Should there be a minimum walking speed for able-bodied pedestrians in the crosswalk when I want to turn right or left? Do some pedestrians enjoy the control they have over an automobile at times like that, or is it my imagination? Thank you. R.B.
Our problem of pokey pedestrians has two culprits: the Durango Chamber of Commerce and the Durango Area Tourism Office.
For many decades, these two organizations have touted Durango as an authentic Old West town.
And as everyone knows, out West, people dont walk, they mosey.
This behavior is actively encouraged. For example, on the official Durango.org site, visitors are advised to take a stroll back in time with a walking tour of downtown, where locals are laid-back.
Nowhere does it say Durango is a hustling, bustling burg filed with stressed-out people on the move and in a hurry.
Which is a good thing, except when you need to make a right or left turn.
Jack Llewellyn, executive director of the chamber, is a staunch defender of moseying.
Its a good thing when people take their time downtown, he said. It gives people a chance to contemplate where to spend their money locally.
As for the sense of power pedestrians might feel, Llewellyn says thats a good thing, too.
Locals and visitors alike do have a comfort level knowing that people stop for pedestrians. In a big city, no one would dare just stepping out into a crosswalk because theyd get run over, he said. Here, we can slow down and relax.
In other words, mosey.
I was making the shopping list for Easter dinner, and my husband asked two interesting questions: Why is serving ham on Easter a tradition and what does pork have to do with observing the death and resurrection of the King of the Jews? Just Curious
When it comes to foods, the local experts are the nice folks at the La Plata County Extension Office. Theyve heard and answered just about every culinary question except this one about Easter pork.
Hmmm, said Wendy Rice, the extension agent who specializes in family and consumer science. Im stumped. You caught me cold turkey on that.
Turkey ... the other white meat.
Rice was reluctant to hazard a guess at porks prominence.
Lamb makes more sense since they are born in spring, she said.
However, lamb plays a distant second fiddle to pork at Easter throughout most of North America.
Cathy Anne Smith, a Suite101.com writer, offers a fabulous explanation for our porcine preference.
Hams popularity stems from a clever marketing effort by Chicago meat-packers in the 1930s and the failure of mutton and lamb to seize the tastebuds of the nation, she wrote.
The meat-packers promoted their precooked hams in more than 100 newspapers and womens magazines as an alternative to a fresh-cooked Easter roast. Thus, cooks would enjoy the convenience of only having to heat, glaze and serve the dish.
A decade later, sheep suffered something of a public relations disaster in the Second World War, she wrote.
Mutton was served as the meat of choice in the mess halls of the American GIs. Mutton needs careful cooking to be palatable (lamb is far more tasty), and the mass-cooked mutton was almost universally loathed by the soldiers.
When the soldiers returned home, most refused to have anything to do with mutton or lamb.
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After our ham-lamb extravaganza, how appropriate that the Mea Culpa Mailbag has a message from a reader with a bone to pick?
Gail Swinderman was miffed by last weeks column about police cruisers leaving their engines idling while administering justice to the herd of delinquents at the rec center.
I find that part of your article very offensive to teens who dont deserve the label, she writes.
Its true. Theres a double standard. When kids hang out at the rec center, its loitering. When adults hang out downtown, its moseying.
E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you keep moving, theres nothing to see here, just keep moving.