The Odessa Record -

Harrington news

Opera House news and celebration of 25th anniversary; Post & Office opens


October 12, 2017

Opera House Society

Billie Herron opened the October 2 meeting with Linda Wagner, Ed and Bunny Haugan, Mark and Sheryl Stedman, Cade and Bonnee Clarke, Gordon Herron, Carol, and Karen Robertson in attendance. Following reading of the minutes and the treasurer's report, remarks were made concerning the completion of building tasks for the Anniversary Celebration on October 15. Bonnee Clarke offered assistance with projects for teens. Black-out curtains were determined to be needed for the south windows of the auditorium before the performance. Heather Safe's piano schedule is full, and art lessons continue. The piano tuner will come on October 12, tuning both the grand piano and the piano in the Art Room.

Dr. Graves will rehearse on Saturday and perform Sunday. We were reminded of her prior performance here when she instructed the audience to rise and sit to the tune of merry-go-round music.

The Society is hosting a Community Forum October 23 at 7 p.m. Then on October 28, there will be a night of UFO mysteries with Maureen Morgan, 'Unraveling a Mystery, UFOs and ETs in Ancient Art." She will be followed by Peter Davenport, ufologist. The group voted to purchase a 6' x 10' screen for future engagements.

25th Anniversary


A 25th Anniversary Celebration will be held Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m., with Dr. Jody Graves performing.

In 1992, a group was organized who took on the name of the Harrington Opera House Society, and with the meager payment, acquired the deed to the south half of the 1904 Bank Block. The thought then was that the building closed for good in 1954. Their first goal was the roof repair and the second was to get the building on the National Register of Historic Places. For 25 years the changing membership of the Society has moved from one goal to the next, and even tackled some projects that were not expressed as goals. In 1994, some of the more vocal members were quoted in the Spokesman Review, including Margaret Kupers, Tom Fitzpatrick, Paul and Gail Turner. They spoke with great enthusiasm, particularly since they had a bed and breakfast in town in the former Bethel mansion, and Jacquie and Morris Hendricks operated it as a four-room inn. That is now gone.

The multitude of projects that occurred over the 25 years should be documented somewhere other than via the calluses of the Society members. Wood and wallboard, lights and pipes, doors and windows, piece after piece, until at last, the building acquired an elevator, and a grand piano was placed upon the stage. Far from perfect, the building has attained a measure of completeness, and entertainments are scheduled during most of the year. In 2016, the Society president's report highlighted the three-foot snow drift in the auditorium when the society began its dream. Over the 25 years, the report stated that over $720,000 cash had been spent on the building, thankfully $347,290 was in grants.

One of the highest goals of the Harrington Opera House is to provide a venue for talented musicians to perform. It is with great pride and pleasure that the Society announces the coming attraction of Dr. Jody Graves to play Sunday, Oct 15. A reception from 2:30 to 3 will precede the performance entitled "Celebration of the Piano." She is a professional pianist and professor at EWU and thrives on engaging her audience during concerts "with anecdotes, historical perspectives and humor."

Post & Office

With the delayed permits in hand, the Slack family held a Grand Opening on Saturday, October 7, for their new enterprise, The Post and Office. This writer arrived in the afternoon to find standing room only for a period of time. Owners, Justin and Heather Slack, were two busy entrepreneurs getting totally immersed in their new roles in Post and Office. Completely renovated, the front portion of the building is set up for Wi-Fi use, coffee or tea and food, and areas for relaxing and socializing. As this writer walked in, to the left were the Christianson family, teachers, and to the right were the Bradfords, ensuring that the Slacks knew that the school and its employees were supportive of the enterprise. Both couples with their families were enjoying the beautiful sunshine that flowed through windows, old and new. The small paned window frames above the main windows were restored to their original frames. Heather had been seen countless times on scaffolding, working on the windows and frames, trying to prevent any from breaking.

The counter set off the Slack's kitchen work area from the main of the room, and the right portion of that counter was originally in Hal Turner's insurance office. Beautifully restored, it was combined with wainscoting from an old school building. For more than an hour, a constant line of customers approached the counter with orders for coffee, lattes, cookies, etc. A tall narrow cabinet sat just in back of the long counter, a divider cupboard, previously used for sorting mail in the Krupp Post Office at Marlin, on loan from Bunny Haugan, whose mother was postmaster.

The wood for the internet counter on the south wall and behind the light fixtures above the Internet counter are from the Moellering Bros.' tack room and barn in the Lamona district, donated by the Kramer family. In the middle of the room were two long tables with chairs. Here were recognized Karen Allen (owner of the Hotel Lincoln), Leonard (historical photographer) and Karen Robertson (webmaster) and Rodney Aho (historian). Seen at the next table were Linda Wagner (Opera House Society secretary), her mother, Mrs. Lillian Lyle, and two friends. Linda was quick to state that this was her second trip of the day to share in the spectacular Grand Opening.

On the counter near the coffee machine was a beautiful arrangement of flowers, compliments of Harrington Truck and Auto and MIKATEC, well-wishes from fellow business owners. A sampling of their prices follows: Espresso: $1.75; Drip Coffee (sm) $1.75; (lg) $2.25; Pour-Over $2.75; Americano (sm) $2.25), (lg) $2.75; Latte (sm) $3.00, (lg) $3.50; Breakfast sandwich $3.50; Scones $2.50; Muffins $1.50; Cookies $2.25.


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