Steamworks Brewing Co. has created a popular tradition with its Clam Bake" at Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort.
This year's event, which was held Friday, was no exception.
La Plata County Search and Rescue was the recipient of the proceeds of the mollusk extravaganza, which featured 140
pounds of clams and 30 pounds of crawfish. Even the sun came out to add to the beach feel. (Why do I hear the
soundtrack of a Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello movie in my head?)
A bowl of clams and a pint of beer multiplied by a lot of skiers can go a long way," said Steamworks co-founder
The deal was simple - a bowl of steamed" clams and a Steamworks beer for $7. One of Santa Fe's favorite disk
jockeys, Melanie Moore, who has been named Best Local DJ three times by the Santa Fe Reporter, spun tunes to
add that je ne sais qua to the festivities.
Steamworks initiated the Clam Bakes" five years ago, said co-founder Kris Oyler. The idea was to enhance the
ski experience and raise money for local nonprofit organizations. The event has been mounted at other ski resorts, including Taos and Winter Park, and benefitting organizations such as the National Center for Disabled Skiers and the
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps.
But from here on out, the recipient will be La Plata County Search and Rescue. This group provides a vital service
and is one of the best in the country. And it is 100 percent volunteer. All money raised goes to much needed and
I've often thought how unfair it is to make the search and rescue folks raise their own equipment funds - many of
which come through the group's annual breakfast during Snowdown - on top of all the time members put into training
and their willingness to drop everything when needed.
The Steamworks people had the same thought, and they are doing what they can to help. And what they could do this
year was a whopping $1,000. That's a lot of clams.
Blue skies are welcoming the birthdays of Meredith Rolfe, Mary Taylor, Pat Boots, Missy
Rodey, Kelly McCrea, Dennis Rolfe, Julia Gallagher, Maria Root, Vi
Kessell, Ruth Cross, Ardis Ellingson, Cherie Cobb, Aida Araujo, Nancy
Lucht, Gregory Rambo and Shaun Stanley.
Celebrating life and taking care of the kids are the themes of the gathering for Brett D'Spain
, who died far too young last week.
It will begin at 5 p.m. Friday at The Red Snapper, where the foodie and amateur chef often broke bread with friends
and family. Chuck Norton and Paul Gelose, along with his staff at The Palace Restaurant, also will
provide food for their friend.
Proceeds from the cash bar, silent auction, restaurant gift certificates and donation boxes all will be used for
D'Spain's sons Jamie and Tyler.
Donations also may be made to the D'Spain Memorial Fund at First National Bank of Durango, 259 W. Ninth St., Durango, CO 81301.
Today may be St. Patrick's Day, but the Tuesday Literary Club got a jump on the celebration March 9 at Bowman Hall at
Durango Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
It was the début of hostesses Muriel Mulder, Jan Scott and Kathie Redford for the annual program
highlight, in which all club members become more Irish than the Irish. (In recent years, Joan Rhoades, Betsy Pierotti and Sheila Casey had stamped the event with their own lively personalities, but
the newbies did great with their own distinctive approach.)
As you can imagine, green was the color of the day. Green votive candles, green shamrock garlands, green beads, green
peanut M&Ms. No green beer, though - those who imbibed enjoyed regular red and white wines, and those who did not
raved about the scrumptious basil-mint lemonade. (Yes, it was green.)
Sari Brown of The Yellow Carrot prepared a version of the traditional corned-beef and cabbage that wasn't
traditional at all. A delicious salad with raspberry vinaigrette, roasted potatoes and carrots, roast beef and
braised cabbage were the main course. Dessert was chocolate cupcakes with green icing and a surprising filling of
The hostesses had collected a number of Irish toasts, from the familiar to the surprising, which guests at different
tables took turns offering.
The St. Patrick's Day Party traditionally ends with a book auction to go to the club's Ways and Means Committee for
charitable donations. One recent donation is to the children's section of the Durango Public Library - a cube to
display books at their height instead of ours.
Each guest brings three books to be sold to their fellow Tuesday Lit members. This year's auctioneers, Scott, Redford
and Lora Woods, were equal parts literary critics, jokesters and hucksters. Books donated ranged from
bestsellers to cookbooks to literary classics. I was happy to score a book about crocheting by Wheel of Fortune"
hostess Vanna White for a colleague who both crochets and loves popular culture.
Guests went off into the winter night with their hearts full of Irish cheer. And now, as you enjoy your own St.
Patrick's Day festivities, here's a toast to you:
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been, the foresight to know where you are going and the insight to
know when you have gone too far."
Congratulations to Joel Jones, who was recently appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter to the new Colorado Early
Childhood Leadership Commission.
The commission, created in February, will work to find ways to increase access to and raise the quality of early
childhood services. The idea is to coordinate policies and funding so they're working on the same page in the areas
of physical health, mental health, early learning and family support.
Jones, president of Fort Lewis College from 1988 to 1998, has volunteered for and been passionate about education at
every level. He will be one of 29 members on the commission. The group will meet for the first time at the end of the
month. He is the only representative from Southwest Colorado.
My thanks go to Tamara Volz of the Early Childhood Council of La Plata County for the heads up.
The birds are chirping in the anniversaries of Paul and Jigger Staby, Roger and Rena
Cole, Mike and Linda Dunaway and Matt and Ivey Patton.
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