Ear to the ground

“My dad can drink a beer without opening the top. He puts a hole in the side and sucks it out.”

– A Durango 5-year-old telling her school teacher about her dad shotgunning beers on his 37th birthday

The long boot to Cortez

Durango’s Deke Luhmann is at it again. Luhmann has walked from Silverton to Durango five separate times; he’s walked from town to Hesperus over Kennebec Pass; and now he’s traveling from Durango to Cortez, one step at a time.  

Luhmann is neither a struggling hitchhiker nor an unimaginative hiker. Each year, he makes a 50-plus-mile pilgrimage to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, a disease he knows first-hand through his work at the Four Corners Health Care Center.

Luhmann has participated in the Southwest Colorado Memory Walk, which takes place this year on Sept. 30, throughout its 11-year, local history. His memory walk became a 50-mile haul seven years ago when an event coordinator suggested that he up the stakes. It usually takes Luhmann two nine-hour days of walking to cross the more than 50-miles. In addition to stamina, Luhmann’s other asset is that he takes sanctuary in solitude.

“It’s neat to gain a different perspective,” Luhmann told the Telegraph. “We’ve all driven and biked that road hundreds of times, but when you’re walking, you see the things we tend to miss even biking,”

For the rest of us, the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Memory Walk for Alzheimer’s disease takes place Sept. 30 at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez. Registration is scheduled for 9 a.m. on the front lawn, and all funds raised in the event will be used locally. To register or to make a donation, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 259-0122.  

Seriously bent

Local bluegrass is turning up in high places. The Badly Bent, Durango’s high-energy traditional bluegrass band, has been nominated for three awards by the Just Plain Folks Music Organization, an independent music group comprised of artists, managers, producers, and record labels.

The band’s self-titled CD has been nominated for Album of the Year in the Bluegrass Album category. Two Badly Bent tunes – “Where’s That Cold Wind Come From” and “Dusty Knob” – have gotten the nomination for song of the year.

The winners will be announced at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards Show on Nov. 4 in Santa Ana, Calif.