Director Linda Carolan writes:
The e-mail arrived
unexpectedly in April. How much would it
cost to bring the Fire on the Mountain Cloggers to Raton, New Mexico in June to
perform two shows? Hot diggity dog! I dug out my trusty calculator, fired up the
map on Yahoo, and tried to figure out how many dancers could take off work, and
how many vehicles we would need. Hmmm …
740 miles one way. Needless to say, we
succeeded in our endeavors and I rounded up ten dancers and Kathy rounded up
three vehicles. Kathy Hankins, our
travel coordinator, arranged for our transportation and comfort during the
trip. It was a real hoot. We even crammed the sound system in with all
the luggage. Don’t even think of
bringing extra clothes!! But don’t
forget your clogging shoes!!
The trip itself was uneventful thanks to Jeff Davis and Bill Espinoza (with a little help from Triple A.) However, occupants of all three vehicles remarked about the memorable and thankfully brief time spent driving past the stock yards in one of the small towns in New Mexico. Apparently, the cattle were scared in more ways than one of the dark, threatening skies, and the jagged streaks of brilliant lightning slicing the horizon behind the rolling hills. The horrendous claps of thunder tested their internal fortitude, resulting in quite an atmosphere to welcome us to our neighboring state.
Other than that, the rest of our trip was peachy keen. We arrived in downtown Raton and were ushered into the antique hotel to survey our accommodations for the next few days. We observed the wooden floors, raised ceilings, footed bathtubs, antique paintings on the walls, and we saw that it was good. The dancers were especially impressed with the fact that each person got his or her very own room and bathroom, except for a couple of couples. They also liked the free food while we were there.
The historic Shuler Theater is a masterpiece. Built in 1915, it is a miniature replica of the Majestic Theater (that’s a really fancy theater in downtown San Antonio – a few years ago Fire on the Mountain even got to perform several shows LIVE there with the San Antonio Symphony – they played what we called “symphonic bluegrass” – anyway, back to the tale) and is truly a “classic Opera House.” The wooden floor resounded with our taps and the audience roared their approval. Our second show was even funner. We performed for the Western Extravaganza in downtown Raton and all the cowboys and cowgirls welcomed us royally. Sometimes we hesitate to call for volunteers during our audience participation portion of the program. This time we were almost overwhelmed as various wanna-be dancers mounted the steps to our stage. Needless to say, it was a really fun time.
After fulfilling our clogging obligations, we did sightseeing and traveled through Raton Pass into Colorado. Doris Dunphy was the tour guide, pointing out various elks, bears, rabbits, etc. during our tours.