For 233 years, Americans have celebrated the Fourth of July and the founding of our republic. Some of the ways we celebrate have changed - barbecues and camping trips - and some have remained the same, like a parade and picnic.
Mrs. Camp's Town Ladies and Gents marked the day much as Durango's founding forefathers and mothers must have. Dressed in their summer finest, they rode a float in the parade celebrating early train travel on the Denver & Rio Grande featuring a backdrop of Engine 42. They portrayed early travelers, along with a train conductor, on the float, while other members of the group walked beside the float, handing out candy and bubble gum to children along the parade route.
(While chewing gum was popular in Victorian times, according to my research, bubble gum wasn't sold until 1928, when Walter Diemer modified an earlier recipe and created the ever popular Double Bubble pink bubble gum. But who's quibbling?)Among the parade participants were Cres and Shirley Fleming, Suzanne Parker and Tom Doak, Ricci Dawson (husband, Frank, decided to dress comfortably and enjoy the picnic), and John and Eliane Viner. Glenn and Mary Sears dressed their neighbor Lydia Southworth in Victorian garb, and she managed to find a pair of Crocs that matched her dress and parasol, but were much more comfortable. Lydia, 9, is the daughter of Roger and Jill Southworth.
Afterwards, the group gathered in Buckley Park in another favorite Victorian pastime, the picnic. The menu was authentic as well, starting with fried chicken, baked beans, deviled eggs, potato salad and coleslaw and ending with cupcakes and brownies. The repast was washed down with iced tea and lemonade.
One thing has changed. Americans now celebrate the holiday in much cooler clothing. Not as elegant, but much more comfortable.
The group is enjoying a busy summer. It recently joined Duane Smith at the Ignacio Community Library, where they gave a fashion show while he taught a Four Corners history lesson. At the end of the month, the group will be participating in another parade in Mancos.
And when they're not participating in events, the ladies are busily preparing for their part in the second annual Durango Heritage Celebration, which will take place Oct. 8-11.
b b bSummer is in full swing for the birthdays of Priscilla Shand, Deck Shaline, Neil Johnson, Clark Lagow, Rachael McCoola, Kelsey McLean, Karen Freeman, Chad Cook, BJo Hatten, Ellen McCoola, Jessica Miller, Jerry Sheldon, Eurlene Olson, Drew Downs, Gillian Tull, Joni Bender, Mary Hudson, Nathan Clarkson, Madison Dickson, Chris Atchison and Sam Atchison.
Belated greetings go to Adele Fleming, Jana Goold, Don Magill, Dorothy Weigman, Henry Bell, Mary Thomson, Lacey Wiggins, Dillon Irwin, Sean Johnson, Grace Latham and Ben MacKenzie.
b b bOn June 18, more than 90 guests enjoyed the warm and touching atmosphere that highlighted the sixth annual "Little Moments Big Magic" breakfast hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado at the Durango Arts Center.
Norton's Catering provided a delicious meal of quiche, fresh fruit and assorted pastries. Table decorations were donated by Mixed Greens Event Design, which included flowers contributed by south City Market.
The first goal of the event is to educate the attendees about the organization's community-based mentoring program and its school-based academic mentoring program called Study Connection. The second is to encourage people to support the organization by volunteering to be a mentor or to donate funds to pay for its operation.
Volunteers and one of the Little Brothers shared their stories and experiences, which touched everyone by how much that time together means.
The catered affair also celebrated the 25th anniversary of BBBS in La Plata County and founding member Bill Mashaw, who recently died. Mashaw had a long experience with BBBS in Indiana and also served on the national board of directors, so when he and his wife, Dot, moved to Durango in 1984, getting a local chapter established was one of his first projects.
Table captains included Mary Kay Aigner, Terry Leonard and Gunnar Anderson, Steve Emrich, Barb Acosta, Anne Beach, Sue Rubano, Gerry Schaerer, Jim Bolen and Judy Bracken, Todd Sieger, and Michael and Barbara McLachlan.
They and their guests listened to presentations by Big Brother and board member Bill Holmes, Big Sister Rosine Stout, Big Brother and Little Brother duo Stuart Prall and Rodney, BBBS Executive Director Christy Schaerer, Study Connection manager Justin Tafoya and Study Buddy and board member Marty Palecki.
Guests learned that the cost of a local match is about $1,000 a year. Professionally trained case managers conduct thorough background checks, interviews and trainings. They also provide ongoing support, monitoring and guidance throughout the life of the match.
Throughout the year, the BBBS staff plans a number of outings for Bigs and Littles, often including activities such as bowling, parties or riding the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad courtesy of Al Harper.
In 2008, they matched 227 children with adult mentors between the two programs in La Plata and Archuleta counties.
Schaerer said research has shown that BBBS' proven program quality ensures positive outcomes. In laywoman's "speak," I think it's impossible to overestimate the importance and impact of a caring adult spending time with a young person who needs that attention.
Sponsors for the event included M. Leeder Construction and Coca-Cola Bottling of Durango.
To volunteer, donate or just learn more, call the La Plata County office at 247-3720, the Archuleta County office at 264-5077 or visit the Web site at www.bbig.org.
My thanks go to Christy Schaerer, who did the reporting on this item. I work afternoons and evenings, so a 7 a.m. breakfast event is not in the cards.
b b bA few months ago, I wrote about the guest bartender program that the Red Snapper had instituted from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday nights. Each guest got to choose a charity that would benefit from their time, and many nonprofits in the area were highlighted in a fun way.
Nancy Rowley, a co-owner of the Snapper, had intended to have the program last only three months, but it has proved so popular it continued through June. And now, after taking two weeks off, she is getting ready to kick it off again July 15 because of appeals not only from guest bartenders, but from clientele that really gets into the show.
And it is a show. The first few bartenders showed up pretty much by themselves and fumbled through the drink mixing under the direction of a professional bartender. Now, Rowley said, they are planning ahead and coming in groups of two or three, with one to bartend, one to serve and another to encourage patrons to ante up the tips.
Rowley does her part by offering Happy Hour prices to further entice a crowd.
The champions to beat are Brad and Amy Lantz, who raised $1,583 for Mercy Health Foundation. Despite a heavy e-mail lobbying campaign, the trio of Kay Hoppe Britton, Su Compton and Suzan Lane came in a close - and I mean close - $10 behind the Lantzes. The cause they were supporting was Hospice of Mercy.
All told, the event has raised almost $12,000. Rowley said many nonprofits didn't realize the fundraising was even happening and have been flabbergasted to have someone walk in with a check for a lot of money.
If you are interested in being a guest bartender to raise money for your favorite cause, call Rowley at 259-3417. The money is great for two hours of entertaining folks while you get to see what it's like back behind the bar.
b b bMy predecessor and role model Sally Morrissey recently moved to The Valley Inn Nursing Home and Independent Living Center in Mancos. As you can imagine, she is missing her friends in Durango and would love to hear from folks. So if you're over there, please stop by for a visit.
Cards may be sent to 211 West Third Ave., Mancos, CO 81328. Or you can call her at 533-9031. Give her time to get to the phone.
She is still a loyal reader of The Durango Herald, and luckily, she doesn't find too many mistakes to mention to me!
b b bThe fireworks may be over, but that doesn't mean these anniversary celebrants won't be generating some excitement of their own - Jerry and Joyce Wood, Lee and Debbie VanWinkle, Tony and Nancy Stohl, Scott and Cindy Atchison and Michael and Ann Murphy.
Belated greetings go to Chad and Ann Tidwell, Dean and Sandy Brown and John Marchino and Laura Lewis Marchino.
b b bFor information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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