April in Glenwood: Goodbye, sweethearts | PostIndependent.com

April in Glenwood: Goodbye, sweethearts

For the last 13 years, my work has defined me.

Psychologists might say this is a less-than-ideal approach to life. They might say a job should express my personality rather than determine it. That work is not my worth. It shouldn't define my dignity, purpose or happiness. I say try being a columnist for a living.

That's been a part of every aspect of my life.

In September 2004, I walked into our old Grand Avenue newsroom, now the site of a bank, unaware my life would change in ways I never saw coming. I had applied for the community editor position, involving everything from writing obits and birth announcements to outreach and engaging with readers at public events. The job wasn't for a beat reporter, which my formal journalism education had trained me to be, and it was before social media exploded.

This was more of a people-person position.

I was game, with the promise a reporter job might arise to send me out on deadline-specific assignments and in-depth feature writing. What did come with the gig was the challenge to write a weekly column. I eagerly accepted. I started slowly, mostly talking community events. Not so much of what was happening in my everyday world. My editors soon discovered I had much to share about my crazy life.

No one knew how much that would change for me over the years.

My best column advice came thanks to former PI editor, friend and mentor Dale Shrull. He told me to be myself. Let people in on how I was feeling. Basically get personal — real personal. Have fun with wit and sarcasm, but be wary of calling April in Glenwood a humor column.

Mostly because not everyone would think I was funny.

Luckily people did get a laugh at my expense because, well, there were just so many aspects of my life that were comical. Dating was fodder for funny stories on my tendency, and that of those I pursued, to not fully commit. I sure talked up how much I wanted marriage and babies in my 30s. In hindsight, I was on a completely opposite path that was more about learning to love myself. To foster the independence I now know was necessary to find happiness and fulfill a role of wife and mother.

The Rocky Mountains are a perfect place for single self-discovery.

What I didn't expect from becoming a columnist — because it's truly a part of my being — is the people who came into my life simply because they recognized my face. Strangers would see me and say, "Hey, you're the girl from the paper." I knew if someone wasn't a huge fan of my writing because they would say, "You're the one that writes the little column in the paper." I'd chuckle I because I knew there's nothing little about it. Putting life's personal moments out there, in print and online, can feel like stripping down to your skivvies and jumping in the Penny Hot Springs.

Column writing and nakedness present their own share of vulnerabilities.

I've made so many friends and developed networks through column writing. The first time I met my friend Eddie Fralick, he was tending the back bar at the Glenwood Canyon Brewpub. I was enjoying an IPA, and he wanted to know when I would write about him in my column. He had the most endearing Southern drawl and sweetest laugh. The Glenwood community — he knew everyone — lost him on March 12, 2014, and I know he's smiling down somewhere knowing he made it in the last April in Glenwood. I also know he would be sassy about his disappointment, as I am in this decision of which I have no control, and would want to march right over to the paper and talk to someone about it.

Maybe he already has.

Because of this column, we shared a powerful bond. I'll always be grateful for the love and laughter he brought to my life. There are also so many others I've said goodbye to here in the space as they passed. My 104-year-old soulmate Julian, a Glenwood legend. My funny Grandpa Bud, whom I love dearly. PI community editor Kay Vasilakis, also forever in my heart. She's smiling, too, because I have my little 21-month-old guy, Will. She always wanted to see me with a ring on my left hand and a baby on my right hip, and much to my surprise, that's reality. There's also Mary Borkenhagen, a friendly face who greeted readers at the PI front desk for years. So creative, witty and smart. I miss her. And copy/food editor Gabrielle Devenish, who had the kind of spunk I appreciate, but I never had the chance to tell her. I wish she could've fought off the demons of her eating disorder that ultimately claimed her life. I think of her appreciation of Champagne and girly stuff often.

All are missed by the valley, and beyond.

I've also shared my self-deprecating humor found in the fun times with my close valley friends — you know who you are. There were wild moments on the river, embarrassing dating faux pas and endless late nights in Glenwood and Carbondale's social and performing arts scenes. I shared my story of fearfully learning stand-up comedy and burlesque here. And the frightening moments of miscarrying, getting pregnant and later giving birth to a preemie. These are all accounts I'm thankful to have documented. In the most emotional of times, writing has been therapeutic and cleansing.

I'm a better mother for it.

I honestly thought I might write this column until I took my last breath. That may sound over-dramatic, but it's true. I love Glenwood Springs. I love the people. And I love being a columnist. I'm hoping all this love can be filtered into something new and different, as fate has directed me. I won't forget the nerves I had when seeing my first column run more than a decade ago, and the feelings I have in penning this farewell. I also don't regret letting my work define me all these years.

I'll always be April in Glenwood.

April E. Allford never missed a week of writing her column. She can be reached at aprilallford@gmail.com.

Escape to Moab, Utah, with In Your Element in May

VAIL — When the mountain is closed, weather is unpredictable and trails are muddy, what do you do?

"This is the time to escape to Moab," said Kim Fuller, co-owner of In Your Element, local yoga and outdoor adventure company. "It has become an annual ritual for us to get to the desert in the spring. There is something about the dry air and warm sunshine that is so healing this time of year."

Create your own Adventure

In Your Element has offered nature-inspired yoga retreats to Moab the past four years. Participants enjoy three nights of riverside camping, sunrise and sunset yoga and meditation, two healthy meals per day, as well as plenty of free time to create their own adventure.

Another trip is coming up soon, Thursday, May 11, through Sunday, May 14. It's $450 and spots are still available. The trip includes camping costs, two meals per day, yoga, meditation and free time to play and explore.

"We know that after six months of busy winter work, what we want to do is get out and play," Fuller said. "We created this retreat so that locals can find that work-life balance again. We lead twice daily yoga and meditation to bring our bodies and minds back into harmony, and then let participants choose to do what is most fun and nourishing for them."

About the Campground

The campground, Goose Island, is a quick 4 mile drive or nice cruiser bike ride from the heart of Moab's downtown, where participants can browse local shops, enjoy local eateries, and even get spa treatments if they are searching for more rest and relaxation. Alternatively, participants can explore multiple National Parks and recreational trail systems in and around Moab for hiking, biking, stand-up paddleboarding or climbing.

"I love going to Moab with In Your Element," said Kirsten Henson, an Eagle resident who has participated in the retreat several times. "It takes the headache out of camping because I don't have to worry about finding a campground or cooking. All the work is done for me so I can really enjoy my time immersed in nature, on my bike or on my yoga mat."

Fuller and Mariah Schuette, In Your Element's co-founders, have both taught yoga in the Vail Valley for years.

"We know how it feels to get to the end of ski season and be a little worn out, and how ready we are for summer activities," Fuller said. "Mariah and I complement each other's yoga teaching styles, with a little bit of movement and flow to loosen up stiff or tight muscles, and a little bit of slower restorative stretching to help your body recover in preparation for more fun the next day."

Tools to dig deeper

The retreat also includes element-themed, self-development packets, with practices and inquires that participants can discuss over meals and use to dig a little deeper during the twice-daily meditation and yoga sessions.

"Give yourself a true gift of self-care, connection and rejuvenation after a long winter season, and sign up for In Your Element's retreat in Moab," said Christy Samuelson, an Avon resident who attended the retreat in 2016. "The food is amazing and the chefs catered to my vegetarian needs every day. Time spent off the mat was just as special to me, and the support and connection around the campfire every night was priceless. Thank you, Mariah and Kim, for sharing your gift with the world at the most affordable retreat out there."

The trip is $450, which includes camping costs, two meals per day, yoga, meditation and the retreat content. For more information and to register for Moab 2017, visit http://www.facebook.com/BeInYourElement or call 970-445-0361.

Whit’s End: The view from two wheels

I won't soon forget my first Colorado bike ride.

It was May 2015, and each day left me more in love with Glenwood Springs and the surrounding communities. From the moment I entered the canyon, I was captivated by this place.

One afternoon, my college roommates and I loaded three bikes onto the back of the car. Evan, one roommate's husband, drove me, Paula and Heather to Carbondale. We parked near the Village Smithy, took a few goofy pictures and then set off for the Rio Grande Trail.

I'm not much of a talker in these circumstances, so I pedaled ahead while the other women cruised and chatted. The path's slight descent made me feel like I was flying. But the landscape around the trail was too beautiful to see only as a blur. I periodically stopped to take photos, take a breath and take it all in.

That evening, after our 13-mile ride concluded and I began slathering lotion on my sunburn, I made a declaration: If I moved to Colorado, I would have to buy a bike.

(I'd also need to re-apply sunscreen.)

I came close to bike buying a couple of times after I returned to Alabama. Birmingham's hills and — more importantly — uninformed drivers make it a tough place for a road cyclist. A weekly group ride that set out from downtown tempted me, and I joined whenever I could borrow a bike. But I never found the right fit. I never committed to a bike of my own.

Then I moved to this cycling haven. Since my January arrival, I've said I would need a bike once the snow melted. In the final days of editing the Post Independent and Aspen Times' annual Cycling Guide, I brought my new ride home.

What a treat to edit those trail guides, compiled by staff who know the terrain well, as I take to the road myself. I'll toss this guide in my pack as I set out on my Specialized Tarmac Elite. I'll give a copy to Evan, who purchased a mountain bike days before I brought home my road bike. And though I've already set physical goals, I still intend to stop and drink in the Western Slope's beauty.

See you on the road.

Carla Jean Whitley hopes to regularly commute via bicycle this summer. Email her at cj@postindependent.com.

Susie Jimenez: Baby back ribs are a satisfying supper

Baby back ribs are an easy, satisfying dish that can feed a crowd. These ribs seriously fall off the bone.

Pair them with your favorite barbecue sauce or whip up a batch of the recipe included here (it'll add a kick!). Finish the meal by creating a salad of your favorite veggies. An herb dressing makes for a flavorful addition.

Oven-roasted baby back ribs

3 lbs. baby back ribs

1 tsp. garlic salt

½ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. cumin

Cover a pan with 2 feet of foil and place ribs at the center. Season with garlic salt, pepper and cumin. Bake at 350˚ for 3 hours.

Papaya coffee barbecue sauce

1 yellow onion, rough chopped

¼ cup garlic, rough chopped

1 lb. dates

8 oz. tomato paste

¼ cup tamarind paste

1 cup ground Sumatra Rock Canyon Coffee

1 cup agave nectar

4 cups water

1 Tbsp. mustard powder

1 Tbsp. black pepper

¼ cup chipotle paste

¼ cup lemon juice

In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Simmer over low-medium heat for 2 hours, then puree in a blender. Strain for a silky finish.

Herbs de Provence Dressing

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. agave

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. herbs de Provence

Salt and pepper (to taste)

In a bowl, whisk Dijon mustard, agave and vinegar for about a minute. Add olive oil slowly, whisking to emulsify. Finish with herbs de Provence and season.

Susie-style Herbs de Provence

1 Tbsp. lavender

2 Tbsp. rosemary

1 Tbsp. tarragon

2 Tbsp. oregano

2 Tbsp. thyme

1 Tbsp. chives

2 Tbsp. basil

Mix and keep in an airtight container.

Susie Jimenez was runner-up on "Food Network Star" season 7 and owns a local catering company. Reach her at susiespiceitup@gmail.com.

Movie showtimes 4/28-5/4

Brenden Rifle

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 premieres 5/4 @ 7

The Circle (PG-13) 2hr5min

4/28-4/30: 12:30, 3:30, 6:20, (9:10)

5/1-5/3: 4:50, 7:25

How to be a Latin Lover (PG-13) 2hr10min

4/28-4/30: 12:45, 3:45, 6:45, (9:30)

5/1-5/3: 4:45, 7:30

The Fate of the Furious (PG-13) 2hr30min

4/28-4/30: 12, 3, 6, (9)

5/1-5/3: 4:15, 7:15

The Boss Baby (PG) 1hr50min

4/28-4/30: 12:10, 3:10, 6:10, (8:30)

5/1-5/3: 4:40, 7

Beauty and the Beast (PG) 2hr20min

4/28-4/30: 12:20, 3:20, 6:30, (9:20)

5/1-5/3: 4:30, 7:20

Going In Style (PG-13) 1hr50min

4/28-4/30: 12:15, 2:50, 6, (8:20)

5/1-5/3: 4:20, 6:40

The Promise (PG-13) 2hr30min

4/28-4/30: noon, 6:15

5/1-5/3: 7:10

Chase for Christ (PG) 2hr10min

4/28-4/30: 3:15, 9:15

5/1-5/3: 4:15

Movieland

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PG-13) 2D

5/4: 10:10

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in Disney Digital 3D (PG-13) 3D

5/4: 7

The Circle (PG-13) 2D

4/28-4/30: (11:40 a.m.), (2:15), 4:50, 7:30, 10

5/1-5/4: (2:15), 4:50, 7:30, 10

The Promise (PG-13) 2D

4/28-4/30: (11:50 a.m.), (3), 6:15, 9:10

5/1-5/4: (3), 6:15, 9:10

The Fate of the Furious (PG-13) 2D

4/28-4/30: (12:30), (3:30), 6:45, 9:50

5/1-5/4: (3:30), 6:45, 9:50

Gifted (PG-13) 2D

4/28-4/30: (noon), (2:45), 5:10, 7:45, 10:05

5/1-5/4: (2:45), 5:10, 7:45, 10:05

Going in Style (PG-13) 2D

4/28-5/3: 7:15, 9:40

The Boss Baby (PG) 2D

4/28-4/30: (11:30 a.m.), (2), 4:20, 7, 9:20

5/1-5/4: (2), 4:20, 7, 9:20

Smurfs: The Lost Village (PG) 2D

4/28-4/30: (12:10), (2:30), 4:40

5/1-5/4: (2:30), 4:40

Beauty and the Beast (PG) 2D

4/28-4/30: (12:20), (3:15), 6:30, 9:30

5/1-5/4: (3:15), 6:30, 9:30

Crystal Theatre

The Zookeeper's Wife (PG-13)

4/28-5/4: 7:30 except 4/30, when show time is 6 p.m.

A United Kingdom (PG-13)

4/29: 5

Thunder River Theatre introduces children’s programming

The curtains rose on a children's theater production of "The Little Match Girl." As the show began, a 6-year-old boy saw his future on stage.

That Minneapolis production sparked Corey Simpson's lifelong love of arts. Now, as executive artistic director of Thunder River Theatre Company, Simpson hopes to do the same for children in and around Garfield County.

"Because I know how meaningful that's been for me, I feel so lucky to have an opportunity to finally pay it back," he said.

The company will debut its Theater for Young Audiences program Saturday with "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse." Simpson has introduced several new programs to the company in his nine months as executive artist director, including improv comedy and cabaret theater. It's an effort to draw new audiences to the theater, he said, and focusing on children is one more way to invite people in.

"It doesn't matter what you're doing. The most important part is the story. Tell the story," said director Wendy Moore. "The characters who are telling that story need to be recognizable and understandable. It's probably more heightened in children's theater; they've got to be crystal-clear characters."

Moore has been involved in all manner of theatrical productions, and she was quick to research productions suitable for TRTC's children's theater debut. "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse," an adaptation of the Kevin Henkes book, was her top choice.

"I fell in love with this piece because you have a young female leading character who is this incredibly unique, confident, one-of-a-kind human being," Simpson said.

Lilly is the sort of character he hopes to see on stage, and Simpson said she's a role model for girls and boys alike.

And though this is a production targeted at children, Simpson and Moore both said parents will find lots to laugh at, as well.

"Everybody can identify with it, including the parents," Moore said.

Most people can relate to Lilly's challenges: sharing her parents' attention with a sibling, deciding what to become when she grows up, getting into trouble at school.

The cast will invite children to engage with them during the show, and kids will be able to sit close to the stage. In the future, Simpson hopes to build off of that by offering more programming that will involve kids.

Children can learn from art just as adults can, Moore said.

"You want to know what's going on in the world? Go to a show," she said. "If you want to know about family dynamics, go see 'Lilly.' I think kids, though shorter versions of ourselves, have a lot of questions about life. Is this normal? Is this natural? Do I belong or am I odd? Theater can help explain to kids."

Arts & entertainment briefs 4/28/17

THIS WEEKEND

Chris Bank and Mark Johnson

Local musician Chris Bank has performed with Kenny Loggins, The Temptations, John Denver, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Buffet, and Francine Reed, as well as jazz greats Ernie Watts and Nelson Rangell. He's joined by Mark Johnson.

7-10:30 p.m. Friday

Admission: Free

Heather's Savory Pies and Tapas Bar, 166 Midland Ave., Basalt

Info: 927-0151 and heatherssavorypies.com

Rosewood Divine

Ali Paine Welch and Shaefer Welch comprise Rosewood Divine, a harmony-driven duo that brings a gritty acoustic country sound to complement vocals and lyrics.

8-11 p.m. Friday

Admission: Free

Marble Distillery Company, 150 Main St., Carbondale

Info: 963-7008 and marbledistilling.com

Valle Musico

Enjoy elegant guitar-based music with classical, jazz, Latin and worldbeat elements with Valle Musico.

8:30-11:30 p.m. Friday

Admission: Free

Rivers Restaurant, 2525 South Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs

Info: 928-8813 and theriversrestaurant.com

Osage Gardens Farm Tours

Meet at the Little Red Farm Store and tour the Osage Garden Green House to learn how the organic farm grows its signature culinary herbs and greens. Tours every 30 minutes. Come early to shop local for milk, grass-fed meats, pasta, raw honey, cheese, non-GMO eggs, organic body care and more. Meet and feed Osage's organically raised chickens.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Free

Osage Gardens, 36730 River Frontage Road, New Castle

Info: 876-5445 and osagegardens.com

Forage, Eat, Prep: A Hands-on Wild Workshop

Join the Silt Historical Park in welcoming Wild Food Girl Erica Marciniec as she walks through the wild food available locally. She will give tips and safety, then send the group out to forage. After collecting, gather once more to make sure identifications are correct.

1 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Free; donations accepted

707 Orchard Ave., Silt

Info: 945-5337 and silthistoricalpark.net

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

Enjoy the delightful "tail" of Lilly, a confident young mouse with a big personality, a purple purse and a new brother. Recommended for children ages 5-10 and families.

4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 1 and 4 p.m. May 13-14

Admission: $25, $15 ages 5-14

Thunder River Theatre Company, 67 Promenade, Carbondale

Info: 963-8200 and thunderrivertheatre.com

Swing Into Summer Country Dance

Enjoy nonstop country music mixed to keep you on the floor. Line dancing is mixed in so everyone dances. Includes West Coast, Country Swing, line dances and plenty of East Coast Swing. Singles and new dancers encouraged. Dance hosts will get dancers started and introduce dancers to others.

Classes 5:30-7:30, dance 7:30-10:30 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Both classes and dance $15

Glenwood Springs Masonic Lodge, 901 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs

Info: 379-4956 and meetup.com/RFVDance

Imagine 5 River Bridge Fundraiser

River Bridge Regional Center hosts a fundraising evening of local food and drink, a silent auction and the music of the Leonard Curry Trio, benefitting abused children in the community.

6-10 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $50

The Old Thompson Barn at River Valley Ranch, 333 River Valley Ranch Dr., Carbondale

Info: 945-5195

LP Herd

LP Herd is a guitar duo consisting of Larry and Patty Herd, whose sound is defined by her bluesy sultry voice and his jazz/blues-inspired guitar style.

7 p.m. Saturday

Admission: Free

Heather's Savory Pies and Tapas Bar, 166 Midland Ave., Basalt

Info: 927-0151 and heatherssavorypies.com

Comedy Night

Welcome Denver comedy legend Deacon Gray. The New Talent Coordinator at Comedy Works has opened for Dave Chapelle, Drew Carey and Chris Rock.

7:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $5

Marble Distillery, 150 Main St., Carbondale

Info: 963-7008 and marbledistilling.com

Sunday Night Bluegrass Jam

Steve's Guitars continues to open its doors to local musicians to provide a nice place to play and enjoy the magic of live music. The night features local players sharing their original music and covers of several different genres other than bluegrass.

6-8 p.m. Sunday

Admission: Free to play and attend

Steve's Guitars, 19 N. Fourth St., Carbondale

Info: 963-3304 and stevesguitars.net

New Odyssey

New Odyssey, known as Three Guys—Thirty Instruments, performs a raucous production featuring comedy, skits, and audience participation. The show is presented by Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association.

7 p.m. Sunday

Admission: Membership required; new memberships available before the show. $40, $15 students, $90 family

Glenwood Springs High School, 1521 Grand Ave.

Info: 945-5384 and gsconcertassn.org

UPCOMING

Chris Garcia

Known for his vivid storytelling style, L.A.-based comedian Chris Garcia draws the audience into his world through a variety of characters and recollections that are both outrageously absurd and sincerely heartfelt. Denver comic Timmi Lasley hosts and Front Range rising star Christie Buchele features. Show includes adult content humor and is not traditional Vaudeville. Attendees must be 18 and older.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for dinner and drinks, show at 8 p.m. (must be present by 7:30 or seats will go to those on the wait list), May 4

Admission: $25

Springs Theater, 915 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs

Info and reservations: 945-9699 and gvrshow.com

Opening Reception for Photography Exhibits

Carbondale Arts presents an opening reception for two photography exhibitions, "Within and Without" and "Fresh Perceptions." "With and Without" features everyday items viewed in a new dimension when seen through the eyes of this world-famous team of photographers. "Fresh Perceptions" curator Nannette Weinhold teaches Roaring Fork High School and middle school photography students, and her exhibit focuses on attention to color, pattern and texture.

6-8 p.m. May 5

Admission: Free

R2 Gallery at The Launchpad, 76 South Fourth St., Carbondale

Info: 963-1680 and carbondalearts.com

Hospital Auxiliary Elegant Tea

The Valley View Hospital Auxiliary hosts this classic event at the historic Hotel Colorado. Gather with friends and family of all ages. Bid on silent auction items. Wear a fabulous hat and come in garden party attire. Elegant hats are available for sale in the Heart to Heart gift shop at Valley View.

2-4 p.m. May 7

Admission: $30, available in the Heart to Heart gift shop at VVH; proceeds support the Auxiliary's mission to fund medical education scholarships and the Connie Delaney Medical Library at the hospital

Hotel Colorado, 526 Pine St., Glenwood Springs

Info: 384-6670 and vvh.org

Mother's Day Concerts

Symphony in the Valley hosts its two annual Mother's Day concerts in Rifle and Glenwood Springs. This year's concerts, titled, "Love the B's," features Brahms, Beethoven, Bach and introduces Barnes. The first concert takes place at the Ute Theater in Rifle. Glenwood Springs High School's Jeannie Miller Auditorium hosts the latter.

7 p.m. May 13 in Rifle and 4 p.m. May 14 in Glenwood

Admission: sitv.org

132 E. Fourth St., Rifle, and 1521 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs

Info: 984-8833 and sitv.org

ONGOING

Cooper Corner's April Exhibit

Join Cooper Corner Gallery for an April art exhibit featuring the work of glass-and-clay artist Annie Brooks, along with many other local artists displaying new work.

Admission: Free

Cooper Corner Gallery, 315 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs

Info: 945-5199 and coopercornergallery.com

Photography Art Show

The Whistle Pig Restaurant hosts an art show highlighting work by Western Slope photographer George Cutting. Enjoy breakfast or lunch surrounded by Cutting's photos, which will be for sale.

Starting at 6 a.m. daily

Admission: Free

Whistle Pig, 121 E. Third St., Rifle

Info: facebook.com/WhistlePigCoffeeStop

"Too Hot to Handle" Art Exhibit

Carbondale Clay Center presents the new "Too Hot to Handle" show, featuring clay and glass works in collaboration with Spiro Lyon Glass.

Through April

Admission: Free

Carbondale Clay Center, 135 Main St., Carbondale

Info: 963-2529 and carbondaleclay.org

Glenwood Vaudeville Revue Spring Season
Glenwood Vaudeville Revue's award-winning show returns with two hours of family-friendly dinner theater show professional talent performing comedy skits, local jokes, high-energy dance numbers, novelty songs, and original comedic presentations.

Doors open 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through May 27; food, drinks and entertainment with show immediately following

Admission: $24, $22 seniors and $16 ages 2-12 show only; food and beverages optional and a la carte, 10 percent off groups of 10 or more

Springs Theater, 915 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs

Info: 945-9699 and gvrshow.com

Live Piano Music with Dinner

Nominated for the most Local's Choice Awards for any restaurant this year, Riviera Supper Club and Piano Bar melds a fine dining experience with timeless and delightful piano stylings and interpretations. Live music played for all ages during the relaxed dinner hour, offering requests all evening.

Music starts at 7 p.m. daily

Admission: Free; happy hour runs seven days a week with $5 wines and appetizers

Riviera Supper Club, 702 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs

Info: 945-7692 and rivieraglenwood.com

Art in Silt

Crack in the Wall Gallery hosts art by more than 30 artists from the community showing their new work in photography, jewelry, oil paintings, pottery, notecards and more.

Admission: Free

1887 County Road 237 (Harvey Gap Road), Silt

Info: crackinthewallgallery.com

Free Wine and Spirits Tastings

Enjoy free tastings every weekend in downtown Glenwood Springs, as Cooper Wine and Spirits showcases different varieties of hand-selected wines, craft beers and Colorado spirits.

5-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Admission: Free

Cooper Wine and Spirits, 732 Cooper Ave., Glenwood Springs

Info: facebook.com/CooperWineandSpirits

Crab Dinner and Live Music

Enjoy Friday night crab dinner with 1 and 1/2 pounds of Opilio crab, two sides, and soup or salad bar, followed by live music by the Goodman Band from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

5 p.m. Fridays

Admission: Free; $22.99/dinner

Farm Fresh Cafe and Steakhouse, 1733 Railroad Ave., Rifle

Info: clubfresh.me

Live Music and Dance

Take free country dance lessons from 5:30-7 p.m., then practice your new moves to live music by Spaghetti Western from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m., with a prime rib dinner in between 5:30 p.m. Saturdays

Admission: Free; $19.99/dinner

Farm Fresh Cafe and Steakhouse, 1733 Railroad Ave., Rifle

Info: clubfresh.me

Local Artisan and Craft Fair

The Midland Arts Company is a co-operative gift shop features the work of Western Slope artists: handmade soaps and candles, fabric arts, iron work, original paintings, and turned-wood lamps, artisan jewelry and pottery.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays

Admission: Free

Midland Arts Company, 101 E. Third St., Rifle

Info: 625-3068 and midlandartscompany.com

Total Barre

Coredination and Bonedale Ballet offers Total Barre, a 60-minute dance-inspired body-conditioning workout, class with Vicki Tobia. She has an extensive and professional background in dance, Pilates and fitness.

5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays

First class special: $5 off your first class

Coredination and Bonedale Ballet, 455 S. Third St., Carbondale

Info and to RSVP: Alexandra Jerkunica at 379-2187 and bonedaleballet.com

Art Classes at The Launchpad

Movement, music, and dance classes are in full swing at The Launchpad. Crystal River Ballet, The Yard Hip Hop, Carbondale Rhythm Collective, DanceLAB, Core Healing Arts, Aspen Dance Connection and more offer classes for all ages seven days a week. Pick up a full schedule at the Launchpad.

The Launchpad, 76 S. Fourth St., Carbondale

Info: contact@launchpadcarbondale.com and carbondalearts.com

Art Gallery

The Powers Art Center strives to teach the public about contemporary and pop art through exhibitions.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday

Admission: Free

The Powers Art Center, 13110 Colorado 82, Carbondale

Info: 963-4445 and powersartcenter.org

Jail House Studio/Gallery

Harvest Pottery has opened its doors to the Jail House Studio/Gallery with new work on display. The historic jailhouse and cabin is free to visit and open to the public.

Admission: Free

Jail House Studio, 500 Weant Blvd., Carbondale

Info: 963-2550 and harvestpottery.com

Open Mic Night

A community open mic every Tuesday, hosted by Jeff Rice.

7-10 p.m. Tuesdays

Admission: Free

Black Dog Saloon, 219 W. Main St., New Castle

Info: 984-0999 and thedognewcastle.com

Figure Drawing Sessions

Drop-in, non-taught model figure drawing session facilitated by Philip Hone Williams with a live figure model.

6-9 p.m. Mondays

CCAH classroom, Third Street Center, Carbondale

Info: 456-2865 or e-mail honewilliams@gmail.com

Prosthetic arm designed by undergrads lets girl play violin

FAIRFAX, Va. — The pressure was on for Abdul Gouda and his classmates at George Mason University: Not only did their graduation depend on the success of their project, but so did the hopes of an impossibly cute 10-year-old girl.

Fifth-grader Isabella Nicola wanted to play the violin, but she was born with no left hand and a severely abbreviated forearm. Her music teacher at Island Creek Elementary in Fairfax County had built her a prosthetic allowing her to move the bow with her left arm and finger the strings with her right — the opposite of how violin is usually taught. But the prosthetic was heavy and he thought there might be a better option. He reached out to Mason, his alma mater.

As it happened, Gouda and his four teammates in the bioengineering department were in the market for a project — students are required to take on a capstone project their senior year, and their initial idea had fallen through.

Still, Gouda admitted some hesitation at the outset.

“It’s sort of a lot of pressure,” he said. “You’ve got this young girl who’s counting on you and you’re expected to deliver.”

The team — Gouda, Mona Elkholy, Ella Novoselsky, Racha Salha and Yasser Alhindi — developed multiple prototypes throughout the year. There was a fair amount of literature on similar projects that helped them get a good start, but Isabella’s case is unique to her, and the project included plenty of trial and error.

Isabella communicated easily with the group and provided feedback, especially about the weight. The first came in at 13 ounces (369 grams); the final version shaved an ounce or two off of that after feedback from Isabella.

The team enlisted a music professor at Mason, Elizabeth Adams, who provided feedback on what Isabella would need to play the violin with some finesse.

On Thursday, Isabella received her final prosthetic, built from a 3-D printer, and hot pink (at her request) with “Isabella’s attachment” emblazoned on the forearm.

She played some scales as she adjusted the fit, and even a few bars of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

“Oh, my gosh, that’s so much better,” Isabella said as she tried out the new prosthetic.
And the team had a surprise for her, a plug-in attachment designed to let her grip a handlebar and ride a bicycle.

“I feel very blessed that I have this amazing group of people,” Isabella said.
Isabella had her heart set on playing music when the school began offering strings lessons in fourth grade.

“I’ve never told her no. I told her we would try. There was no guarantee the school would be able to do an adaptation,” said her mother, Andrea Cabrera. “Through these little miracles, it kept going forward.”
Isabella never had any doubt it would come together.

“I felt right away that I’d be able to play,” she said. “I’ve always had perseverance.”

Sheryl Sandberg’s new book a tale of grief, resilience

NEW YORK — Though perhaps best known as Facebook’s No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg is also a mentor, a mother, a billionaire and an author. When her husband Dave Goldberg died suddenly in 2015 while they were vacationing in Mexico, she added “widow” to the list.

“The grief felt like a void, like it was sucking me in and pushing on me, pulling me in and I couldn’t even see or breathe,” she said in an interview with The Associated Press. “People who have been through things like this told me it gets better. And I really didn’t believe them…. I want other people going through things to believe it does get better.”

Her new book — “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy,” written with psychologist Adam Grant — chronicles the devastating loss, her grief and how she emerged from it with a new perspective on life. A humbled follow-up to her first book, “Lean In ,” it’s also a how-to, drawing from studies and the experiences of others to describe techniques for building strength and resilience and ways to support those going through hard times.

It quickly became the No. 1 best seller on Amazon on Monday, the day it was published.
Sandberg also uses the new book to address what she now sees as shortcomings in the career advice she offered women in “Lean In.” Surveying the world as a wealthy corporate executive rendered her oblivious to the circumstances faced by less fortunate women, she acknowledged. Not everyone can lean in; not everyone wants to.

“I didn’t get it,” she wrote. “I didn’t get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home.”

THE FIRST MONTHS
The most affecting parts of the book recount not just Sandberg’s grief, but that of her children. When she had to tell them that their father died. When, arriving at the cemetery for his funeral, they “got out of the car and fell to the ground, unable to take another step. I lay on the grass, holding them as they wailed,” unable to protect them from their sorrow.

It did get better, though slowly. Sandberg returned to work at Facebook in a haze, unable to summon her previous self-confidence.

“I couldn’t understand when friends didn’t ask me how I was. I felt invisible, as if I was standing in front of them but they couldn’t see me,” she wrote, adding later, that by staying silent in such situations “we often isolate friends, family and co-workers.”

At Facebook, Sandberg has long been an advocate of “bringing your whole self to work,” meaning a willingness to share your personal life with co-workers. But this can get tricky when it comes to facing trauma. Sandberg found it difficult, and even considered carrying around a stuffed pachyderm to encourage co-workers and even friends to talk about the “elephant in the room.”

PICKING UP THE PIECES
Then one day, about a month after Goldberg died, she decided to post on Facebook about her grief, her gratitude toward her friends, and her related tumultuous feelings — for instance, coming to believe she would never again feel real joy. She wrote it out, not planning to share it publicly. After some more thought, she decided it couldn’t possibly make things worse.

The change was immediate. Friends, co-workers and strangers — many of whom had dealt with loss themselves — began reaching out. It helped, Sandberg wrote. The post has been shared more than 400,000 times and has some 74,000 comments. It opened up a conversation.

“I know it almost sounds silly because I certainly work at Facebook and I know what Facebook’s mission is,” she said. “But experiencing it for myself was a very … deep experience.”

Talking about these things, as difficult as it might be, can be a lifeline. As is getting help at work, something Sandberg acknowledged not everyone can. Facebook has recently extended its bereavement policies to allow employees more time off after the death of a loved one. But Sandberg says supporting people once they are back at work — including reminding them that their contributions are needed and welcome — is just as important.

“Death is not the only kind of adversity that summons up the elephant,” Sandberg wrote in the book. “Anything that reminds us of the possibility of loss can leave us at a loss for words. Financial difficulties. Divorce. Unemployment. Rape. Addiction. Incarceration. Illness.”

BUILDING STRENGTH
A few weeks after she lost her husband, Sandberg was talking with a friend, making plans for someone to fill in for a father-child activity. Crying, she told the friend “But I want Dave.” He put his arm around her and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the s— out of Option B.”

Sandberg said she believes strongly in pre-traumatic growth — people’s ability to build up resilience before something bad happens so that they are able to deal with it better. She has peppered the book with anecdotes and studies about resilience, from the story of Malala Yousafzai, the 19-year-old Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace laureate, to that of the survivors of a 1972 plane crash in the Andes described in the book (and movie) “Alive.”

“Tragedy does not have to be personal, pervasive or permanent, but resilience can be,” she wrote. “We can build it and carry it with us throughout our lives.”

Vail Wine Ink Column: The Madrones in Mendocino County

Perhaps the best part of wine travel is discovery. It could be a grape you have never tasted. Perhaps a vineyard you see for the first time. Or it could be an oasis in a region farther afield.

A recent sojourn took me to the "next county," Mendocino. It's geographically and spiritually above and beyond Napa and Sonoma. While the region is fast becoming a go-to for wine lovers, it is still a bit funkier than its southern cousins. It is also home to one of those wine travel discoveries, an oasis called The Madrones.

THE MADRONES

Just off California Highway 128 in the Anderson Valley lies a Spanish/Tuscan/Santa Fe/California-inspired compound called The Madrones.

The Madrones consists of nine guest quarters, three wine-tasting rooms pouring Anderson Valley wines, a restaurant and a curio and antique shop that would be a find in, say, New York's East Village.

The product of interior designer and builder Jim Roberts, the complex began life as a rural homestead and television repair shop. Roberts rebuilt the compound as a base of operations to house his design firm and a creative incubator for local business in the mid-2000s. He also built a home that lies cocooned inside the exquisite English gardens that surround the property. Today, that home has been repurposed as guest quarters.

Each guest room showcases the building's classic bones and details such as vaulted ceilings and window seats. Luxury linens and contemporary elements give it a sophisticated, comfortable vibe.

TASTING ROOMS

Where offices once occupied the front of the compound, there are now tasting rooms for three small-lot family wineries. The newest addition, Smith-Story Wine Cellars, consists of host husband and wife Eric Story and Allison Smith. They pour recent releases of their Mendocino and Sonoma County wines alongside a project they produce in the Rheingau region of Germany. They may be the only family owned winery in the U.S. with a German 2015 Rose of Pinot Noir.

Across the courtyard is Bink Cellars. It is the creation of Deborah Schatzlein and Cindy Paulson, who have a passion for producing small lots of Mendocino County wines with concentration, intensity and flavor. While pinot noir dominates in the area, I particularly liked their merlot and syrah, both of which hail from their estate vineyard, Hawks Butt, in the Yorkville Highlands American viticultural area.

Drew Family Cellars rounds out the tasting rooms with a roster of seriously good wines, many of which come from the cool climate of their estate vineyard, a former apple orchard high up the Elk-Philo Road just three miles from the Pacific Ocean. Family owned by Jason and Molly Drew, these wines show a delicate and deft hand.

STONE & EMBERS

The heart of The Madrones complex may well be the wood-burning pizza oven. It puts out an amazing array of pizzas, salads and other tasty dishes, all made with local ingredients grown in Chef Patrick Meany's farm.

Many came to the valley following time spent in the kitchens of San Francisco's Gary Danko, and Bouchon in the Napa Valley. With partner and farmer Matt Barnes, they have created simplicity in each dish. The fresh Little Gem lettuce salads, the impossibly thin mushroom chicharonnes and the potato beignets burst with flavor.

Comfortable and classic. Just like the Madrones.

Kelly J. Hayes lives in the soon-to-be-designated appellation of Old Snowmass. He can be reached at malibukj@aol.com.