Sunday, June 01, 2014

Sunday morning round-up: Job's suffering, Dems gathering and summer fun

I am thinking today of a friend and a relative, both having trouble with their bipolar illnesses. One is in a treatment center and the other is debilitated by anxiety. I am thinking about them and praying for them. You have to pray extra hard for people seeking treatment for mental illness. There's the stigma, of course. There's also the fact that resources are limited, not because they don't exist but because we are a rural state that lacks mental health professionals and treatment centers. Some people go without because they can't afford it. They may be members of the working poor who would benefit from Medicaid Expansion which Republicans in Wyoming continue to block. Some people may not know where to turn. Finding help can be a daunting task, one that takes know-how and moxie and the patience of Job, who experienced many trials:
My skin turns black and falls from me,
and my bones burn with heat.
My lyre is turned to mourning,
and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.
We are not taking care of "those who weep." 

Registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats 2-to-1 in Wyoming. The odds aren't nearly as lopsided in Laramie County, the most populous in the state. We elect Dems to the Legislature in this county: Floyd Esquibel, Ken Esquibel, Jim Byrd, Mary Throne, Lee Filer. There have been others, too. Not nearly enough, but it's a start. Come out today from 2-5 p.m. to a Dem attention-getter and fund-raiser at A&B Camping, 1503 College Drive. Meet the incumbents and three candidates running for the first time  Tix are $15 and include some great A&B barbecue and a big helping of camaraderie. Invite your friend or neighbor, the one who often wonders aloud: "Are there any Democrats in Wyoming?"

He or she may be the same person who says "There's nothing to do in Cheyenne." Usually those are our teen children, morose little beasts, who think nothing of packing a dozen of their friends into a car for a concert in Denver but won't go to Ernie November concerts downtown or one of the many summer outdoor events. The Wyoming Arts Council has put together a summer calendar on its web site. It's chock-full of music festivals, brewfests, mountain bike rallies, powwows and so on. Our summers may be short but they are filled to the brim with stuff to do. Cheyenne has the Hispanic Festival, Juneteenth, the Celtic Music Festival, Wyoming Brewfest and Superday -- and that's just in June. Jackson's first-ever Wild Festival promises to be very cool. It's a week-long mix of plein air painting, solstice celebration, raptor appreciation and music, plus all of the good vibes that go with being in Jackson on a glorious summer day. Donkey Creek Festival in Gillette has some neat bands lined up and the Nic Fest in Casper celebrates the culture of Brazil, site of this year's World Cup. And for those of you 21 and older, there are brewfests galore. Go to the WAC summer calendar and prepare to be entertained.

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