The mystery has been solved as to how the Pitkin County Sheriff’s campaign tank top made it all the way down to a surf town in Nicaragua, proving that Aspen’s global reach is about 1 degree of separation.
When a friend of ZG’s was enjoying a night of partying on the roof of her hostel in San Juan del Sur in mid-May, she ran into a friendly local who was wearing one of the “DiSalvo for Sheriff” tank tops from the 2010 election.
With the language barrier, ZG’s friend couldn’t ascertain exactly where he got it, other than some woman from Colorado who was visiting gave it to him.
Turns out that the woman is Aspenite Emily Lanese, who was vacationing in the surf town in March with her husband, Dom, and their kids.
After reading about the random run-in in last Saturday’s Aspen Daily News, the Laneses informed DiSalvo of their recent giveaway of his campaign schwag. Emily then confirmed it with ZG, saying the San Juan del Sur local, named “Crusty,” was her surf instructor and he really liked her shirt so she gave it to him. She bumped into him the next day in town and he said “everyone loved his shirt.” He must too, since he was still wearing it nearly two months later.
Now another Aspen degree-of-separation mystery must be solved and ZG is hoping the local readership can help him find out how a photo published in the Aspen Daily News in the mid-2000s wound up on Wednesday night’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno during the “Headlines” segment.
ZG was making himself a drink after a long day at the salt mines when he heard “Independence Pass” on the TV. He went to the boob tube and saw a photo taken by former Daily News photographer Chip Strait displayed on national TV.
Leno was making fun of the photo, which showed a cyclist coming down the pass with a massive boulder in the middle of the road and a caption that read “Cyclists are encouraged to wear helmets on their rides past the gate on Independence Pass, not only for general safety but in case of falling rocks.” Leno joked that there was no way that a helmet was going to save anyone if a part of the mountain gives way in front, or on top of them.
Strait, who now works at the Hotel Jerome as an accountant, said he has no idea how his years-old photo ended up in Burbank. But at least his tenure as a news photographer is still giving him exposure.