We were driving up to Jamestown last Thursday evening to hear some Iive music and eat a surprise dinner. Typically, the Merc has a menu except on Thursday nights, when you’ll eat what they are serving, which is the surprise.
We arrived in town around 7, dodging the furs who have free reign of the town and parked. We wove through the groups hovering by the door, talking and laughing. Happy voices and swirls of smoke came from two of the picnic tables directly outside the door. They were overflowing with people; a couple of guys looked like they were hanging onto their seats with a single cheek.
A few fairy lights shone above the windows and below the rainbow flag draped. Jamestown is another thousand feet up or more above Boulder, so Autumn’s chill was present.
Most people who live in mountain towns have a particular style and look and Jamestown maybe the mountain style archetype factory for the Front Range. There were the usual long hippie skirts, tie-dyes and a bit of fleeting fleece flashed, although it’s a bit early for that. But it’s less about what they are wearing and more related to this casual earthy vibe that some of the Jamestown residents (+ surrounding area) appear to possess. Call it, mountain relaxed or maybe community.
There were so many people milling around the front I was briefly concerned that we might not find a table. But we did. We joined a couple of other people at one of the larger tables near the back. We sat across from two friends, who turned out to be long-time residents of Jamestown. The music hadn’t started playing yet so we were able to chat: about the music, the flood and rebuilding and The Merc expansion. One of the residents we were talking with talked about how she had lost her home in the flood but had been able to relocate and rebuild.
Jamestown was left stranded by the 2013 flood and the drive up is a reminder of the force and wildness of that flood. They are still rebuilding the road accommodating the new, wider creek bed. Driving up provides not only physical reminders but also draws up memories of our own home, neighborhood and surrounding communities. And as we travel from the paved part of the road to the under-construction portion, whispers of relief and thankfulness overlay those memories. We were so lucky, in so many ways.
The music started at 8pm and it was a kinda of bluesy-jazz that had enough tempo to get people up and dancing. We finished up our meals, said our good-byes and found places on the couches in the extended area of the Merc. Several years ago, the Merc expanded by knocking down a wall. They added a couple of tables and a sort of lounge-area, with a set of couches that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Victorian England yet were surprisingly comfortable.
It was a great spot for both listening to the music and people watching. Couples were dancing, tables full of people were laughing, kids wandered in and out. There was a strong sense of community and comfort. It was the music, the fun people were clearly having with neighbors and friends and the fullness from a good meal. It was mountain relaxed