If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then Diana Yellow is beautiful indeed.
The Fort Lewis College senior shaved her head at the beginning of January to show support for fellow First Baptist Church of Durango member Trish Walker, who’s undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.
“I sit in the top balcony, and when Pastor Jeff Dobesh talked about Trish and I looked down and saw how frail she looked, my heart just filled with compassion,” Yellow, 41, said. “I went down after the service and told her she was beautiful, that I was going to pray about it, but I felt like I need to do this.”
Yellow already had a lot on her plate. A nontraditional student at Fort Lewis College, she will finish her degree in public health in May, while raising two children as a single mother and working several jobs.
She managed to find a kindred spirit to help with the project. Rebecca Walker – no relation to Trish Walker – who owns Rebecca’s Chop Shop, agreed to handle the actual head shaving as her contribution to Yellow’s effort.
“She’s an incredible lady,” Rebecca Walker said of Yellow. “She said she was looking for a Christian person to help her, and before we started, we prayed together for Trish.”
This is the second time Yellow has shaved her head in a gesture of solidarity. She said it’s a Navajo custom for female toddlers to have their heads shaved so their hair will grow more thickly. When she had her daughter’s head shaved, she couldn’t let her go through it alone, so she had hers done, too.
This is not an of-the-moment deal for Yellow. She’s planning to keep her head shaved until Trish Walker completes her chemo in May.
It’s also a matter of living up to the generosity shown her family by their church family. She doesn’t know who has done it, but church members have made sure she and her children have received Christmas presents each year during these lean college years.
“I can’t do that, but I can do this,” Yellow said.
Thanks to Leslie Wigley for the heads up. Yellow is uncomfortable with the attention, but it’s always good to take the time to take note of an instance of generous giving from the heart.
Between Snowdown and the Super Bowl, there’s a lot going on this week, but I hope these folks still are fêted on their birthdays – Jim Bolen, Sally Bradley, Scott McCool, Mike Sarti, Jacquie Caldwell, Kate Errett, Grace Jensen, Pauline Murphy, Elijah Spaeder and Sydney Milner.
Snowdown is tough on crutches, but I do try to make the nonprofit fundraisers that are part of the fun.
On Thursday, the La Plata Open Space Conservancy held its 21st annual evening of art, wine tasting, music and food at the DoubleTree Hotel. The Bank of Colorado continued its relationship of many years as the name sponsor.
For the second year in a row, craft spirits were added to the offerings.
No one was happier to be there than Michael McCardell, the proprietor of Durango Craft Spirits, who literally hustled (as much as one can hustle the fermentation process) to introduce his first product that night, Soiled Dove Vodka. McCardell said his products will use regional grains, and all have names that reflect Durango’s colorful history. I bet a craft vodka is far better quality than the rotgut Durango’s ladies of the night consumed back in the day.
Mancos Valley, Honey House and Woods High Mountain distilleries were also on hand and doing a brisk business. (There are some times I wish I weren’t working at a party. Except for wine at a fancy dinner, where the wine/food pairings matter, I rarely imbibe and certainly not when I’m returning to the newsroom. So I didn’t get to check out the offerings.)
Durango Liquor was a sponsor, showcasing wines from New Mexico, and Leah Deane and Republic National Distributing were also on hand. Deane brought selections from wineries in the Grand Valley up by Palisade, including Canyon Wind, Carlson and Grande River vineyards.
I can’t always taste all the notes included in wine descriptions, but this is what it said on Canyon Wind’s 2014 47-TEN white: “abundant aromas of mango, Kaffir lime leaf, grapefruit and watermelon candy with a touch of guava and grass. Refreshing flavors of grapefruit, cream soda and banana yogurt.” Yikes.
The DoubleTree Hotel served up delicious food, Jeff Solon and Ely Rio provided smooth, live jazz, and the art was worthy of coveting.
The conservancy’s executive director, Amy Schwarzbach, said the group lucked out by having the steampunk decorations left over from the Durango Chamber of Commerce’s After Hours on Wednesday.
Why do I always come up with the perfectly apropos riposte the next day?
I so owed Jerry Zink one after Spellebration on Wednesday night. We named our team 20,000 Fathoms as an homage to a “Saturday Night Live” skit, in which the discussion roves in confusion. Is Capt. Nemo taking them 20,000 leagues deep, which would be expressed in fathoms and take them through the center of the Earth, another Jules Verne classic? (Although even without all its meandering, the Nautilus would have been hard-pressed to travel 20,000 leagues in its trip around the world, about 60,000 miles.)
So here’s my riposte. Sure, in the engineering world, the Nautilus went a few fathoms deep and supposedly 20,000 leagues in a journey around the world. But this is Snowdown, where “Saturday Night Live” trumps science for just a few crazy days.
If you want to read the skit’s script – apparently it’s too old to appear on YouTube – here you go: http://snltranscripts.jt.org/93/93qleagues.phtml.
While the event brought in about $4,000, which is always welcome in the DEC’s coffers, it’s not its largest fundraiser of the year. But it’s fun, and it promotes literacy, Executive Director Teresa Malone said.
Best of anniversary wishes to Eric and Debbe Speck.