This week I'm back on tour to Denver, Tucson, Scottsdale, and Houston. In other words, Cowboy Country here I come. And so I decided to write something about cowboys--because with the way I'm feeling about what's going in in Greece these days, I'm afraid I'd be lynched there should I say what's on my mind. If you want to hear those thoughts, catch me on tour. :).
So, cowboys it is. But as I started to write about Denver I had this deja vu sensation (yes, EvKa, all over again), so I looked back through my old posts and sure enough found one I'd done on this very topic in February 2011. Times have changed for sure. Denver is awash in construction but great care appears to have been taken toward preserving much of the old architecture. And the iconic Tattered Cover bookstore will soon be under new ownership...but by book people, not venture capitalists.
I'm re-posting the piece because it says things that bear repeating on not just lovely Denver but loyalty to independent bookstores.
Yes, the details of this visit are a bit different. I'm staying at a different hotel--one that used to be the Colorado National Bank and some might say is more vaulted than it deserves--and I'm definitely older than even the piano player recalled in his comment repeated as the penultimate line of this post. But Denver and its environs is still enchanting. Just ask Barbara whom I dragged to Boulder and then made stand in the background for this photo looking east from the Flatirons.
And we both bought shirts at Rockmount Ranch Wear, still going strong after 107 years. So, here goes...
I want to write about cowboys. Probably because I’m in Denver, about to head back east after a month or so on the western leg of my book tour. I like Colorado, always have. Bought three authentic western shirts at a store close by to where I’m staying. It actually started the western look and is a hallowed stop for “folks in the know,” like country western and rock stars. The shirts will go nicely with the boots I bought in Houston…and the matching belt. If only I could sing.
|Rockmount Ranch Wear, Denver|
I first came to Colorado in the early seventies, fell in love with the mountains, and camped out here during the late summer for many years. Lowell Thomas said it best, “I come to the Rockies to recharge my batteries.”
I stopped my pilgrimages a half dozen years or so later when I found a farm back east that sparked the sort of feelings I had for a place I knew near Golden, Colorado. A home away from home, so to speak. Then I discovered Greece and all bets were off.
BUY BOOKS. And I mean the printed kind. And I don’t care whose they are, as long as you buy at least one hardcover or two trade paperbacks a month from your local independent bookstore. That is, if you still want to see them around your neighborhood this time next year. These days, I’d be surprised if most independents don’t qualify for not-for-profit status.
They’re battling not only the e-book frenzy and a no disposable income for books economy, but landlords looking for more. Yes, the stories I’ve heard over these last few weeks are anecdotal, but considering the size of the bookselling community, two or three stories here and another few there begin to add up to a groundswell of evidence.
|Baked by Murder By The Book, Denver|
|Brown Palace Hotel, Denver|
I still tipped him.