Sunday, September 01, 2013

Front Rangers combine the love of art and sports

As we say farewell to August and say hey to September, my thoughts turn to fall. And that's not just because my wife Chris and I watched our first college football game last night, Clemson vs. Georgia. And how about those Pokes? It is one of the reasons, though. The Denver Broncos open their regular season Thursday night. They play the Baltimore Ravens, the team that eked out a win over the Broncos last year to go to the Super Bowl and beat San Francisco. The Broncos are spoiling for a fight. Maybe they'll settle for a win to launch the season which may include a trip to the Super Bowl in New Jersey.

New Jersey?

Denver Post sports columnist Vic Lombardi has been painting porn mustaches on posters of Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco that the NFL plastered all over Denver in advance of Thursday's opener. There's nothing that says "Die, you gravy-sucking pigs" like a porn mustache. Still, it's nice to see street art combined with a love for the game. Two of Denver's major industries are arts and sports. In that order. Opera fans are less likely to wear hundreds of dollars of merch, yell wildly and puke on your shoulder during Sunday performances, even if it's Wagner's entire Ring Cycle. But opera and emo rock and theatre and book sales and art museum visits all contribute as much to the metro area's GNP as Broncos and Rockies and Avalanche and Nuggets. You could look it up.

So what's happening in September other than football?

Cheech Marin of Cheech and Chong fame comes to Laramie this week to open an exhibition at the UW Art Museum. Marin is one of the world's foremost collectors of Chicano art. He also will be on hand for a tour of the exhibit and a public lecture.
Marin will speak about art at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6, in the Wyoming Union Ballroom, followed by a book signing. The title of his talk is “Chicano Art: Cultivating the Chicano Future”. On Saturday, Sept. 7, at 10:30 a.m. he will give an informal gallery walk-through at the UW Art Museum. Both programs are free and open to the public.
Another multicultural event, with a twist, will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 3. As it says on its Facebook page, the PhinDeli Coffee Shop will open at the old mini-mart and gas station at Buford along I-80.
Buford PhinDeli Coffee Shop will serve Free Super Clean Filter Coffee of Vietnam to everyone who visit from Sept. 3rd, 2013.
Will this first Vietnamese coffee shop in the U.S. create a tidal wave of interest or will it just be a flash in the pan? I plan on stopping by to get some Free Super Clean Filter Coffee. 

Speaking of coffee.... At the Cheyenne Farmers' Market on Saturday, I discovered that Cheyenne now has its own coffee roaster. Higher Grounds Cafe & Roastery is located at 15th St. and Thomes Ave. downtown. It's open from 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays. I plan on going by to check out some of its Ethiopean varieties -- and smell the coffee roasting. 

I wrote the other day about the Casper College Literary Conference Sept. 13-14 and its fine offerings. I won't repeat myself. Check it out here.

The same weekend, writer Sherwin Bitsui, who grew up on the Navajo Reservation and now lives in Tucson, will stage a public reading of his work at UW. It will be in the Wyoming Union Senate Chambers at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13. 

BeatGrass helps kick off the Freedom's Edge Brewing Company's Forever West Fest Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m., in Cheyenne. Drink locally made craft beers and enjoy locally made bluegrass. 

The band Gooding is very proud of its Wichita, Kan., roots. They should be. I spent some of my formative years in Wichita and look how I turned out. Gooding will be in Cheyenne Sept. 3 for a financial literacy presentation for students at Central H.S. The band will play Sept. 7 at Midtown Tavern. You can catch their funky homemade video here. I like the fact that the band brags about using a real woman and actress from Wichita in the video instead of an anorectic model from who-knows-where. Very real. Very cool.

Finally, the Pokes return to Laramie Saturday to play Idaho. Let's see how they fare playing a non-ranked opponent on their home field.

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