ribbon in the sky

shadeshaman's picture

When I was a kid growing up in the armpit of the universe, Greeley, Colorado--well, not maybe the armpit of the universe, that's a Vonnegut term, but definitely the exact opposite of Hawai'i:

--during the summer, on Fridays at noon, in an open-air mall, which was really two streets that got blocked to traffic, set with pavers and dotted with obtrusive landscaping and water fountains--

(let me take a minute and talk about these two streets. Before they got blocked off, the area was known as "D" block, for "dizzy", because people used to go on weekends and drive round and round in circles, cruising--not used as a sexual term--in this area. It was a great social scene, and smart city planners would have used that to their advantage by encouraging, say, street vendors to set up shop. But, instead, they blocked off the streets. I think they saw the success of the Pearl St. Mall in Boulder and thought they could do the same. But Pearl street is really near the CU campus, where there's already a lot of foot traffic, whereas the Greeley downtown area is far from the UNC campus. And the city planners closed it to cars, so that area remained a ghost town for the rest of the time I lived in Greality. "D" block relocated to the other end of town where there were lots of fast-food places with drive-through service. Also, what's with an open-air mall in Colorado? It makes sense in California, where the weather tends to be nice, but the city had to turn off the water in the fountains in the winter, so then they just looked liked piles of rocks....)

--the city, or maybe the bank that was down there, sponsored free, live music for the biz crowd, I guess. I don't know. It was mostly bluegrass or jazz or soft rock or country. I didn't care that much. I wasn't yet an evil metalhead. I was just a kid.
Anyway, there a was one of those fountains in the courtyard of the bank, a shallow, rectangular pool with a wide, flat, concrete shelf encircling (enrectangling?) it. A great place to lie down, catch a few pre-ozone-depletion rays and enjoy some tunes.
The bank itself was one of the tallest buildings in town, at six stories. It was also rectangular and "modern" looking, and there was a "sky bridge" at the 5th story level, between two sections of the building. In the summer, the bank would hang huge, long flags from the sky bridge. There were four: orange, magenta, red and blue, and they would twist and whip around in the gusts of wind coming off the plains. Lying there, on the concrete slab, bright blue sky, baking in the sun, one hand in the water, listening to a bluegrass rendition of the Beatles "We Can Work It Out", watching the giant ribbons doing their beautiful, messy, awkward, fluid, slightly terrifying dance was one of my favorite childhood experiences.

Here's a picture of downtown Greeley from Wikipedia. On the very far left, behind a bare tree, you can see the corner of a white bldg. This is the bank bldg. From this picture, I gather that they've opened up the downtown to traffic once again.

Comments

shadeshaman's picture

Oh, so you've smelled "the smell of money"?

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius"--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle