Back to Home Page

Local Links
Sun Valley Guide
Hemingway in Sun Valley
Real Estate

For the week of Dec. 22, 1999 through Dec. 28, 1999

Run Dana Run

Christmas parties and a poetry slam make for a frenetic weekend


I’m a girl with a mission. I have places to go and only one weekend to do them in.

Firstly, on Friday, I was off to the Silver Creek Alternative School Christmas party in Hailey. As a community gathering, it is a festive yearly coming together of students, teachers, administrators, alumni, benefactors and other friends of the school.

The students had spent the morning delivering Christmas baskets for the holiday basket program run by Janice Duncan. On the long center table were platters of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, ham, peas and thick gravy donated by various friends and stores. Desert was delicious petit fours and holiday candies.

Among those reveling were school founder and principal Barge Levy and his wife, Karen Oswalt, who basically does it ALL; school teachers Joan Melton, Ray Cross and Eleanor Jewett; best-selling author and school volunteer Daniel Hays and his wife, Wendy Hays, who is the school secretary; school volunteer and best friend, Marilyn Berry; Blaine County school superintendent Jim Lewis; assistant super Mary Gervase and her husband, Jim; best-selling author and volunteer Ridley Pearson (the annual turkey carver), his wife, Marcelle, and daughter, Paige Pearson; Katherine Samway; Dan Casali (local Mac Wizard) and his wife, attorney Debra Kronenberg; Dorothy and Dr. Pierre Dreyfuss; Patritia O’Neill, who yearly arranges for donations of the holiday food spread; and artist and school volunteer Gay Odmark.

Alumni included David Betincourt, who soon will become SCAS’s first college grad; Tim Wood; and Kellan Williams. Ketchum’s Chapter One bookstore yearly offers to donate a book to each student. This year, 35 books tailored to each student’s taste were given.

Stupendous effort.


"Simply having a wonderful Christmastime...."

Do I dare mention the giant dinner at Trail Creek Cabin Friday night? It was the Christmas party for this newspaper, and if you look at the masthead you’ll see who was there.


Saturday night.

I’m dressed and on to the next event of the weekend, a Chinese Christmas Celebration at George and Carol Sedlack’s in Elkhorn. Christiana’s Restaurant catered the delicious Chinese meal. There were Chinese lanterns over the driveway and inside the house. George in fab tux with unintentionally floppy tie, unless he was telling me the truth when he said it was like that so every woman would feel the need to straighten it.

Hostess Carol stunned in amazing colorful Thai silk outfit. Also seen mingling festively were Tim and Mary Mott, the erstwhile columnist; Pam Sabel, Tom Drougas, Carl and Sarah (pregnant again) Curtis, Jeramie Dreyfuss, Ray Espinoza, Julie and Michael Russo, Annette and James Frehling, Larry Warner, sparkling local theater auteur Cathy Rhineheimer, Esta, Rick and Sherie Kessler, Adam Brod, and Lorraine Wilcox of the Lucky 13 Farm, among many fabulously dressed merrymaking types.


Off to Iconoclast Books’ poetry slam in Ketchum, which was crowded with a varied collection of humanity, relaxed and clearly inspired and entertained by a local literary event.

"It wasn’t my fault," owner Gary Hunt says, "I’m just a facilitator."

Like a medium?

"I’m a vessel," he continues. "I provide the goldfish bowl and the poets fill it up."

There were nine poets in Gary’s fishbowl that night, with four extra "drive-by poets".

Drive-by poets? Well, I found out later, so you’ll have to wait as well.

"We’re welcoming all interpretation this evening." Gary offered. I found myself wondering where the guys in black, smoking Galouise, were hiding. The slam consisted of three rounds. Each poet read an original piece and then was graded by the judges, not to mention the highly vocal responses of the audience spread haphazardly through the two main rooms of Iconoclast’s funky house/store.

Local violinist Michelle Witt began the third round competition by playing a beautiful rendition of a Bach Parita Sonata. Poets included Holly Blair, John Fox, (critical fave who finished the night with the most points), Gus in cowboy regalia, Scott Hyder, (Y2K or not 2K), Patty Bush, and eventual winner Kristen Smith. ("She got green rimmed carnations, on the microwave, past the mystic pricked finger diabetic test strips.")

Tony Evans was there with an amusingly dry ode about working in the Iconoclast bookstore. ("The Arts look down their noses on to the Crafts....It’s enough to make you want to hang out in cookbooks, learn how to build a meringue, make a soufflé….It’s right next to travel, where I can really get away from it all.") Jon Fox’s beat poem was engagingly sacrilegious. ("I see them walking hand in hand down the street, the shepherd and his sheep, the pious one. And as peaceful as I am it makes me feel a little wolfish, it makes me want to snarl."). Called the Anti-Christ by Evelyn Dolan, who giggled and nodded enthusiastically throughout, then read her own humble poem about the night Christ was born. And then apologized to Jon Fox.

Scores were given out by a random group of judges. The most boisterous one being the Cigar Guy, a nonhuman form, who received scores and drawings from Dave, the guy sitting to his right. Kind of a poetry dummy. He (Dave at this point) also referred to himself as the Fascist Limerick University Panel in honor of Ezra Pound. As for the drive-by poets, Salaka, better known as former juice guy and now Bigwood Bread manager, gave us a moving ululation, dogs barking outside not to be taken as commentary on either his voice or the content of said long ode. Nick Green read three pithy short blurbs. "If you read anything right," he explained, "it could be a poem." As an example, he read the blurb on the back of a Celtic cookbook—short, odd and funny: "Leavened bread, soft and odorous, freshly taken from the oven...."

You get the idea.


Now I’m off to the Bal de Noel at the Limelight Room in Sun Valley, the annual holiday ball thrown to support the Moritz Community Hospital. This year the development of the Wood River/Sawtooth Region Emergency System Council’s paramedics training program would be recipients of what undoubtedly was a huge beneficent turnout of the swells in town. Such a crowd, so sparkly, so elegant and festive. Again I was entranced to find a whole different group at this event, than my previous two. It quite made my head spin.

The French theme was conceived and carried out by chairperson Jill Hitchin. Bejeweled 19th-century ladies’ boots were the table centerpieces and corresponded to the design on the elaborate menus at each place. The silent auction was at one end of the room and included such selections as "Getaways," "For M’Lady," "The Arts," "Parties and Entertainment’s" and "Beauty and Fitness."

Noticed by this buzzing reporter were Mr. and Mrs. David Hertel; Linda Packer and Al Lindley; Theresa Heinz and U.S. Sen. John Kerry; Bill Alban, who worked on the silent auction; the always dapper John Berry; Eva and Dr. Jim Hague; DianaYoung; Maurice and Elaine Charlat; Claudia and Dr. Frank Fiaschetti; silent auction chair Nancy Mulrooney; Greg Lovell, who had just bought through silent auction a large glass etching by the local artist Jacques Bordelieu for the new First Bank of Idaho building going up on Main Street in Ketchum; Camile and Dr. Ralph Campanella; still swingin’ on the dance floor Dale Bates; Julie and Jon Moses, who is the administrator of the Wood River Medical Center; and, of course, David and Jill Hitchin. He told me he hadn’t seen his wife in three months, but that it was well worth the effort.

"Fifty people or so worked on this benefit. I’ve been told by many people that this was probably the best," Hitchin said.

On the fashion side the dresses were stunning. One long red velvet Chinese dress from Paula’s especially caught my eye. Oh, yeah. That was on me.

Music was provided by the excellent swing band, Riverside Jazz Orchestra, and the dance floor was packed proof of their popularity and style.

Whew. No time to spare. Off to the Duchin Room.....


Back to Front Page
Copyright © 1999 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.