Our poem this month, The Unbroken Circle (’76), describes an experience I had during the Bicentennial year. It was late June, and we were on our way to Yellowstone National Park and had arrived in the city of Cody in the state of Wyoming, a place not known so much for its progressive ideas as for its conservativeness. I mean the last time they voted for a Democrat for president was 1964. I’m not a big fan of the Democrats or anything although they did have the only candidate in my lifetime on a major ticket I’d have unconditionally supported (George McGovern), who as fate would have it went down to unbelievable electoral defeat, and Tricky Dick was reelected:
It’s just the Republicans have gone so far right they’re well off the page and into the margins.
Anyway, we were picked up by a guy who I swear bore an uncanny resemblance to:
He told us of a concert and invited us to a party in the middle of nowhere where we were surrounded by young people whose appearance cast serious doubt on the notion they had campaigned four year earlier for Dick Nixon. My problem at first was simple: how to open up a can of Coors. Before you’re too hard on me, consider Wikipedia’s entry on the contraption:
“In the 1970s, Coors invented the pollution-free push tab can. However, consumers disliked the top and it was discontinued soon afterward.”
It sounds to me like a noble but doomed experiment – a little like introducing the metric system in the U.S.
For a few hours we soaked in the sun and the wide expanse of space. Then we went to see The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
We had a great time. The music was inspiring, and their encore was a stirring rendition of this song: