As far as the Vallecito Service League is concerned, any time is Derby time. Kentucky Derby, that is.
On Saturday, the organization had its major bash of the year, a Run for the Roses, Kentucky Derby-themed evening at the Vallecito Community Event Center. Because there was no actual horse race to watch as part of their festivities, they created their own, with little plush horses carried by “riders” in a mad romp around the room.
President Paula Millar served as the mistress of ceremonies.
The event is also the occasion for honoring Vallecito’s Citizen of the Year, which this year was actually three citizens – Rolland and Diane Healy and their daughter Raelynn Elkins.
Each table had a color theme, with guests encouraged to dress to match, and, of course, there were fancy hats. Lots and lots of hats.
And after all the hats had been analyzed by the judges, Louise Sinverson’s orange and turquoise confection reigned triumphant as the “most beautiful hat in the land.”
In addition to making her hat, she managed to put together a whole outfit to set off the hat, which I’m sure increased her odds of winning. As her prize, she went home with one of the little horses.
Sinverson doesn’t want the hat’s glamorous life to end. She wants to auction it off to raise money for the service league’s food bank, which is housed at the Vallecito Community Church. If you’re like me, without a crafty bone in your body, here’s your chance to get a one-of-a-kind custom hat. I know I’m not alone here, with a social calendar full of events with fancy hats as the dress code, and hopelessly uncreative.
Call Sinverson with your bid at 884-2592. Bidding closes Sept. 24 at 5 p.m.
I don’t write often enough about the Vallecito Service League and its activities for its isolated community. The league holds several fundraising events each year, including an annual arts and crafts fair to support Upper Pine Fire Protection District. In addition to the aforementioned food bank, members raise money for two scholarships for valley students, hold Halloween and Easter parties for children, maintain the parks and paths around the reservoir and generally look after their friends and neighbors.
The service league isn’t a huge group, but it makes a huge difference. So consider these belated kudos as a tribute to decades of service in a small tight-knit community. And that’s what Neighbors is all about, recognizing people’s and organizations’ contributions to our community.
Visit www.vallecitoserviceleague.org to learn more.
Celebrating their birthdays as Mexico celebrates the 204th anniversary of its declaration of independence (I was just at Fiesta on the Mesa, so I’m in the mood) are Carol House, Katherine Siegele, Connie Matthys, Cathy Duggan, Carne Thurman, Melinda James, Lynne Murison, Jeffrey Munger, Art Meyer, Linda Hartlein and Mike Milner.
Whether you call them flapjacks, hotcakes or pancakes, you don’t want to miss Kiwanis Club of Durango’s 59th annual Pancake Day on Thursday. It runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Exhibit Hall at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, and tickets are $10 – kids younger than 12 eat free – for all you can eat pancakes, ham, juice and coffee/tea.
One reason I love this event is that it seems as though half the town turns out, so you get to catch up with friends and acquaintances.
The money goes to the club’s many efforts to support and help children in our community.
When the Durango High School Class of 1954 held its 60th reunion a couple of weeks ago, classmates shared memories, caught up on decades of living and marveled at how Durango has changed. (Traffic was the most unwelcome change.)
Old neighborhoods looked much the same, they said, but a lot of new homes are so much larger than what was in vogue back then.
There was talk about the “sleepy” little town, where kids had to make their own fun. Durango six decades later and more than twice as big population-wise has so many things going on, one can only enjoy a fraction of them.
The reminiscences were vivid. One classmate had conveniently lived next door to a drive-in movie theater. The “gang” would gather on the ground next to a speaker and enjoy a free screening of the latest releases. Everyone remembered loving school sports, whether as a participant or a spectator.
There were more than a few tall tales, making one think, perhaps, that the Class of 1954 was a wild bunch. The Durango I’ve heard about from those days, though, was more “Leave it to Beaver” than “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
The event was organized by Larry Archambeau, who lives in Albuquerque with his wife, Ruth. He couldn’t get over how nice locals were to work with, mentioning in particular the Bar D Chuckwagon, Subway (he didn’t specify which of the four in town, probably because he couldn’t imagine Durango having more than one), north City Market and Trimble Hot Springs.
Local attendees included Tommy Price, Ruth Shock, Wally Patcheck, Norma Frame, Ned Jefferies, Gene Kennedy and Janet Yeager. Don “Butch” Seale and Johnnie Seale, members of later, but adjacent, graduating classes also grabbed the chance to see old friends.
Quite a few folks traveled here to meet and greet, including Dick French, Lawrence Kolz, Ed Ruland, Bennie Maynes, Carol Johnson, Harriet Forsberg Perry, Don Gibbs, Mack Goshorn and Evelyn Hunt.
High school years, between the angst and the puberty, are such a formative time in our lives. It’s great to come back to remember them with others who suffered and celebrated with you, and to realize that all the cliques and special groups no longer matter at all. Being an adult has its advantages.
If you want to get moving after a long work week, nothing’s more likely to make your feet start tapping than Carute Roma, Durango’s own “Band of Gypsies.” The group will be performing at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Secret Garden at the Rochester Hotel to benefit Compañeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center. Nicole Mosher, the organization’s executive director, is a member of the band, so they’ll all be playing their hearts out.
The more I learn about the status of immigrants in our community and our country, the more I realize that while our national government delays working on policies, every single individual, regardless of status, deserves respect, compassion and help navigating our labyrinthine system. And that’s what Compañeros does, day in and day out.
Enjoying the beginning of fall colors for their anniversaries are Todd and Jessica Sharp, Frank and Ricci Dawson, Mark Dickmann and Eve Gilmore, Bruce and Annette Nye and Joe and Jill Nelson.
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