By DANA DUGAN
Im 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 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
ONeill, 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 SCASs
first college grad; Tim Wood; and Kellan Williams. Ketchums Chapter One bookstore
yearly offers to donate a book to each student. This year, 35 books tailored to each
students taste were given.
"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 youll
see who was there.
Im dressed and on to the next event of the weekend, a Chinese
Christmas Celebration at George and Carol Sedlacks in Elkhorn. Christianas
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 wasnt my fault," owner Gary Hunt says,
"Im just a facilitator."
Like a medium?
"Im a vessel," he continues. "I provide the
goldfish bowl and the poets fill it up."
There were nine poets in Garys fishbowl that night, with four
extra "drive-by poets".
Drive-by poets? Well, I found out later, so youll have to wait as
"Were 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 Iconoclasts 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
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....Its
enough to make you want to hang out in cookbooks, learn how to build a meringue, make a
.Its right next to travel, where I can really get away from it
all.") Jon Foxs 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 cookbookshort, odd and funny:
"Leavened bread, soft and odorous, freshly taken from the oven...."
You get the idea.
Now Im 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 Councils
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
MLady," "The Arts," "Parties and Entertainments" 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 hadnt seen his wife in
three months, but that it was well worth the effort.
"Fifty people or so worked on this benefit. Ive 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 Paulas 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.....