Friday, February 26, 2010

Roaring Fork, Crystal River Revisited

 Even your dedicated editor has to get away once in a while, so we headed back to one of our favorite stomping grounds, Glenwood Springs, hopeful that the magic sulfur waters would cure the cold that we had picked up in the trenches.

Of course no trip to Glenwood would be complete for me without a side trip to the Crystal River Valley, where I once (mid '70s) filmed a public service announcement in opposition to the development of a dam and reservoir there. Folks thought that long-time resident Marjorie Orloski would be the perfect person to make the argument against the dam.

Mrs. Orloski lived in lovely cabin which had once been a railroad depot. I arrived a little early and could not raise anyone by voice, so I waited in my van. Soon, a spry little lady of 60+ came snowshoeing over the embankment - she had been out running her traps.

The inside walls of her living area where covered in pelts - an array the likes of which I had never seen. She was very hospitable, and I shot scenes of her talking about the valley. Later I superimposed her face over a slow zoom out of a scene much like the one above. The spot aired, and the dam didn't get built, so I always like to say that the PSA saved the Crystal River valley from inundation.

Well, the healing waters back at the world's largest hot springs pool didn't do the trick. I ended up with a fever and went to the Valley View Hospital ER to get some penicillin. What an expensive way to dispense drugs!

But you can't keep a good reporter down, even when he's sick, so I stopped by the Peaceful Warrior (medical marijuana dispensary in a former filling station in Glenwood at 6th and Pine). There I spoke with the proprietor, David Martin, about his growing business.

The town had been receptive, he said, but the inspections and, especially, the taxes, were getting him down. Just that morning he had been told by an inspector that he couldn't sell the little 3-inch plants because of the lack of agricultural zoning. He estimated that taxes were taking 60% of his gross, and said he had a tax payment check of $7000 in his pocket for delivery that day. His workers were busy painting and putting up shelves, but he lamented that he would have been able to hire two additional workers if not for the tax burden.

The funny thing, he said, was that he had first gotten into the business when he was sent to do a TV interview of his now-partner in the mmj business. They got to talking, and one thing led to another, and now, here he was, full tilt into the Peaceful Warrior. You never know.

Photos by GHT


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