I’m proud to say that I am an alumnus of Fort Lewis College. We
won’t get into the technicalities of just what constitutes an alum,
but long story short, I went there. At the time, and in the years ensuing
when I was an employee at FLC, I never thought twice when someone referred
to Durango as a “college town.” But often, residents in and
around town seem to forget or ignore that there is an institute of higher
learning (too many puns to pick just one!) perched precariously above the
city. I, too, now hesitate when I hear the “college town” moniker.
How soon we forget. For those outside the world of academia, the alternately
mundane and overwhelming happenings that make up day-to-day life in Durango
can leave the college outside of one’s peripheral vision. That will
be difficult this week, as the campus becomes the center of the La Plata
County universe. It’s FLC Homecoming, you see.
What is homecoming? Well, the idea is that alumni from all
over the country and from all past classes reunite for a weekend
of reminiscing, football, possibly drinking, and celebrating
the good life. For the most part, non Raider/Skyhawks can avoid
the festivities, especially the damn reminiscing, by simply
staying off campus. But on Friday night, it will be, as they
say, “in your face,” as the Homecoming Parade will
block off Main Avenue for the third time in as many weeks (I
told you it should just become a pedestrian mall). It’s
like Snowdown, but with a lower budget, fewer floats and less
creativity. On the plus side, way fewer marching bands and
children. If you’re still interested in the actual homecoming
thing, there’s a tailgate party before the football game
on Saturday, mud football, powder puff football and other festivities
throughout the weekend. Have fun.
I did say that the Fort Lewis campus was the center of the
universe this week, and it’s not just because of homecoming.
They have a darn fine concert hall up there, too, and it will
be used twice this week. First, the Spotlight to Stardom talent
competition concludes on Saturday the 16th. This is not your
kid’s talent show – you know, the one you make
excuses to miss or tell the kid you were there when you were
really at The Ranch – with accordions and bad tap dancing.
There are some bands and musical acts, but for me – bring
on the fire dancers! There’s also a magician, clog dancers
(who also do tap, apparently, and had better do it well) and
a 12-year-old who is reportedly a reincarnation of Red Skelton
and Charlie Chaplin. I’m still deciding whether that’s
a good thing or a bad thing. But one of these lucky acts will
win some cash and be on his or her way to stardom (hence the
name) after being judged by a panel of professionals. Not professionals
in the Durango sense of the word, but actual industry professionals – agents,
scouts, musicians and the like. With 18 of these acts in all,
it should be a hoot.
The staff at the Concert Hall will stay busy, as no sooner
do the Hollywood hopefuls pull out than the Golden Dragon Acrobats
pull in on Tuesday, Oct. 19. What can I say? They’re
acrobats and they’re Chinese. Having never seen nor planned
to see Cirque de Soleil, this is probably my best chance to
see acrobats live, and I ain’t missing it. You shouldn’t
The good thing about events at the Concert Hall is that they
usually end relatively early, so there’s time for other
pursuits. I recommend a Saturday night twin bill of the talent
thing and then a nightcap at The Summit, where a band from
Durango’s past will have a homecoming of its own. Remember
Smut Vendor? They will hold a one-time reunion on Saturday
night whenever and if they get around to playing. Smut Vendor
will look a lot like The Thirteens to many concertgoers, with
Erik and Bubba and Johnny singing and playing the guitars,
but the rest of the band is coming in from Austin and Salt
Lake just for the weekend. Punk types Gina Go Faster and Start
Tomorrow round out Saturday night’s bill at the Summit,
so it should be a pretty silly evening.
Lots going on at The Abbey Theatre this weekend. The film “Bush’s
Brain” finishes its run on Saturday night – that’s
the Karl Rove as puppeteer docu-whatever that illustrates yet
again that your president is a twit. You should be used to
it by now. On Saturday afternoon, the Abbey’s new “Jazz
Today” series continues with a matinee performance by
the jazz quartet Furniture at 2 in the afternoon. That’s
when matinees happen, in the afternoon. Then the movie, then
it’s Lounge Night with the dance floor offerings of Vanilla
Pop at about 10:30 p.m. Quite a day, no?
By the way, KDUR is finishing up its 30th anniversary on-air
fund-raiser this week. Give them some money, it’ll make
you feel self-righteous. 247-7262 to pledge.
I need a formal education (seriously) – email@example.com.
Braves down, Yankees to go. It’s almost safe to watch