Sally Gracie TwispBy Sally Gracie

Except for some unpleasant fire-related smog, the only great drama on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 10) was the final performance of William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night at The Merc Playhouse. Local fires and a lack of electricity had mandated cancelling five of the 11 previously-scheduled performances.

Director Ki Gottberg gathered her troupe of actors from both sides of the mountains, and as far as Sunday’s audience was concerned, the valley bunch more than held their own with the pros. That Ki cast Sir Toby Belch, Malvolio and Feste the Fool with valley talent had much to do with the play’s success. Who knew that my newspapering editor/publisher Don Nelson has a genius for comedy, which he revealed as the tipsy prankster Sir Toby Belch. Chris Behrens brought the house down with his verbal histrionics and physical antics when he is fooled into believing that his mistress Olivia loves him. Mandi Smith is gifted beyond her talent as a baker at the Mazama Store; the play showed her to be gifted at comedy and song as well. Other cast members drawn from valley talent were Rob Brooks (requiting himself well despite being thrust into the part at the last minute), Doran Doran, Amelia Eberline, Dave Gottula and Robert Nelson. Bravo!

Renda Grim, left, and Katie Bristol kept the coffee and goodies coming during the recent power outage. Photo by Sally Gracie

Renda Grim, left, and Katie Bristol kept the coffee and goodies coming during the recent power outage. Photo by Sally Gracie

Early Friday morning on the first full day after the power went out, Katie Bristol moved the Cinnamon Twisp Bakery out to the street, serving coffee and sweets from tables set up on the sidewalk to whomever stopped by from about 7 – 11 a.m. By Friday, Katie’s generator was cooling two freezers and the fridge and “leaving just enough juice to run the coffee maker,” she said.

“It’s not about business,” Katie said. And, for me, it wasn’t (entirely) about the coffee either. Katie used the “C” words: connection, comfort and community. Gathering at the bakery was comforting as we connected with out neighbors, sharing information and calming our anxieties. There has been lots of talk since the fires about our community, and Katie encouraged the community to gather right there on Glover Street.

Initially, Katie and Dara Farmer or Renda Grim used up the bakery’s inventory of goodies. Later in the week, Katie and others donned headlamps to complete the prep work in the darkened bakery, then ran over to the Methow Valley Inn to do the baking in their propane oven. Boo the baker from Balky Hill (sorry about the last name but no one seems to know for sure) created mini cinnamon Twisps and other delights. Those who could make donations know their money went to the temporarily unemployed bakery staff.

On a sad note, I learned today (Aug. 11) that Kim Cazneau has passed away. The last time I saw Kim was at Katie’s outdoor bakery. Years ago, Kim and I were cohorts at Idle-a-While Motel in Twisp. We had a good old time together, scrubbing kitchens and baths, each of us talking as much as the other. I didn’t last long, and when I was fired, Kim kept on there and later worked at a motel in Winthrop. I know that Kim didn’t have an easy life, but wherever I saw her — at the library, Hank’s Harvest Foods or Cinnamon Twisp last week — she always had something hopeful and positive to say to me.