Getting witchy for Halloween

Getting their witch on for Halloween at the Witchy Women Luncheon are from left, Barb Gysel, Polly Burke, Catherine Cowles, Malia Durvano, Patti Zink, Cindy Coleman, Sydona Anderson, Mary Jo Rakowski and Charlie Gremmels. The loosely organized group – membership changes from year to year – held its 12th annual outing at Steamworks Brewing Co., on Wednesday. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald

Getting their witch on for Halloween at the Witchy Women Luncheon are from left, Barb Gysel, Polly Burke, Catherine Cowles, Malia Durvano, Patti Zink, Cindy Coleman, Sydona Anderson, Mary Jo Rakowski and Charlie Gremmels. The loosely organized group – membership changes from year to year – held its 12th annual outing at Steamworks Brewing Co., on Wednesday.

Zombies weren’t the only ones marching down Main Avenue on Wednesday, but the witches decided to do it in daylight – and on the sidewalk.

Who needs to wait for the witching hour?

After receiving a cackling-good invitation from Mary Jo Rakowski, when she exhorted her fellow witches to power up their brooms and dust off their hats, nine women gathered at Steamworks Brewing Co. for the Witchy Women Luncheon.

At its 12th outing, they had fun creating every kind of witch outfit imaginable, with many designing a new hat, which is, of course, the iconic witch accessory, every year. And I can’t be the only one who hears a Carlos Santana soundtrack every time I think about this luncheon.

After a lot of catching up – many of these women don’t see each other much the rest of the year – it was time for the Main Avenue Stroll. The ladies know who has the candy for trick or treating, and who will want to see what outfits they’ve come up with this year.

So if you were downtown and saw this large group of witches passing by, now you know what was going on.

In addition to Rakowski, the attendees included Barb Gysel, Polly Burke, Catherine Cowles, Malia Durvano, Cindy Coleman, Sydona Anderson and Charlie Gremmels.

And to those who suffer from Samhainophobia, you have 362 days before you have to hide under the covers again. (Unlike most phobias that are derived from Greek or Latin, the fear of Halloween’s term is derived from the word for the ancient Celtic Druid New Year. Thanks to Mary Jane Basye, who introduced the word at the Reading Club of Durango meeting Oct. 25.)

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Celebrating the first of the November birthdays are Ann Briscoe, Tori Brunvand, Andre Craig, Gavin Hamlin, Noah Foutz, Keanu Pangelinan, Doug Bishop, Diane Englund, Jack Englund, Samantha Harris, McKenzie Hoffman, Tara Safran, Mary Shafer, Zack Esgar, Constance Isley, Lukas Kleva, Brianna Tomberlin, Alli Beckstead, Karlaine Caudill, Warren Holland, Ernie Schaaf, Earl Caudill, Linda Ruby, David Buck, Meghan O’Brien, Brock Fassett, Jesse House, Etoile Hening, Doug Pierce, Jim Clay and Billy Miller.

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Many congratulations go out to the Bayfield Lions Club, which has successfully raised the $135,000 it needed to purchase the Lions Hall in downtown Bayfield.

Despite the moniker, the building has belonged to the Colorado State Grange all these years. When the grange announced it wanted to sell the building, which the Lions have leased, operated and maintained for decades, it gave the Lions three years to raise the money so they could finally own their hall outright.

The hall isn’t just where the Lions meet, it’s one of the major places where the community comes together, so this mattered to everyone in Bayfield.

Almost $52,000 was raised within the small community of Bayfield, population 2,330 plus, via time-honored traditions such as bake sales, dinner auctions and a variety of other community fundraisers. Several businesses stepped up with sizeable donations, but the majority of the contributions came in increments of $20, $50 and $100 from individuals.

The remaining $83,000 came from a generous credit from the Colorado Grange for the Lions Club’s in-kind contributions, and the generosity of three Colorado-based foundations. Leading the way was the Ballantine Family Fund. When Front Range-based foundations see that the Ballantines think a project is important, they tend to get on board, too. This time, it was the Adolph Coors and Gates Family foundations that made up the difference.

Ken Gaherty, president of the Bayfield Lions Club, said the club faced an uphill battle when members began a major capital campaign amid a national recession and the sudden drop in gas and oil production in our area. So this success tastes even sweeter.

The club hopes to close on the purchase before the end of 2012, and then, Gaherty says, it will be time for the thank-you party of all thank-you parties.

Next up will be raising the money to give the hall a facelift next year, but as Scarlett O’Hara famously said, they’ll “worry about that tomorrow.”

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Local musician Tim Sullivan keeps wowing those cynical New Yorkers.

Pre-Hurricane Sandy, on Oct. 17, he performed in the opening concert of the 23rd New York Cabaret Convention at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center. (That’s how The New York Times described the event, and I’m betting it knows whereof it speaks.)

Sullivan’s sister K.T. Sullivan is the new artistic director of the convention and was saluted for helping an event “dictated by the spirits of Cole Porter and Noël Coward” move into the modern age. Many Durangoans know her, as she has performed at Music in the Mountains and other venues around town.

Times reviewer Stephen Holden gave our Durango Sullivan a rave review.

“A piece of luck was the last-minute replacement of the actor Edward Hibbert with Tim Sullivan, Ms. Sullivan’s brother,” he wrote, “a guitar-strumming Oklahoma cowboy who led the audience in a jubilant singalong of ‘This Land is Your Land.’ He preceded it with a rhymed catalog of the names of his 100 biggest musical influences, (one of my personal favorites of Sullivan’s songs) spanning every genre. It amounted to an unofficial declaration of the convention’s new receptiveness.”

This is not the first, nor is it likely to be the last, time New Yorkers fall in love with Tim Sullivan. He and his family performed a Mother’s Day concert at Carnegie Hall for several years, and his one-man show also was quite successful there.

The complete review ran Oct. 18.

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Enjoying crisp November anniversaries are Charlie and Amanda Blalock, David and Nancy Custer and Paul and Betty Ann Beauregard.

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