I'm from Denver, just ask me...how to pin a tale on a donkey
Back in 1908, when Jack A. Weil was just seven and Denver was less than fifty years old, this city hosted its first Democratic National Convention. Town boosters brought snow down from the mountains for a snowball fight, other enterprising businessmen printed a booklet outlining the city's more risqué enterprises, and delegates were further entertained by a group of whooping Apache Indians. The way you could tell them from the whooping Democrats, wrote Damon Runyon, another colorful character who left his mark here, was that the latter were "wearing a lot of badges."
But then, so were many of the town's residents — 20,000 of whom had volunteered to sport badges proclaiming "I Live in Denver. Ask Me," and help show visitors around their fair city.
For the convention's return to Denver exactly one hundred years later, there were plans to resurrect the "I Live in Denver" buttons. But like so many other good ideas (I, for example, thought that rather than hide the homeless, we should dress panhandlers like gold panners, replacing their signs with pans and giving the place a nice Old West feel), this one failed to materialize. But it's not too late! Just cut out this handy facsimile of the 1908 original, tape it to your shirt, and get ready to show off Denver the way the locals do. The way Papa Jack would have.
I can't guarantee that it will help you get into parties (for successful crashing, I've been told, you'll need a lot more buttons — and maybe a funny hat), but it should help prove that the West is not just a place, but a very fun state of mind. Just ask me.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Reader: Christ, How Many People Need to Grow Weed in Colorado?
- Heat Up, Cool Off: Our Ten Favorite Colorado Hot Springs
- Ask a Mexican: Readers Respond to Dickhead in Denver