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Donating books; ‘Shrew’ costume designer has Glen Ellen roots

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Sylvia Crawford/Glen Ellen Columnist

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A pickup full of books

My grateful thanks go out this week to a trio of Sonoma helpers. I had more than 20 boxes of beautiful books I wanted to donate to this week’s library book sale and no pickup truck to transport them. I’d just about talked my Sweetie into schlepping the books in multiple trips in his tiny Toyota to our Sonoma Valley Regional Library when I remembered the brief Index-Tribune story recently offering free pick up for folks donating books to our local library.

After a quick call to the number given, which turned out to be the Schake’s home in Sonoma, they were on their way to pick up my score of heavy boxes. Wayne, the major book carrier, arrived with his Sweetie, Cecelia, and grandson, Barrett. Along with my Sweetie, the gentlemen had the truck loaded and on the way to the library in no time, while Cecelia and I gabbed. Turns out handsome grandson Barrett is an Air Force pilot, just like his Dad and Grandpa. Yep, Cecelia’s a proud grandma, and rightly so.

The one place I promise not to see you, my dear readers, is tomorrow at the Sonoma Valley Regional Library book sale. Right now, my shelves feel just lovely with a bit of open space.

 A psychedelic array

Turns out grandmothers are one of my best column sources. They love to share the good news about their grandchildren. Another happy grandmother this week was Ione Evans, who called me just about the time the paper hit the streets last Tuesday morning. In my column praising the costumes in Kate Kennedy’s “Taming of the Shrew” at Buena Vista, I’d failed to mention the talented, young costume designer.

Yep, it is Ione’s granddaughter. Grand congratulations are due to Mira Evans, talented seamstress, theatrical designer, painter, sculpture artist and all around creative lady.

At 19 years old, Mira has a clear talent in dressing folks for a colorful production. Amazingly, it was her first foray into this realm.

Janice Kobe, who is Mira’s painting teacher, heard how much Mira enjoyed creating costumes after Mira and her friend Holly Anderson attended a Santa Rosa Toy-Con as dragon forms of Batman and Magneto (in a sort of “Marvel versus DC comics,” Mira explains). Mira designed both costumes for the Toy-Con, including an elaborate paper-mache dragon head. Artist Kobe apparently told Mira, “You should work with Kate Kennedy.” Kobe introduced the two and Mira took off, designing her first entire show.

As I shared in last week’s column, the costumes for “Shrew” are the most wild and psychedelic array of eccentric, quirky clothes I’ve ever seen on stage. The costuming alone makes for a lively show, brilliant and bizarre. I promise you will be entertained … they glitter and glow like the summer of love come alive.

Mira confessed to me that she made “like a gazillion things … at least three different costumes for every character.” Given a small budget for procuring clothes, Mira and her mom, Amy Evans, scoured thrift stores from Santa Rosa to Marin. Other items they fashioned themselves from their own saved yardage. Actor Jim Kent managed to finagle the donation a neighbor’s entire collection of vintage fabrics for them.

Amy tells me that Katherine Del Chiaro’s stunning corset is made from a couple of rolls of embossed, avocado naugahyde that Amy had squirreled away for years.

Grandma Ione shared that that the two, Mira and Amy, stayed up until 2:30 and 3 a.m. for weeks getting all of the costumes ready for the show. It’s obviously paid off; it is a winning array of funk and flash. Oh yes, that flash? Mira and Amy spent hours glue-gunning reflective mirrors and sequins on the clothes. It helps them come alive under the lights.

A youngster in Glen Ellen

Mira claims she was “one of the nerds” at Rincon Valley Christian School. “I sat with the music geeks and artist geeks; still everyone was friendly.” Clearly not nerdy, Mira is obviously a talented designer and a top notch artist. Watch for her in other artistic realms.

Now a Sonoma gal, Mira arrived home to Glen Ellen as an infant. Her parents, mama, Amy, and papa, Steven, lived on the Dunbar Road ranch owned by Steven’s parents. Eventually, they moved from Glen Ellen, but I gotta believe it was here that the seed of her artistic talents first took root, though honed through the care of Debbie Orr, art teacher at Rincon Valley Christian School. Mira says Mrs. Orr challenged her to express her creative talents. That continues now under the care her current teacher Janice Kobe.

We admire Mira’s talents, applaud her success in costume design for “Shrew,” and wish her continued growth in the arts.

Starry squares

If you are interested in stitching a starry square for the 2015 Glen Ellen Village quilt, which is always an early fund-raiser for the fair, contact Marge Foster soon at 996-8864.  Marge hopes to accumulate enough star squares for the fair quilt plus a smaller wall hanging, with the theme of “Out of this World” (typifies our town).

Margie says, “Even if you think you might be interested, give me a call. It is already shaping up to be a lovely and fun quilt. The deadline for finished squares is Sept. 15.”

Starry Cinema

Justine Ashton writes with news from Glen Ellen’s Wine Country Film Festival. Showing Sept. 17 to 21 in select venues in Glen Ellen and Kenwood, there will be numerous special events complementing the films. Watching films on late summer starry nights is a real treat. Local Passes are still on sale at $85 until Sept. 1.

Aubrey Stucker of Kenwood is the festival’s volunteer coordinator. She grew up here and is doing her internship with WCFF to gain experience with event planning, marketing and film.

“I love that film brings us together in big ways, transporting us to places we’ve never seen, allowing us to see and understand people in new ways,” Aubrey says. If you have time to volunteer during or several weeks before the film festival, contact Aubrey at aubmae@gmail.com or call the WCFF office 935-3456.

Department of Corrections

Just for the record, Aaron Bremmer is a student at University of California, Merced.

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The Folks in Glen Ellen column also appears online. Look for it at www.sonomanews.com/category/lifestyle-history. Or look for my name, way at the bottom on the home page at sonomanews.com. Want to see your own name in the news? Share your stories with friends and neighbors in Glen Ellen. Call or write me at 996-5995 or P.O. Box 518, GE 95442. Or email me at Creekbottom@earthlink.net. Glen Ellen chatter rarely requires timeliness; however, if your news does, please be sure to contact me at least two weeks