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 either.

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) – ted@ksut.org. Braves down, Yankees to go. It’s almost safe to watch baseball again.




News Index Second Index Opinion Index Classifieds Index Contact Index