Ear to the


“I loved it. I was the smartest, prettiest person in the whole state.”

-A Durango woman after a recent visit to the state of Ohio

First in Taos

After a night of “tequila, beer and half a Xanax,” a Silverton man took honors as the first snowboarder on Taos Ski Valley. On March 18, Michael Constantine, who owns the X-Club in Silverton, drove six hours to Taos, took in a night of “modest partying,” and then crashed at the base of Taos’ Lift 1 in his sleeping bag. The next morning he became the Taos Ski Valley’s first ever snowboarder.

Constantine earned similar honors when Silverton Mountain opened in 2001, also spending a night in the maze in his trusty sleeping bag. “When Silverton opened, I got the first chair and the first run,” he told the Taos News. “When I found out Taos was opening up, I just had to do it.”

Prior to March 19, Taos had been snowboard-free and a stronghold for skiers since its founding in the 1950s. According to legend, ski area founder Ernie Blake’s dying wish was that Taos remain snowboard free forever. His children, who currently own and manage the ski area, saw things differently.

A large crowd had gathered at the base of Lift 1 on March 19 waiting for Taos to drop the rope and open for the first time to snowboarders. Constantine packed up his gear, let out a whoop and loaded the chair. Once at the top, he pointed it down Al’s Run, a 1,700-vertical foot liftline shot, his arms raised in the air and cheering borders egging him on from the lift.

Call it envy, but the Taos News decided to make light of the fact that a man from Silverton earned first snowboarder honors.

“He barely got down the first pitch before he collapsed on the snow,” the paper reported. “Another 1,000 feet of vertical lay below him … Welcome to Taos, Michael.”

Apparently, the staffers at the Taos News have never mixed tequila and Xanax.

The art of protest

Four Corners residents are currently wielding pencils and paint brushes in the fight against the Desert Rock Power Plant. The Center of Southwest Studies is currently accepting submissions for the exhibit, “Connections: Earth + Artist = A Tribute Art Show in Resistance to Desert Rock.”

Artists of all nationalities who are age 10 and older are invited to submit work for the show which begins June 22. The deadline for submissions is May 9, and information, an application and guidelines can be downloaded at http://swcenter.fortlewis.edu. More information is also available by contacting Venaya at (505) 947-7086 or 382-6982.