In a community where there is every type of fundraiser, Big Brothers Big Sisters of La Plata County has earned bragging rights on two fronts - making fishing a competitive sport locally and giving the participating fisherman a lot of tall tales to tell.
On Aug. 7-8, BBBS held its 13th annual Dos Mosca Fly Fishing Tournament on the Animas River. A committee works all year to put on the two-day affair. Chaired by Bruce Anderson, the rest of the organizers are John Flick, Sandy Bruce, Max Schofield, Bill Brown, Brad Hitti and Cameron Clarkson.
This year, there were seven teams of four anglers, with each two anglers having their own guide for the catch-and-release event. Half the anglers headed up on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to the Upper Animas River in the Weminuche Wilderness. The other half fished the lower Animas between Trimble Lane and Bondad. They switched positions on the second day.
Each angler got two flies, a dry fly and a subsurface fly per day. (Thus the name of the event, although I had to tell them that two flies is Dos Moscas for future reference.) Lose one of the flies, and the angler is down to one for the day. Lose them both, and fly fishing for the day is over. That leads to a number of wild fly-rescue attempts.
Breakfast each day was provided by Sodexho at Santa Rita Park. Anglers were sent off with sack lunches provided by Blimpie, although in the strangest story of the competition, a squirrel chewed a hole in a guide's pack and ate the lunches of both anglers and the guide.
A barbecue was held the first night at the Animas Valley home of Mike and Sandy Bruce, who also are major sponsors. Dinner featured beans, brisket and chicken provided by Serious Texas Bar-B-Q. Also on the menu were lime-cilantro coleslaw and Southwestern green salad by Michael Lutfy. Carver Brewing Co. provided beer, and wine drinkers enjoyed offerings by W. J. Deutsch and Sons.
For entertainment, guide Frank Smethurst, who works at Scott Rods, organized a fly fishing competition. The top angler was another guide, Spencer Schreiber.
On the final evening, the Strater Hotel provided a banquet fit for kings and queens - there is a women's team named Deb's Damsels, named for team leader Deb Flick. Prizes were awarded for top anglers, teams and fundraisers, because, of course, this was about supporting the good work of Big Brothers Big Sisters, to the tune of more than $30,000 this year.
Jim Ketter was the top angler of 2009, while Brown was the fundraiser of the year. The first-place team was Los Pescadores Alpinos, sponsored by Alpine Bank. They were team captain Eric Eicher, Dave Tranum, Ketter and Scott Hager.
The stats for the 2009 Dos Mosca weren't available Tuesday, but in previous years, anglers have caught and released about 535 fish, which is fun in its own right.
This event is a labor of love. In addition to the generosity of the businesses and individuals already mentioned, Duranglers Flies and Supplies, Rancho del Perro Feo, the Southern Ute Tribe, Simms and Ouray Sports all provided key support.
If you are interested in volunteering to be a Big Brother, Big Sister (or Big Couple) or a Study Buddy for the Study Connection, call the BBBS office at 247-3720.
Leading into a holiday weekend for their birthdays are Pat Emmett, Carol Bruno, Cindy Cortese, Ted Robson, William Hall, Laura Bohachevsky, Amy Raulston, Bob Houghton, Dee Booton, Taylor D'Aun, Lee Edlund, Molly Bertrand, Daren Caldwell, Kevin Sullwold, Mini Irwin, Eric Pierson, John TerMaat, Eric Meyer, Margie Hanlin, Jane Fuller, Margaret Wilhite, Kiley Ryan, Bud Ingalsbe, Betty Pixler, Darrell Lucht, Eli Parker, Sarah Campano, Cindi Clay, Emma Zink, Aidan Shaffer, AJ Sidener, Don Brown, Casey Baty and Emma Wales.
On Sunday, supporters of the San Juan Symphony enjoyed the third annual fundraiser at the Edgemont Highlands Community Lodge to kick off the 2009-2010 season. The brainchild of soprano extraordinaire Gemma Kavanagh, it has become a time of great music, great food and great expectations.
After a short time to greet fellow music lovers and enjoy a few appetizers with fine wine donated by Stan Crapo of Star Liquor and water and soft drinks by the Don Mapel family of Durango Coca-Cola Bottling Co., it was time for a short recital selected to introduce the upcoming season, which has the theme of "Once Upon a Time." Featuring Kavanagh, Rochelle Mann on flute and Scott Hagler on a piano keyboard courtesy of Katzin Music, offerings were pulled from folklore, movies and nursery rhymes.
Let me just start by saying that Judy Garland has been dethroned. Kavanagh's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Garland's signature number from "The Wizard of Oz," was nothing short of a revelation. (A few attendees said it brought tears to their eyes.)
They also performed a lovely rendition of "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing," "Once Upon a December," from "Anastasia," and "Nocturne, A Piper" by Michael Head, which Kavanagh first sang with her high school choir in Ireland. One touching moment that hopefully will become a tradition was a mother-daughter duet, with Molly Sullivan, 12, performing with Kavanagh on "You Raise Me Up."
On John Corigliano's "Three Irish Folksongs," it was great fun to hear an Irish lass on Irish music. Mann said her son, conductor Philip Mann, will be conducting Corigliano's most recent piece showcasing the poetry of Bob Dylan at its world premiere in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 11.
San Juan Symphony Musical Director Arthur Post shared some insights about the upcoming season he has planned, which was inspired, in large part, by the bedtime stories he has been telling his 2½-year-old-daughter, Elisenda. Music, like all the arts, excels in telling stories, he said, and it's true many great pieces of music have been based on stories. From "Lovers and Dreamers" to American legends such as Aaron Copeland's "Billy the Kid," Post is looking forward to a dramatic season. And the greatest storyteller of all time, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, she of the 1001 Arabian Nights, promises to please.
After a delightful "London Bridge" and "She Shall Have Music," from Nick Page's "The Nursery Rhyme Cantata," the music ended with Mozart's variations of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" in French. Guests were sent away with a wish that they all "live happily ever after," the way all good stories end.
Then it was time to enjoy a feast prepared by a talented group of cooks. Jackie Dziubeck, whose culinary- school training was much in evidence, Pat Fichera, Michele Hegenwald, Diane Rabeno and Mary Orsini cooked their hearts out. Beautiful antipasti trays, cheese biscuits, fruit and cheese skewers, pork tenderloin, grilled vegetables with chèvre cheese and the coup de grace, a creamy salmon bowtie pasta dish that was out of this world. (Thanks for letting me take some leftovers home.)
(The chefs' husbands should all be recognized, too, because they were willy-nilly volunteered as well.) Somehow, Hagler had time to design the program and invitations while preparing the music, volunteering as the interim executive director at the Durango Arts Center and handling his multiple responsibilities at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Larry Mongelli was thanked for sponsoring the venue and taking good care of our own diva and his wife, Kavanagh.
Chuck Norton provided a martini chicken that was scrumptious - it may be tied with his chicken in basil cream sauce for his best dish honors.
Bette Serzen put her well-known talents as a dessert expert to good use, hand molding mint and raspberry chocolates with musical themes, baking blond brownies and making utterly decadent homemade toffee bars. Kudos to all concerned, and thanks for the perfect prelude to what promises to be a magical season.
Summer monsoons - finally - may be the anniversary gift for Jake and Carrie Forsythe, Lance and Erin Hamlin, Ron and Julie Atkinson, Will and Milly Lacy, Joe and Janine Crossno, Eric and Wanita Christiansen, Gary and Chris Goold, Butch and Karen Keller, David and Pam Turner, Jim and Charon Wimp, Steve and Andrea Owen, David and Nancy Shipps and Jimmy and Jean Robinett.
Special greetings go to Nick and Sandy Blaisdell, who are celebrating the first of many happy anniversaries together on Sunday.
For information on upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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