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The Freedom Mobile


posted by Sandy Fails Comments: 0 comments

by Luke Mehall

(See his presentation July 3 at Townie Books in Crested Butte.)

Our vehicles make statements about our lifestyles, and in the mountain town of Crested Butte, there is quite the diversity in modes of transportation. From the high class Hummer SUVs to the old Subaru station wagon that checks in well over 200,000 miles, the car we drive can be a dead giveaway to the activities we pursue. I often wonder what strangers think of my car, an old 1988 Mazda that is spray painted red, white and blue, most commonly known as The Freedom Mobile.

Ever since I saw the classic 1969 American road movie Easy Rider with Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson, I’ve wanted to paint a vehicle in the colors of our country. I’ve always sensed that us mountain folk are living out our own version of the American Dream up here in the Gunnison Valley, and my car is representative of our unique culture. Adding to the mystique, I also wanted to feature the OM symbol, to show that the east and west can come together. To represent that I am a proud American, who has also been heavily influenced by the ancient, Indian-based art of yoga. 


posted by Sandy Fails Comments: 2 comments

            Instead of “mud season,” maybe we should call April and May our “pet-sitting season.” It seems like half of Crested Butte’s population has been either escaping to warmer climates or hopping around taking care of the escapees’ pets. I just returned from a couple of weeks with three cats, during which I wrote the following observations on life with felines.


            Pardon my typos. I’m typing with one hand because every time I stop petting McGregor the cat, who’s purring away in my lap, he taps my arm firmly with his paw as if to say, “I know you’re new around here, but we do have certain expectations…”

            His brother Hamish crouches on the nearby windowsill like a tiny sable-black panther, all sleekness and grace. Hamish’s eyes may be half-closed, but his tail-twitch reveals his vigilance, and no squeaky toy is safe from this honed mini-predator.

            Meanwhile, tawny Heather, ensconced in her upholstered cubby across the room, stares at me with unblinking yellow eyes. “Sure, you seem nice enough – but don’t think you can fool me,” her glare seems to say. “I’ll catch you at some misdeed… eventually.”

            Yes, I’ve taken up temporary residence in a friend’s house of cats. And despite my resistance, they’re winning me over.