A Party to Remember
by Ruth Major
WALSENBURG- As I review “Stories, Songs, and Snacks: A Time to Remember,” I see over 80 people milling about the gymnasium, greeting one another, laughing, scoping out the books and resources, nibbling on cookies and cheese tidbits, and applauding musical and verbal vibes.
Su, my daughter, baker, and general administrator, kept me on track. Viola (Maldonado) greeted and charged the atmosphere with warmth and Walsenburg knowledge.
John and Faye Stroh, and Judy McCutcheon, blended their voices in song, and, when sister Karen Tripp tripped in, the combination was complete. We learned that Faye’s folks met the couple with a gun and gate. Faye reassured us demurely, "They liked him a lot!" Faye′s feet flew as she clogged. Judy reviewed two years of steps she took to create the Taute family history book with recipes.
Maxine Vigil Pazen gave tribute to Theodera Peralta Vigil (1876-1964). Maxine accompanied her paternal grandmother as she gave her midwife, chiropractic, and curative skills to the Huerfano County area. She noted several specific healings of her grandma; one treatment saved her life as a child. Maxine’s scholarly research is a gift to family and enhances our county history. With community singing and her mother Louise Vigil’s singing talent, this presentation taught and entertained.
Suellen Levy composed a musical treat about her mother Ann’s family. Ann sang in her deep rich voice as stories followed pioneer beginnings in Kentucky; wealth in Texas; and farming in Pierce, Colorado. Ann was Daddy′s “Yellow Rose of Texas" and then Ralph Levy’s darlin′ in Colorado as she taught and developed skills in jazz. Check out Ann′s wild socks beneath her tailored suits and elegant blouses. This day she wore Halloween socks. We think she stores her deep melodic tones in those socks of all hues.
My most gratifying moments were watching Louise′s face as she softly sang the old tunes in her seat with Ann at the microphone. Jewel Geiger also reflected that richness of musical spirit as she accompanied on the keyboard. Sisters-in-song; these wise elders are living testimonials to the magic of music.
We closed quickly as wind energy officials emerged to set up their presentation. Everyone pitched in to clear the room. Three post-party door prizes were awarded in addition to the two given at the party.
The community feel, the enthusiasm, and the readiness to embrace reviewing family past were perfect. One gentleman commited to writing his stories ½ hour a day, and some expressed interest in writing groups, geneaology, and story telling. Wouldn’t it be great to have a locally created display of artful scrapbooks?
It takes a community… This senior community is ready and waiting for healthy action as each of us defines our life. Keep your eyes and ears open for a class taught by Spellbinders with tips for telling stories to children. Greta, assistant doggie, enjoys Su′s DVD production "Stories, Songs, and Snacks Revisited” soon to be available at COG, Walsenburg Community Center office, and the Huerfano Journal office. We will remember again.