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Personal Space

Unfreezing the caveman

  • Bruce Elliott

Caveman bones have been found in Colorado Springs. They're nearly 58 years old, and they belong to Marc Hament. The Brooklyn-born, self-described hard-core Republican has lived in Colorado long enough -- 34 years -- to be considered a native, he says.

Hament's gone by the name "Caveman" since his days as a serious caver. Not a spelunker, he points out, but a caver. The difference? Cavers are the ones who rescue khaki-clad spelunkers when they go exploring unprepared.

Caveman's on a fixed income, medically disabled, and he's mad at Colorado Springs Utilities. The LEAP people, Low Energy Assistance Program, sent his check directly to utilities, and he's fighting to get back his credit. CSU wants to keep it to pay for future bills, he says, but Caveman needs it for other expenditures.

Another passion is Gold Camp Road. Hament wants it reopened to let motor traffic use the now-closed road. He's done volunteer work along the route and is concerned that the hiking and biking lobby will have their way and less-able people like him will get left out.

"I've yet to see a bicyclist stop and take their shoes out of the little pegs on the pedals to stop and pick up trash," he says. "They all think they're Olympians, like doing the Tour de France."

Caveman has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. A believer in preservation, he thinks the General Palmer statue should stay put, for example. There is no need for new city parks when we have the national forests, he says. Caveman protested the Vietnam War, but he's hawkish when it comes to Iraq.

He's also a regular reader of the Independent. "Some stuff I agree with, and a lot of stuff I don't agree with." Either way, "I will defend your right to say it. I'm a constitutionalist."

Quirky irony: We interviewed in his side yard. Caveman's dog, Freedom, stayed locked in the house.

-- by Malcolm Allyn

Photo by Bruce Elliott

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