Archive for Thursday, February 10, 2005

About the arts and that digit

February 10, 2005

As a Chocolate Auction regular, I thought I'd seen it all. That was until Sunday. That was one for the books and not just the record books.

While the auction was a huge success in its fund-raising role for Baldwin's sizable arts community, there was so much more to it than that this year. No, there can be no mistaking this. It was Alice Ann's auction for sure.

When the idea was hatched to dedicate the 17th annual version of the Valentine's Day extravaganza to the memory of the auction's founder, Alice Ann Callahan-Russell, it just snow balled from there.

Oh, sure, there was plenty of work to be done by the Baldwin Community Arts Council board and many of their significant "others," it was work that just fell together, one piece after another fell together. It was like magic, Alice Ann magic.

When Sunday finally arrived, it was raining, but nothing could rain on that parade. A doorman with an umbrella kept those donating goodies from getting wet. Those donations just kept coming, even after the 1 p.m. start.

Although the crowd wasn't at full strength until around 2 p.m., the turnout was fabulous. BCAC board members kept shoveling out more and more chairs and people just kept filling them.

Shortly thereafter, BCAC President Christy Carlisle kicked the auction into high gear with a tribute to Alice Ann, given table side to the great woman's husband, Tom Russell, and sisters, Charlene Potter and Mary Jane Chubb. It set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.

The bidding took off and just kept going. There was plenty of laughter and fun, but there were a tear or two shed by those closest to Alice Ann. I think Potter said it best when I interviewed her this week. She said, "I kept saying, 'Alice Ann would have loved it.' It was a great day."

One of Russell's paintings, fresh from a show, was the featured item and fetched $2,000 in quite a bidding war. Don Nutt won and headed the proceeds to its record $9,036.

But, that painting did more than that. It illustrated an important distinction that not everyone has understood. Russell stipulated that half of the proceeds from the painting would go to the BCAC and the other half to the Lumberyard Arts Center Project in downtown Baldwin. The BCAC and the LAC are separate entities, although both involve art.

It shows the fantastic support that Baldwin City has for art. The BCAC's mission is geared toward art education and numerous off shoots. The LAC's mission is to refurbish the lumberyard downtown into a center for all the arts -- theater, etc., etc. -- and that is being worked on hard from many angles. Of course, the BCAC is supportive of that and has donated money toward it, but that's the extent of the art council's involvement in the downtown project.

To see both groups benefit from Sunday's auction was great. A record $9,036 was raised. Nothing could rain on Alice Ann's parade.

  • **
  • All right, I apologize for any and all incontinence or other problems I caused last week with the column on smashing my finger in the door. I had three different people -- all of different ages, too, by the way -- tell me they about wet their pants laughing about my pain.

Now, I certainly didn't intend that. I have absolutely no stock options in "Depends," I can guarantee you. But, I must admit, I do appreciate hearing peoples' reactions to the columns. I especially like it when they're laughing.

I hadn't ripped off a funny one for awhile, so I was overdue. I like to keep people guessing. Oddly enough, though, as I was getting those laughter reactions, I had another person stop me on the street out of the blue about another column. It involved Dan DeSpain going back to Iraq and Matt Roach going for the first time. There certainly wasn't anything to laugh about in that one. The woman told me how wonderful the column was, how beautiful it was.

That one brought tears, while my pain brought laughs. Go figure. That's just the way it goes. As I've discussed with people, there's nothing funnier than someone else's pain. I was glad to provide the laughs. At least it got me something good out of the excruciating experience.

And, oh, yes, Crime Scene Investigation update -- during the ensuing days, I discovered another blood stain or two. One was truly fascinating. It must have been a fairly small droplet, but it streaked down the wall almost exactly outlining my couch. Weird. The other notable one was found by the paper towels, which I went for to stop the bleeding.

Anyway, I've passed these along to the crime scene boys for follow up. I'll be anxious for the report. But, mostly, I'll be thankful for a complete return to normal for my finger. I'm still keeping the Band-Aids on, but have been typing with no problem at all. I was finally able to shave without the electric jobber Monday morning.

But, there are still some things I can't do with the digit. And, no, I'm still not talking about what they are. Some things are better left unsaid, whether you're laughing or crying ... or maybe wetting your pants.

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