Time after time, organization after organization, auction after auction, dinners with one theme or another are
offered for bidding.
I have sat with groups that marveled at how much money folks were willing to pay for the meals, which range from a
taco party with a frozen margarita machine for 25 to gourmet multicourse Italian, French, Moroccan, Asian fusion, Turkish, you name it ... repasts for six or eight.
Well, after you read this story, youÂll be enthusiastically raising your hand, too. Don and
Judy Hayes donated a Dinner in Provence at their home at an auction at the Unitarian Universalist
Fellowship of Durango.
After three years of sprucing up their buildings, the fellowship was looking for funds to complete a charming
landscaping plan, and the fundraiser brought in $11,000 that made a big difference.
The Hayeses have a reputation as gourmet cooks, so the bidding was lively, to say the least. Four couples ended up
the winners Â John and Aline Schwob, Eb and Kathy
Redford, Ken and Lois Carpenter and Dwight and
They had expected the Hayeses to join them at the table and were surprised to find their hosts in white jackets and
toques prepared to create a memorable dining experience. Their daughter, Elizabeth Capdevila, came
down from Denver to serve as the sous chef, and brought a number of hard-to-find ingredients with her. Both Don Hayes
and Capdevila are graduates of Olga ManguinÂs French Cooking School in Avignon.
So hereÂs the meal the Schwobs, Redfords, Carpenters and Burgesses enjoyed:
The first course was a choice of foie gras with fresh figs (IÂm guessing those came from Denver) or smoked white
fish with olive tapenade. The course was served with a 2003 Chateau La Tour sauterne. (Oh, did I forget to mention
the Hayes clan selected superb wines to accompany the feast?)
After a rich lobster bisque paired with a 2007 Rombauer chardonnay for the fish course, the entrée was an
unforgettable roasted quail in a baked pear with a bourbon-tarragon-mustard glaze served with wild rice and haricots
verts (aka green beans, but so much yummier en franÃ§is) with an Angeline pinot noir from 2007.
After a salad course Â butter lettuce with French dressing Â it was time for the cheese course, Morbier, Forme
dÂamber and St. André triple crÃ¨me served with a 2007 Schmitt Sohen Riesling. One might assume the guests would be
sated at this point, but no French meal would be complete without a sinful, decadent, utterly scrumptious dessert.
In this case, it was a chocolate gateau with crÃ¨me fraÃ®che and fresh raspberries paired with a 2006 Easton late
harvest Zinfandel. Done yet? Not quite. The guests adjourned to the fire outside the HayesesÂ Shenandoah home for
espresso, cognac and cigars. (Well, not everyone partook of the cigars.)
The meal also was the leisurely kind of experience the French have mastered. While they were seated shortly after 6
p.m., they didnÂt leave the table until almost 10 p.m.
The travelers among the group declared the service a three-star experience and the meal worthy of at least two
I only have one question: Where was my invitation?
Happy Libra birthday greetings go out to Roy McLaughlin, Andrew Ferguson, Travis Dalenberg, Ashleigh Glenn, ShannonKunkel, Toby Ariel Mary Lawson, Emily Rohren, George Rose, Benji
Mickel, Marna Burnett, Evan Gonzalez, Scott McClain, A.J. Folk, Calvin Buffalo, Louise Bell, Ron
Atkinson, Katrina Longwell, Marilyn Holland, Tristen
Mantineo, Kenyon Bunch, John Viner, Richard Robuck, Christopher Berger, CreightonHatten, Pat
Garofalo, Mary Thompson, Joan Rhodes and Brad Fassett.
Start with a disabled Navy veteran mother who continues to serve as a member of the Honor Guard for American Legion
Post No. 27. Add to that a daughter who has excelled academically and as a leader who wants to serve her country. The
total equals Deanna Tindall and her daughter Brittany Tindall.
Deanna Tindall served in the Navy infantry in Desert Shield/Desert Storm before going on to work in the Judge
Advocate GeneralÂs office after being injured.
While her daughters helped care for her after numerous surgeries, she apparently taught them important lessons about
persevering, working hard and striving for excellence.
Brittany Tindall is 18 days away from graduating from Navy boot camp at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. She enlisted after graduating from high school with honors, where she also accumulated 24 college credits. After
a short stint modeling in New York City and Los Angeles, it was off to the Navy.
The young woman has the eventual goal of becoming a JAG lawyer, but to get her feet on the ground (so to speak), she
will be working as an engineer operator rebuilding buildings in hot zones.
In the meantime, this is the first time the young woman has been away from home for her motherÂs birthday. So she
got every single member of her company, 77 in all, to sign a birthday card for her mom.
HereÂs wishing you the best as you begin your military career, Seaman Recruit Tindall, and a wish for the same to
all of Ship 12, Division 382 as you go on to serve our country and protect our freedoms.
This is a column full of apologies Â well, two to be exact. The first goes out to the energetic ladies of Chapter BR
P.E.O., which held its 80th annual rummage sale Oct. 10. I had promised Ahne Elliott that I would run a short story
on it in my Oct. 7 column. Color me a space cadet, but I forgot.
And then I learned that The Durango HeraldÂs chairman and editorÂs health was failing, and I needed to
learn and write about her amazing life, so there wasnÂt a Neighbors column at all Oct. 10. I hope you had a great
turnout and made a lot of money for the scholarships P.E.O. gives to deserving young women.
Now, Chapter FX P.E.O. is doing its fundraiser for scholarships. If you always have a poinsettia or two for the
holidays, how about doing your decorating for a cause? The women are taking orders for small, medium, large or extra
large poinsettias. Small, large and extra large only come in red. If medium is what youÂre seeking, you have a
choice of red, white, pink, maroon, Jester Jingle (rose-colored with lighter pink spots) or winter rose (peony-shaped
red flowers). Smalls are $7, mediums are $14, larges are $18 and extra-larges (in a 10-inch pot) are $25.
Orders with checks are due no later than Nov. 6. For more information, call chairwomen Deborah
Barnes at 259-5844 and Susan Brown at 247-5443. Checks and orders may be mailed to Barnes
at 303 County Road 204, Durango, CO 81301.
Poinsettias will be available for pickup from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 1 at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 495 Florida
Road. If you canÂt pick yours up then, you need to make other arrangements.
And just in case you think those scholarships go to faceless women elsewhere, two women from Durango have received
invaluable help from P.E.O. scholarships recently.
Last year, Tracy Deffenbugh received both an Educational Loan Fund grant and a Program for
Continuing Education grant. This year, Sarah Branch Boyle was honored with a P.E.O. State Star
Last weekend, I was writing about Morley Ballantine for her obituary, and it was all about the facts
and other peopleÂs stories. This week, I want to write about my recollections of a woman who more than any other
person has shaped what Durango is today, and whom I was honored to know.
While I had known Morley since I was a child, I didnÂt get to know her as an adult until after my parents were in a
catastrophic car accident in December 2003. My mother, Kathy Butler, died, and my father, Charlie Butler, received a number of injuries, including significant traumatic brain injuries.
Morley was one of the first to call, and she and her son, Herald publisher Richard
Ballantine, made the load lighter by running a daily update about my fatherÂs condition.
After my motherÂs service, which she attended with her longtime friend Sally Morrissey, she wrote a
lovely editorial that lightened my spirit much as the stories had lightened the load. After about six months, my dad
decided that if he remarried, he wanted it to be to Morley, because they would always have interesting dinner
conversations. She graciously endured his version of courtship, which wasnÂt far from a 14-year-old boyÂs version
of riding his bicycle past her house.
And she understood how much being remembered by his friends mattered. Wherever she traveled, and wherever he was
living, Morley always sent him a postcard, mentioning how much she was looking forward to their trip to Mexico to
find gold. (He was a geologist.)
You would be reading a Neighbors column written by someone else were it not for Morley. When Morrissey announced she
was retiring at the age of 80, after 36 years, I got a phone call from Morley, asking me to apply for the job. I had
never taken a writing class, never worked on a school newspaper, and if you had asked a Durango High School
Ann Butler what she wanted to do with her life, journalism wouldnÂt have been in the top 50
Morley had seen a small column I wrote for the Leadership La Plata newsletter and liked my style, liked how I was an
old timer having grown up here and a newcomer having returned after almost 20 years away. So I trusted her, and went
About six weeks in, she called. ÂAnn, dear,Â she said, ÂI like what youÂre doing with the column. But you seem to
be having trouble with the names.Â I was calling people I knew by their first names, a style returned to for this
item. ÂHave you checked the AP [Associated Press] Stylebook?Â she inquired. ÂNo, whatÂs that?Â The next day, I
had a copy in my mailbox.
Lesson learned Â and thanks for the friendship and the adventure, Morley.
I owe a big apology to little Sophia ÂPumpkinÂ Hardesty. Taking the word of the organizers of a
ride for Cadence Therapeutic Riding CenterÂs, I said she was 8 in a story in WednesdayÂs column. Well, lo and
behold, the young horsewoman in only 5, so her accomplishment of riding her pony Princess Piggy the full 11-mile
course is even more impressive. Born to ride, indeed.
Carving pumpkins for their anniversaries are Mark and Michelle James, Luis and Jamie Marquez, John and Kay Cooley, Noel and Virginia Peterson, Sean and Danette
Jackson and Bob and Virginia Houghton.
For information on upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
HereÂs how to reach me: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 375-4584; fax 259-5011; mail items to the
Herald; or drop them off at the front desk. Please include contact names and phone numbers for all items.
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