Food for Thought

Learn, laugh, weep ... eat

I want to do something for the community, this place I call home: Siberia With a View, a quaint place brimming with experts, a place where people point with their lips.

I thought long and hard about a contribution, and I reached a decision.

I’m going to build a monkey house.

Not just any monkey house, but the biggest and best darned monkey house ever constructed in the Four Corners region, if not in the entire state of Colorado.

I worked on my idea day and night for weeks, for months. I completed exhaustive research, took copious notes and drew plans in a sketchbook I carry with me, filling it with architectural doodles, detailing my concept of a glorious edifice that will someday rise west of town on a parcel of bare turf located on a small knoll near a weed-choked lake — a glorious monument to science and entertainment.

I am exhausted. I am excited.

I am not a stranger to monkeys. My work as a crack newsman frequently brings me into contact with monkeys, yet I am no expert. Therefore, I used the Internet to contact Dr. Helga Melming, Director of the Institute of Primate Studies at the University of Heidelberg and I asked for assistance.

Dr. Melming—— an acknowledged authority on monkey behavior, and monkey house construction—— has been more than generous, sharing cutting-edge information with me. With her help, my project is a guaranteed success.

I worship Melming. We have corresponded for two years and I consider myself her most devoted acolyte. The good doctor is a somewhat weathered but stunning Teutonic specimen, sparse hair still defiantly gold, aging but lithe, nattily attired in severe suits and corrective shoes, and exhibiting — for a Germanic primatologist — an eccentric and spirited sense of humor. Melming is also acknowledged to possess one of the three or four best spaetzle recipes in the Heidelberg area.

Melming analyzed my plans, made corrections and suggestions, shared her wisdom. With her approval, I am prepared to move forward.
Once my monkey house is complete, I will invite Helga to my hometown. We will spend the afternoon observing our local monkeys, then we will adjourn to my kitchen where I’ll prepare a snack of bockwurst and a delightful, caraway-scented goat cheese.

I am more than well versed in Melming’s work. I memorized most of her ground-breaking tome “A Verification of the Behaviorist Structural Thesis: Psycho-sociological Arguments for the Development of the Ideal Monkey Environment.” It is one of my favorite books. I re-read portions of the classic every night before I go to sleep. Melming is perched on the quivering tip of a small but significant research trend— revered by social planners and circus managers alike. She is a giant and she is emphatic about several things when it comes to design of the perfect monkey house. I will take her emphases seriously as I move ahead with my project.

First, to succeed in the monkey house business, she says, you must select your stock from the local monkey population. Monkeys, in other words, must be acclimated. You can ship in monkeys from elsewhere — and, to ensure the reliable development of a healthy gene pool, this is necessary — but the immigrants must be given time to adjust to conditions. The minimum time is six months. The perfect time is two to three years. Monkeys who have been in the local population more than three years tend to be averse to entering the monkey house or they develop odd behavioral characteristics and urges that—“contaminate” the situation.

Second, says Melming, it is wise to select older monkeys for use in the monkey house. The severely constricted circumstances imposed on the denizens of the structure have a less deleterious effect on older monkeys. They adapt quicker, says the doctor. In fact, they not only survive, but they thrive in conditions of severe sensory deprivation. According to Melming, once older monkeys are no longer dominated by the reproductive imperative, those who cannot be taught to indulge in simple pursuits such as card games, party politics, watching television or playing golf, are particularly sensitive to conditions in the monkey house.

Younger monkeys, on the other hand, once confined to the monkey house, often organize desperate escape attempts or become severely depressed, even suicidal.

This is good to know. Older monkeys compose a sizable segment of our local monkey population.

Aside from a hearty belly laugh enjoyed while witnessing the goofy antics of the residents, what can we expect to take from our experience at the monkey house?

Put another way: Why build it, Karl? Does your proposed monkey house offer anything but temporary, superficial entertainment?

Yes, it does.

Melming advised me that, while the monkey house produces some of the purest entertainment possible, there is an educational dimension to it, alive with startling examples of fundamental social behavior. The good doctor is very wise.

And what is the central psycho-social principal illuminated by the Melming monkey house?

“Simple,” wrote the princess of primatology in a recent e-mail. “Melming’s Maxim: Structure determines behavior. Behavior does not influence structure.”

“Ah,” I replied. “Allow me to rephrase your statement.“‘Same cage, different monkeys ... identical behavior.’”

“Precisely liebchen, precisely. You are a very good boy. Reward yourself with a tasty snack.”

According to Melming, the ideal monkey house is structured physically and socially to prompt behavioral dynamics that encourage the full flowering of what the doctor calls “terminal monkeyness.”

And in our observation of terminal, or “pure” monkeyness, there exists the potential for enlightenment.

In other words, when you pay your admission and walk into the observation gallery of the new, gleaming building, you will witness a profound lesson in behavioral law — you will perceive something far greater than a few scruffy simians scratching themselves and sucking on browned hunks of turnip donated by the local supermarket.

There is an added bonus: The monkeys believe their behavior is the engine that drives and shapes their little world while, in reality, it is the monkey house that makes the monkeys what they are! As spectators, we are aware of this delicious irony and we observe the machinations of the primate population with a clear understanding of the utter hopelessness of their condition. Existential, don’t you think?

How is this situation engineered?

Melming’s monkey house design involves a special configuration, and the monkey house I will build (once I get a variance from various covenants and restrictions) will follow Melming’s plan.

Two chambers.

One chamber, the “primary space,” is large and well lit. The floor is slightly higher than the floor of the second section of the complex. Perches in the first section are spacious and very comfortable. There are mirrors placed on the walls of the primary space so monkeys in that room can admire themselves as they have nits picked from their backsides by a select group of subservient monkeys (Melming calls them “serfs”). The number of serf monkeys is increased at regular intervals in accord with a time table calculated by Melming. The increase in serfs, notes Melming, is invariably followed by an acceleration of preening behavior by the residents of the primary space.

The second group of monkeys, confined to a cold, dark, wet room — the “secondary space”— has a clear view of the first room and these monkeys are forced to provide a regular “tribute” of vegetable matter to the group in the primary space — again, as per Melming’s schedule: one payment per year, or four equal quarterly payments. One of the serf monkeys closely monitors the payments and monkeys in the secondary space who fail to pay are shunned and treated harshly.

There is a partially open door leading from the primary space to the secondary space. There is an on-going attempt on the part of the monkeys in the secondary space to make their way through the door and displace the set of monkeys on the higher platform.
While the essence of revolution ferments in the secondary space, the monkeys in the first room become complacent and arrogant, and spend their time squatting on their haunches, engaging in haughty dominance behavior, largely oblivious to their kin gathered in the darkness. When a single monkey from the secondary space attempts to curry favor and enter the more desirable room, the group drives it away. This is nasty stuff.

With no diplomatic way to gain entry to the primary space, monkeys in the secondary space are forced by sense deprivation and increasing despair (as far as they know, there is no reality, no life, no hope outside the monkey house) to combine forces to invade the first room.

The rebels huddle in dark corners of the secondary space and work each other into a frenzy, screeching, pounding on each other, leaping up and down with their rumps changing color, until they are ready to do battle. They yell and chatter noisily, thrashing about in a chaotic cluster, producing an ominous din and finally they break through to the primary space en masse, overthrowing the dominant group, triumphantly taking their places on the higher platform next to the mirrors. They then proceed to act the same way the displaced set of monkeys acted, refining some of the techniques and social operations until the exiled group of monkeys observes, organizes, and forces it’s way back. This goes on ad infinitum, on an approximate two-day schedule.

Same cage, different monkeys.

The fun, of course, comes in observing the inflated pomp and glory of the victors, all the time realizing there is a law in operation. An inviolable law: Melming’s Maxim.

Same cage, different monkeys. The cage is in control. The minute a monkey enters the monkey house, the beast’s fate is sealed. The triumph of the supposed victors is glued to a core of pathos and as observers, we are at once amused and chastened by what we see. It is a Skinnerian opera wherein one pompous, incomplete aria is repeated over and over and over.

What a treat!

But it gets better.

Melming’s plan requires that the size of the monkey house be increased periodically, thus reinforcing the inhabitants’ illusion that the monkey house is at the center of the universe and that their activity has stunning teleological import. If the cage gets bigger, obviously, they think, they must be important. Their empty bombast is touching.

I intend to organize a series of benefits and auctions to raise the funds necessary to construct the monkey house. Hopefully, there will be grant money available once the first phase of the structure is complete, allowing me to fully realize Melming’s design. I envision a car wash or two at a local bank parking lot before winter sets in, and a free throw contest at the high school gym on a date to be set in the near future. Every dime counts.

Ticket prices for entry to the monkey house will be reasonable, with special rates available for local school tours. Children should visit the monkey house often, observing the spectacle of fundamental natural law at an early age, absorbing the lessons embodied by our simian friends.

A Chamber of Commerce SunDowner at the grand opening of the facility will be a nice touch. A plush lobby area will be a perfect setting for a wine and cheese tasting party.

For dessert at the opening of the new monkey house, what could be more appropriate than one of my favorite banana recipes (with a tip of the hat to Craig Claiborne — said to be an intimate friend of Helga Melming).

We’re going to have glazed bananas that, prior to serving, are set on fire! The fruit arson has two aspects: first, we can dim the lights in the lobby and the presentation will be aesthetically delightful and, second, monkeys are deathly afraid of fire. They will stay where they belong.

I’ll use firm bananas. If the skins are speckled with brown spots, they are too soft. By the same token, the bananas should not be green.

I’ll slice the bananas in half, lengthwise, then saute them in butter in a heavy pan, sprinkling them with lemon juice and sugar. When one side is browned, I’ll turn and lightly brown the second side. The sugar should glaze the bananas quite nicely.

Craig Claiborne recommended adding canned Bing cherries at this point. Why not? If Helga likes the guy, can he be wrong?

Once the fruit is glazed and hot, we’ll turn off the lights and I’ll take the pan off the stove, add cognac to the pan and set the whole mess ablaze. Perhaps I’ll take a slug or three of the cognac before I lead the first tour of the newly-opened monkey house. It will be a festive evening.

If you can’t attend the grand opening, be sure to visit the facility once it is open.

Come watch the monkeys.

See Melming’s Maxim displayed in a splendid environment. After a few visits you’ll be ready to ponder Melming’s corollary:“The world is a zoo; there is a house in the zoo for every monkey.”

Learn.

Laugh.

Weep.


What’s Cookin?

French Apple Sauce Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box French vanilla instant pudding (4 serving size)
4 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup applesauce
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup finely chopped raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Blend all ingredients in a large bowl. Beat 4 minutes at medium speed of an electric mixer.
Pour into a well greased and floured bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50– 55 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly pressed and pulls away from sides of pan.
Do not under bake. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, remove and cool on rack. Top with a powdered sugar glaze.


Obituaries

Charles Marcel Daugaard

It’s with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of a beloved son, brother, nephew, father and grandfather. Charles M. Daugaard passed away at his home in Pagosa Springs on Friday, June 1, 2007.

Born August 6, 1955, in Durango, Colo., to the late David A. and Margaret Daugaard, he was a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School.

He is survived by his life partner, Cindy Spear, of Pagosa Springs; three sons, David Daugaard, Jessie Daugaard and Seph Hammer; three daughters, Samantha Bebek, Dawn Baker, Eddie and Raymond Burk, and Laura Burk; one brother, Adrian Daugaard; and one sister, Miquela Strait.

He was the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren: Leah Curtis, Dylan Baker, Gage Daugaard, Nova Hammer, Irie Hammer, Anna and James Burk, and Asher Burk.

His family and friends mourn the loss of an extraordinary individual who had a larger than life charisma and a boundless enthusiasm for living each day to its fullest. He enjoyed being outdoors and took his family on summer camping trips to the mountains. Fishing and hunting came as second nature, and he had the rare ability to always know where he’d find a band of elusive elk or the best fishing hole. He was generous to friends, family and strangers, and could he tell a story. If you were one of the lucky ones who heard some of them, you’ll always recall them with a smile. Charles gathered his family and friends around him like a busy collector and never refused a request for a favor or for assistance. He cherished those family members who had departed before him and entrusted their memories to future generations through his stories. He was ornery, and could match a tornado with his ability to change the landscape around him.

To find the words that would encompass all of the complexities that made him who he was is not possible. His life was a journey in the truest sense of the word, and at the end of his travels he had come full circle. He had found true love with a childhood sweetheart and their love made him a better man. He laid the demons that troubled him to rest and found peace, and discovered within himself the strength to be able to offer forgiveness and accept it in return. His body could carry him no further, but his spirit and legacy lives on through all who knew and loved him.

A memorial service was held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 6, 2007, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs, Colo.

Carroll (“Doc”) D. Carruth

Carroll D. Carruth died peacefully in his sleep June 4, 2007. He, Bobbie, and members of the family were celebrating his and Bobbie’s 60th wedding anniversary in a cabin on the Dolores River when the Lord called him home.

He was born March 27, 1926, in Riceville, Tennessee, to Bertha and Walter Carruth, and was born again when he became a Christian at the age of 9. He is survived by his wife, Bobbie; his daughter and son-in-law, Diana and Jack Dwan; his son and daughter-in-law, Carroll (“Rusty”) D. Carruth, Jr., and Paula Carruth; and his three grandchildren, Matt, Chris and Melissa Carruth.

Carroll was an outstanding musician, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Baylor University, and his Ph.D. in musicology from Vanderbilt University. He was also an Air Force veteran of World War II. He served as full-time minister of music and education in Lenoir City, Tennessee; Old Hickory, Tennessee and Gilmer, Texas. He taught music at the college level for 30 years and was a gifted teacher who was well-loved by his students.

Carroll and his wife, Bobbie, have been living part-time in Pagosa Springs since 1977. He was responsible for starting the community choir. The past two years he has conducted the Messiah sing-along in Pagosa Springs. He was a member of Pagosa Bible Church.

The funeral will be held Saturday, June 9, 2007, at 10 a.m., at Mountain Heights Baptist Church on Park Avenue. Viewing will be from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. The family requests that memorials for Carroll be given to the building fund for Pagosa Bible Church, 40 County Road 600, Unit E, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

Nelda Blood

Nelda A. Blood, 85, of Brunswick, Georgia, died December 14, 2006, at Sears Manor.

She was a native of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and a resident of Durango for 42 years. She was a graduate of Pagosa Springs High School and a loving mother and wife. She was a member of Glyndale Baptist Church of Brunswick.

Memorial services will be held at Bayfield cemetery on June 16 at 2 p.m.

She was survived by two sons, Norman Blood of Brunswick and Sherman Blood of Kingman, Arizona; four grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

H.W. “Bill” Hollingshead, Jr.

H. W. “Bill” Hollingshead, Jr., of Midland, passed away Monday, June 4, 2007.

He was born June 12, 1929, in Seminole, Oklahoma, to Harlow William Hollingshead, Sr., and Lorraine Gillcoatt Hollingshead. Raised and educated in Kilgore, Texas and Little Rock, Arkansas, Bill graduated from Little Rock High School and Little Rock Junior College. He received a B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Texas. Bill proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force. A 1st Lieutenant at Connally Air Force Base, he was an instructor from 1950 until 1955. Bill had worked with Marathon Oil Company, Pennzoil as Division Manager, Tipperary, and retired from Pennzoil as Research Advisor. His memberships included AAPG in Midland, Shreveport, and Houston, and the West Texas Geological Society.

An active member of the Baptist Church for 50 years, he was currently attending First Baptist Church of Midland. He loved doing things outdoors — fishing, gardening, hunting and was an avid “do it yourselfer.” He loved spending time in Pagosa Springs and spending time with his children and grandchildren. Bill cherished his many longtime friendships with his Midland friends of over 50 years.

Bill is survived by his wife, Patricia A. “Pat” Hollingshead of Midland, Texas; daughter and son-in-law, Jill Kay and Jim White of Colorado City, Texas; son and daughter-in-law, William Barry and Jennifer Hollingshead of Katy, Texas; grandchildren, Jessica Thompson of San Marcos, Texas; Nick Hart of Colorado City and Midland, Texas; Clay, Clint, and Clancy White of Colorado City, Texas; Analise, Morgan, Lindsay, and William Jack Hollingshead of Katy, Texas; brothers, Ronald Dean Hollingshead and Corkey Gwen Hollingshead, both of Fayetteville, Ark.

Funeral services have been scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday, June 7, 2007, in the Worship Center of First Baptist Church of Midland with Dr. Gary Dyer officiating. Interment will follow at Resthaven Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Maston Courtney, Jim Rogers, Gary Owens, Jim Bradshaw, Dr. Richard Klempnauer, Hoyle McWright, Dick Saxe and Bob Hopkins. Honorary pallbearers are Jim Johnson, and the men of the James Class. Arrangements are under the direction of Ellis Funeral Home, 801 Andrews Hwy., Midland, Texas 79701. To place on-line condolences, visit www.mem.com.

Arthur Franklin Carroll

Arthur Franklin Carroll, age 55, passed away May 27, 2007, at Hospice Valley in Phoenix, Ariz., with his family by his side. He had been fighting a hard battle with cancer.

Arthur was born on June 18, 1951, in Lebanon, Oregon. His father, Paul Oscar Carroll was a barber in Lebanon for over 20 years when he passed away with heart failure at 53. Arthur’s mother Minta Maudine McGlassen moved to Portland with her sons Dan, Ron and Art.

Art attended Benson Tech High in Portland, Oregon, where he learned auto mechanics and auto body work. He had a love for racing. His favorite place to go was Lebanon Oregon Speedway. He built and raced cars with his uncles and his brother Ron. He could talk your ears off when it came to cars. He worked construction and was an all-around handy man. He joined the Army in the late 60s, but he worked most of his life until he got sick.

In 1980, he met his wife Mary. After being together for 22 years, they married on April 26, 2003. Arthur’s family moved to Pagosa Springs in 1997 and bought a piece of land. Arthur’s family loved every thing about their home and made beautiful friends throughout the years.

Arthur was a loving father to Paul, Amanda and Casandra Carroll. He would do anything for his children. His grandchildren, Holly Faith, Benjamin Arthur, and Joseph Harlan were his most prized possessions. He lived every day for his family, they were his world. He was a wonderful, happy man.

A memorial fund has been set up at the Bank of the San Juans in the name of Mary Carroll.

There will be a memorial service Saturday, June 9 at the Assembly of God in Pagosa Springs at 11 am.

There will be a celebration potluck immediately following the service at the home of Nancy and Butch Kryzanski in Aspen Springs, located at 856 Cactus Road. All are welcome to celebrate Art’s life.

Announcements

BRYMER/TRAPANI

The families of Christopher Hayes Trapani and Amanda Rochelle Brymer are pleased to announce their engagement. The bride-elect is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Brymer IV of Pleasanton, Texas, and the late Cathy Brymer of San Antonio, Texas. The groom-to-be is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Soniat Jr., of Pagosa Springs, and the late Christopher A. Trapani of Covington, La. The wedding will be held in Pleasanton on Aug. 11, 2007.

MCMASTERS/GALLEGOS

Gerald and DeDe Dietz are pleased to announce the marriage of our daughter, Amanda McMasters, to James Gallegos, son of Steve and Margaret Gallegos. James and Amanda were married in Hawaii May 14, 2007.  Palm trees and beaches are far away, so please join us here at Town Park, Sunday, June 10 from noon to 4 p.m. to celebrate.

LAYDON FAMILY

Celebrating five generations: mother, Adela Golosky, 95, bottom right, Golosky’s daughter, Delores Butler, 70, bottom left, Butler’s son, John Laydon, 53, rear left, Laydon’s son, Abraham Laydon, 30, rear right, and Abraham Laydon’s one-year-old daughter, Ava Laydon, on Golosky’s lap.

Josiah William Paul Shumaker

Shelleen Penton would like to announce the birth of her brother, Josiah William Paul Shumaker, born on May 20, 2007, at 5:44 p.m. He weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and was 18 inches long. Proud parents are Erik and Joleen Shumaker of Pagosa Springs. Grandparents are Joe Lujan, Dolores Garza, Wayne Shumaker, all of Pagosa Springs, and Judy Shumaker, of Meadville, Pa. Great-grandparents are Santana and Emma Lujan, of Pagosa Springs, and Wendell and Ester Shumaker, of Saegertown, Pa.

Laurena Kleckner

Laurena Kleckner recently received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Regent University’s School of Undergraduate Studies. Kleckner was one of more than 1,005 graduates, the largest in the school’s 29-year history.

In ceremonies held May 5 on the university’s library plaza, former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney delivered the commencement address following an introduction by Dr. M. G. “Pat” Robertson, Regent’s founder and chancellor.

Kleckner graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in 2001. She is the daughter of Bob and Eleana Kleckner of Pagosa Springs.

Founded in 1978, Regent University has some 4,000 students studying on its campus in Virginia Beach, Virg. and online around the world. Regent offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from a Christian perspective in fields including business, communication and the arts, divinity, education, government, law, leadership and psychology and counseling.


Arts