| 1-Feb-09 |
Charlie Brown's Bar and Grill and the Colburn Hotel, 980 Grant St.
Drenched in Denver history, the bar on the bottom floor of the Colburn Hotel has been mixing cocktails since Prohibition, and is perhaps commonly identified as a frequent watering hole for the beat axis of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Neal Cassady. Amazingly, the physical features of the place are as they were then. Rather than try and conform to trends, the bar exists as a kind of timeless space,
all dark wood, low light and memory.
Once you walk in, it's not too difficult to imagine Cassady, Kerouac and company sitting in a darkened corner,
hunched over drinks, rushing headlong into life's potential.
Not one brick has changed since then.
Of course Pam and I had to toss back a few in the bar, toasting Carolyn, Neal, Jack, the piano, "gone" ladies who have come and gone, the old wood on the walls and the people next table to us…
The bar is its own scene…
"The following ten days were, as W.C. Fields said, 'fraught with eminent peril,' -- and mad," writes Kerouac at the beginning of chapter seven in "On the Road," bracing readers for a raucous jaunt that would include the Colburn Hotel.
In the summer of 1947, the hotel was the setting for a series of steamy relationships, all involving Neal Cassady. Cassady would split his time between Carolyn Robinson (who would later become Carolyn Cassady), his first wife, (called Marylou in "On the Road"), and Ginsberg, who was openly homosexual.
"Between the two of them he rushes to me for our own unfinished business," says Ginsberg in "On the Road." To which Kerouac replies, "And what business is that?" "Dean (Neal) and I are embarked on a tremendous season together. We're trying to communicate with absolute honesty and absolute completeness everything on our minds." To do this, they would use then-legal Benzedrine inhalers and sit cross-legged on the bed facing each other.
The Colburn Hotel was built in 1925, but didn't open for business until May 25, 1928, because of financial problems. "It was one of the premier hotels in Denver," says Nancy Riede, current owner of the Colburn. "They had a garden on the roof ... it was quite spectacular."
The glitz has faded somewhat, as the Colburn currently contracts with the Denver Housing Authority in a federal program designed to get homeless people back on their feet.
- ks -
| 25-Jan-09 |
It was the very early spring of 1970.
Amy had hitch-hiked from Long Island up to the woods of Massachusetts to spend a few days with me.
At the time, I was not very involved in my first year of college...
She was exhausted from her journey and quickly fell asleep.
I grabbed this b/w shot of her with one of my first cameras.
We were good friends that shared some strange and great adventures together...
Amy Samuels, 57; conducted research in animal behavior at Woods Hole
The Boston Globe
Those fortunate enough to watch dolphins or baboons with Amy Samuels usually had a revelation as they listened to her discuss what she was seeing. In that moment, her companions suddenly viewed the animals through her eyes.
"It was amazing to watch what she was observing in the wild and with animals in captivity," said Peter Tyack, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "As you stood next to her, she often would describe something that you would then see in a whole new light after she explained it."
Traveling the world to research animal behavior, she hop scotched continents, and the breadth of her experience made her observations all the more incisive. Dr. Samuels, whose findings opened windows into the world of dolphin behavior, died Dec. 9 of cancer in her West Falmouth home. She was 57.
"Amy had a very strong sense of her own personal interests and beliefs, and was terrific at acting on those," Tyack said.
"She was also an amazing observer of animal behavior, whether they were in captivity or in the wild, and she seemed to be able to get underneath the surface of what you saw and understand why an animal was behaving in a certain way."
Amy Ruth Samuels was the second of four children born to Peggy and Harold Samuels, historians who collected Western American art.
"She was the strong person in the family," said her younger sister, Joan, of Switzerland. "She was always the biggest, the strongest, the most determined." Friends and family could not have predicted when she graduated from Locust Valley High School on New York's Long Island that she was bound for California, Africa, and Australia, but they soon found that simply tagging along was challenging.
"I never could keep up with her; I don't know anybody who could," her sister said. "She left people in the dust. She was one of those people who didn't stop."
Once she stayed with her sister when she was doing research on wild immature savannah baboons in Kenya's Amboseli National Park.
"It was basically survival keeping up with her," Joan said, laughing at the memory. "At some point, I'd be literally passing out from heat, and she'd say, 'Get a grip.' Those were her famous lines, 'Get it done' or 'Get a grip.' "
If anything, Dr. Samuels pushed herself harder than she ever pushed others. After high school, she attended Antioch College in Ohio, and then decided she wanted to study dolphins with a scientist in Southern California.
"He gets a phone call from her and says, 'We don't have any money for you, but if you want to come out, we can put you to work,' " said Richard Connor, a friend of Dr. Samuels who is a professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. "So she hitchhikes across the country and shows up barefoot and in a granny dress. He said she told him the last meal she had was pork and beans that was heated on the manifold of a motorcycle that was her last ride."
For Dr. Samuels, that encounter launched her career in conservation biology. She traveled to Hawaii to work with a marine biologist, and then got a job working with the scientists who conducted groundbreaking research in sign language with chimpanzees.
She received a bachelor's in biological anthropology from the University of California at Davis in 1979, and graduated from the same school three years later with a master's in biological ecology.
Dr. Samuels spent several years in Africa, engaged in research on baboon behavior, and later was a behavioral biologist in the department of conservation at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill.
In recent years, she was a visiting investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, though she still traveled extensively, observing dolphins in habitats as far away as Key West, Fla., and the Monkey Mia Research Foundation in western Australia.
"She was obviously incredibly adventurous," Connor said.
Dr. Samuels received a doctorate in biological oceanography from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1996.
Part of her research focused on the effects of tourism on free-ranging bottlenose dolphins, and how boats of visitors traveling nearby can affect the animals' behavior. "I think, increasingly, she was involved in the environmental aspects of what she was doing," said her older brother, Peter, of New York City. "She saw and felt very strongly about the impact of tourism, and the disappearing habitat."
By observing dolphins in captivity and in the wild, Dr. Samuels noticed things that escaped the attention of colleagues.
"Others had noticed the fights among animals and the dominance in their actions, but hadn't noticed the more subtle way they reconciled afterward," Tyack said.
"She noticed gentle touching between animals after those kinds of fights and realized they seemed to be a reconciliation behavior."
The range of experience Dr. Samuels brought to her work, having observed primates and marine animals, no doubt helped her see behavior with fresh eyes, he said.
"And once she made this kind of finding, she was very good at developing a systematic way of making observations to test this kind of idea," Tyack said.
Dr. Samuels also was good at making her knowledge accessible to more than scientists. Along with scholarly articles, she published a children's book, "Follow that Fin: Studying Dolphin Behavior," in 2000.
Children - including her daughter, Caiming, of West Falmouth, and her nieces and nephews - played a large role in the life Dr. Samuels, and she did in theirs.
"To me, the biggest thing with Amy - and I told her this when she was dying - was what a role model she was for my kids," said her younger brother, Matthew, of Searsmont, Maine. "She was such an extraordinary woman in everything she did. My three daughters looked up to her so much, as did Caiming. You could ask for none better."
A memorial service will be held at a later date