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Clearwater Valley News: Talent great at Christmas show

Free Press / Norma Staaf
Alice Humphrey performs at the 2016 Old Fashioned Christmas Variety Show at the Old Opera House Theatre in Kooskia.

Free Press / Norma Staaf Alice Humphrey performs at the 2016 Old Fashioned Christmas Variety Show at the Old Opera House Theatre in Kooskia.


Norma Staaf 208-993-0689

— As I write this, I’m still high from watching the Kooskia Opera House’s Christmas variety show. The joyful buzz as we entered the Kooskia Opera House, the women dressed in sparkling holiday dresses, the festive decorations, and the audience sing-alongs of familiar tunes all got me in the Christmas spirit. The wonderful acts are too numerous to mention but I’ll name a few highlights. A delightful Christmas medley marked the debut performance by guitarists Kaylee and Josie Graves, ages 10 and 8, with their teacher, Marilyn Cook, rounding out the trio. Alice Humphrey’s animated saxophone playing rocked the house in a number of songs including Santa Claus is coming to Town and Christmas in Tennessee Polka. Karen Swearingen’s corny Santa jokes kept the audience engaged in the breaks between performers. Adeline Galm’s skilled piano playing seamlessly backed up many of the performers. Rick Tousley’s performances ranged from an Ebenezer Scrooge impersonation to a beautiful Christmas version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Misty Dawn Taylor’s clear lovely voice in her rendition of O Holy Night brought tears to my eyes. Thanks to Mike and Marcia Graves for hosting this 20th annual event.

If you want to hear some live eclectic blues music on New Year’s Eve, head to the Kamiah Hotel for Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method. One of the Pacific Northwest’s most highly awarded blues artists, Polly sings and plays bass. Her trio includes a drummer, Tommy Cook and guitar player David Miller. The Washington-based group has won a number of awards, including Washington Blues Society best female vocalist and best album. Contact the Kamiah Hotel at 935-0545 for details.

Did you get a new cell phone, iPad or laptop computer for Christmas? Do you know you can recycle your old electronic devices as e-waste? Check the list of acceptable e-waste on the Idaho County recycling website at under new e-waste program. (No televisions or desktop computers). The Kooskia recycling center is open Saturdays 10:00 A.M. until noon.

Do you need to make room for the new stuff you got for Christmas? The day after Christmas is called Boxing Day in England. There is a centuries-old tradition there of boxing up things to share with others who may need them. If you’re cleaning out your closets, clothes, sporting goods, housewares, even furniture can be donated to a thrift store such as Loving Hands (Highway 12 between Kooskia and Kamiah) or to a church rummage sale. Instead of taking up room at your place, you can get it to someone who can use it. With January almost here, I am waiting to see if “Lucky” changes his sign at the south end of town. Peace and Happy New Year!

Wishing you peace in the New Year!


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