On Scene for Jan. 13

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Look around your town

When people visit and you search around town desperately for something to entertain them, you realize there are things that locals take for granted.

I find myself in the Tread of Pioneers Museum on a regular basis to write about this or that new exhibit. So I never take the time on a day off to just wander around the halls of the Tread.

The other day, when my mother was visiting, I took her to the museum and decided to look around with a fresh eye. I found myself alone in the exhibit of Edward S. Curtis photos and was reminded how lucky we are to have those pieces on permanent display.

The museum has 12 original, and some signed, photographs by Curtis. About half of them are on display.

The photos were taken in the early 1900s as Curtis traveled across the country recording cultures he thought were on their way to extinction.

The portraits are close and penetrating, and I can't tell you how long I stood in that upstairs gallery.

The photos were donated to the museum and have been professionally cleaned and framed for preservation. The collection includes some of the most sought-after images in the Curtis body of work.

Which is the long way of saying, next time you think to yourself, "Been there, done that," you should do it again.

The Mahogany dance

On any given weekend, there are two worlds at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill. There is the upstairs world, where the masses gather around the band of the day to sway or pump their arms or do the hippie dance.

And there is the world below. Where people consume beer and stare at each other. On Saturday night, I was part of the latter. The bluegrass band Oakhurst played its way in and out of the genre and in and out of my subconscious. Whenever there was a lull in our banter, I would look up long enough to see a guy throwing his hair around like some '80s metal banjo player. Between boring my friends with monologues about Irish literature, my eyes wandered between Oakhurst and the strange twisting people in the Max Damore paintings on the wall.

And because I have this whole column to fill with the things I saw and heard, and because the things I saw and heard are personal or even more boring than this, this is what you get.

Mentally masticate as much of it as you like.

-- Autumn Phillips

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