Thursday, June 19, 2014

Things have changed...

I want to start writing again.  I'm not sure how it would be received.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

That could've been me...

Recently I was an unfortunate bystander to a group of all-together great people standing around while just a simple few drug someone's name through the mud. Publicly.

Some listened.

Some laughed.

Some even participated as the raucous got tin pan louder.

I had to walk away.

I know that person. Well sort of. I know a version of that person. I know versions of the people who were there. I know versions of a lot of people. Glimpses. Snap shots or clips in a grand documentary. Tough to judge a film by the trailer, or the poster. Even the critics get it wrong.

Simply put I walked away because it could have been me they were egg-tossing. Fact. It has been me.

"Well...that person deserved it. They're all that and more than what was said. That's exactly the person I knew." Sure. Maybe. I guess. I don't really know. At all.

I guess people have a right to say whatever they want about whomever they want, but should they? Should we?

It wasn't funny. It was tympanic-tragic. It could've been any one of us.

It could have been, and often has been me. My promise to you is that if I'm in the room, it won't be you.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

James William Sharp

On December 29, 1927, James William Sharp was born the youngest child to Harry Reanen and Lulu Lenna Sharp. A shy and timid boy, he spend his days with his brother Aubrey learning blacksmithing, carpentry, haying, painting, fencing and trapping in the Pagosa Springs, Colorado area.

Can you picture this wiry red-headed boy in bib-overalls eagerly making his way to a one-room school house on skis behind his brother Jack? Now picture him as an adult driving extreme skiers up Little Nell on Aspen mountain in a snow-cat.

A self-described cowboy, Jim and his horse Sue roped, branded cattle and rode in the parades in Pagosa. He and Aubrey sang tunes as Gene Autrey and Ernest Tubbs - later on in life he would join late night musical jam sessions with his bride Martha, and Johnny & Sara Masco.

It was at Pagosa Springs High School that Jim wooed the eventual class Valedictorian Martha Nossman. When Martha graduated, she left for Fort Lewis College on full scholarship and Jim was heartbroken - he wrote "...I wouldn't let her go back, and then we got married."

Their lives together began December 4, 1947...and all that followed was because two people fell in love...

Jim supported his new bride ranching cattle until in 1954. During this time, they added three precious members to their union - Catherine Irene, Glen William and Roger Allen.

They packed an old International Pickup and headed for Carbondale Colorado. Their move from Pagosa wouldn't be without it's challenges. The truck broke down, all three kids contracted the Red Measles and Jim made an abrupt career change...all this in one year's time.

Going from rancher to heavy equipment operator was no small feat, but as was Jim's nature, he rolled up the sleeves of a pearl snap-button work shirt, stepped in and went to work.

It was here in Carbondale that Jim and Martha opened their home to the full-time LDS missionaries, were baptized and later sealed for time and all eternity in the Manti Utah Temple. A decision that continues to effect generations.

For 45 years "Jimmy" as he became known to his co-workers and friends, dynamited and built roads, dug culverts, cleared paths, graded dams, and dug basements for common men and Saudi Princes alike. His reputation as one of the "best operators in western Colorado" grew out of doing the impossible. Like righting a tipped backhoe off a lowboy trailer or moving a 200 ft. pine tree. As Jim wrote, "The difficult we do right away, the impossible takes a little longer." We might reflect on his life and his accomplishments and say that the impossible took 83 years.

It may have been in experiences in childhood and adulthood that prepared him for the difficulties and triumphs in life - like checking trap lines on home made snow shoes in three feet of snow, or building a dream home in Center Creek with his three children and son-in-law Dick Maddalone, nearly dieing from tick fever or rescuing a trapped bulldozer with Scrap-Iron in a fierce Colorado July blizzard.

Marrying Martha, sealing his family in the holy temple, obediently serving God as a Clerk, Branch President, on a full-time mission in Oklahoma and as pioneer of the LDS faith in the Aspen Valley are surely the hallmarks of this wonderful man's life.

For 63 years he was a faithful husband to Martha - rolled into that were duties as a father of three, and a "Grandpahhhh" to 16 who each have their special fishing in Spokane, site seeing in Kauai, being reminded that they are loved just because they were born, slices of homemade pie, shooting, hunting, extra bowls of ice cream, the black candy dish, M&M's and football games. Being lulled to sleep on the front seat of a gas truck over Wolf Creek Pass or on the back of a bulldozer on a 45 degree grade. Beating all the other Dad's at the Father and Sons foot race in his cowboy boots or beating Jarret to the end zone at a Basalt vs Glenwood football contest, painting a car or two or three, fixing everything imaginable with just a little more spit and bailing wire, losing a son to a coal mine, or gaining a posterity of 16 grand-children and 37 (and counting) great grand-children.

Forgiveness. Work. Obedience. Humility. Tenacity. Creativity. Compassion - Jim Sharp. He once said that he'd lived a life of no regrets...what a testament.

He is survived by his beautiful and dedicated wife of 63 years, Martha Irene - daughter Cathy (Dick) Maddalone, son Roger (Nancy), daughter-in-law Cheryl, two brothers Jack and Aubrey, and a sister-in-law Sara Masco.

He is preceded in death by a brother Robert Vernon, sister Eula King and his son Glen William.

We celebrate this impossibly wonderful life here on Earth. We look forward through worthiness to joining him and reminiscing more...maybe over a cup of hot Tang and some of Grandma's cookies...over the legacy set forth all because two people fell in love.

-Jarret M. Sharp
Eulogy of my Grandpa
April, 2011

References - personal notes, memories, conversations with my beautiful cousins, talks with Aunt Nancy, Uncle Roger, Uncle Dick, Aunt Cathy, photographs, prayer and fasting.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

from a deleted blog called lend me your eyes....

First one about my Mom, Kelly...

You gave me life in circumstances that I can only imagine were confusing to you. You gave me a chance at consistency when I think you doubted your own reality.

I have referred to myself as a 60's love child, and I mean it. I think you were in love with being in love your entire life. You loved and lived very passionately - so much so that I think you were left alone in the very darkest hours of your existence.

I am trying really hard to write something about you that is deep and meaningful - and it just isn't working out. So let me tell what I learned from you. You taught me to bead and hunt mushrooms. You taught me how to hide drugs in film canisters and to drive a stick shift.

You introduced me to a man who thought he was Jesus, and then he gave me a .22 rifle. I learned a lot about Potawatomee Indians from you, also how to pan gold and skinny dip.

I rode in my first red convertible with you, right down main street in Glenwood Springs on our way to see Star Wars. I never heard anyone sing like you until I listened to Bonnie Raite. You are the only one in the world besides my buddy Todd who could pull off calling me "J". I liked it when you called me that.

I encountered my first ghost when we broke into that mansion in Lake City, and you protected me from the cops, your high school buddy Dick White. You gave me the courage to talk to bikers while you sat in the bar and talked with your friends.

I learned about predators like Jimmie Bebopp, how to make beds, how to make a Shirley Temple, who Journey, ELO and Eric Clapton were. Did you really have dinner with him?

I knew you loved me and that you had so many regrets and from that I learned to be careful and to ask a lot of questions. You gave me Aunt Roberta, Uncle Bill's Corvette on prom night and my first taste of wild goose.

There's more, I am sure. For now, I remember your laugh and your tears. Mostly our goodbye's and the one I missed. Mom, I love you. Rest.

Next, one about my people from BHS Class of '87...

I think it was Glenn Frey who, during the "When Hell Freezes Over" tour, said "We [The Eagles] never broke up, we just took a 15 year haiatus."

Basalt High School Class of 1987, the finest group of individuals to ever grace the graduate venue, gets back together again this week. I won't be there, but my best friends will be. I like to remember them this way, but in no particular order.

Tammy Kehrig had the best smile, next to Rebekah Hasti. Scott Barnes took the hardest hit I have ever witnessed in a football game against Aspen. Tim Comroe is the only guy I have ever known who owned a 1968 GTO and then sold it, he also beat up Andrew Guerrilos with a baseball bat. Eddie Godfrey could fix a lot of stuff, I've known him since I was 2. Todd Selby played Pac-Man better than anyone, made me laugh harder than anyone and got away with more stuff than anyone except me. Bill Crowley, man could he run, and listen to Lionel Richie. Astrid Lizotte, well I could talk to her forever. Becky Woodward was beautiful. Julie Lorton had the best laugh and the best brain which made her the hottest girl in the world. David Davidson liked me anyway and made a Maverick look sexy. Alan Leslie could do anything, and does. Daniel Ritsch's brother called himself Aurelius, Daniel drove a Cougar, an Audi and was the strongest human I have ever known. Amanda Bearden and Tonja Williams were the kindest people I knew. Tami Williams took me to one dance and dumped me, I've never been the same. Kerry McCune had answers and perspective which made her majestic to me. Mr. Laffler was baffling. Jason Cohenour made me want to be a better person. Jamie Perciful gave me a glimpse of creativity. Kathleen Mesceri was a renaissance woman. Toby Robinson is the quintessential friend. Brenda Veitch was like the person I counted on, my sun, there for me. Steven Koski punched me so hard I still feel it, and was so kind afterwards, I feel that too. Veronica Kline was steel and velvet. Denise Bailey was the girl I always wanted to know better. Did Russell Bear sign his name with an X along with Theron and Bill Eiland just to freak me out? Kelly Coberly lived around the corner from my grandparents, she looked great in a pair of 501's. Michelle Morris had Hollywood eyes. Mary Hudspeth read more books than Mr. Anderson, and I think it ate at him. Kandi Bowles made we want to make sure I didn't have any boogers hanging out of my nose or food in my teeth. Mike Weed made gloves look tough. Gayle Reinke was tough. Kenny McLendon was not a chaunch - but he taught me a lot about them. Stephanie McLaine (sp?) had the best tank tops.

Some of these memories are childish, and silly, but it is how I saw things then. I sat in class with these people, some for 13 years. They were my family. They taught me and shaped me in many ways, to be who I am and who I am not.

I hope David Davidson threw out those pictures. I hope Mr. V got a raging case of the clap and finally moved out of his mother's house. I hope that Merc knew how much I loved her for telling me it would be alright. I hope Mr. Manown forgave me for calling him Moonie. If Clint Jackson ever tells me he dunked again, I will beat him up again, but I do hope he gives me back my stuff. I never pulled the fire alarm, I won't tell who did. Among other things, I did paint 1986 all over the school with fire extinguishers, but I won't tell who helped me. I still have the card that Eddie Godfrey and Astrid Lizotte delivered to my house the day after my Dad died. You all signed it.

I hope each of them has become all that they wanted to be, and that they realize that they have so much more to give and to go. If I forgot someone, it happens that they probably forgot me as well and I am fine with that. If I missed a spelling here and there, it's because I no longer teach. If I had it to do again, I would only change the amount of times I told each of you how much I love you, some more, some less. HA!

I want all of you who do remember me, to remember the good and forgive the bad. I miss you all.

We've never broke up, we're just taking another 10 year hiatus.


last night, after a full day at work, coaching the Glendale Parks Marlins (shout out), inhaling a PBJ by Jamie, running to the house for my loppers, trimmers, chainsaw, oilcan, gas can and tool box, trip to a local petro station for some cool bevies and then finally to the 77th avenue building....

...i gathered up 4 of the most amazing young men on the planet. i won't name names, you'll read of them some day soon.

they gave up an evening to go cut down a mesquite tree. buggar of a tree.

we gassed up, gloved up, oiled the chain up, safety goggled up and cut up. scratches and pokies notwhithstanding - another trip to the petro station for more cool bevies was in order.

we cajole, joke, poke, tease, laugh and engage in general boyhood tom-foolery. i'm a little longer in the tooth than they - but they treat me as an equal - as they do EVERYBODY.

i love those boys. i hope i grow up to be just like them. i pray God knows how much i love them, that he protects them, blesses them, guides and teaches them how to sink their roots deep and grow heavenward.

Monday, May 24, 2010

media fast

I recently issued a challenge to the sr ym - coincidentally one of the most courageous group of men i've ever had the honor of serving with - to fast from all forms of media.

Not from technology.

From media.

For two weeks.

I engaged in the same.

This is my report.

It. Was. Liberating.

My thoughts are now my own. I am not tied to a news agency, defined by "my shows" or scheduled around what's on or off. I don't miss anything. Put another way, I was missing getting things done, engaging my friends, getting to know my children, reading good books.

Let me say that again...reading good books. That was for you Orion - my twin.

Media fasts aren't for everyone. Nor are good books. Hat tip to Deland for his idea. He's one creative cat.

Don't bother asking me what's going on. I no longer read 10 blogs a day, check 5 international headlines, tune in to 3 radio programs. My ear buds are reserved for yard work to drown out the hum of a lawn mower.

Sometimes it gets real quiet, and I find myself thinking about what I want, when I want.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

decisions, decisions...

i read somewhere, a quote by a french philosopher, basically saying that maturity includes the ability to make one choice, knowing full well that one is making that choice and willing to let go of every other option.

i am a new born baby.