Good morning, Montrose.

No voting chaos or “coding issues” were found in the production of today’s notes.

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Butter Side Up……If you see the red flag at the Cimarron Song Gallery on east Main, it means welcome. Artist/owner Gregory Packard is inside. It’s across from Coffee Trader and Horsefly Brewing Co. Susan and I first met Greg and his wife, Carolyn, at the Brinton Museum in Sheridan, Wyoming years ago. They moved here in 2005. His work is found in private collections and in leading galleries in New York, Wyoming, Colorado. He works primarily in oils. You can stand, admire and immerse yourself in his work -- tasting the summer peaches, feeling the cold from a winter street scene. Other featured artists: Ralph Oberg, Shirley Novak, Julee Hutchison, Rita Pacheco…….Take the Day Off……President’s Day is next Monday. It’s a holiday and one more reason to sell bedding. Too, it gives the country a chance to recall the great victory over the British at Mattressburg, New Jersey.

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Dept. of Incidental Info……Valentine’s Day always coincides with National Condom Week. (Those clever marketers.) In all, more than $20 billion will be spent (invested?) this week with purchases of candy, cards, flowers. Certainly, the condom biz is alive and thriving, according to trade associations promoting safe sex and the prevention of STDs. In the last 10 years, more than 60 patents have been granted from condom research. They have been around for a couple of millennia, researchers say. The early ones were made of animal intestines, or lambskins. (Hard to put those in a wallet or past the folks at TSA.) The first-ever recorded marketing of condoms in the U.S. was that of a vulcanized rubber product in 1865……Nobody Asked Me, But……The Professional Yakkers are in a knot – pro and con – about whether fellow Yakker Rush Limbaugh should’ve received the nation’s highest civilian honor during the State of the Union address last week. A global audience watched all the Big Reveals. (What was missing: Don Jr. giving a rose to his girlfriend.) Limbaugh joins a list that includes Rev. Billy Graham, Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks, President Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and others. Little was said about the award’s runner-up: Kanye West……Memory Lane……One memorable Valentine’s Day fundraiser from years past was the annual Chocolate Lover’s – A Sweet Night Out. Not sure why the event ran out of steam. It took root around the turn of the century and raised money for Partners and Voices for Children. The Montrose Pavilion was filled with desserts and other sweet things. A big, bubbling fountain of chocolate was in the center of the room. Russell Stover – fittingly -- was a big contributor; people dressed up, were polite to one another and noshed on celebratory chocolate……Controlled Burn Alert……If you’re out and about celebrating Valentine’s Day at the Camp Robber, know that the guy in the kitchen, Bill Volk, is having a birthday. (His is the best peanut butter pie ever.)

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Notes from the Constabulary, Elsewhere……“Police said Higginbotham argued with his wife because she had not cooked anything. When she began cooking, he started making spaghetti while eating crackers and squeeze cheese. They argued further, and he squeezed cheese on the kitchen floor. She grabbed the squeeze cheese and went outside to squeeze the cheese on his truck and into her hair, before fleeing the home in his truck. His wife said she had washed her hair before the officers arrived to take her complaint.” --The State, Columbia, S.C.

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I See By the Paper……One of my better-read newspaper publisher pals in Wyoming was writing recently about aphorisms. The Notebook attended public schools in east Texas and wasn’t sure what he was talking about. Isn’t an aphorism something like a mite, or parasite, that gets into a cow’s backside and causes it to itch and rub all the bark off a tree? Not so, writes Jim Hicks of Buffalo, Wyoming. Aphorisms come from experience and customs. One example: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Others:

• Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

• A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you’re in deep water.

• Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.

• Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks.

• No one ever says, “it’s only a game,” when their team is winning.

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Quotable

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.”

--Edna Buchanan, American journalist, novelist

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