Max’s Journal 4/27/2014

By Max R. Weller

Boulder Public Library has more than its share of controversy, and this has been the case for many years. See Notable events in Boulder Library history from the Daily Camera archives. Excerpt below:

2001 — Library director Marcalee Gralapp ignites a national controversy when she turns down employees’ requests to hang a large flag at the library’s Arapahoe Avenue entrance after 9/11.

“We have people of every faith and culture walking into this building, and we want everybody to feel welcome,” Gralapp told the Camera at the time.

Things get even crazier in November, when the library’s art gallery displays “Hung Out to Dry,” an exhibit featuring colorful ceramic penises hanging from knitted cozies clothes-pinned to a cord strung between a wall and a column. The work is part of an “Art Triumphs Over Domestic Violence” display that includes pieces of art created by former abuse victims or their relatives.

In mid-November, local resident Bob Rowan, calling himself “El Dildo Bandito,” steals the work, which is confiscated from his home by Boulder police the next day. Rowan eventually pleads no contest to second-degree criminal tampering, a misdemeanor, and receives a one-month deferred sentence.

Photo and caption below from the Facebook page of This is Boulder Colorado:

10012665_301427300012109_401288482_o

The deserving poor…smoking pot next to the library. I’m not sure how anyone who can’t afford food or a home finds the money to buy drugs. Maybe if the city stopped giving them a free lunch they’d use their money to buy food instead of drugs? Just a thought.

My post this morning from the Facebook group I Remember When . . . Lexington, MO is copied below:

I wish I knew more about Lexington, MO’s history in re the lives of ordinary working class folks (for example, immigrant coal miners) and the African slaves; the latter group created the wealth which enabled the many fine antebellum homes to be built in my hometown, but they toiled and died in obscurity. Are there any descendants of local slaves living in Lexington, MO today? Lafayette County is noteworthy for having more slaves in 1860 than any other county in the state; 6,374 slaves “owned” by 909 slaveholders, according to this source: http://www.missouri-history.itgo.com/slave.html

What other online resources are available which tell the story we’ve seldom heard? Don’t misunderstand, I don’t hold white people alive today accountable for the evil of slavery 150 and more years ago — but I certainly think it’s incumbent on us to examine the history of slavery in Lexington, MO with total candor. I find my own ignorance of the subject appalling, having lived in the old hometown for the first 47 years of my life.

I’m also fascinated by stories like this one: http://www.kshs.org/p/slave-shackle/10381 Robert McFarland was a very brave man, and of course he was on the right side of history. No doubt, there were others of his mindset living in Lafayette County at the time; how can we discover their stories, which so richly deserve to be told today?

Lafayette County (MO) Courthouse column bearing the scar of misdirected cannonball

This coming Friday, all lockers at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless must be cleaned by out by 8AM for fumigation — which the vermin scoff at. I don’t have much, so it won’t be a problem stashing it somewhere until Saturday night at 8PM, when we can each get a new locker. It comes in handy for storing a spare change of clothes and my coffee jar with cash.

Tonight at my campsite: Beef corn dogs and coleslaw.

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