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Please Don't Shoot the Pianist PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Sunday, 23 December 2007 06:50
I'll be spending a bit of my Christmas time off on the spine of North America, in historic Leadville, Colorado at 10,200 feet high. I have blogged before about Leadville in the summer and in the spring but I've never been there in the dead of winter before. Snow. Lots of snow. And very, very cold. I will never be able to complain that I don't know what a true white Christmas is like again.

Since Leadville was the quintessential silver mining town, it has quite a past and lots of characters. Here is Oscar Wild's inimitable impression of the city at its silver boom height:

From Salt Lake City one travels over great plains of Colorado and up the Rocky Mountains, on the top of which is Leadville, the richest city in the world. . . They are miners—men working in metals, so I lectured them on the Ethics of Art. I read them passages from the autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini
and they seemed much delighted. I was reproved by my hearers for not having brought
him with me. I explained that he had been dead for some little time which elicited the enquiry ‘Who shot him?’

They afterwards took me to a dancing saloon where I saw the only rational method of art criticism I have ever come across. Over the piano was printed a notice: ‘Please do not shoot the pianist. He is doing his best.’


Impressions of America
Oscar Wilde, 1882
 

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