Monday, May 11, 2009

Party in the Hood

It's not uncommon for people to ask plaintively - "But what is there to DO in Magdalena?"

Well, if you're looking for the nightclub scene or pro-sports, you'd be better off elsewhere. We make our own fun here.

Last weekend Magdalena Steel (formerly Magdalena Steel Chicks but they have some roosters now) held a fundraiser party at the home of one of the organizers to send a promising young musician to a music school out of state. I don't have the details off the top of my head but here's how it all went down from my perspective.

Linda Mansell lives across the street from me. A few years ago, when the late and noted steel pan musician Bill Smiley moved to town, Linda learned to play the steel drum and organized a group of local girls and women to also learn and perform. Huge hit! Bill is gone now but he lives on in Magdalena Steel. Linda continues to work with young musicians (not just drums, there's singing, song-writing and guitar picking, too). Lots of other people are involved, too. I don't want to minimize them but Linda is the driving force and the P-A-R-T-Y was her doing.

Linda hosted a huge BBQ (she did all the cooking - fantastic!), talked another band , Liquid Cheese into playing later (for free or cheap, I'm sure) and set up a donation jar near the beer.

The front-runner for receiving the scholarship money is Lexy Pettis. She's a graduating senior here in Magdalena. She sang her own song "Missing You". Beautiful folky thing that made me mist up. Played the guitar better than I ever will, too and she's only a first year player. That's Lexy in the photo.

Anyway, I don't know what the take ended up being but the jar was looking pretty good when I walked back across the street early on. The party went on till the wee hours. Yeah, it was a tad noisy but all for a good cause. If I hadn't been so wiped out from the preceding week, I'd have gone back and danced...although the amount of Linda's Jungle Juice it would take to get my uncoordinated self to dance in public is perilously close to the amount it would take to get me passed out in a flower bed. Maybe it's better I didn't.

Actually quite a lot of stuff goes on in Magdalena but it's mostly us doing it. Once you get to know people - and that doesn't usually take long - you can easily end up trying to juggle multiple things on any given summer weekend. If you just want to veg out on the weekend, try Albuquerque.

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