Stephen Woody

Good morning, Montrose.

No chestnuts were roasted with today’s notes.

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Tis’ the season……It’s getting festive hereabouts. Noteworthy:

• Parade of Lights. It’s Saturday, Dec. 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Main Street. Floats, music, and the Big Guy Himself, Santa. The City of Montrose is the sponsor.

• The Garden of Lights, sponsored by the Montrose Botanical Society, will open its annual run Dec. 14 for six nights (Dec. 14, 21,22,23,26,27.) The Gardens are located next to the Montrose Pavilion and it’s a treat, fersure. The whole place is best described as, well, “Christmasy.”

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Montrose Celebrated……Photography from the residents of Montrose’s Tortilla Flats neighborhood, a self-identified area of the city and one of Montrose’s oldest, will be displayed as part of the Hispanic Affairs Project/City of Montrose Dec. 4 at the Montrose Regional Library. The Photovoice Project, a partnership between the two entities, will offer the exhibit and reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. Photovoice is a process where photography is the primary media to explain life experiences and prompt change in a community. The project was funded with a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation. More info: CityofMontrose.org…… Shop Montrose!......It was good to see the sidewalks crowded, the stores rockin’ with customers during Small Business Saturday last weekend……Northwestern Wildcat Swimming News…..Former all-state swimmer Ryan King of Montrose, now in a Northwestern University uniform, had personal best times in the mile and 500 meter freestyle and second place finishes for the Wildcats in the TYR Invitational recently at Evanston, Ill. Up next, the Big 10 season.

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Second Sunday Cinema……This month’s movie is a good one, ‘Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins.’ It’s a non-rated 93-minute documentary about the hell-raising, iconoclastic newspaper columnist Molly Ivins (1944-2007). Twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, her journalism first took root in Texas. Later, she wrote for The New York Times and at her peak, her column was syndicated in more than 400 newspapers nationwide. Ivins was a sharp, shrewd observer of American life and in particular, its elected officials. To wit:

• About a GOP congressman: “If his IQ gets any lower, we’ll have to start watering him twice a day.”

• About President Bill Clinton: “He’s weaker than bus stop chili.”

• About breast cancer: “Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First, they mutilate you; then they burn poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that.”

• About the Texas Legislature: “The Texas Legislature is in session and many a village is missing its idiot.”

When she died, President George H.W. Bush praised her passion and commitment. I published her column off and on for 20 plus years. She also wrote books. Two of note, ‘Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?’ and ‘Stirring It Up: A Memoir, with Recipes’. Her biography, “Molly Ivins: A Rebel Life,” is a gem. The film about her life is showing at noon, Sunday, Dec. 8 in the always comfy confines of the Penthouse/Fox Theater, now in its 90th year…….Recommended……At about the midway point in the film, ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,’ Fred Rogers is able to get his protagonist, a cynical magazine writer in the midst of personal and family problems, to meditate for sixty seconds in a busy restaurant. The writer has been sent by Esquire magazine to profile the ground-breaking children’s television host, puppeteer and producer. The writer, played by Mathew Rhys, reluctantly does it and Rogers (Tom Hanks) tells him to think only about the people who have loved him. The two men meditate for a minute. The other patrons in the restaurant, picking up on the conversation, meditate as well. The screen goes silent. What’s remarkable, too, is how the audience at the San Juan Cinema last Sunday afternoon absorbed the vibe and did likewise. Would imagine there was some similar thinking. It’s a wonderfully affecting movie and based upon the friendship between Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.

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Grizzletude……The weekly NFL quarterback ratings usually have names like Rodgers and Brady, and youngsters like Mahomes and Jackson. They can really sling it. Reminds of the old quote by Houston Oilers coach Bum Phillips about Warren Moon: “He can throw a football through a car wash and not get it wet.”

Stephen Woody was the publisher of community daily newspapers for 38 years in four cities, including the Montrose Daily Press, 1997-2011.

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