Adventures from Back of Beyond

Friday, July 27, 2007

Welcome to My Town

We were recently in Telluride for our 22nd wedding anniversary. Just happened to turn out that way; we had no set itinerary. This was part of a longer trip just sort of cruising around the San Juans, which are spectacular in mid-July.

Coincidentally, Bob Dylan was in Telluride for a concert that same day. Seemed fortuitous, and worth attending, but the tickets were $50 each. Before shelling out that kind of money, we checked out the venue, which was the city park, outdoors on the grass.

There, several hours before the concert, I got to talking to one of the volunteer security persons at the gate. Friendly sort, let me look around. During that time the security supervisor, John, cruised up in his golf cart. Also friendly. Spontaneously I asked John if they needed any more volunteers.

John paused, and said yes as a matter of fact they did. There was nobody working the least desirable shift, between 7:30 and 10 p.m., during the concert. We'd get in free if we'd work then.

OK I said, put us both down. I would of course have to run this by Sharon for approval. Not entirely surprisingly, Sharon liked the idea. A former bartender who likes to socialize while working, she was into it, in fact.

So dutifully we showed up at 7:30. I worked the gate, checking for tickets and wrist bands. Sharon worked the exit, making sure no one left with any alcohol. We wore bright yellow hats emblazoned "security".

People, all types and all ages, entered basically all night, almost until the concert was over. Many were shall we say feeling no pain. Some literally stumbled in drunk.

At one point I remarked to a uniformed town marshall (they don't call them police there) standing next to me, "wow, they're wasted even before they get here!"

The marshall, a nice patient man who didn't do much more than be visible all night, made with a broad smile the now classic statement to me: "welcome to my town!" He want on to explain how Telluride, from a law enforcement perspective, is infested not just with drunks but with all sorts of recreational drugs -- marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine. Lots of rich folks here, with discretionary funds to purchase such items.

Sharon had the more difficult job, challenging belligerent drunks trying to take out beers and other open containers. She did such a good job, in fact, that John the supervisor invited us back to work security for the Blues and Brews Festival in September.

So this was quite the memorable anniversary. Right up there with the lobster on the rocky coast of Acadia National Park. But that's another story.

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