The Passing of Musical and Local Legends

Rick Langenberg


The last few weeks have been brutal, when it comes to the passing of both national and local celebrities.  Here is just the  lightest round of tributes.  Hope we don’t have anymore for at least a couple of months.


David Crosby Finally Sails Away on His Beloved Wooden Ships

David Crosby has become the latest musical legend to pass. The list now has gotten overwhelming, with favorite rockers, journalists, leaders and locals, who for the most part were great storytellers and personalities, leaving us.


Nope, Crosby’s  particular  passing isn’t too surprising. David was another amazing talent, but a person haunted by the familiar demons of drugs, alcohol, idiosyncratic tendencies and much more. Who would surrender to Texas authorities as a way get their act together?


The songs and musical harmonies are too many to list.


I always favored Wooden Ships the most, one of the most misunderstood epics of the 60s.


Scary, that song, dealing the post-apocalyptic  realities facing a group of survivors, is now closer to reality than ever before with the situation in Ukraine. It is not some pro-hippie anthem as falsely perceived by the media.


David himself got into big trouble when he discussed his own take on this song, and the meaning of its reference to the “Silver People on the Shore.” Crosby wasn’t great when it came to political correctness and keeping his mouth shut.


I used to engage in frequent lively discussions with my late wife Maureen over the meaning and whatever of this song. Some people would argue about the Civil War, current politics, their personal belongings, but we chose the lyrics of Wooden Ships. I loved CSN’s version, but really enjoyed the more edgy version of Jefferson Airplane, whose lead guitarist, Paul Kantner, was listed as one of the co-authors.


The great thing about Wooden Ships and other Crosby epics is that you get 10 or so interpretations of the songs and melodies. The colorful story of how David and fellow members of CSN and Jefferson Airplane crafted the song Wooden Ships after consuming an unknown quantity of hash and yes, boarding a Wooden  Ship, is one of those tales that improves with age. Who really knows what happened?


So, as we celebrate David’s life, I have several words of wisdom for area folks and rock ‘n’ roll fans, who sometimes get too pre-occupied by rambling social media posts.  And these words are authored by the late Paul Kantner himself: “Go Ride the Music.”


Local Civic Leader Revered


And when it comes to area deaths, we join everyone in Cripple Creek and throughout Teller County in remembering Lodi Hern, a personality that was too much to mention in words. Lodi, who died recently in Colorado Springs, was well-known as the former manager of the old Red Lantern Inn in Cripple Creek and her role in operating the Old Homestead Museum. She helped make the Old Homestead into the district’s often favorite tourist gem.


And when it comes to area deaths, we join everyone in Cripple Creek and throughout Teller County in remembering Lodi Hern, a personality that was too much to  mention in words.

But more than anything, Lodi was known for her generosity, friendly demeanor and colorful stories.


In the pre-gaming and post-gaming years, when Cripple Creek was preparing for gambling, the Red Lantern, which eventually got torn down to make room for the then Jubilee Casino (that is another story entirely), the place turned into the real center of the Cripple Creek and entire International Universe. No, life did not exist outside of the Red Lantern doors; that fact was reinforced by spending time there. It was a great time and era when the town really came together.


Sometimes wish that spirit of unity could be revived.


People would actually make their food and drink orders from a city council meeting for the post-meeting Red Lantern gatherings (and this is before cell phones and what-not). Those meetings were quite tense, often featuring more lawyers than residents.


I don’t think anyone could tell stories as well as Lodi.  Around this time, Harold Hern (Lodi’s husband) became a member of the city council, following, yes, another recall election.  They were quite common then.


Lodi also gained a reputation for looking out for many people who needed a friend or helping hand.


A celebration is occurring on her behalf this weekend.


Lodi will be interred at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 11 a.m., followed by a celebration of Life at the Cripple Creek Elks Lodge at noon.


Election Fever  Strikes

By the time you read this, the outcome of the Cripple Creek recall election could be nearing a conclusion, at least with the preliminary results.  The fate of council members Mark Green and Charles Solomone will be  determined by the voters.


Following this vote, Woodland Park may then face a future vote on laws  pertaining to short-term rental properties. Fun Times.


Whatever side prevails in these votes, the time for celebration is zilch. Good luck to both the winners and losers.


As most towns in the area, Cripple Creek is trying to take the golden opportunity to hit the jackpot  for infrastructure, with grants. The same is true for Woodland Park. This could become the prime opportunity to address their key challenges without out of control local expenses.


They face tough competition. Even down the Pass, Green Mountain Falls, not exactly known as a big city, could be vying for  close to $10 million, when everything is said and done.