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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