Henry Rollins Finds Broken Dreams, a Hemp Farm and a Promising Future in Colorado
[The one and only Henry Rollins writes a weekly column for our sister paper, LA Weekly. You can find it every Thursday on their music blog, West Coast Sound. Last week, he wrote about his trip to Colorado to visit a hemp farm.]
I am in the back of an SUV, the seat in front of me almost against my knees. The great wide open of southeastern Colorado rolls by the window. Except for Kerri, who's driving, everyone has a laptop open. Phone calls are coming in, logistics are being hammered out, something about a hot air balloon. This is our rolling production office between locations.
We are in the homestretch of shooting 10 Things You Don't Know About for H2. Only another month or so left to go. Our remaining locations will be in Colorado, Nevada and California. The next few weeks will be extremely hot.
Last night, we were in Lamar, Colorado. It was 98 degrees when we pulled in in the early evening. The multihour drive from the Denver airport was quite moving. Small towns with closed theaters, gas stations and department stores appeared out of nowhere. As quickly, they vanished.
America is a country so vast that you can spend years chasing your dream and then, for whatever reason, just leave it behind. The remnants will stay for years afterward. Every one of those wrecked buildings we passed has a story to go along with it. Every sun-wrecked car was, at one time, someone's prized freedom machine, but it became problematic and, eventually, just junk.
I have been through so many of these towns all over America. Sometimes you can see the sacrifice and the heartbreak in the warped wood and faded paint. Often, when passing through, you can see the history of predation. The small stores gave way to the big ones and even those, when there was not enough money to take, were blown out and written off as another host was acquired. Dreams of every possible kind bit the dust.
Lamar is a beautiful nowhere to an outsider; for others, it is home. I went out to see what was happening. I got as far as the Subway and got a sandwich and checked out the other patrons. The pierced, rock-shirted youth seemed bored; the elderly seemed listless.
As I said, it's a big piece of real estate, which I think sometimes has an almost narcotic effect on some of the combatants. This is a part of America that fascinates me. You are so far removed from "what's happening" that you probably could really live. Passenger jets being shot out of the sky and Middle Eastern strife are a world away.
I went to the gas station/convenience store for some water. The Duck Dynasty shirts and caps had been marked down to a few dollars. Alas, another dream starts to die.