September 9, 2007
In the summer of 1967, Englishman Steve Sherlock decided it was time to assemble an Aspen rugby club, and scoured the towns bars to recruit players for a side. According to the Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Football Clubs website, only four of the original 15 players knew anything about the game. For uniforms, the team wore old basketball outfits pilfered from the high school. From those humble beginnings blossomed one of Americas most storied clubs and Ruggerfest, an annual fall tournament celebrating the unique camaraderie formed on the pitch. This years Ruggerfest, Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 13-16, celebrates the Gents 40 years, and, as in years past, will attract as many as 50 teams from all over the globe. The action kicks off Thursday and Friday when the Old Boys teams (35-, 45-, and 50-plus years old) take to the pitch. Club matches begin Saturday and continue through championship Sunday, when Ruggerfest titles will be handed out to the division winners. Enjoying a home advantage, the Gents have won the club championship nine of the last 12 years.
Austin, Texas, produces roots rock bands like Mississippi grows kudzu vines. Among the representative samples of Austin-style rock is Reckless Kelly. The group, led by brothers Willy and Cody Braun, formed in the mid-90s with the intention of playing straightforward, high-powered rock n roll. Over five CDs, the quintet has not wavered an inch from that company line. On last years Reckless Kelly Was Here, a two-CD, one-DVD live set, the band comes out charging and basically never stops. There are no ballads, no stripped-down interludes (though there is a slowed-down, but intense cover of the Beatles Revolution). Instead, there is country-edged, guitar-heavy rock, with vocals that are a dead ringer for the better-known Steve Earle. Reckless Kelly Was Here provides a hint of what can be expected when the band plays Belly Up on Wednesday, Sept. 12, but there will also be something fresh in the air. On its current tour, Reckless Kelly has been debuting songs from its forthcoming album, due next year.
Between farmers markets, televised chef competitions and endless books on cuisine, the information we receive on food and restaurants has increased enormously. Still, it seems as if we need further instruction on the dining process, the actual enjoyment of what we consume. Thats where Slow Food Roaring Fork/Aspen comes in, dedicated to taking time not only in eating our meals, but also in examining what goes into them. The organization has its fourth annual Roaring Fork Social Harvest on Monday, Sept. 10, at Carbondales Restaurant Six89 (a great place any day to expand ones culinary experience). The dinner, a celebration of Colorados seasonal ingredients, includes one course each by six top regional chefs, including Ryan Hardy of The Little Nell, Matthew Zubrod of DishAspen, Barclay Dodge of R Cuisine, Mark Fischer of Phat Thai, and Lon Carter of Six89.