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Know the West

Heard around the West


Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura isn't a bit afraid of inconsistency. He bragged about visiting a Nevada brothel as a young man in his autobiography, I Ain't Got Time to Bleed, yet a few decades later, his lawyer hints at legal action unless the brothel, the Moonlight BunnyRanch, stops using the governor's name in its advertising. BunnyRanch owner Dennis Hof thinks there's a hint of hypocrisy in the request. "He used our name in his book to sensationalize it," Hof told the Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune. "He's made a big mistake. I'm not going to say, "Oh, I'm sorry, Jesse." "''''In brochures for the Mound House, Nev., house of prostitution, Hof shows a bedroom suite named in honor of the former professional wrestler and also adds a quote he admits Ventura didn't make: "I had sex at the Moonlight." The governor's attorney says that while the brothel owner's "support" is appreciated, he'd rather it ended.

Reminder to bank robbers: Clean out your pockets. Two bank robbers and their helper were nabbed in western Colorado thanks to a dry cleaner who read a note left in a pair of pants. It read, "Put the money in the bag and don't say a word or I will kill you," reports the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

Could you handle living in your car? On a public street? If the answers are yes, you qualify as a potential "car liver," a term for people who don't mind extremely confined spaces for a while. A.J. (Jane) Archer just wrote a book about the phenomenon, Car Living: How to Make It a Successful, Sane, Safe Experience, after overhearing a conversation in Trader Joe's, an upscale market in Lake Oswego, Ore., the author's hometown. While chatting, a shopper and store employee discovered they had "virtually the same address - their cars," reports the Des Moines Register. Archer says job hunters, the recently divorced, students and others undergoing dislocations sometimes feel they have no choice but to live in their cars. Her 72-page book of tips and anecdotes says it helps to divide the house-vehicle into "rooms' - a sleeping area, "kitchen" and office. Archer has been trying out car-sleeping while promoting her book. Her husband at home says "the day he sleeps in his car is the day he goes to the morgue."

In a bittersweet talk to a packed audience at the Wort Hotel in Jackson, Wyo., range cowboy Terry Schramm reminisced about the changes he'd seen in Jackson Hole over the last 25 years. A shared community of ranching has been shattered, he said, as public-land grazing has come under attack, and growth has transformed ranches into ranchettes. Schramm told the Jackson Hole News that he continues to admire ranchers because they work hard, need little and stay humble. He talked of one rancher who won't make millions by selling out to developers. When Schramm asked him why he stays with it, the friend replied, "When I wake up in the morning, I know what to do with the ranch, what to do with the cows, but I don't know what to do with all that money."

Stop that bike! In Jackson, Wyo., a man whose fancy GT Dyno BM bike was stolen was walking down the street bikeless, when a two-wheeler just like his whizzed past. "It looked so much like his that he hailed a cop, and together they found that it was his bike," reports the often entertaining "Blotter" in the Jackson Hole News. The culprit was a 15-year-old boy.

Justice was also sweet for Denver resident Jerry Sullivan. After a drunk driver smashed into his car in Taos, N.M., a year ago, he endured operations for a crushed hip joint, a splayed nose, a nearly severed ear and a detached retina. But a Taos magistrate had let the driver - an uninsured man with expired Florida license plates - leave Taos without putting up bail. After no law enforcement agency could be roused to pursue the case, Sullivan decided to track down the driver himself. Along the way he confronted the judge for allowing the driver, Daryl S. Hicks, to skip town, and then he went public with his story, both in the Albuquerque Tribune and Denver Post. Thanks to a private investigator in Albuquerque who volunteered his help, Hicks was found living in Denver less than a mile from Sullivan's house. He will now face trial for allegedly causing an accident that resulted in great bodily harm.

The Halloween Bash at the Snow King Center in Jackson, Wyo., will be a lot different next year. The Jackson Hole News says this year's party became so rowdy and drunken that the famed costume contest had to be cancelled, and that's a shame since creativity ruled at the 21st annual bash. Costumes included a man dressed as a head of broccoli and a group dressed as highway flaggers from the Wyoming Department of Transportation. The flaggers, wearing hardhats and reflective vests, spent the party rotating stop/slow signs. They were not effective.

At the University of Colorado in Boulder, staffer Evan Cantor has become a magnet for compilations of cleverness on the net. The following sums up the history of medicine, as seen by a skeptic: "2000 B.C.: Here, eat this root. 1000 A.D.: That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer. 1850: That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion. 1940: That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill. 1985: That pill doesn't work. Here, take this antibiotic. 2000: That antibiotic no longer works. Here, eat this root."

Two Navy airmen don't seem to know why they did what they did; nonetheless, they bragged they'd "shot some moos' in western Nevada. The bragging was overheard, and the men confessed to killing seven pregnant cows. When Churchill County Sheriff Bill Lawry asked the men, who were training at Fallon Naval Air Station, why they'd selected cows for target practice, they answered, "Because," reports Associated Press. Pressed to answer, " 'Because why?' they really couldn't answer," the sheriff said. Joshua Osinski, 23, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Alan Peters, 21, of Coos Bay, Ore., face seven felony counts of grand larceny.

Heard around the West invites readers to get involved in the column. Send any tidbits that merit sharing - small-town newspaper clips, personal anecdotes, relevant bumper sticker slogans. The definition remains loose. Heard, HCN, Box 1090, Paonia, CO 81428 or [email protected]