People Encounters

People

Uncle Bill Is Everywhere

My uncle spent his energy trying to convince us that he was actually the real life Archie Bunker

As a kid, I thought my uncle’s basement was filled with wonders. Neon signs from local bars hung on the walls. And then there were the mechanical toys. My uncle was known for keeping a crazy collection of battery controlled animals and cars. These were before wireless control and plastic injection molding. Most of the things had metal under pinnings and cloth hand-sewn around them. Each was programmed to do one specific thing. Everyone’s favorite was a monkey – complete with a red and white striped jockey suit – that would bang two symbols together when turned on. It was utterly obnoxious and loud. And its painted on mouth had a permanent smile that looked more like a scream, especially once you had heard its symbol banging madness. Yet, something about it got everyone laughing and smiling. ... more »

Space Oddity

Chris Hadfield just completed something that only a handful of men and women have ever done. He spent five months in space on the International Space Station (ISS). Hadfield did more than just take his work to edge of our world for a few months.

Chris Hadfield - Space OddityChris Hadfield just completed something that only a handful of men and women have ever done. He spent five months in space on the International Space Station (ISS). Hadfield did more than just take his work to edge of our world for a few months. He packed his guitar along for the ride and while on the space station gave an amazing rendition of David Bowie’s "Space Oddity". ... more »

A Man Of Culture - Iain M. Banks

I just learned that one of my favorite writers is dying, cancer and apparently late-stage. Iain Banks – or Iain M. Banks for fans of his science fiction novels – has had an unusual and sparkling career.

Iain M. BanksI just learned that one of my favorite writers is dying, cancer and apparently late-stage. Iain Banks – or Iain M. Banks for fans of his science fiction novels – has had an unusual and sparkling career. Mr. Banks has produced some wonderful mainstream fiction (whatever the hell ‘mainstream’ means) but is probably best known for his Culture novels, a science fiction universe filled with high-tech gadgetry, love and, most importantly, humor.

I discovered Banks by accident. I hadn’t read a science fiction novel in decades when one day walking through Barnes and Noble I spied the cover to his most recent work – ‘Matter’ – on the bottom shelf of the newest science fiction releases. ... more »

Steve Jobs

We all loved Steve Jobs for the incredible products Apple has given us over the years. He built the first computer that was actually fun. He made a machine our friend instead of something we had to use.

We all loved Steve Jobs for the incredible products Apple has given us over the years. He built the first computer that was actually fun. He made a machine our friend instead of something we had to use. For those of us in the creative arts he re-defined our professions and allowed us to go in directions that none of us could have ever believed possible just 25 years ago.

My daughter is fourteen years old and she has never known a world without an iPod or the iTunes store. Music dominates her life – is her life – and yet neither of those products existed before she was born. Garage Band, an Apple application for editing audio and music, is an essential tool in her world and it is barely out of infancy. ... more »

Artist and Community Leader

Tadashi Hayakawa isn't just an internationally respected artist who happens to live in Parker, Colorado. He is also one of the community's most valuable assets

Tadashi isn't just an internationally respected artist who happens to live in Parker, Colorado. He is also one of the community's most valuable assets. ... more »

The Elephant Man of Loxahatchee

The fact that it was late Thursday morning at Loxahatchee Golf Club in Florida was irrelevant, except that everyone I knew was working 1400 miles away to make a buck and suffering through a mid-west winter day.

Joe NamathAt some point during the day I had to stop and say to myself, “Jack Nicklaus is playing in the group in front of me.” No matter that my drive had sailed away to the right and landed behind a tree, leaving me with little hope of advancing the ball forward, let alone to the green.

The fact that it was late Thursday morning at Loxahatchee Golf Club in Florida was irrelevant, except that everyone I knew was working 1400 miles away to make a buck and suffering through a mid-west winter day. But the man playing in front of me three years earlier had completed, arguably, one of the most amazing feats in sport history. He won the Master’s at age 48 – and in dramatic fashion, too. ... more »

One Day

He has to be the poster child for his generation, gracefully moving about the stage like someone half his age. In fact, from a distance – like the balcony at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado – he appears to be half his age.

Tommy TuneHe has to be the poster child for his generation, gracefully moving about the stage like someone half his age. In fact, from a distance – like the balcony at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colorado – he appears to be half his age. His graying hair, from the cheap seats, anyway, looks like it was manufactured by the gang in make-up (he's too young to be grey, isn't he?). His voice is still strong and clear and fills the theatre. On this night he is Dr. Doolittle, the monkey-chatting, snake-smacking chap from days gone by. Otherwise, he is known as Tommy Tune, American theatre icon.

The show itself is only somewhat entertaining – to me anyway. The music is wonderful, the lyrics crisp and witty, and the choreography is fun and energetic, but the remainder of the story is lacking. I am not the best judge of the show's effectiveness, however, and this night isn't for me. ... more »

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