I don't know who John Ebey is, but I'd like to send a great big "thankye kindly" his way, because the Colorado College John Ebey Visiting Writers Program is bringing a slew of interesting literary figures to our fair burg. The tradition continues today with novelist Larry Watson whose works include In a Dark Time, Montana 1948, White Crosses and Laura. Watson will be teaching at the college this month, but first he will read selections from his writing at 7:30 p.m. in Gates Common Room in Palmer Hall, just north of Armstrong Quad, as part of the Visiting Writers Series. Admission is free, call 389-6607. (This isn't the only literary event at CC this week; check out Monday.)
Anti-personnel mines, or land mines, aren't deadly in their explosion alone, but in the fact that the blast sends thousands of bearings, nails, and other kinds of shrapnel speeding in all directions. Stepping on one would be akin to being shot by 50 rounds of buckshot at point-black range. Author Luong Ung witnessed this kind of devastation firsthand, when the Khmer Rouge overtook Cambodia and killed those who didn't flee to the countryside. In 1978, Ung's father, mother and two siblings were murdered and she was forced to become a child soldier. After escaping in 1980, Ung took up the cause of dealing with the leftover landmines in Southeast Asia and became spokesperson for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation's Landmine Campaign. She also wrote a book, First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers. Ung will be speaking in the University Room 116 A & B at UCCS, 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is free; call 262-3450.
The historic and charming Rock Ledge Ranch at the east entrance to the Garden of the Gods will be the setting for the 22nd annual Country Christmas Folk Art Festival this weekend. I know, it seems a bit premature to be thinking of the holidays, but just you want until it's December 24 and you're in a panic because you can't find a store that carries dried apple Santas. The art festival will also feature a quilt exhibit and living history demonstrations through Sunday. Admission is $1-$5 and benefits the American Indian Interpretive Area and the furnishing of Rock Ledge House. Call 578-6777 for details.
It's easy to forget how dangerous the job of a firefighter is until you're faced with the ominous threat of fire. Then you realize that nothing less than an iron-willed superhero could walk into those searing pits of hell. And they do it to save you and your stuff. As liberally as the term "hero" is applied these days, firefighters deserve it. The memorial on the corner of Hancock and East Pikes Peak Avenues is the site of the 14th annual IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Observance, beginning today at 1:30 p.m. This year 59 names of those who gave their lives in the line of duty will be inscribed on the Wall of Honor. Be there to pay your respects. Call 442-2014 for more.
It's an... oh! Such a hungry yearning burning inside of me/ and this torment won't be through/'til you let me spend my life making love to you/ day and night, night and day.
And so goes my favorite Cole Porter song, and it might be yours too after you hear it performed in Anything Goes, Porter's hit musical about a luxury liner full of gangsters, royalty, showgirls and torch singers -- all with a lot of put-on airs. The Air Force Academy's Arnold Hall will house the touring Broadway show which begins at 7:30 p.m. This is a one night thing, so you better get right on getting tickets ($15-$35) by calling 333-4497.
It will be an interesting sight in Cripple Creek this evening, when Ute Pass band The Riders open for Bill Haley's Comets at the Gold Rush Palladium. Normally, the band plays a blend of Eagles, Dylan, the Dead and modern rock, but in honor of the event, The Riders are only going to play '50s rock 'n' roll. I'm seeing saddle shoes, I'm seeing Johnny collars. ... And you remember the Comets -- one o'clock two o'clock three o'clock rock -- they were one of the first bands to really popularize that new-fangled devil music. Tickets are $5-$15 and can be purchased by phoning 520-9090. The show starts at 5:30, but once the sun drops it will be a bit chilly in the outdoor venue, so bring a jacket.
Three members of the Veronika Quartet will perform sonatas for cello and piano at First Christian Church this afternoon, and it makes you wonder -- what happened to the fourth member? Has she been abducted? Did she rebel and become a Riot Grrrl? The scandal will be cleared up, I'm sure, at 3 p.m. at the church, 16 E. Platte Ave. Admission is free; goodwill offerings will be accepted. Call 633-8888 for details.
How hasn't Richard Wilbur been commended? Chancellor Emeritus of the Academy of American Poets, Wilbur has won the Bollingen Prize, T.S. Eliot Award, Ford Foundation Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships, Edna St. Vincent Millay Memorial Award, Prix de Rome fellowship, American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Poetry, election as a chevalier of the Ordre des Plames Acadmiq-ues and, finally, two Pulitzer Prizes. Wilbur reads from his most recent collection of poems, Mayflies, in Shove Chapel on the east side of the Colorado College campus at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Call 389-6607.
If you're interested in folk music, check out this cozy little concert at a private residence near Cheyenne Caon. Telluride Songwriters Competition finalist and Minnesota Music Awards Best Folk Artist nominee Peter Mayer plays at 7 p.m. Local guitarist Joe Uveges opens. (Just so you know, Mayer is not the same Peter Mayer, lead guitarist for Jimmy Buffett, coming to Woodland Park next week. It's just a strange coincidence.) Admission is $6 and all proceeds go to the artists. RSVP to Rob Gordon, 389-0719, and he'll give you the lowdown on location.
Anon, anon! Get thee and thine downtown to the Lon Chaney Theater, 221 E. Kiowa for the first Star Bar Players performance of Shakespeare's King Lear. The play will be followed by a talkback session, where you either get to sass the players, or perhaps just ask questions, it's not quite clear. Tickets are $10-$12, and Lear runs through Oct. 8. Call 573-7411 for reservations and info.
WWJD on Sept. 20 (if He was the victim of a terrorist attack)
The City wants to make sure their Office of Emergency Managment (OEM) is going to be ready for anything, especially terrorist attacks. What with Focus and the world's highest Ferris wheel here ... phew, you never know who could attempt to conquer us. So the OEM needs 180 citizens to show up at the Fire Training Center, 801 Prospect Lake Drive, and pretend that they have been the innocent victims of a horrible attack by terrorists with chemical weapons such as Sarin gas. Makeup artists will create various injuries so response personnel can prioritize hospitalization. The devastation will last seven or eight hours, in which you'll be able to showcase your best "Please God, don't let me die" and "Oh no, not the children" shrieks and wails. Call 385-5957 for an info packet.