Stephen Woody

Good morning, Montrose.

And welcome visitors; glad you’re here.

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Butter Side Up……Maybe the best five bucks you spend this week is a ticket to the Black Canyon Quilt Show which opens Friday for three days at the Montrose Pavilion. Now in its 24th year, quilters from three local guilds — Friendship Quilters of Montrose, Columbine Quilters, San Juan Quilters — showcase their art, their craft in a judged competition. Some free advice: don’t rush it, take your time going through the show appreciating each quilt. Hang out a little longer, talk to the quilters. Proceeds benefit local charities. In the past, Christ’s Kitchen, HopeWest hospice, Dolphin House have all been enriched…….My grandmother Ellen made quilts well into her 90s. Still have eight of them, tucked away, wrapped in plastic, snug in an armoire. Two stand out: one a “postage stamp” quilt, where the squares are the size of a postage stamp. She sewed my name into a corner. Another is a quilt made of men’s bow ties……Doors open at 9 a.m. There will be much to admire.

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Note of thanks……Ken Sherbenou is leaving as the executive director of the Montrose Recreation District after nine years. He’s taking a similar position in Grand Junction. Easy to imagine the powers-that-be, 61 miles north, who are desirous of a recreation center similar to ours, and had been on the short end of an election earlier this year to build one, were sitting around the post-election campfire and thought: we need a winning quarterback. It’s hard to imagine Montrose these days without the MCRC, now in its third year of operations. Ten efforts in 30 years to build a community rec center had failed. In 2007, a vote garnered just 30 percent of the vote. Five years later, the vote failed once more, 55/45. Then a “posse” of committed volunteers, a political action committee, the alignment of the insurance-related Silver Sneakers program, and the purchase of foreclosed real estate, gave the $28 million project in 2014 new lift. Voters said ok, believing in its leadership, Sherbenou. Thirteen-hundred consumers use it daily. Sherbenou leaves also a renovated Montrose Aquatic Center/Fieldhouse, pickleball facilities, a redone outdoor pool, renovations at Holly Park and impressively, the Connect Trail system, where hikers and bikers can eventually go from the Ute Museum, south, to Colorado Outdoors/Mayfly, north, using underpasses at South Townsend Avenue and North Main Street. Construction will be completed come fall. Barbara Bynum, a city councilor and one of the movers-shakers in the MCRC, has noted that one of his strengths was his ability to write and attract grant money. A legacy of accomplishment and growth. Wishing Ken, Megan and Benjamin the best in the future……

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Save room for dessert……Family members have pointed out my peculiar affinity for watermelon. Now’s the best time of the year for it. It’s healthy for one thing, better than, say, Skittles and M&Ms, but harder to pack around. Best with Crazy Salt. (By the way, Crazy Salt is not just for Olathe “Sweet” Sweet Corn, ya know.) Time was, you buy a citrus vulgaris for a nickel or a dime and feel prompted to give your selection the “wedge test.” That’s when you cut a deep, triangular wedge into the melon, pulling out a chunk, and tasting its sweetness before handing over the coin. (It’s also when you showed off your teenaged bona fides with a sharpened pocket knife by cutting into said melon.) However, these days, watermelons are $5 to $6 and taking a chunk out for tasting purposes is probably frowned upon by the management of local supermarkets……Family lore, usually retold when Older Brother Paul visits, has me falling off a lawn chair while reaching for another slice at our grandmother’s house in the summer of 1954. In doing so, I cracked my noggin on the corner of the picnic table. Five stitches, courtesy of the hospital’s ER. (Now it looks just like another worry wrinkle.) My parents and brother were enjoying John Wayne in “The High and the Mighty” and were summoned from the theater. The movie, one of Wayne’s best, was tied up in litigation for years and wasn’t shown in the usual rotation of reruns and DVDs. My parents didn’t see the film in its entirety until 20-plus years later. The palate, abused over time by John Barleycorn, chili recipes and chemotherapy, has somehow kept the taste for watermelon. The guy(s) who came up with the seedless formula should be in some Hall of Fame, somewhere, for genius……Speaking of movies……Second Sunday Cinema will present “Amazing Grace,” a documentary about Aretha Franklin. It’s the First Lady of Soul singing gospel from a 1972 performance. It’s 90 minutes and rated G. It’ll show at 12 noon, at the Penthouse Theater, in Historic Downtown Montrose.

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Quotable: “There is nothing wrong with making love with the light on. Just make sure the car door is closed.” — George Burns, actor/comedian, 1896-1996

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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