By Alan Prendergast
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By Michael Roberts
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By William Breathes
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Flippin' awesome:No sooner did the antics of 22-year-old skateboarder William Spencer go viral than he split town for California, where he's reportedly exploring a career as a stuntman. His creative morphing of old-school skating elements with Parkour's urban gymnastics -- including board-to-board-to-board transfers -- were documented last July on the Denver Shop's "Hollarado!" video. But it wasn't until last month that skateshop owner Tony Mellick put William's performance on youtube.com (http://youtube.com/watch?v=ksGlbmpx_Rg), where it quickly earned 80,000 hits and viewer comments ranging from "fukin sikkk!" to "ummm...colorado is weird."
When Howard Dean announced that the 2008 Democratic National Convention would be coming to Denver, Rich Grant, longtime communicator for the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, was almost beside himself with happiness. It was the biggest thing to happen to this celebrity-starved city since Dynasty, he said.
Hmm: Hillary Clintonand Barack Obama, or John Forsythe and Linda Evans-- who, by the way, is actually in Denver right now starring with another Dynastydiva, Joan Collins, in Legends! Somehow, the comparison didn't add up. And what about the Summit of the Eight? After all, Hillary was here when hubby Bill Clinton was one of the world leaders gathered for that confab, and even got mooned by a couple of fans outside Tolland when she and other First Wives traveled to Winter Park on the Ski Train. "Ooh, there are people like that in every country," Bernadette Chirac assured her.
But no one remembers where subsequent Summits were held, points out Grant, who has no problem making a case for the prime-time soap's impact on this city. "Around the world, it was called The Denver Clan," he says. "That put Denver on the map. It became the number-one show in the world. In Scotland, an entire village would come to a pub and watch Dynasty together."
And see how a Denver oil baron lived in an estate filled with palm trees. "They were going to shoot at a mansion in Cherry Creek, but it rained that day," Grant remembers. "So they used one on the West Coast." And used it, and used it. That palm-tree-surrounded manse was shown in the title sequence for all nine years of the series, misleading a decade of TV watchers regarding the botany of the Mile High City. They were similarly confused about the downtown skyline, represented by a shot taken back in 1983, when Denver had only one skyscraper. "Whenever they showed that, we would cringe," Grant says.
"I love Colorado," says Evans. "But we were hardly there because of costs. I suppose they chose to spend the money on clothes and such things." Shoulder pads, for example: She and Collins could have hidden Fort Knox in theirs.
While the production crew never filmed more than a few opening sequences in Denver, some cast members did show up for various charity events, including the Carousel Ball, hosted by actual oil baron Marvin Davis. "We made a beautiful framed photo of Denver to give to the cast, but we could never get anyone to pick it up," Grant remembers. "We were down not to the gay guy, but the gay guy's lover."
The gay guy was the son of Blake Carrington (Forsythe) by his first wife, Alexis (Collins). "I loved the relationship with Blake," says second wife Evans. "John and I decided a couple of years into the show that our characters were not going to cheat on each other." Having a faithful couple created problems for the writers -- "It's very hard to write a soap opera and drama for people who are together," she notes -- but Evans and Forsythe held firm.
Our favorite weird trick: a running front flip down a massive set of stairs at Civic Center Park, after which Spencer lands on a skateboard and rides away. Say, does Jackie Chanride skateboards? Fans of Linda Evans should give Hillary Clinton the cold -- and big -- shoulder. That's what those dueling divas on Dynastywould do .