Many people that are working take 2 or 3 separate jobs to live comfortably. Bobby has a job at the library which includes working with young people on creative writing. He also work at the Loaf and Jug gas station and recently got a new job, bar tending at the La Plaza. He is college educated and extremely over qualified but is finding it difficult breaking into graduate level work or post grad education. A typical post-grad programme over here would run into 10’s of thousands of dollars.
I met Charles after his unique musical performance with friend, Chip who ‘hambones’ (an Appalachian body percussion) to Charles’ reading of the poetry of EE Cummings. Charles is a prolific jazz and classical composer and a former professor of music at the University of Colorado. Last week he was showing me around the old buildings in town which he felt decrepit and temporal much like himself (his words) so he asked me to photograph him in front of some of them as a memento mori.
And here is a link to an album of jazz compositions recorded in his home.
Once residents of the Libre Artist commune, musicians and architect designers, Brent and Babs Seawell now live on the edge of La Veta. They designed and built their house by the river and are integral to the local community organising lots of music events in town. We were having dinner on their porch and two bear cubs walked through their garden, the first I’d ever seen in the wild. I just manged to grab my camera in time but I guess I always knew I’d never make a wildlife photographer.
Last week I interviewed Hanne Lindstrom who runs the now Danish owned Quest factory. They make protective clothing for firefighters across the country and are one of the few industrial units left in Walsenburg. Hanne likes the contrast to cooler, flatter Denmark and hopes to be able to stay in Southern Colorado.
In a town with high unemployment and a large number of people living on food stamps, an organisation such as Dorcas (named after a charitable figure in the bible who made clothes for others), is invaluable. They open two days a week and give out clothes and food parcels and survive completely on donations and volunteer time.