While Coloradans raised their glasses last September in a coordinated toast to British beer expert and frequent Colorado visitor Michael Jackson, who died on August 30 at the age of 65, they will lower their glasses today to salute Earl Dodge, the six-time Prohibition Party presidential candidate and longtime Denver resident.
Dodge, who had planned to run for president again in 2008, died Wednesday at the age of 74 after collapsing at Denver International Airport, according to the Web site for the political memorabilia business Dodge ran. (Oddly, Jackson, who suffered from Parkinson’s Disease, also collapsed at DIA, and wrote about it in his final “All About Beer” column on August 22 on his website, www.beerhunter.com.)
Marty Jones, a Westword scribe, beer expert in his own right and current spokesman for the Oskar Blues Brewery in Lyons, knew and interviewed both men, profiling Dodge for Westword in 1999. And Westword wrote about Dodge again in 2002.
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On Thursday, Jones said he still has a political button Dodge gave him that pictures Abraham Lincoln and reads: “The legalized liquor traffic is the tragedy of civilization.” The Prohibition Party, which has taken on many other, mostly right-wing stances since it was founded in 1919, continues to advocate for the end to alcohol sales in this country. “The thing that was so cool about him was that despite his opinions being so diametrically opposed to mine, he was a nice, wonderful guy,” Jones said. “He was proof that no matter how out of whack someone’s politics are, you can still have a nice chat with them… The proper toast to Earl Dodge is to hold up an empty glass.” And we'll not drink to that. -- Jonathan Shikes