The Pole

Ear to the ground
“We accidentally showed up for our meeting at Mountain Standard Time rather than Durango Standard Time.”
– A local couple after waiting for 45 minutes outside a downtown office

Curious George
George Clooney was briefly crowned the new king of the San Juan Mountains last weekend. The actor drew attention and acclaim when he stopped off in the region to premiere his latest movie, “The Descendants,” at the Telluride Film Festival.

Forget the Lauren/Lauren wedding on Sunday, the press went gaga over Clooney last week. “It’s official: Telluride is George Clooney’s town now,” wrote

The Wrap. “Everyone else – Glenn Close, Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Garner, the dogs, the hippies, even the Lauren and Bush clans up in the mountains – just lives in it.”

“The Descendants” was directed by Alexander Payne of “Sideways” fame and stars Clooney as a “schlub” who is grieving for his lost wife in the

Hawaiian Islands. The film’s world premiere in Telluride was widely considered the high point of the 38th annual film festival, and having Clooney on hand for the screening didn’t exactly harm the picture’s odds.

 “It doesn’t hurt that he’s effortlessly charmed everyone in the valley, and a weekend that began with the festival’s controversial – and soon-rescinded – edict to the press to not photograph him looks to end with the actor-director having spent quality time with everyone but the town dogs.”

Later in the weekend, Clooney was also candid with the good people of San Miguel County. During a panel discussion, the actor was asked how he deals with time in the spotlight and his eager fanbase. “I drink – a lot,” he said. “And up here at this elevation, you can get pretty f—-ed up … It’s cheap drinkin’ up here!”

Slippery summit
“Rocky Mountain High” is hitting a definite low in the Roaring Fork Valley. Old-timers speak out against a push to rename a portion of Mount Sopris in honor of the late John Denver.

Though the push is on to name the east summit of the 13,953-foot peak in honor of the folk singer, Mount Denver has been picking up a stream of opposition along the way. The Pitkin County commissioners first heard of the plan several years ago. At that time, Commissioner Dorthea Farris commented, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Farris, a long-time friend and associate of Denver’s, noted that the singer would not have wanted the peak to be named in his honor.
Many Aspenites agree. Jerry Gerbaz, 73, a native of the Roaring Fork Valley, told the Aspen Times, “I think it’s a bunch of bull. We have his music. What more do we want?”