel’s Messiah cued up on their Ipods…

Roland remains quite displeased with Kendrick Perkins, and wants to shoot him in his other foot. And it’s not for what you might think…it’s for that horrible, horrible green shirt…

F#m- Dm??

Recipe for most rockabilly and doo-wop music;

Start with a I-VI-IV-V chord progression in any key. Repeat endlessly.

Works for JS Bach. He doesn’t like the stuff, but it adheres to his rules of harmony, so he can live with it. Until a fateful day in the mid-60’s when a typical rockabilly guy went way, way out of the box.

He actually did three pretty innovative things while writing this now- famous-often-covered song. First, he modulated. ( one part of the song was in a different key; unusual ). Then, he modulated back again, to the original key ( unheard of ). Then, he used a chord change that  had never happened before. Typically, a rockabilly thing would go from VI to IV chord. He went from VI to a IV minor.

Bach clawed his way out of his grave. He was a musical icon, and German, for God’s sake; you just didn’t do stuff like that. It was against the laws of…everything.

This little chord change went on to become the equivalent of a musical John Hancock. Decades later, little kids will hear it used somewhere and say ” hey that sounds just like that guy…you know, black suit, sunglasses…Marshall with a 335? ( little kids don’t really say that… they always like Fender amps better…)

Got it yet? The guy was Roy Orbison. The song is Pretty Woman.

See? Now you know why you like it so much!

 P.S.; Remember to say a little prayer for the Celtics tonight…

On the novel front; Glenn has defaulted his turn to Clark. S’il vous plait?

Dark Days…

A very overcast morning at Rag Central.

The Celtics were all at the front gate.

Roland, listless and depressed, won’t even reload the Thompson.

The Queens are most displeased. We have never seen anything so pitifully sad on American TV.

The entire organization…starters, bench, coaches, front office, even Danny Ainge, are here. All headless, and assless. Completely disassembled, actually. Beside themselves. Literally. The Queens will offer words of solace and encouragement, of course. Remember the Spanish Armada, and the French at Agincourt. Rise up and smite your oppressors, etc. Use the longbow, for God’s sake. Just get yourselves together, and die with honor if you must. Talk to the Gladiators, they know all about that sort of thing. Just get on with it.

On the other hand, this fills out the roster for Bach’s headless choir very nicely.

An utterly miserable day.

Dia Dhuit Ar Maidin…

Good morning, in Irish Gaelic. Doesn’t sound like it looks, though. Try saying it whilst slamming your finger in a drawer, and you’d be much closer.

Kobe is off to defend his homeland against the Celtic horde, and we wish him well. In actuality, we are lying; we do not support this endeavor. But he is a very affable young man, and presents very good manners to our English queens. He is always welcome at court, even after his embarassing defeat.

On the novel front, DS1 has reverted attention to the Leadville restaurant. A canny maneuver; we must not leave these people unattended for very long. No Character Left Behind. And let’s not forget the Sleazeball Jimmy, who somehow managed to slide out of town altogether.  Did he go via  Rt.24, or Rt. 91? It could matter very much. Thank God for Google Maps. And on what road might we find Scott/Wanda/Chelsea? Stay tuned…

Glenn now has the floor…an dtuigreann tu. ( ‘If you please’ …but sounds like falling down a flight of stairs )

Don’t Shoot, Roland…

It’s only Kobe.

We ( the respective Queens, Anne and Mary; and that is the collective Royal “We” ) are in general support of Mr. Bryant. He is , after all, one of the best ever. But, with his being from the Dark Side, we cannot indulge him; yet we do enjoy his company. This morning, Kobe arrives with ass intact; it’s all the other Lakers that have experienced posterior separation. We do so enjoy the playoff season. Please, can someone get Kobe a bowl of coffee before he turns into a goat…again?

Profound thanks to all who visited the Rag this past weekend; a great many visits were logged. The novel is going just swimmingly, with several enticing directions having been presented. All residents of Rag Central are on the edges of their collective seats; bowls of coffee all around, hearts on sleeves and heads in hand ( where applicable ). A Bene Placito.

Editor’s Desk…

What to do, what to do…

Ok. We’ve got a whole mess of possibilities in the story to balance out. We have Scott/Wanda/Chelsea in the car; we’ve got other characters in Leadville; and, a Bigger Picture to work in there somehow.

Right now, I can’t see how to keep it all running without losing something, so I’ll do what I do best; procrastinate. Something will come to me, right? Right??

There… that ought to do it. Big Picture en route. Where to now, Ms. DS?

Published in: on June 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm  Comments (1)