Hey, Spike! tells of movies, art and elk
It was back in the Kingdom of Breckenridge in the early ’70s when carpenter Michael Longueira spotted a new sign on his way into town to the jobsite: City of Dogs.
That’s one recollection the Tottenville, N.Y., native offered when back for a quick visit recently from his home in Santa Fe.
Another anecdote: Going to the Gold Pan Saloon for drinks after work.
“Sometimes, well into the night, a brawl would break out between the hippies and the rednecks – glasses, bottles and people would be flying around,” he recalls.
Since then, Michael has worked doing painting at Copper Mountain, building at the Climax Mine on Fremont Pass, laying pipeline from near Leadville to Twin Lakes, and living in Buena Vista and Alamosa.
His resume includes one winter departure – he went to the South Pole Station to pound nails for Raytheon.
He settled in the Land of Enchantment, and is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts – better shortened to IATSE 480.
Fifty-eight-year-old Michael spent a decade building sets and remodeling at the world-class Santa Fe Opera.
The last eight years, he’s been constructing sets for movies like “3:10 to Yuma,” starring Russell Crowe; “Terminator IV – Salvation;” “No Country for Old Men,” with Tommy Lee Jones; and “Shaun of the Dead.”
He also did some of the interior sets for the recent Lifetime documentary, “Georgia O’Keefe.”
His work will be seen in the soon-to-be released, “Paul,” which has a storyline of “two English guys, who are headed to an international comic book convention in Arizona, when they pick up an alien in New Mexico,” he explains.
Slated for production soon is “Thor.”
Michael says New Mexico has developed a first-class studio near the Duke City of Albuquerque, and done a very good job of attracting Hollywood movie types with its tax incentives.
Former Frisco Heights resident Nel Markle writes from her returned-to-home in Dallas, where she will host a one-woman art show in November in the West Wing of Hawkins-Box Gallery.
An oils and handmade paper artist, Nel and husband George, who passed away three years ago, retired here after his career as a Liberty Mutual executive.
“I finally decided that life goes on – so get with it,” Nel’s e-mail says. “I returned to my church and have made many new friends, and I also returned to my old artists’ critique group, which meets once a month.”
Email Nel: firstname.lastname@example.org
Continental Divide Land Trust Executive Director Leigh Girvin tells this road kill (maybe) story:
“We were in my dad Bob’s Suburban near the Henderson Mill on Ute Pass, and were not going very fast – thank goodness because it could have been much worse.
“A big bull elk came out in front of us too late to do anything. The vehicle is damaged and the elk walked away, but very slowly. Hopefully, hunters have found him today and put him out of his misery.
“We’re okay – just sad for the beautiful animal. We had been elk watching in the park and saw a huge herd of cows, calves, spikes, and two big bulls. And we were scouting locations for a memorial for Dodie (Bingham) next summer. So it was especially poignant to injure one of those lovely creatures,” Leigh says.
Bumper the Bear, mascot of the National Road Kill Museum, based in Frisco, will be sending its “Associate Curator” certificate to Leigh.
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation is searching for two XC “warrior” skiers to trek 54k from Cable to Hayward, Wisc., on Feb. 27, 2010.
ABSF is also looking for Inga, a skiing mother of Prince Haakon.
To enter, email a 300-word essay to email@example.com Deadline is Nov. 6; winners will be announced on Dec. 8.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a resident of Summit County since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers in Summit County for 20 years.
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