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A wonderful week in Mancos, and a Blaster in Durango

What a wonderful weekend in Mancos! A fundraiser for Cathy Epps brought out the town, and Friday night, the JV boys basketball team won over Dolores. The stands were full, and the color was blue with the EPPsolutely T-shirts. The entrance to the performance center was packed. Beautiful tasty treats kept coming in and going out just as quickly. Over $2,000 was raised. It was great to see the outpouring of love for Cathy, a woman who has given so much to the elementary and to Mancos.

Then, on to the Columbine, which was filled with friends of Pete and Holly Cruser. Holly had worked hard to plan a surprise birthday party for Pete and was successful. Lots of good pizza from the P&D Grocery, and a wonderful, huge German chocolate cake from the baker, Niles, of the P&D. Happy birthday, Pete!

Saturday from 4-6 p.m., the stores in Mancos were open and alive with visitors who enjoyed treats and drinks everywhere. Rena Wilson, a mover and shaker in Mancos, owned and operated the Arborena Restaurant on Grand Avenue. After a few years, she sold it to Jason Blankenship, and it is now a super, upscale restaurant called Olio. Each month or so, Oilo exhibits artwork, and Jason holds a well-attended open house, serving wine and hors d’oeuvres to art aficionados. Jason, Rena and Mancos are happy, and very definitely the artists are too. Olio hosted a large group that went to see Jan Goldman’s pastels. It was good to see the red dots over the beautiful paintings that showed they had been purchased. Jason served exciting hors d’oeuvres as usual – minihamburgers, plums with bacon – and the wine flowed freely.

Up the street, Veryl Goodnight’s gallery was showing off her delightful history windows, items that she had used in sculpting her artwork. Amazing. And, in the same building is Paul Boyer, photographer. Pia Boyer, one of his daughters, was on hand to tell us about our sister city, Feins, France. Besides photography, Paul is a linguist and plays the trumpet. When he brought it out, I was surprised to see it was only about 12 inches long. He played, and we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Roger Brooks. Paul hopes to teach a class in Italian. Rena Wilson will come up with a class soon.

June 2 is planned for the grand opening for Veryl Goodnight and Paul Boyer. Save that date. It will be a big occasion.

It was getting late, so we moved on to Kilgore American Indian Art. Kelly has a brand-new collection of antique Navajo rings (can an antique be brand-new?). Kelly is also selling Green Table Confections, super chocolates! Remember, I told you about the Green Bus that opened earlier this year? She’s the one who is making passion fruit, coconut lime chocolate and toffee chocolates, and later this year will open the Green Bus again. Her email is greentablecafeandcreamery@gmail.com.

One sad note I noticed was a for rent sign in Fads window. A loss for our town, as she has a great collection of art and furniture.

As I said in the beginning, a great weekend for Mancos, and a wonderful outpouring of love for our Cathy Epps.

LA rockabilly comes to Four Corners

In the early ’80s, rock ’n’ roll was rampant in Los Angeles. I managed a nightclub, Club 88, in West LA. One day, two young men came in with a tape and asked me to play it. If we liked it, we would book them to play a gig. I asked what kind of music, and they said rockabilly. I had never heard of it and decided to play the tape right then. It was so good, I told them I would book them for the coming Sunday, but they had to bring in 150 people. On Sunday, the place was packed. The music was great, and I fell in love with the music as well as the boys immediately. The name of the band was the Blasters. They and the Go-Go’s played for us frequently. Then I came to Mancos, and one day I saw a flier featuring Dave Alvin playing in Durango. Dave was one of the Blasters. I took the Chamber of Commerce to hear him, and renewed my friendship with Dave. He is playing again at the Strater Hotel on March 22. I would like to ask everyone to come out to hear Dave, and I’m going to ask him to play at my 100th birthday in Mancos (God willing and the creek don’t rise!) If we get a good turnout in Durango, maybe he’ll come to the Columbine to play for my 100th, and rock the lid off Mancos. See you there!

Another surprise

A group of young men, one with a camera, is helping Mancos out for a video. They met Queenie Barz, whose history in the town is remarkable. Be sure to read next week’s column and hear all about her.

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