Mayors gather at Art by the Pint

Brooks, Rodeman have longstanding ties to one another


— As Oak Creek Mayor Cargo Rodeman tries to shed her bad-girl image of what some people expect from an elected official, standing next to former Georgetown mayor Koleen Brooks might not seem like the best political move.

She's doing it anyway.

Her reasons, however, have less to do with attracting more negative publicity than they do with the chance to see a long-lost high school friend, Koleen's older sister Kari.

"I can't really judge Koleen," Rodeman said. "The last time I saw her, she was 8 years old.

"I'll hang out with Koleen all day if you want," she said, "but what I really want is to see Kari. I would give anything to see her again."

Brooks, the former Georgetown mayor who is most famous for her previous career as a stripper and her run-ins with law enforcement officials, came from a family of eight children.

Her sister Kari went to high school in Idaho Springs with Rodeman.

"I would play guitar and she would sing," Rodeman said. "If she comes, maybe we'll sing for you."

Rodeman said she has seen Kari only once since high school.

Koleen said her sister is going to come to Oak Creek and she will bring her guitar.

"I'm going to have to practice," Rodeman said.

The day will be emotional for the two former friends, but most visitors will be more interested in the juxtaposition of "Colorado's two most colorful mayors," as the event has been advertised.

"People have been trying to put us together forever," Rodeman said.

Brooks lived in Oak Creek for a short time when she was 10 years old.

Her father, Dr. Jorgenson, was the town's doctor.

Dave Epstein, owner of Chelsea's Restaurant in Oak Creek, met Brooks in Denver and Brooks was more than happy to appear at the Art by the Pint event.

She will give a short speech and autograph copies of her picture from the August issue of Playboy magazine.

"I'm excited," Brooks said. "(Cargo) and I have a lot in common. It's all about what we did in our past and what we are trying to do now for our towns.

"We also have a lot in common in the way the press wants to perceive us as the bad girl," she said. "I never graduated high school. I had a baby instead, but that doesn't mean you can't get into politics."

Being haunted by their past may be where the parallels between the two mayors ends.

As Rodeman struggles to move beyond her arrest record, Brooks, who lost her mayoral position in a voter recall, now has a Web site full of seductive poses in various costumes.

She is promoting herself heavily for parties and fund-raisers.

The joint appearance by Brooks and Rodeman will be only a fraction of what Art by the Pint will be offering Saturday.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. with booths along Main Street, displaying art and crafts from local artisans.

Behind Chelsea's Restaurant, New Belgium Brewing will have a beer truck introducing its latest beer, Loft.

The beer is advertised as a lighter version of Fat Tire. A Fat Tire bike will also be raffled off.

On stage, visitors will hear music from Perfectly Frank and the Blue Rooster Band, the band that opened for The Radiators and played at Chelsea's the night of Chinese New Year.

Later, Oak Creek locals will take the stage.

Rodeman's 19-year-old daughter, Myria, will be in town to sing a song she wrote about her mother.

Alpine Taxi will offer rides to Steamboat and Toponas to prevent drunken driving.

The music will continue until 10 p.m. from the stage behind Chelsea's.

Everyone who attends will walk away with a free pint glass and, if all goes as planned, new ideas about the town of Oak Creek.

"There are a lot of creative people here," Epstein said. "I am not an artist, but I am a collector. I want to mix art with a chance to showcase this town.

"There has been a lot of negative publicity about this town in the last few months," Epstein said.

"(Art by the Pint) is a chance to mend some fences and show the surrounding towns that this place is not falling apart."


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