Days of Lore

Classic Emmylou.

Classic Emmylou.

I just like saying the word “Chikoko.” I was walking around the office last Friday, just saying it to people, sorta half-whispered. Chikokohhh!! They probably think I’m all effed in the head.

I was only pregaming for the big performance that night. Chikoko’s “Undercover” show was impressive—as in this is one of the biggest productions in Chico. A long runway ran about half the length of the Elk’s Lodge, right down the middle of the floor, surrounded by throngs of local freaks and geeks (I was told about 700). I like that the models are of all vintages, sexes, colors, shapes and sizes.

The lovely ladies behind Chikoko could easily make this happen in other cities. I only wish there was more men’s clothing, but … maybe I can learn to wear pasties. Well done, Chikokohhh!!

Mr. Sulu … proceed!
Progressives in Merced, California?!?

The Merced Sun-Star received mountains of mail after the paper ran a photo of two men kissing following the California Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the state ban on gay marriage. “Brokeback Sun-Star,” one reader called the newspaper. (Locally, the E-R kept it straight with a photo of a man carrying a rainbow flag.)

Merced’s not all just a bunch of neo-conservatives. On May 17, a group of like-minded individuals put on the first Justice Alliance of Merced event in Applegate Park, where informational booths were set up and people mingled while bands played throughout the day.

For being only its first year … and taking place in Merced … the event was pretty well-attended. One of the bands auctioned off homemade T-shirts with phrases like “Govt. Wire Taps Bug Me,” “Obama … Not Chelsea’s Mama” and “Budget Cuts Hurt Edjucation” crudely written with Puffy Paint.

There was one shirt, however, that they understandably seemed a little nervous about dropping on Mercedians: “Homophobia Is Hella Gay,” which got a bid of one almighty dollar from a kid who looked around 11. I’m not even sure if he knew what homophobia was … at that age I just wanted to play with my G.I. Joes. But if kids are learning early on that homophobia is, indeed, “hella gay,” then it might make decisions like last week’s not seem so hella radical in the future.

Speaking of the future, George Takei is about to go where no California man has legally gone before with his longtime partner. All is well in the galaxy.

Feeling festive … al
I’m actually about to go where no me has gone before. The Strawberry Music Festival is the king of all bluegrass festivals—a four-day camping and music extravaganza that will whisk me away from my comfort zone of loud, amplified music that tends to annoy others.

There will be a ton of musicians there, just a pickin’ and a grinnin’. But I am thrilled that I will be able to lay eyes on Emmylou Harris, the legendary singer who has performed with The Band, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Gram Parsons and Willie Nelson … I may just ask her to marry me.

It’s pretty amazing that there are so many festivals happening just in our neck of the woods. A couple other notables: Treasure Island is back, and Outside Lands will make its debut in Golden Gate Park. Yes, I want to go to the hipster music fests, is that so wrong?! Check out our full story on upcoming Northern California festivals on page 16.

Ice cream dreams
Here’s a way to really flex that political muscle. Vote! Vote for Shubert’s Ice Cream and Candy in Good Morning America’s “Best Scoop in America” contest. The local ice-cream shop was chosen among hundreds across the country and is going up against three other contenders.

Go to to cast that magic vote that will put Chico on the map. Voting ends Saturday (May 24), and the winner will be announced the following day.

Let’s be honest here—simply being recognized as one of the top 10 Small Art Towns in the United States is not enough. But if Chico becomes one of the top ice-cream towns in America? We just might start getting U.S. presidents, or, even better, Bill Cosby, to deliver commencement speeches at Chico State. That’s the true power of ice cream, folks.