By Julie Jonas
Special to the Turnagain Times
Volcanology of Santarini, Cheese-making, or Indoor Tennis, anyone? These are just a few of the ways you can enrich what otherwise may be just another ordinary day. Of approximately 90 different classes offered by Four Valleys Community School (FVCS) this Winter/Spring session, about 85 percent are taught by volunteers. The volunteers and paid instructors have stepped up to spread their knowledge, skills and experiences with others in their community. It is about sharing enthusiasm for a certain topic with others. It’s about contributing to the quality of life that is cherished here. Through a combination of volunteer effort, public financial support through the Girdwood Board of Supervisors and the Anchorage School District, annual fundraisers, user fees, and donations, FVCS will be able to continue its mission. Please stop by the FVCS office, call 742-5317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the 27 year history of our funding and support.
One way you can support us this month is to grab your beach attire and come on out to the BEACH BLANKET BINGO fundraiser being held Sat., Feb. 9, 2008, 7:00 p.m. at the Meadows Community Center. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. if you’d like to arrive early to view the silent auction items (and decorate your table). Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. There will be prizes and fun galore!
STUMPY’S SNOWBALL BIATHLON will be held Mon., Feb. 18, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. in Moose Meadows. The Four Valleys Nordic Ski Club, ASD Healthy Futures, and Stumpy’s family organize this annual event. All ages are welcome to cross country ski around a loop (approximately 1 km) and aim snowballs at three targets….and of course, there are prizes! This is a free event, but you must register at the event that day. Dress in your favorite President’s day costume!
Our Community Theater production of “Music Man”, scheduled for late February, has been postponed until the Fall. There are about 25 parts in the play for budding and/or experienced actors and actresses, ages nine to 99. Put it on your calendar to participate in this fun, local cultural event! Stay tuned for more details.
Please call the FVCS office at 742-5317 for information or any questions you may have about Four Valleys Community School.
The Cajun Queen
Special to the Turnagain Times
Beads and coins thrown from the parade floats during Mardi Gras. So goes the phrase, “Throw me somethin” Mister.”
Mardi Gras Quick King Cake
The History of Mardi Gras: Mardi Gras came to New Orleans through its French heritage in 1699. Early explorers celebrated this French Holiday on the banks of the Mississippi River. Throughout the years, Orleanians have added to the celebration by establishing krewes (organizations) which host parades and balls. Carnival quickly became an exciting holiday for both children and adults.
Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” and of course is celebrated on that day of the week. The date can fall between February 3 and March 9 depending on the Lunar calendar, used by the Catholic Church to determine the date of Easter. Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.
The official colors for Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. These colors were chosen in 1872 by the King of Carnival, Rex. He chose these colors to stand for the following:
Purple represents justice
Green stands for faith
Gold stands for power
The Mardi Gras season begins on January 6 and continues until Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. On the Christian calendar, the twelfth day after Christmas is known as “Epiphany”, “Twelfth Night”, or “Kings Day.” It is the day the gift-bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus, and is celebrated with its own unique rituals. That is way somewhere emended in the King Cake is a small baby (about 1”) and is plastic, who ever gets the baby in their piece of cake has to bake the cake next season. So, don’t be eating to many of those cakes!
Enjoy the Mardi Gras Season, and Bona Petite.
By Roger Baty
Turnagain Times Correspondent
It is with a great certainty I tell you readers today, I have cased the greatest coffee in the town of Girdwood. Granted, there aren’t many places to choose from, and I have decidedly chosen to leave out the normal restaurants, those lacking in the fanciful $5 lattes. So what’s left?
There’s the Bake Shop, the Alpine Diner, the shack beside the bike shop, The Ice Cream Shop, the Java Haus at the Daylodge, and now the new coffee shop at Girdwood Books and News. Atmosphere must be included when deciding on a town’s best spot for coffee, not just the coffee. If you’ve found a dreamy cup of joe on a cold Monday morning, and are surrounded by an air of apprehension that tells you to drink it somewhere else, then the coffee’s taste certainly can become lacking.
I myself love to relax while I drink my coffee. If I can’t relax, the coffee becomes more like a sports drink; I down it as fast as I can before I do whatever it is I needed its magical caffeine for. If I can relax though, I sip my coffee, read a book, write a little in my notebook, and breathe. It is with ‘to each their own,’ how I sever this little comparison.
As far as my tastes go, Girdwood Books & News hits the spot with its calm and orderly atmosphere and a coffee that can’t be beat, not here anyways. When you can sit, grab a book off the shelf, drink your latte in peace and allow your receptors to open up to what is around you, it is an amazing thing.
Sipping a “whipper snapper” as they have named it, which is mocha with crème de menthe; I browse the books and listen to any conversation that goes on around me. Today the conversation is about college, which I listen to, letting great ideals formulate on my tongue, but letting the coffee wash them down instead. I am headed to Graduate school this spring, wanting to be a college professor in the long run, but settling for writer in the mean time.
Public Broadcast comes across the radio. It’s too low to make out between the lines of dialogue others are speaking to each other. The books are inspiring, many of them about Alaska, many simply meant to be inspiring by the author’s hand, about the author’s life. There are colors everywhere, designs by different illustrators and artists that out shout everything within your peripheral vision.
So I close my eyes, take a breath, take a sip and sink back into my cushy green chair. I drink a lot of coffee in this town, always sampling different kinds at different places, because my previous full time job, when I would drive back and forth throughout the town, allowed me to do it. The most respectable attribute I can identify in the bookstore’s coffee, is that it is not burnt, and it always seems a wonderful temperature when it comes off the steamer. I can taste the coffee as it is supposed to taste, and enjoy it in an environment I am completely comfortable in.
Leslie Adams/Turnagain Times
Girdwood Books and News has recently included the Girdwood Coffee Company. Customers can order their favorite specialty beverage, browse for books or just sit and enjoy the atmosphere. John Michael O’Leary (aka Gator) is one of the friendly baristas serving hot drinks.