I am looking for an ISIS execution video, but I have no intention of witnessing its macabre conclusion. I’ve seen the stills in the news—emaciated men clad in bright orange prison garb kneeling next to black silhouettes baring knives—but I need to see a little more. I need to peer into the blackness of the masks and see if there’s anything there. More importantly, I need to figure out what’s so damn terrifying about them.
It’s December and I am returning home from a semester abroad. After dropping my bags and greeting an ecstatic dog, I go to my childhood room to check up on my parents’ nascent business; in my sister andmy absence, they are separating our rooms from the rest of the house and converting them into short-term rental units.
Oh, don’t be such a man, give your mom a hug,” said Elaine Redwine, an Associate Director at Colorado College’s Office of Financial Aid, to her 13-year-old son, Dylan, before she left him at the airport on Nov. 18, 2012. Dylan was on his way to visit his father, Mark Redwine, who lived in a remote area near Lake Vallecito in southwestern Colorado. This is the last time she would see her son alive. The next morning Dylan vanished from his father’s home without a trace.
On a punishingly humid day in April 1930, an emaciated Mohandas Gandhi, clad in simple white robes and brandishing a walking stick, began a 240-mile march to the sea where he would illegally make salt.
Walk past the staid City Hall offices of Colorado Springs city councilmembers and, tucked in a far corner of the third floor, you’ll find the chamber of Councilman Bill Murray. On his desk, an orange lava lamp bubbles next to a set of VR goggles. In the corner, there are three placards—red, green and yellow—attached to yardsticks that read “False” “1/2 False” and “True.”
“I used those at a hearing about the City of Champions initiative,” Murray chuckles. “They wouldn’t let me talk, so I just stood up there and every time they said something wrong…”
He hoists the red “False” sign with an impish grin.
I’m sitting on a patio with Dr. Dan Hannaway, Chair Emeritus of Colorado Springs Sister Cities International. According to the sprightly retiree, “It’s a big title that means I have no responsibilities.”
A light breeze sent yellowed leaves fluttering through the air on the morning of Nov. 20 as Colorado College students slowly trickled onto campus, carrying backpacks and holding steaming mugs of coffee. It was the last day before Thanksgiving break and most were anxious to get the day’s work done and head home for turkey dinners and some well-deserved downtime.
Unlike their peers, juniors Thad Pryor and Lou Henriques walked the other direction, away from the Worner Student Center. Neither carried backpacks, just single sheets of paper. Near the bottom, each read in bold, “In response to these findings of responsibility the following sanction is issued:” For Pryor, a two-year suspension, for Henriques, expulsion. Both were charged with “abusive behavior” and “disrupting campus activities.”