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Sunday, April 30, 2017

My Love Affair With Colorado

Have you ever been to Colorado?

If you have, you know it's a special place.

I've had the privilege of seeing most of the United States of America through being in a military family.

When I was 10 years old we landed in Colorado Springs at Ft. Carson where my father was stationed. In those days children usually walked to school and every school day I would see Cheyenne Mountain on my walk to school.

I would look at that mountain (mostly unaware of the military secrets the mountain held). And one day, my 10 year-old-mind told me that someday I would return. We were only stationed there a short while, but Colorado left its impression on me.

And I did return.

It took nearly 20 years, but I made it back to Colorado with precious memories of a 10 -year-old.

I've been to 43 states and while all had their charms--only Colorado impressed itself on my heart, soul and mind.

OK, Hawaii came a close second. But there is something about Colorado. And it does have to do with the mountains and the scenery. But what draws people to Colorado is something I have yet to totally define.

There is some sort of magic here. Some sort of  indefinable something that I will spend the rest of my days attempting to define. But in the meantime--I simply enjoy it.

I thought I was the only person who felt this way. I have run into other people, in casual encounters, who have told me, a random family camping trip as a child evoked the same feeling in them. That someday they knew they would return to Colorado when they were old enough to make it happen.

Yes, it's partially the scenery. We know that Colorado inspired the song, American The Beautiful. It's the people also. Because even in the midst of scenery and mountains that make me feel so small and insignificant in the universe and also so strong and powerful and with soul soaring--there is something more that is special about this place. And again, I can't define it. But everyday, I enjoy it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

We Found YOU In Florence: Avery Berg of Folk Punk Band--THE ASH TRAYS

If you are a folk punk band looking for a washboard for your band, where do you go? Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado, of course.

Regular readers of this blog know that one of my favorite things to do (besides scare customers and decent folks strolling the streets of Florence) is to ask people what they are planning to do with something they found in Florence.

Florence has a marketing campaign: FIND IT IN FLORENCE.

But I like to find people in Florence and ask them what they found in Florence.

I'm liking what I find in the way of eclectic shoppers in our fair burg. Last time I found a chuck wagon restorer extraordinaire.

Ah, but this time I outdid myself. I often say that the most interesting people shop in Florence--and I can prove it on this blog.

This time I found Avery Berg of Canon City.

Yep, that's a vintage washboard Avery just purchased in Florence.

Naturally I asked him what he was planning on doing with it.

Turns out Avery is part of a folk punk band called The Ash Trays out of Canon City. And he decided the band needed to add some washboard playing to its repertoire.

In past blog posts I've noticed that there are some spots in Florence (in my opinion) that are the beacons of hippery. Mainly Outspokin' Bike Rentals and The Pour House. I've also noted that I am too ancient to be hip (except to break a hip)--but recognize creativity and hippery genius when I see it.

And even though I have not heard The Ash Trays play yet--I'm pretty sure we've uncovered another beacon of hippery in Fremont County.

I'm not sure what a folk punk band is. Hey, don't hate me. I came up during the era of Barry Manilow and The Partridge Family!

But I do know that if you look real close at Avery's hat, written on the bill is: Folk The System. And that I can appreciate.

Avery said the band just got started around December of last year and so far is playing primarily in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. No Canon City gigs? He said venues haven't opened up here yet.

Just my opinion, but that's a darn shame. I think Fremont County is ready to hear some folk punk music.

That's Avery and the band recording an album.

I went to The Ash Trays Facebook page and found their own description of what they do: "Washtubbin mountain town anarcho folk punk from Canon City Colorado. Banjo slingin degenerates burning a hole in establishment with dirty stoge fueled tunes."

Now if that description doesn't entice you, like it did me, then I don't what to say!

Avery told me he does vocals and plays the ukulele and banjo. And I know he also was on the successful hunt for a washboard. Cody Herrera also does vocals and plays the guitar and trumpet. And Nova Meek sings, plays the skin flute and does professional gut bucket.

The morals of the story? Get out and see and hear The Ash Trays. It sounds like they kick some Ash. And surely Canon City and Florence (the FUNkytown of Fremont County and a beacon of hippery) can host a venue.

And the last moral of the story? You never know when I will find YOU in Florence and ask you what you found in Florence and what you plan to do with it. And each time we do this on the blog, we prove that more talented and interesting people are in Fremont County that we could imagine.

I know you want to know more about The Ash Trays. Go to their Facebook page at: