No thanks to the Broncos or thieves
November 27, 2006
Most of the friends that I normally spend Thanksgiving dinner with were out of town this year, and although I had one generous offer to share the day with other friends, I decided there was enough football on the tube to keep me company, so a decision was made to stay in Lenado to observe the holiday.I didn’t have a turkey, so I began to search in my freezers to see if some sort of substitute could be located. In the end I enjoyed what may have been the smallest turkey dinner on record. I discovered a frozen Cornish game hen and that was that.I had some stovetop stuffing (yes, I did stuff the game hen) and uncovered a package of Knorr dark gravy and a package of roasted garlic, mashed Idaho potatoes. Of course making Knorr gravy takes no talent whatsoever, and the Idaho spuds is an even easier task. Boil a couple of cups of water, pour that into a bowl, then pour in the entire packet of powdered spuds, and stir it up. It then was a simple matter of firing up the barbecue and taking the game hens, which had been marinated in Balsamic vinegar, thyme and parsley, to the back porch for about 20 minutes of cooking. Granted, this was not a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, nothing close to what my mom would have made, but it worked for me. I wasn’t even embarrassed using Knorr gravy mix and powdered potatoes. What the hell is a single guy living on the edge of civilization going to do?I timed dinner in order to have something to munch on during the Denver Broncos-Kansas City Chiefs game, which pretty much cast a dark shadow over the holiday. The Broncos put on a wretched show, which forced me to flip over to the Discovery Channel, where I watched something about Egypt that I probably had seen a dozen times before. But that was better than watching the Broncos put on a brilliant display of ineptness. By the by, my catch-as-catch-can dinner was pretty good, considering that it was created using a bunch of artificial food. It would seem that the Broncos have evolved into a “very good, mediocre” team, and I evolved into a “fairly good, innovative cook.” But the Broncos-Chiefs debacle was not the only event that squeezed some of the joy out of holiday in Woody Creek. We had a theft at the Woody Creek Tavern before Thanksgiving that left most of the Tavern staff and regulars shaking their heads.The Tavern purchased a pair of huge propane heaters last winter to be used on the patio. They were placed there so that customers could go outside for a smoke, or avoid the overflow crowd inside waiting for tables. And they worked quite nicely.These were not the little heaters that you might stick in your workshop to take the chill off; these were industrial-grade monsters, heaters that could warm an outdoor patio on a winter night. Each was about 6 feet tall and was fueled by the same size propane tank most of us have on our barbecue units. They were heavy and quite awkward to move around, yet some scum made off with them.As best as anyone could figure, the units were taken on Friday, Nov. 17, or perhaps the following day. One early theory was that Shep Harris, who owns the Tavern with his wife, Mary, might have had someone pick up the heaters in order to do some maintenance on them. Unfortunately, Shep and Mary happen to be in South America, so it wasn’t all that easy to contact them and ask about the “repair” theory.The pair of heaters cost approximately $600 and are marketed under the Blue Rhino brand. If someone tries to sell you a 6-foot-tall propane heater, you might want to contact local law enforcement. My guess is that they went straight to Denver or maybe even Los Angeles to be sold. But you never know. Anyone dumb enough to steal a pair of heaters as distinctive as those Blue Rhino units might also be stupid enough to try and sell them locally. Those of us close to the Tavern are hoping that will be the case.Stealing is not appreciated in Woody Creek, a place known more for sharing than taking. In truth, we are more likely to tolerate a drug dealer, if he or she is a good person, than a thief. Thieves will steal almost anything they believe is of value, but the value to the owner may be more personal than financial – far more personal. As with a miserable pack rat, a thief is attracted to anything shiny; it makes no difference if that item belonged to a loved one, such as your mother or father.Woody Creek is a place where many residents do not lock their homes and are likely to leave the keys iin their cars. The theft of those two heaters hardly marks a crime spree, but it serves as a reminder that there are scum lurking about who are quite willing to steal from you or someone else.The last thing I would ever do is to enter someone else’s home or trailer in Woody Creek, because the odds are reasonably good I might end up with a shotgun staring me in the face. We don’t take kindly to thieves.This is the 335th article in a two-part series devoted to the community of Woody Creek, a place where we trust our neighbors but are just a tad suspicious of strangers.