Local Talent: Go West, go to Follies

Two things are certain about spring in the Hood River Valley: fruit blossoms and Mid-Columbia Lions Follies.

“The Wacky Wild West” will be the theme this year as the community-based production returns for its 37th year.

Well-known Follies performers and newcomers make up the cast this year, under long-time director Bev Bridgewater. In addition, familiar faces are venturing into new territory — notably Terri Tyler, who wrote a couple of scenes and then was asked to write the whole script.

She’s like a “city slicker” who shows up at the corral and busts a bronc on first try.

It will be fun to see how the cast takes to the broad comic possibilities, as well as ingrained cultural perceptions, of our favorite Western TV and film characters; somehow the idea of smilin’ Follies stalwart and ace singer Dave Tallman as “Hoss Cartwrong” was casting waiting to happen.

Follies runs April 5-6 and April 11-13 and is profiled in today’s Kaleidoscope, on page B1. Tickets are available now for any show.

Even the venue itself, historic Hood River Middle School Auditorium, seems well-suited for the Wild West piece.

But Follies is more than just a night’s entertainment.

The show is a fundraiser for Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation. Over the years it has raised $326,000 for the foundation, making it the largest single fundraiser for the OLSHF.

This wild west show is certainly one to come out and enjoy, all you sheriffs, sodbusters and sidewinders.

Bright spot: A welcome safety measure on May Street

Last week the city installed new crosswalks and “candlesticks’ in front of May Street School, between Ninth and 10th streets on May.

The candlesticks, which are 3-foot-tall fluorescent pylons, augment the widened crosswalks, now delineated by bright green lines on the roadway.

The paint and pylons are the same as those installed last fall seven blocks to the west, in front of Hood River Middle School.

The diagonal candlesticks, abutting the crosswalks, are also designed to discourage parking too close to the crosswalks, which reduces visibility for pedestrians as drivers approach the crossings.

These are welcome safety steps and their identical design should serve to accustom motorists and pedestrians to the physical changes, and the need for caution.

The improvements were called for by district officials and neighbors of the schools, which are located in heavily congested neighborhoods.

This is a case of multiple parties coming together to create safety steps that are logical and appropriate for a specific location.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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