By Ashley Lodato
Methow Valley people always love it when a hometown kid gets famous, or even better: semi-famous. The Aly Rae music video that has been circulating amongst those who knew Alyson Eckmann when she was growing up in Winthrop may have found its way to your inbox recently and if so, you may recognize a star on the rise.
I didn’t know Aly when she was a kid, but she was apparently always a singer and actor, with performances ranging from Annie in the Methow to Seussical in Omak to Cats in Seattle to singing gigs with Terry Hunt’s jazz band in junior high.
Aly learned Mexican Spanish at a language school in Puerto Vallarta and then Castilian Spanish (inspired in part by a summer spent working with two Spaniards at the Mazama Store). A job as a nanny in Madrid followed, where she fully immersed herself in Spanish life and met a lot of people. One thing led to another and a now-fluent Aly found herself on a radio show, a reality TV show, and then a late night talk show. She performed as the opening act for singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti at his Madrid and Barcelona shows, and then Savoretti’s producer sponsored Aly’s music video. You can check it out on YouTube (Aly Rae — Day After Day) or buy it on iTunes.
Aly came home to the Methow for Christmas after three-and-a-half years out of the United States, and those who knew her back when — those who were well aware of how much she hated (“put ‘HATED’ in caps,” her mom Anne Eckmann says) Nordic skiing — found great humor and satisfaction in the fact that she spent much of the vacation skiing and LOVED it. You can take the kid out of the Methow but you can’t take the Methow out of the kid, I guess.
Another thing we could take out of the Methow is all the trash littering the sides of the roads, newly revealed when the snow melted, and in burn areas where lots of old trash was uncovered after last summer’s fires. Next week is Earth Week and if we all take to the streets with our wheelbarrows and wagons, we can have those cans, bottles, butts, and other random detritus packed up in a jiffy. Methow Recycles tells me that last year we tidied up 62 miles of roadway and they’re encouraging us to beat that record this year. Don’t forget to separate the recyclables and save big pieces of metal for May’s metal drive.