Telluride Library: Katie Lee Honored

Join the Telluride’s five-star Wilkinson Public Library for a special edition of the Telluride Institute’s Watershed Expeditions. Come to hear stories about folk singer, writer, photographer and environmental activist Katie Lee and the western landscapes she loved and fought for. The program on Friday, January 19, 6 – 8 p.m., is led by Dr. Andrew Gulliford and includes Beth and George’s engaging short – how could it be otherwise given its subject? – “Kickass Katie Lee,” featured at Mountainfilm in 2016.

Katie dressed in a guitar, courtesy the Gages.

From the 1950s, Lee often sang about rivers and white water rafting. She was a vocal opponent of Glen Canyon Dam, which opened in 1963, and called for the canyon to be returned to its natural state. Her obituary in The New York Times states, “Ms. Lee never forgave the builders of the Glen Canyon Dam and said the only thing that prevented her from blowing it up was that she did not know how.”

“Katie Lee speaks for the canyons and the sweet desert recesses. She is our foul-mouthed, lightning-eyed, boot-stomping balladeer, a character Louis L’Amour never could have invented. Born from the rock itself, she is a lifetime of experience on this wild, restless, cradling ground. If you want to know this place, you need to know Katie,” Craig Childs, “The Apocalyptic Planet,” “The Secret Knowledge of Water,” etc.

“Kickass Katie Lee,” synopsis:

Katie protesting, courtesy, the Gages.

A valentine to this remarkable, outrageous woman, “Kickass Katie” celebrates singer, songwriter, actress, and activist, Katie Lee, a true western original. Cussing like the cowboys she learned from, Katie’s obliterated lines in the sand for 90 years.

After abandoning what she thought she wanted, namely a Hollywood career, Katie immersed herself in her true passion: floating, exploring, reveling in, and singing on the Colorado River. When the idea of damming Glen Canyon was first floated, she opposed it. She is and will always be, its eternal, immutable warrior and foe.

Katie Lee & her Joey, courtesy, the Gages.

At 59, on a solo trip around the world, Katie met Joey. From that time on he supported her every day, in every way. (But now they are both gone.)

“With humor, anger, love and passion, ‘Kickass Katie’ skims the highlights of a life well-lived,” summed up Beth Gage.

For the full story of her life and work, read Katie Lee’s obituary in the New York Times.

Sharing is Caring!Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on LinkedIn
The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Viebrock

Susan Viebrock

Susan is Telluride Inside… and Out’s founder and editor-in-chief, the visionary on the team, in charge of content, concept and development. For 19+ years, Susan has covered Telluride’s cultural economy, which includes non-profits and special events. Much of her writing features high-profile individuals in the arts, entertainment, business, and politics. She is a former Citibank executive specializing in strategic planning and new business development, and a certified Viniyoga instructor.

2 Responses

  1. Laurie Lundquist says:

    What an inspiration – So looking forward to Andy Gulliford’s talk on the amazing Katie Lee !
    Friday night at WPL -good timing in advance of the WOMANS MARCH on Sunday!!

  2. Lewis says:

    I am SO sad I got the word too late to go! Any word on memorials in Jerome? Thanks