By the party, she means the Prohibition Party. Founded in 1869 as part of the temperance movement, the Prohibition Party has pushed a non-alcoholic America as its top — and sometimes only — platform point for 140 years. For more than 25 of those years, Earl Dodge was the prohibitionists' presidential or vice-presidential nominee. And even though he'd led a faction that broke off from the national Prohibition Party in 2003 after a bitter internal feud, Dodge still planned to run for a seventh nomination this year — with Howard Lydick, of Texas, as his running mate. (To read about other Coloradans who have sought the Oval Office, log on to blogs.westword.com/Demver and click on the President Precedent link.)

It was a ticket that wasn't meant to be.

Earl Dodge's views weren't popular (he got only 208 votes in 2000), but he was a dedicated historian and he had a slick sense of humor, his widow says. And he left behind a huge collection of political memorabilia, which Barbara is now in the process of selling off — everything from buttons (including those he'd made for his own planned 2008 run) to photos, ribbons, books and postcards — on her eBay store and Earl's website, www.buttonsbydodge.com. "He specialized in Calvin Coolidge," Barbara says. "He had quite a bit of that."

But she's not selling everything — at least not online. Next week, a couple of hundred items related to the temperance movement around the world will be picked up by Larry Bird (not that Larry Bird), a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, who's coming to town to collect memorabilia from the Democratic National Convention. (Through Smithsonian spokeswoman Laura Duff, Bird declined to discuss his buying habits — but judging from what Off Limits has found on the 16th Street Mall, he should have plenty to choose from.)

As for the hullabaloo in Denver over the DNC, Barbara thinks Earl would have enjoyed watching the show. "He probably would have had some good things to say," she says. "He had a pretty good wit."

Definitely a dry one.


Fade to black: Colorado lost two popular and very different performers in recent months: Johnny Schou, the 22-year-old bassist for Tickle Me Pink, and Don Becker, 53, a longtime comic, poet and playwright who was the subject of Adam Cayton-Holland's June 19 cover story. Over the past few days, the coroners in Larimer and Denver counties have released reports on the deaths; tragically, drugs were involved in both. To read more about Schou's death, log on to Backbeat Online; for more on Becker, go to The Latest Word.


Judgment day: On Monday, just in time for the DNC, civic boosters turned on SkyNet. Don't worry, you can keep your end-of-the-world weapons stockpile locked away; we're not talking about Skynet the scary computer defense system that takes over Earth and spews out Arnold Schwarzenegger robots in the Terminator movies. We're talking about SkyNet the 32-by-44-foot outdoor LED screen developed by Centennial-based ADTI Media Incorporated that will grace the side of the Colorado Convention Center over the next few months, broadcasting videos, news segments and ads — minus sound.

The screen's name refers to its web of hundreds of light-emitting diodes that stretch across the sides of buildings and display videos much like pixels on a computer screen, said project manager Steve Cook while he tweaked the technology at the convention center the other day, uploading new fifteen-second ads. Still, the screen's more ominous connotations haven't been lost on passersby — especially attendees of the World Science Fiction Convention last week, Cook added. "I asked them, 'What do you think?' and they said, 'I'm looking for the Terminator.'"

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