They got married amid World War II in bitterly cold Duluth, Minn., and 67 years later, they are preparing to
celebrate their 67th anniversary on Dec. 19 in cold - but not bitterly so - Durango.
Jean Pearthree tells me her husband, Murray, is a dedicated reader of The
Durango Herald, and she is sure this will surprise and delight him. (I'm sure she's right on the surprise front, and after more than six and a half decades together, I'm pretty sure she's right on the delight part, too.)
I've gotten to know the Pearthrees through First United Methodist Church of Durango, where she graciously adopted"
me after my parents' automobile accident when my mother was killed. It was particularly meaningful at the
Mother-Daughter Dinner, which had been one of my mom's favorite activities.
And they began their marriage in a Methodist Church, the Endion Methodist Church. It no longer exists, but when they
recently needed proof of their marriage, (really, after 67 years?) they were fortunately able to get the documents
During the war years, no one was having extravagant weddings, but, as Jean Pearthree says, the knot was tied
The bride's sister, Carol Rutter, and the groom's brother, Francis Pearthree, were the witnesses. The anniversary
always brings about a moment of reflection because one of Murray Pearthree's dearest friends traveled to be there for
the occasion. He was killed on an island in the South Pacific shortly thereafter.
Like every couple, the Pearthrees have had their ups and downs. But the mere fact that after 67 years, she's still
thinking of ways to surprise and delight him tells the tale of why their marriage has endured.
I'm running this story in advance so friends have time to drop them a card. But here are my happy anniversary
Mother Nature has put on her best plush white for the birthdays of David Golub, Rob
Kolter, Kate Uebersax, Henry Mitchell, Deanna Manley, Ed Trahan, Susan Pugh, Pam Turpin, Ruth Dickson, Hazel Cline, Natalie Biery, Sam Choate, Ryan
Szura, Dick Perryand B.J. Pierce.
Special greetings go out to Emily Schaldach for her 14th birthday.
It just doesn't feel like the holidays until the Durango Choral Society's annual A Traditional Family Christmas."
But since the concert Sunday at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, I am in the spirit.
And this year, conductor Linda Mack Berven planned a show that was great fun and beautifully
organized. The DCS, Durango Women's Choir and Durango Children's Chorale were all on stage together, so there was no
marching on and off, just lots of music. The singers were joined by the FLC Jazz Combo made up of professors
Tim Farrell on trumpet and Jonathan Latta on percussion joined by senior students
Jack Maynes on piano and Bob Demmon playing bass.
The combo shone on Good King Wenceslas," We Three Kings" and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel."
Without a doubt, the high point was Gemma Kavanagh's glorious soprano on O Holy Night." It's a song
that's easy to mess up but wonderful when the soloists are on the money. You can take Kavanagh's rendition to the
The audience was delighted to welcome Amy Barrett as the new director of the children's chorale as
she takes over from longtime leader Rochelle Mann. (Although it might have been Barrett's darling
baby, Brianna, who stole the show.)
Many people don't know that the children don't just sing, they learn a lot about music. From a weekend-long camp in
the fall to projects all year long, they learn to read music, phrasing, stage etiquette and all kinds of skills.
To raise money to pay for that education, the DCS threw a ginormous" silent auction at Center of Southwest Studies, where virtually every one of the adult singers, DCS board members and families of the children had put together
themed baskets as well as a cornucopia of toys and jewelry and services galore. Both during intermission (and it was
tough to get some folks back to the concert hall) and after the concert, people perused and bid.
All of those folks also had provided a ton of snacks, so no one could claim low blood sugar. My kudos go to whoever
brought the chocolate chip cookies because they were excellent.
Thanks to sponsors First National Bank of Durango and its President Steve Short; Coca-Cola Bottling
Co. of Durango and erstwhile leader Don Mapel; and Star Liquor owner Stan Crapo, for supporting the music and letting our neighbors shine.
And thanks to all the businesses and individuals who donated to the silent auction. You have invested in our
children's quality of life and skills in math and language.
I guess one could say I'm on a personal crusade to make sure no one in La Plata County goes hungry this holiday
season. The need just continues to grow. Manna Soup Kitchen served 200 daily meals last week, which is an additional
60 people daily. Think about that - they were already up 23 percent over last year, and now this.
Executive Director Sarah Comerford tells me Manna's dining room has never been so full.
As you're doing your Christmas shopping, stop by The Jewelry Works.
Owner Bill Cook has been holding a cash and food drive for the kitchen during November, and it
continues through December. Not only is he advertising and collecting money and food items on the soup kitchen's
behalf, he has created an incentive program that gives his customers a chance to win gorgeous jewelry and other items
when they bring in a gift for Manna.
I have been greatly impressed by soup kitchen chef Warren Smith, who only sort of took Thanksgiving
off. He flew to San Francisco to cook Thanksgiving dinner at Bay Area Rescue so he could learn more about the
organization and the programs it runs. Meanwhile, in support of the Durango Community Thanksgiving Dinner, Manna
opened its kitchen to the groups that came in to make dressing and pies.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to support Manna Soup Kitchen during these tough economic times, mail your check to 1100 Avenida del Sol, Durango, CO 81301.
In this time when many of us tend to overeat, let's first make sure everyone has enough.
This is last call for nominations before I hopefully begin driving the highways and byways to peruse the decorations
La Plata County residents are providing as a gift to the rest of us. Contact me in one of the ways listed at the end
of the column by 5 p.m. today.
(And it's hopefully" because the snow deities may have something to say about it!)
Bells are jingling, and people are singing for the anniversaries of Steveand Aimee
Martinand Clarkand Brigitte Cunningham.
For information about upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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