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Off Limits

Descending from the Summit: Reviews of the Denver Summit of the Eight--and the city that hosted it--are still trickling in. Fortunately, the international press ignored some of the more local-yokel activities that accessorized the event, including puffed-up pride exhibited by the two hometown dailies. Camera-toting Denver Post editor Dennis Britton was apparently so busy snapping illicit pix at a reception at the governor's mansion that he missed a major gaffe: After Denver mayor Wellington Webb offered a brief welcome to the guests, Colorado's governor got his three minutes in the spotlight--after which Roy Romer was so inspired that he simply sat down, neglecting to announce the next speaker. That forced the leader of the free world and Romer's close personal friend to ask, "Do I go next?" before standing up and introducing himself as President Bill Clinton.

When Jackie Edmonds stood up during the Summit, it was to lift her skirt (revealing, among other things, her penchant for not wearing underwear) as the train bearing the First Ladies headed past the Rollins Pass Mercantile in Rollinsville. Edmonds had seen the train go up early Saturday and decided to deliver a cheeky salute on the return trip: "I knew what goes up must come down." And that included the pants of two of her customers, who dropped their drawers and joined Edmonds in mooning the VIPs assembled in the private railcars. "She got a big kick out of it," Edmonds says of Hillary Clinton, who was standing on the rear platform of the train at the time. Less thrilled was Edmonds's eighty-year-old mother, who kept telling her daughter, "Shame on you, shame on you."

Chump change: Since June 1, anyone who isn't a Colorado National Bank client has been charged $1.50 for any transaction at the automated tellers at Denver International Airport, where CNB runs all thirteen ATMs. The abrupt addition of the subtraction caught many at DIA flat-footed (and short-changed)--including airport spokesman Chuck Cannon. "I was totally surprised," Cannon says, when he stopped at a DIA machine to grab a fast twenty bucks--and wound up netting only $18.50.

Champ change: Rule one for a successful newspaper ad--hire a proofreader. According to a full-page ad in Monday's Post, "Colorado's most popular business seminar," Success 1997, will hit town October 14, bringing with it such notable speakers as John Major, despite his not-so-successful recent attempt to remain England's prime minister; Christopher Reeve, billed as "One of America's Most Admired People"; and Colorado's own Amy Van Dyken--"AP Female Athlete of the Year." Hey, tell that to the seminar speaker touted as the "World Heavyweight Boxing Champion": Barbara Bush.

Tuesday's ad corrected that error--Battlin' Barb is now identified as "Former First Lady and Best-Selling Author"--as well as the ID for Lou Holtz, transformed from the inexplicable "America's #1 Talk Show Host" to a more appropriate "Notre Dame Coaching Legend."

Stress for success.

Kill or be kilt: While most Coloradans skirted the issue, on July 1 the state celebrated its first-ever Tartan Day, thanks to one of the truly major pieces of legislation adopted by the Colorado General Assembly this year. In addition to establishing the new holiday, House Joint Resolution 96-1014 also adopted a plaid of forest green, cerulean blue and black, "containing two pairs of tram tracks consisting of lavender and white," as the state's official tartan (which is now registered with the prestigious International Association of Tartan Studies).

The tartan joins such other recognized state symbols as our motto (Nil Sine Numine, or Nothing Without the Deity), nickname (Centennial State), animal (Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep), bird (lark bunting), fish (greenback cutthroat trout), flower (white and lavender columbine), folk dance (square dance), fossil (stegosaurus), gemstone (aquamarine), grass (blue grama), insect (Colorado hairstreak butterfly, so anointed after a grade-school class lobbied the 1996 legislative session) and tree (blue spruce). Then there's "Where the Columbines Grow," Colorado's official song:

In its fair Western home, may the columbine bloom
Till our great mountain rivers run dry.
Sucked up by California, no doubt.

 
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