Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Originally posted June 2012: one of the most important pieces I have ever written...way too important to sully with a rant about my own encounters with the pendejos employed by this hospital -- read that on my piece, "H. Heilmannii and Hell at Childrens Hospital Memorial."


I wrote this, and it passed my muster, but I sought the opinion of a higher power before running it; in this case, my higher power answered via email: 

"Run it.. You don't accuse anyone directly of anything, just asking hypotheticals."

and so I'm running it.
This is dedicated to the memory of the late, great Doctor Ted Eastburn.

Hi, everybody. I apologize for being lax - my attention and free time have been monopolized of late, and I cannot hardly complain...

However, today is a big day for me, because today is the last day of our Gazette home delivery.  Today, I will circle my job in the employment, I will fill the tub and soak for an hour or two as I read every article and dampen every page, and yes, I will move slow and leisurely as I enjoy these last, luxurious moments together.

I didn't have to wait long before taking my first bite of delicious Gazette Classic Cheesecake, served up by Daniel Chacon and Andrew Weineke in their story about the Memorial Hospital/Larry McEvoy severance scandal.  Chacon, ever servile, deserves top billing in the piece, marking it with his trademarked half-truths and innuendo like a dog and a tree; but really, I'd higher hopes for Weineke...

No matter.  The "timeline" purported in the article leaves out a GREAT BIG FACT, and I'm about to share that with you, since no one at the Gazette seems to remember it:

The Memorial board, which is appointed by the council, used to include several voting members from City Hall.  But in either 1999 or 2000, the council decided that one of its members would no longer sit on the board.
Former councilman Randy Purvis, who served on the Memorial board as a council representative from 1991 to 1999, said the council wanted to separate politics from the operation of the hospital and make the board more independent.
"For a time, there were two council members on the board," he said.  "If you go back to the 1980's, there was a time when the city manager sat on the board of trustees as an ex-officio member (and) the city finance chief was on the board as a member of the board."

Did good Mr. Purvis forget or just fail to mention the rest of the story?

Chacon interviewed Purvis as he was compiling this compost - was he unable to find other interviewees from the time frame in question, like, oh, say, Mary Lou Makepeace, Judy Noyes, Lionel Rivera...or perhaps better yet, RICHARD SKORMAN?

If Shillcon was any kind of real investigative reporter, he'd have uncovered a heck of a lot more of the actual who, what, when, where, how, and whys; but then, he's not; like Noreen, Chacon has a paying job and I don't, and it hurts like hell and I'm mad about it, but it doesn't change the fact that I've already covered this story...indeed, I lived through it; and why I should let all that hard work just go to waste?  Paid or unpaid, what's done is done. Waste not, want not, I always curl up for the part that Chacon conveniently left out:


That's WHEN the change happened, and WHY the change happened.

They wouldn't let Ted sit on the Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees.  If memory serves me correctly, the last two city councilmen to sit on the Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees were Lionel Rivera and Richard Skorman.

And so I just think this is all so this has all come about, and how long in the making.

For those of you who don't know, Ted Eastburn was a cardiologist, former city councilman and mayoral candidate; he was married for many years to Kathryn Eastburn, who co-founded the Colorado Springs Independent.  They had children...they divorced.  He remarried, to Deb Mahan; their union produced a son before it, too ended in divorce. He was engaged to be married to Elizabeth Arnold when he reportedly committed suicide August 17, 2010 in his office at Memorial Hospital; it was the anniversary of his marriage to Kathryn; it was also the day their divorce became final, apparently and coincidentally.

So, perhaps the doctor pined after the wordsmith; I know I would steal her magic pen from her hand just so as to write my name with it.  Eastburn writes a lot like Steinbeck...her every word a rope wrapping around me, pulling me in and then stabbing me - in my heart, and making me cry, and when the tears slow, I go back and re-read it again, because it always hurts so good.

I met her once, you know; my first day at the Independent was her last day. Matthew Schniper introduced me to her breezily as we passed through the copy room; I looked at her face and the gold crucifix around her neck, and on the spot became star-struck and tongue-tied.  But her handshake was crushingly light and limp, and suffice it to say, she didn't offer to autograph an Independent for me. After fifteen days, my stint at the Independent was history...but despite the taste of sour grapes in mouth, I omitted Eastburn's name from the aforementioned diatribe; I will always admire Kathryn Eastburn, and the way that she weaves and writes with her words.  Though she knows me not, she's long influenced me; her impact upon me is profound...and so it would take so much to make me think anything of her than admiringly.

When I wrote the Downtown Partnership to complain about the boat made out of black people sitting in front of the Terry Harris Court Building on Vermijo and Tejon, it was Judy Noyes who responded with crisp nonchalance. In the same week, God told me to look at America the Beautiful Park from the sky, and to expect to see something in the shape of an eye.  I looked.  And the eye looked back. So, I researched the HELL out of that park, and learned that Judy Noyes was also the leader of the pack responsible for America the Beautiful Park and the Continuum fountain.  I also discovered that Noyes, who with her husband operated Chinook Book for 45 years, opened the store in 1959 and closed it on the same day in 2004 -- June 15...(dates that, incidentally, both amount numerologically to 666).

When the Noyes closed their store, Kathryn Eastburn wrote a tribute piece entitled "Promise of Spring Fulfilled."  At the time, I thought nothing of it; but as I researched the park six years later, I thought of it a lot; Eastburn describes them as best friends, and it bothered me..and  somehow made me think less of her -- how could and why would anyone write so lovingly about a woman who through her actions and deeds appears to be a serious practitioner of the occult?

When Ted's suicide was reported, I was in shock. Why would a brilliant, handsome, successful doctor shoot himself in his office AT THE HOSPITAL? Richard Skorman lunched with Eastburn within three days of his suicide, but could provide no insight.  The suicide of Ted's adopted son a few years earlier depressed him, it was said; he was prone to mood swings, I was told. I remembered Ted, and couldn't believe he killed himself at the hospital...convinced he would have never upset his patients in such a manner.

I grieved...with Kathryn, for Kathryn, for Ted, for me, for all of us.  For, you see, the rumblings about what to do with Memorial Hospital had just begun, as had the announcements of who intended to run for mayor; what, I wondered, would that great man's opinion have been on Memorial Hospital? Might he have had plans to again run for mayor?  

I could only go back to City Council minutes and old Gazette articles for clues to the answers.  What resulted was a picture of one of the few good men who have become mom's boyfriend post-humously.  Nothing, nothing, nothing negative, nothing dark, nothing mysterious or questionable; just a really, really nice guy who took care of his ill, single mother...who put himself through school by serving in the military; one of the most skilled heart-surgeons in the region - in the state; an elected city councilman who asked questions and voted his heart.  Ted was a liberal - but on local issues, he routinely voted as I would have voted...which must not have rubbed his sneakier councilmates in quite the right way - such as Makepeace, Skorman, Rivera and Noyes.

Like what votes, exactly, you ask?  Well, how about SDS?  Banning-Lewis Ranch? How about the paraplegic baseball field out east? How about America the Beautiful Park right down town?  And when talk about the sculpture cropped up, Ted wisely opined that the Starr Kempf metal sculptures might serve the alleged need.  Kempf, too, shot himself...

I had to wonder, after all they'd endured together, what killed his marriage to Kathryn?  What killed his marriage to Deb Mahan?  I asked Wayne Laugesen at the Gazette if Deb Mahan was any relation to Brian Mahan, the head of Memorial Hospital's cardiology department, but never received an answer...

I told my friend Mitch Christiansen that I, as one who has long and often struggled with suicidal ideation, had a hard time believing that Dr. Eastburn shot himself in his office at Memorial Hospital; why would he have wanted to disturb so many patients, all at once..why not in his car at Queen's Canyon or something?    What purpose did it serve, or what statement was he trying to make?  There were no reports of a note.  Every initial report shows that officers arrived to a call of shots fired. The door to his office was locked, and first responders had to kick in the door...

Well...what if an assassin had laid in wait in Ted's office, shot, shot again, quickly set the stage...and then escaped the room via a ceiling tile, and up and out through the hospital's vent system?  Might Ted Eastburn have heard the earliest of the "let's sell Memorial Hospital" whispers and decided to once again run for yt? and try to put it all to a stop?  Might he have confided such to the wrong person, and ended up assassinated?  For such a thing to occur would have required both a hospital insider and a police insider - could such a thing really happen, or does it only happen on TV?  I don't know...but Mitch told me that if there was any truth whatsoever to my theory, someone might shoot me over it.

There was a time when I couldn't stop thinking of Ted Eastburn.  At one point, I sought out information from someone who would know; I was walking one way, and then suddenly my feet were stepping in another, until I stood on a unknown doorstep ringing a stranger's doorbell. The person, who'll remain anonymous, answered most of my questions:  Ted received some kind of devastating news the week of his suicide; yes, there was a note, in fact there were several (and only through respect and self-control did I withhold myself from asking to read it); Ted supposedly supported the sale of Memorial Hospital (though this must have been a relatively recent reversal for him; he had previously stated that he would have to see entirely new data in order to support such a change); Ted, who gave lectures on gun safety and suicide, purportedly placed the items he cherished outside his office door before locking it and then shooting himself, so as not to smatter them with blood - but did anyone actually see him place those items outside his office door...or perhaps caught on camera?  The box the gun came in was found, but without a receipt...and when I asked if it still sometimes felt unreal, the answer was unequivocally, "Yes."

I left in tears, crushed to hear that it really, really, really did seem to be true; it really did appear as though Eastburn committed suicide.  I left, with far more questions than with which I came. I'm left, with those questions still haunting me to this day

But since that interview, I had a chance to speak with one of the first  responders to the scene, and this person told me another queer thing: the bad news that Dr. Eastburn had received was delivevered to him by the Memorial Hospital powers that be...and they told him there was evidence that his performance had been much so, that the decision had been made to stop him from practicing medicine at Memorial...and elsewhere, Before shooting himself, Dr. Eastburn had taken the hard-copies of his patients' files, and fanned them across his desktop...and since hospital policy decrees that anything contaminated with blood is biohazardous, all of said files were incinerated the same day. What do you make of that?

If memory serves me correctly, I remember reading that Kathryn Eastburn once taught a writing class on "locked door mysteries"...where a murder takes place behind a locked door and you have to figure out how it was done, or if it was a suicide.  Another reliable source told me that at the time of the incident, the floor directly above Dr. Eastburn's office was vacant and under some kind of construction. And sources are air-tight and rock-solid.

I am stuck at the corner of it was a murder staged to appear as a suicide...or it was a suicide - and at least in part, a gigantic FU to the powers that be at Memorial Hospital.
It all reminds me of this long ago X-File episode...Sanguinarium...where a doctor who's also a satanist arranges the ritual murders of persons who were born on dates that coincide with witch high holy days.  I can't include a link to it, but it is on Netflix; if you get a's season 4, episode 6...and then afterward, tell me that the doctor in question isn't eerily reminiscent of McEvoy.

I'm just sayin'.  What would Dr. Ted Eastburn have thought of Dr. Larry McEvoy's severance?  We will never know.

Isn't it interesting, though, that the new Memorial Hospital North is in the shape of a triquetra...a pagan symbol related to the witches sabbath of Beltane, wherein humans are regularly sacrificed..

Note from higher power:  The design of the building is something I know about.  This design is so to withstand high wind - no real edges or corners.  It also allows for air transport to deliver to any of the three specialty units below via the roof where the helipad is centered.  It does indeed resemble the shape you cite, but I think there's a less nefarious explanation.  I hope.

McEvoy's severance is not something we can blame on the present city council; no...there are sinister forces who have been working quietly behind the scenes for years and years...feeding the machine and keeping it running.

The same Anschutz/Tutts who own the Broadmoor, the El Pomar Foundation, and the USOC will now own Memorial Hospital for all intents and purposes; and surprise, surprise, now here comes the talk of shutting down the Drake Power Plant - wonder who'll end up owning Colorado Springs Utilities?

And we all keep swallowing it...hook, line and sinker.

Yes, this post is filled with speculation...but Chacon's omission of Eastburn's part of the Memorial Hospital story is a blatant lie of omission...and certainly cause for speculation.

Without a doubt, Ted Eastburn was a great doctor, and a very kind-hearted and generous man; he certainly held more than one key to the mysterious Memorial Hospital conundrum...and how dare anyone omit his great name?

There is no disrespect intended in this piece, and if I've opened up wounds then I'm sorry but sobeit.  I tried to write this a year ago, couldn't until now, and must say that time has made all the difference between a reckless rant and a meandering muse.  Led Zeppelin is my favorite band of all time, and it was Ted's favorite, too...and we both seemed to like the same writer a lot.  So, a toast to the good doctor, Ted Eastburn...a real man amongst men; gone too soon, but surely not least not as long as I'm still alive.

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