Diver: Dan Groth, from Bridges Café in New Durango, aka Portland, Ore.

Facts:He’s back. If we give Sheahan a shake from an out-of-the-way TGIF, why the hell can’t we feature Diver Dan Groth from “New” Durango, Portland, Ore.?


Got a dirty little secret?
Looking for guidance to remedy a sticky situation?

Seek help from the master of the kitchen! The Dish Diver has solutions to life's little messes. Send your problems to "Ask the Diver." - By mail to Durango Telegraph - Attn Diver -534 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301; by email at telegraph@durangotelegraph.com, or by fax at 259-0448.


I’m gay and have this problem with a friend, who has gone through all of these stupid stages of music. He was a punk and was all rebellious (although he listened to crappy mall punk.) He was a rockabilly guy with the stupid greased hair. Now he’s all into Rasta, and all he does is talk about Jah and bash me for being homosexual. Rastafarians, by the way, at least the true ones, are SUPER homophobic and aren’t afraid to say it. He now wants to have multiple wives and claims I’m evil and all that. It’s complete B.S. if you ask me. What kind of tie do white kids with dreads have to Rastafarianism anyway, having never been to Jamaica or Africa? I may be gay, but if this guy keeps it up, I’m going to beat the crap out of him and cut his soon-to-be dreads off.

– Jim

Dear Jim,

This guy is your “friend?” At best, he sounds like a peevish hanger-on; at worst, a satanic foil. This is what I’d tell him: “For heaven’s sake, idiot, you’re not a Rastafarian – you’re a mountain-town dread-head with an empty spiritual hole that you’re trying to fill with marijuana, reggae music and some bastardized form of Rastafarianism. You’d be just as well off

drinking grain alcohol, listening to John Tesh and converting to Zoroastrianism! In any case, get out of my sight.” Of course, you can tell him whatever you want, but definitely tell him you don’t need his friendship.

– The Diver


I was listening to some Dio and came across these lyrics. What the hell do they mean? Is it a reference to you? “Holy Diver, You’ve been down too long in the midnight sea. Oh what’s becoming of me. Ride the tiger. You can see his stripes, but you know he’s clean. Oh don’t you see what I mean. Gotta get away. Holy Diver.”  

– John Osborne, via e-mail


Dear John,

Have you ever taken a poetry class? I have. Ronnie James Dio is a poet; a great one. In fact, whose heavily symbolic subject matter can, once penetrated, reveal the vast meta-narrative of Post-modern Western culture. What “Holy Diver” reveals to the erudite is a wonderfully terse summation of Tolstoy’s masterwork, War and Peace. The title refers to Napoleon himself, while the “tiger” being ridden is, indeed, Russia. But how is a song based on a 19th century Russian novel relevant to 21st century America/Europe? To see this, we must examine Dio’s own words on the topic, from Notebooks for Holy Diver, (Metal Axe Press, 1990), a fascinating summary of what processes led to the final work. On p.29, Dio writes, “I want to create a world within a world, to be examined within the world of the listener who participates in the world of the creator. I cannot feel I’ve succeeded unless I’ve realized this goal.” And on p. 84 he writes, “The

Master, Tolstoy, says ‘My hero is truth;’ well Lev Nikolaievich, I agree but I wish you could explain how between these velvet lies, there could truth lie! I want to believe this, but I do not have the faith to proclaim it in song!” Finally, on p.105 he writes, “Ah, ‘some light can never be seen’– this is the solution to the problem. In a world filled with symbols whose meanings are ever-changing, ever-lasting truth cannot be seen with ordinary vision.” I hope this helps, but I urge you to do your own research and not take my word for it.

– Sincerely, The Diver

Hey Diver,

Driving around Durango, I notice a lot of trees blocking the road, such as when pulling out of DNF, numerous places on Third Avenue, and a few others. I hate to be the guy that advocates cutting down a few trees, but I think many traffic accidents could be avoided if we cut a few down. What do you think?

– Jimmy


It’s interesting you should write me on this topic because up here in my new home of Portland, Ore., land of much foliage, I am known as “Ol’ Tree-Splittin’ Dan.” Yes, because of my one-man crusade to clear roadscapes in the name of safety, I am loved by all good, law-abiding citizens. Emulate me. 

– The Diver

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows