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Rotary Casino Night: Hollywood or Pagosa?

By John Duvall
Special to The PREVIEW

Fast forward to the future:  It’s Saturday night, Feb. 2. I’ve just walked into the Ross Aragon Community Center. The place is Hollywood glitz to the max. Have to check out what all the fuss is about. It’s “Hollywood Mania” tonight at Rotary’s annual Casino Night.  Hollywood celebrities all over the place. Costumed Pagosans or the real thing?

Hard to tell.

Some people dancing; some people playing blackjack; other people making silent auction bids on fabulous trips and other stuff I’d like to have.

Making some absolutely bizarre moves on the dance floor is the Dancing Queen, Meryl Stree ,  from the hit movie  “Mama Mia.” Man, this really is Hollywood! This babe’s got more moves than Johnny Football. For just a moment, I thought this dancing machine might be Kim Moore from Pagosa’s Exit Realty.  Whoever it is, she’s going to need a really good chiropractor before this night’s over.

She just swooped by a table occupied by a rather serious-looking Gregory Peck. Or, more precisely, Atticus Finch from “To Kill A Mockingbird.”  And yet, he bears a strong resemblance to Bob Goodman. Tall, dignified and ready to slip you into one of those wonderful Pendleton coats and a pair of Sorels that’ll keep your toes warm at 50-below zero.

The dance floor is getting more crowded now. I’ve just spotted Bette Midler as her character from the movie, “The Rose,” but with a few very creative twists and turns — the kind that Boss Hogg’s Joanie Gardner often makes during catfish Fridays.

Now it’s getting really interesting. No doubt about it: There’s the young Ingrid Bergman of “Casablanca” fame. Looking like a million bucks. Or maybe that’s really Jann Pitcher looking every bit like two million bucks. Sometimes it’s just hard to tell the difference between Ingrid and Jann.

I’m starting to like this Hollywood Mania a bit too much. But, wait, there’s more!

I’ve just spotted a young and slender John Wayne in the get-up from his classic 1930s hit movie, “Stagecoach.” The Duke looking just like you see in the photos hanging on the wall at the downtown Pagosa restaurant, The Rose. If it weren’t for the cowboy duds, I’d swear that was Scott Anderson — coach of Pagosa Springs High School’s cross country team. Maybe I should ask whether he thinks I need an adjustment. That should settle it.

Sitting alone in a corner is the very enigmatic, intriguing and mysterious Greta Garbo, muttering to herself  the most famous line from the classic flick “Grand Hotel” (“I vant to be alone”). And yet, something tells me that it’s the equally loquacious and intrigu ing SUN columnist Susan Neder. Whichever. They’re equally fascinating.

As the evening wears on, the pace is quickening. This whole event is just a little too much fun. And I’m feeling guilty, since I plunked down $40 to get in and all I wanted was to do my own small part towards providing scholarship money for Pagosa Springs High School students heading off to college this fall. This Hollywood Mania party has turned into the best $40 I’ve spent in a long time.

I wonder if the rest of Pagosa knows that everybody’s invited and that it’s four hours of non-stop craziness from 6 until 10?

Should I return to the present, or would I just prefer to stay here in the Feb. 2 future.

Tough choice.

This story was posted on January 24, 2013.