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Shindig returns with even more firepower

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By Lynn Burton

Sopris Sun Staff Writer

After the smashing success of last summer’s inaugural Shindig, the Mt. Sopris Historical Society fund-raiser returns with an even finer tuned program, including Telluride Bluegrass Festival MC Pastor Mustard, the pre-announced Hattie Thompson award recipient (Mary Lilly), a roving actress playing Thompson, historical exhibits, a Charlotte Graham book signing and more.

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Because the historic Thompson House is closed for the time being due to nearby construction, the whole shebang has been shifted to River Valley Ranch barn, where Shindiggers will have the run of the spread, both inside the barn and out on the patio and grounds. There’ll also be plenty of pit barbecue.

It all takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 9. Tickets are $75 at the door, the Pour House and mtsoprishistoricalsociety.org. For details, call 781-632-3326.

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Friends of Mary Lilly will want to head to RVR to see her accept the Hattie Thompson award. Lilly, who is 99 years old but still attends weekly peace vigils at the town hall flagpole, first discovered Carbondale and the Crystal River Valley when she visited with her husband John in the 1950s. She and her son Charles moved to a small ranch between Carbondale and Redstone in the early 1970s and she quickly became involved in several civic, religious and political organizations, including the League of Women Voters. She was also an early member of the Crystal Valley Environmental Protection Association, which successfully fought a proposal to dam the Crystal River at Placita (between Redstone and the Marble turnoff). The Hattie Thompson award is named after the early-day Carbondale resident who lived on a farm that is now River Valley Ranch, and goes to a local woman who “exemplifies Hattie’s pioneering spirit, who is bold, industrious and daring, who possesses a true love of the land and joy of learning, and whose significant contributions have enriched our community.”

As for Dan “Pastor Mustard” Sadowsky, the longtime Basalt resident might argue that he himself has not enriched much of anything in the community except through the spread of “the bluegrass music” and perhaps his own bank account through the presumably lucrative gig of Telluride Bluegrass Festival MC — or maybe not. On his weekly show on KAJX, the pastor from the Church of the Nifty Blue Chrysler sometimes rambles on, starting at point A, ending at point Z, with little to connect the two points in between.

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The rest of the night’s music lineup is composed of: Steve Skinner and the Thompson Dividers, Jimmy Byrne and the Swingdiggers, and Jack Lanning/Stephanie Askew/Karen Tafejian performing songs from “South Pacific.”

Inside the barn, the historical displays include:

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• Artifacts from the Thompson farm and ranch;

• A replica of Hattie’s Thompson’s carriage:

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• Memorabilia from Carbondale’s railroad days;

• And a replica of Mt. Sopris Historical Society heritage garden/demonstration plot at the Third Street Center community garden.

Colorado Master Gardener Sue Gray will also be dressed in period costume, passing out a limited number of hand-packed seed packages from the garden, so that folks can take them home and grow the same kind of vegetables Hattie herself used to grow.

Published in The Sopris Sun on August 6, 2015.

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