Hed Lines: Hanging out with unconventional people exposes writer to different views

I gather regularly on Friday nights at a downtown Kingman business where I listen to local and traveling musicians, munch on a cookie or a bagel with cream cheese and sip mountain berry tea (refills are free).

However, what I generally enjoy most is intelligent conversations with several acquaintances whose lifestyles and values are out of sync with the mainstream.

They would fit in better in Bisbee, Flagstaff, Nevada City, Calif., and other communities with more left-leaning residents.

They are mostly in their late 40s, and at least one is married.

If I were to use one word to describe them, "earthy" might be appropriate.

The men wear work clothes and have beards.

The women don't dress for success, but one of them has a fondness for turquoise jewelry.

They are not overtly political, but some of them could be considered environmentalists.

They say they care about the environment and the food that they eat.

The woman who wears turquoise jewelry used to work in a health food store, is a vegetarian and was a hippie.

They embrace alternative medicine and practice untraditional religions.

I will not use their real names because I discussed my column with only two of them in advance.

Danielle can be found in the Kingman library researching alternative medicine.

I based the fictional "Vegan Pagan" characters in five columns last August and September on Danielle – a pagan - and Susan, the vegetarian.

"Everybody's belief system is individual," Danielle told me over the phone on Monday morning.

She was raised Roman Catholic and belonged to a nondenominational church for several years before taking a new spiritual path.

"I did not have a falling out with the (Catholic) church," Danielle confessed.

"I just did not believe that you had to go into a confessional and tell a priest what you did when God see all you do."

She considers paganism a nature religion.

"Paganism is honoring the Earth and the great spirit," she said.

"We believe in using the plants and taking care of the Earth."

She said she enjoys gathering with "like-minded " people.

"I like to sit at the table and listen to what anybody has to say, other peoples' views," she said.

I frequently disagree with Danielle, Susan and the others, but I give them credit for expressing unpopular views.

We respect our differences.

As the French would say, "Viva la difference!"

**

While I was doing a records search at the Mohave County Assessor's Office recently, I happened on a famous name of somebody who signed up to use the computer: well, maybe.

The person signed in as Alice Cooper, the rock musician from Scottsdale who achieved notoriety with macabre performances and appeared in the movie "Wayne's World."

I have no way of knowing whether it was the famous Alice (real name: Vincent Furnier).

Perhaps he wore a wig to hide his identity.

"I would not recognize Alice Cooper," Assessor Bev Payne said.

Staff in her office noticed that Alice signed in using the initials of what appeared to be an engineering firm in Kingman.

Employees who answered my calls at the firm said no one named Alice Copper works there, but they would not speak on the record.

Alice, whatever her real name, probably is not an engineer because engineers do not have a sense a humor, except for the characters in the "Dilbert" comic panel or an engineering honcho nicknamed "Pig Iron" in the Mohave County Public Works Department.

I found 170 Alice Coopers nationwide with listed phone numbers, but none in Kingman, after conducting a people search on Yahoo! I also could not find any property owned by Alice Cooper while doing an ownership search of county parcels online.

I suppose Alice does not live here anymore.

**

At least one reader reacted to my description of myself in last week's column as being one of the most eligible bachelors of this community.

I won't identify her.

She is well known for mastering the art of flirtation, but perhaps not for her command of the King's English.

"You're not my type," she said, telling me something I already knew.

"We fight too much."

Ken Hedler is the county government and politics reporter for the Miner.