From My Window: The TANK an unmatched joy; fishing the best of childhood dreams

Sean McMahon, Editor
Sean McMahon, Editor
It was a true joy to be invited to be a part of Friday night’s special bash at the Solstice Gathering 2016 at The TANK Center for Sonic Arts—as The TANK is now formally known.

The social hour, dinner and concert was earmarked for those persons who had played a key role in the Kickstarter Campaign back in 2012, in which enough money was raised to purchase the old water tank and property instead of allowing the owner to sell it and turn it into scrap metal.
The social hour and the pulled-pork dinner provided by Giovanni’s in Rangely were a good time with some terrific food. But it was the concert after dinner that just kept adding to the enjoyment of the evening.
Vocal sounds, singing, instruments of a wide variety were all demonstrated to the crowd of roughly 80 persons present, each one enjoying the incredible array of sounds emanating from the different sources with one commonality—they sounded like they were exuding through the pores of a great concert hall, bending and winding their way around the tank starting at the six-story building’s ceiling and just winding around and dripping down the walls to where the spectators seemed to be pretty much in awe.
I appreciated my second opportunity to take in the sounds of The TANK, and they were no less impressive than the first time I caught them. They are tough to describe as I can’t say I had heard many of those quality sounds in my life.
The tank seems to take the tunes away from their source, raise them up to the upper end of the tank, and then just run the sounds down the sides of the tank like a candle turned inside out—then to approach the floor once again and come back together.
I am not sure that The TANK would be the musical haven it appears to be if Led Zeppelin were to play “Stairway to Heaven” in the building, but slower tunes allow the notes to separate yet follow each other in a unique manner.
One of the highlights was when Lois LaLond, Heather Zadra, Elaine Urie and Elaine diFalco performed “Amazing Grace.”
The performance started out with one singer and one by one the other three joined in. As each one of the four joined in, the volume rose, the depth increased significantly, the song took on the feeling of being sung by choruses of singers and, in my case, the hairs on my arms stood straight out.
It was a bit breathtaking and was a tremendous example of what The Tank can do to a simple melody.
Rangely needs to jump squarely behind The TANK Center for Sonic Arts before someone else gets behind it or another similar tank somewhere else can duplicate the facility.
The TANK offers a world-class, unique center for exploration and reproduction of sounds unlike any other. Perhaps the songs of the humpback whale cross my mind when comparing the sounds produced inside the TANK.
The Friends of The TANK have a gold mine on their hands. Let’s hope The TANK can be and is marketed in the way it should be, and, if so, the Town of Rangely and the music world as a whole could greatly benefit.

Pushing my memory back to the limits, the most vivid of good memories of being the youngest of seven kids were those days spent along the Platte River near Saratoga, Wyo., along the Platte River running through Fountain Park in downtown Colorado Springs, at Trappers Lake and Woods Lake and at Grand Lake learning to fish with my four brothers and two sisters.
Each summer we as a complete family took at least one fishing trip to many points in Colorado and Wyoming and it was along the creeks, streams, rivers and lakes in those two states that I learned to fish.
You bet there were great days on clear deep lakes where the fish could clearly be seen biting your worm or other bait. And there were dismal days trying to navigate narrow streams where you would catch 10 bushes for every cast that hit the water. But that was what fishing was all about.
To this day, I still prefer the open lakes and rivers as opposed to battling bushes, limbs, roots and other obstructions found in smaller bodies of water. I like an occasional fly rod, but that also can be a dangerous tool in the hands of a fool. I’ve had my problems with a fly rod over the years.
But not as bad as my brother Kevin, who has two scars on his face from run-ins with flies. The first was when he was in his mid teens and decided he would take up fly fishing. He has an inch-long scar in the middle of his forehead from casting, and pulling back the line and stretching for further casts when he, in two quick moves, had the fly stick quite deeply into his forehead and in an equally quick movement cast the line again—with probably more strength than he needed—and ripped about a two-inch gash and a lot of skin out of his forehead.
I don’t remember if it was a good cast or not but I do remember the loud scream, an entire litany of cuss words I may not have heard by the time I was about 11 and the amount of blood that poured and poured and gushed out of his forehead. Those I remember well.
Then there was the other time when Kevin, who never did give up fly fishing from the time described above, but this was roughly 20 years later when he was in his mid-30s.
My four brothers and I had bought a 60-acre ranch right on the Terryall River between Lake George and Fairplay. The Terryall ran at a pretty good clip and was about15 to 18 feet wide at its widest.
Kevin headed off the 100 yards from the ranch house to the river with his really expensive Orbis fly rod on another quest. Which he had.
He had been fishing for about 20 minutes, it seems when he hooked a fly in his nose. Not on his nose—it was in it, caught on the membrane that separates the two nostrils about a quarter inch inside his nose. According to him, he was yelling for help for about 20 minutes when he decided it was time to take matters into his own hands.
Using his brain, which is not always one of Kevin’s strengths, he cut the line to free the fly.
He decided to pull the fly on through. Another good thought.
But he pulled the fly out the back way—against the barbs—and ripped the holy heck out of his nose and the membrane in his nose.
All he would have had to do was pull the fly out of his nose by pushing the hook through and going with the barbs so they wouldn’t catch and rip him up.
Gee, another 30 years later, I hope he learned from that one.
But what brought that to mind was the Meeker Free Family Fishing Day at the Circle Park Pond on Friday afternoon.
There were hundreds of adults, boys and girls on hand, allowing about a foot between anglers all using bobbers and small worms on the hooks.
For some, it was obvious they had fished before, and it was common to see dad showing junior son or daughter how to cast the worm more than six inches.
Some just didn’t get it. Some did quite well and some took to the casting like a pro.
For the first 45 minutes with more than a hundred bobbers just laying there not moving, finally one of the teenaged boys caught one.
Jose Garcia was the first and only angler to catch a fish during the 90 minutes I watched before I had to head over to Rangely for events at The TANK. Jose caught a beautiful 15-inch rainbow trout and immediately measured it on the measuring device the Colorado Parks and Wildlife had given him, which was basically a ruler printed on a paper bag. But it was a nice (and valid) 15-inch trout.
Jose was acting pretty confident with the fish on the ground, but all all composure was lost when I asked him to pick it up so I could get a photo of him with his prize catch.
To make a long story short, the fish hit the ground five times with Jose in pursuit before he firmly grabbed ahold of the trout’s tail with a full clinch.
I got the photo, which appears in today’s newspaper, Jose got his nice trout and a whole bunch of folks had fun fishing, learning to fish or teaching someone else to fish. It didn’t appear that there was much catching going on before I had to go to Rangely, but there certainly was a lot of fun held—and there was enough time to think back to those fond memories of learning how to fish.
Thanks CPW, ERBM and Meeker’s Lions Club for the great memories. And may there be many more similar events for the anglers and potential anglers in Meeker and Rangely.

Range Call begins Friday evening with “The Pageant,” the re-enactment of the events that led up to and included the Meeker Massacre. The activities continue day and night on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and culminate with the fireworks display from the cemetery at dusk on Monday.
“The Pageant” is an event every visitor to Meeker or Meeker resident should see at least once, the events in between include family and kids fun, great country music, vendors of all types and culminates with an impressive fireworks display.
This is a good week to live in Meeker or to be visiting Meeker as there is something for everyone of any age.