Twelfth Night Revels in Goldendale

A Happy Home Cultural & Ethical Society Entertainment by Goldendale Community Radio Players & Friends is scheduled for Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 8 PM at Windy Ridge Saloon, 113 W. Main, Goldendale, WA.

Goldendale Community Radio Players will present selections from THE SKETCHBOOK OF GEOFFREY CRAYON, GENTLEMAN by Washington Irving (1783-1859). Come and hear Irving’s impressions of the Yuletide traditions of Briton written from the perspective of an American living in England in 1818. Washington Irving is also the author of the well-known short stories, Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

A Cheerful Mugging in Goldendale

Last year just after Christmas, a late gift arrived with Bruce on his return from the Portland office. It was a pint Mason jar filled with the layered ingredients to make a serving of hot chocolate with all the trimmings. The jar was meticulously prepared. Ingredients had been added carefully, layered one by one, not to be shaken or stirred until time to prep and serve. Cocoa was on the bottom layer. On top of the cocoa were tiny chocolate chips followed by a layer of miniature marshmallows. The top layer was a sparkly blend of red and white crushed peppermint candy. It was a cute gift, consumable, handmade (the label assured it had been ‘Made with Love’), and the jar would have other uses when emptied.

Goldendale Community Radio needed a fund raising project for the Farmers’ Market Holiday Bazaar to be held on a Saturday a couple of weeks before Christmas. The cocoa jar that had languished in our kitchen all year, and moved from one spot to the next but never mixed up and enjoyed, was my inspiration. I decided to ask community members to donate coffee cups which we could prepare in a similar way. The cups could be decorated in a festive manner and be offered in exchange for a $5 donation in support of Community Radio.

Heather Lipko had opened a local garden store, Goldendale Garden Supply, during the spring. She had come to a radio station meeting, introduced herself, and volunteered to help in anyway she could. She had last volunteered to work the radio information table at the Farmers’ Market in August.

I stopped by the shop and mentioned to Heather that we planned this fund raiser. I inquired if we could use her shop as a drop-off location for donated mugs. She had brought her adorable puppy to work that day and was distracted by him. The moment that I asked her about her willingness to help, the puppy had snatched an item from one of the garden displays, and trotted proudly off with it, Heather in pursuit. Needless to say, later she did not recall that I had asked. She had no idea that I was quite sure she had positively agreed to help.

Community Radio did a bit of advertising, putting out the request for cups, and soon they began to roll in. One morning, Heather arrived at work, and found a large bag filled with a random assortment of coffee cups attached to the shop’s door handle. She was very puzzled by it but as people continued to drop by with more bags and boxes of cups, they explained what the cups were for, and she had to laugh, finding a corner in the shop to store the growing pile.

A few days before the Bazaar, when I checked with Heather to see how the project was coming along, she excitedly described the shop as inundated with cups galore. We had been ‘mugged’ by the community!

A small crew showed up to sort through the pile, assembling ingredients and decorations for the project. Heather printed labels and directions how to prepare a cup of hot cocoa, with a second set of instructions on how to make hot mulled cider. The cocoa packets contained instant chocolate mix with trimmings including chocolate chips, marshmallows and candy canes. Cinnamon sticks and packets of mulling spices accompanied the cups that held instant cider mixes.

On the day of the Bazaar, our work crew borrowed two display tables and a tall “Baker’s Rack,” and set them up in the ten by ten foot space which the Holiday Bazaar organizers allotted to Community Radio. More than 50 vendors arrived early on December 13, to assemble their goods in the Goldendale Primary School Gymnasium and Cafeteria. Doors opened to the public at nine o’clock.

The brightly decorated cups with their collection of ingredients were packed with red and green shredded paper, tissue paper, and tied with curled clusters of ribbon. They were festive and eye-catching. Mugs were of every conceivable type, from hand-thrown ceramic to English porcelain. Some had been collected on vacations as reminders of places visited and bore the names of destinations: cities, states, national parks, and other attractions. Others were designed with product logos, including Hershey’s, Campbell’s Soup, even Budweiser beer. Definitely, there were cups designed for every taste, and for anyone who cared to look. Many did look, too. The first one to be snatched up was a rather atrocious kitty cup, considered so ugly that it was cute.

Late in the afternoon, a woman found us and asked if the two matched Hershey’s cups were still there. They were her husband’s favorites. She had only found this out after giving them away. Now she was on a mission to retrieve them. Unfortunately for her, one cup had been taken but the second was still there. Quickly she made the $5 donation, writing out a check. While the volunteers at the booth sympathized with her situation, they joked that they should have held that Hershey’s cup hostage for more.

A surprising number of people who stopped by to look over the display and chat, commented that they had seen the notice and had meant to go through their cupboard, and donate some for the cause. One woman exclaimed that she had a hundred cups she could have given us!

We considered the day a success as it took far fewer boxes to pack up the remains than were needed to haul them all into the Primary School that morning. We were determined that these, too, would find homes before the New Year arrived.

To that end, everyone on my Christmas list would be getting a donated cup filled with some tasty ingredients. However, I decided to add one more very essential item that we had not included during the Bazaar. This would be a tiny bottle of Kahlua, or perhaps Irish Cream, for an even jollier holiday! -cje