Rumor Has It

Of love and loss:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

As if the closure of the Conway Muse were not already difficult enough, the Muse community was dealt another hard blow with the Nov. 5 death of longtime bartender Kelly Hayton after a sudden and swift illness.

Hayton is well-known to the Cascadia Weekly and its readership as the winner of multiple Best of Skagit awards in the Best Bartender category—and she’s no doubt one of the reasons the Muse itself has won far more awards than you’d think possible for a venue in a town of less than 100 people.

I never met Kelly personally, but I learned some things about her because to meet anyone who knew her was to elicit forth a vast list of reasons why she was so special to so many of you. From those of you who loved her—seemingly everyone she ever met—I know that she was personable and kind. I know that she had a smile that could welcome the whole world, and she used it generously to do just that. I know that she was an integral part of what made the Muse really pretty magical. I know that she was completely, totally loved and because of that—and for so many other reasons—losing her is unspeakably sad.

Muse owners Elfa Gisla and Tom Richardson, already dealing with the difficult decision to close their beloved venue, now must contend with the loss of their beloved bartender. In their statement about her death, they referred to Kelly as the “much-loved heart of the Conway Muse.” They went on to say, “She was the kindest, strongest, hardest working soul we have ever known, and she was dearly loved by all who knew her. The Muse staff felt Kelly was both friend and family. Our hearts and thoughts are with Kelly’s family and friends—we share your grief completely…. Rest in peace, Kelly—you will always be loved and remembered.”

But Elfa and Tom were far from the only people who remember Kelly fondly. The outpouring of grief online was instant and profound, and amid the great sadness was deep gratitude among the widespread community of folks whose lives she touched. “Lovely.” “A true beauty with a generous heart.” “Someone who brightened the day of anyone near her.” “A ray of light.” “This world needs more people like her.” “What a wonderful light she carried with her.” “The epitome of joy.”

The world can be a difficult and challenging place. We need people like Kelly to light up the dark. But I have a feeling a little piece of her light will live on in each of the many people who loved her.

Past Columns
Drink it up

February 19, 2020

Apologies in Advance

February 12, 2020

All-Ages Action

February 5, 2020

Music at the Movies

January 29, 2020

Hot in Herre

January 22, 2020

Chicken and egg:

January 15, 2020

Say It Ain’t So:

January 8, 2020

Passages:

January 1, 2020

A necessary update:

December 25, 2019

Questions and answers:

December 18, 2019

It’s Baaaack:

December 11, 2019

Of Art and Artists:

December 4, 2019

Fundraising and Family Time:

November 27, 2019

Of beginnings and endings:

November 20, 2019

Dream All Day:

November 6, 2019

News of the Muse:

October 30, 2019

But wait, there’s more:

October 23, 2019

Comings and goings:

October 16, 2019

Sing Loud:

October 9, 2019

Road to somewhere:

October 2, 2019

Events
Today
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Mapping Mountains

4:00pm|Western Library

Beginners Welcome

4:00pm|Village Books

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Wild Church

6:00pm|Marine Park

Food and Wine Pairing

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

The Slacks

7:00pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Tomorrow
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Jazz Lecture Series

2:00pm|Anacortes Public Library

Exploring Equity

2:00pm|Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

Keenan's Dinner

4:00pm|Keenan's at the Pier

Trivia Night

6:00pm|Burlington Public Library

Life Between the Pages Dinner Book Club

6:00pm|Evolve Chocolate + Cafe

A date with democracy

6:30pm

Bottle Club

6:30pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Pasta Party

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

The Woman's Hour with Elaine Weiss

6:30pm|Performing Arts Center Mainstage

Godspell

7:00pm| Burlington-Edison High School

All the Great Books (Abridged)

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

My Fair Lady

7:00pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

An Iliad

7:00pm| Firehouse Arts and Events Center

The True Cost

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Jazz and Mariachi Night

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

WWU Wind Symphony

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

House Concert with Meghan Yates and Louis Ledford

7:30pm|Chuckanut Center

Typhoon of Tenderness

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Friday
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

My Fair Lady

7:00pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

All the Great Books (Abridged)

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

Godspell

7:00pm| Burlington-Edison High School

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Typhoon of Tenderness

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Cultural Arts Festival

12:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

The Hobbit

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow, Fifty Shades of Velvet

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Comedy Night at Chair 9

9:00pm|Chair 9

see our complete calendar »