Saturday, November 22, 2008

Here's to moo, Denver!

On this date (one more famous for another incident, but I disremember what) 150 years ago, the city of Denver was founded, right down the hill from the Drunkablog manse at the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek.

Both papers have a bunch of stories, gathered here in the Post und here in the News. Both mention the city's alleged "cowtown" fixation, though only the News has a whole story about it. Neither has much to say about the Indians, who, oral tradition has it, were here first, though Bill Gallo is the more PC in the News' overview: "Pioneer Denverites once slaughtered American Indians with no thought for their humanity"--which draws a comment from one "davehughes":
First of all, the assertion by Gallo that Colorado Territorial "Pioneer Denverites once slaughtered American Indians with no thought for their humanity" utterly ignores the reality that both the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians managed to 'slaughter' hundreds of settlers who came west. And even sealed off Denver from the east by their continual attacks on travellers. Which even Col Chivington following the clear orders of General Curtis to 'punish' both tribes at Sand Creek, did not stop their depredations. In fact right on our family ranch on Comanche Creek east of Kiowa the Arapahoe killed and mutilated Henrietta Dietemann and her 5 year old son. And killed and mutilated three young boys right here where Colorado Springs now stands. Both after Sand Creek. So some of us who are also 3 and 4 generation Coloradoan's don't buy into the 'politically correct' version of history that makes all the settlers bad and all the Indians good.

Revisionist history is the fad these days. Sorry to see the Rocky Mountain News be a party to it.
Both papers have slideshows of old photos, the News' far superior to the Post's, including pics not only of the city but of people like Baby Doe Tabor and the Unshankable Molly Brown, as the heroine of the Titanic was known during her prior stint in the Denver City Jail (hey, look at me, I'm a revisionist historian!).

Only one paper, thank God, has an essay by John Temple, who apparently believes it his duty as editor to write such things: "A song of praise for you, Denver":

Yes, you are still a village, or maybe a town, when I compare you to Chicago or New York, Tokyo or London.

But I am glad, yes, glad when I arrive home from a trip and slip into your easy ways.

Last Saturday I was driving west on Hampden Avenue toward the glistening peaks.

It was then that the word glorious came to mind. I have been carrying it with me and rolling it on my tongue ever since as I think of how to mark this special day, today, your 150th birthday.

Oh, Denver.

Oh, John.

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