"It was a most forlorn and desolate-looking metropolis," Albert D. Richardson wrote in Beyond the Mississippi: From the Great River to the Great Ocean, of his trip to Denver in 1859. "If my memory is faithful, there were five women in the whole gold region; and the appearance of a bonnet in the street was the signal for the entire population to rush to the cabin doors and gaze upon its wearer as at any natural curiosity."
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Not that there was anything natural about the polyester, Sun Bonnet Sue-style bonnet I managed to find for today's taping of a special Channel 12 show that moves the cast of Colorado Inside Out back to the Denver of 150 years ago. (It airs at 8 p.m. Thursday.) But at least I now understand where the creators of South Park got their inspiration for those tunnel-vision parkas -- even if I don't see this bonnet stopping traffic anytime soon.-- Patricia Calhoun