Devil's Thumb is a residential area in southwest Boulde. It's not far from
National Center for Atmospheric Research, nextled up next to the "Greenbelt" area. The name comes from a formation on one of the foothills on the west side of town.
It looks like a thumb sticking up on the south side of that hill. I named this piece in honor of two friends (one
has since died) who live in that area of town.
Greenbelt is the word that refers to an area on the west side of town in
Boulder. It was established several decades ago to designate an area on which building would be banned - to keep
some open space where people could hike and enjoy unobstructed nature.
Flatirons Rag - There are three large rock formations close to each other on
the west side of Boulder. They stand sentinel over the town, and are an integral part of its identity. They have
long been favored by hikers and climbers.
Spruce Street is one block north of the Pearl Street mall in downtown Boulder
- it's not
unusual to see joggers or people hurrying to a lunch date or appointment with their
therapist along that street.
Pearl Street is a focal point in downtown Boulder. Although it does extend on
out to 55th Street, it is the downtown section from about 7th St. to 20th St. where most of the shops and
restaurants are found. The mall - no cars allowed - runs from 11th to 15th Streets, and weekends there are
often the site of different ethnic festivals, arts and crafts
booths, etc. Street musicians are often performing there. It is a lively, fun place to be.
Sugarloaf mountain is a few miles west of Boulder, and is home to quite a few
hardy mountain people, as well as hiking trails. Only a twenty minute drive from town, it's an easy commute. The
views - both to the east and the west - from up there are magnificent.
The Mall Strut – The pedestrian mall in Pearl Street in downtown Boulder was
created in the mid-1970’s. It has been a gathering place for many many arts and crafts exhibits, street
musicians, tourists, ethnic festivals, outdoor cafes, starting and
finishing points for the annual children’s run, called the Pearl Street Mile, etc. Except in very bad weather,
and in the middle of the night, you will usually find something going on there.
North Boulder Rag - The University of Colorado is in the South-Central part
of Boulder. When I was a student, my live revolved around that part
of town. Rarely did I ever venture as far away as north Boulder. It was almost as if it were a different town.
Through the years as Boulder has grown, north Boulder has also grown. Some of its neighborhoods have the lowest
crime rates in Boulder - hardly ever is there any vandalism or crime here. It's a wonderful area for children.
It has sports fields and a few shopping centers. It's not really very far from downtown.
The reservoir is a few miles northeast of Boulder, and ever since it was
first built - I believe in the late 1950's - it has been a favorite
recreation spot for CU students as well as residents of Boulder of all ages. It has been part of triathlons, and
other events. The second theme in this piece I purposely made to resemble some old student songs which were
often sung around campfires on picnics in the
RTD stands for "Regional Transportation District". It's our local bus system,
which is one of the best around. Anywhere you want to go in and around Boulder is accessible by bus, and the
wait is usually not very long. They do a great job. This piece just
sounds to me like a bus rolling down the road.hills when I was a in school. The whole piece has a rather playful
Mesa Trail is a lovely hike along the foothills just west of town. It runs
from near the National Center for Atmospheric Research up on a hill in South Boulder to the small ttown of
Eldorado Springs (a favorite vacation spot many years ago for Dwight and Mamir Eisenhower.) I purposely set the tempo on this piece a little slower than many of the
others in this book......it's a walk and not a run. And a leisurely
walk at that - nobody is in a hurry - they are enjoying the scenery and the smells of pine needles and the
wildflowers off to the side of the path.
The Hill Holler - Beginning on measure 30 of this piece, I picture a dialog
between two groups. I remember goin to sleep one night in the late 1960's seeing the flashing lights of police
helicopters patrolling the "Hill" area next to the University in Boulder. There
was a standoff
between merchants there and hippies who were blocking the entrances to the stores. Those years were a
very unsettling time in this country, and that was reflected in
what happened here. So I envisioned a dialog here - one measure being said by one group, and the next by the
other. Back and forth.
Davidson Mesa Looking West There's a car pull-over area off the highway on
the top of Davidson Mesa, and it is a breathtaking view - the city
of Boulder nestled below with the red-tiled roofs of the University
buildings and above, the stunning panorama of the 'back range'. There's usually some snow on them year round,
and many of those peaks are 14,00 or above. Almost always there are cars stopped at the turn-out taking
The front range is the western backdrop of
the city of Boulder, and is also - if you travel up Boulder Canyon to the west - the gateway to the back
range. Those high peaks are quite a distance from town - one must drive an hour and a helf or so to be up in
them - but the front range is the start of the mountains, after the miles and miles of flatlands on the Great
Plains of our wonderful country.