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.

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Past Columns
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

Sound of Soundings:

September 25, 2019

News of brews

September 18, 2019

Sex In The City:

September 11, 2019

While I was sleeping:

September 4, 2019

Little in the middle

August 28, 2019

Into the woods

August 21, 2019

Bands at Barkley

August 14, 2019

Ready, Fight!

August 7, 2019

Rock and Vote

July 31, 2019

The longest night

July 24, 2019

Events
Today
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Sedro-Woolley Community Center

NSEA Work Party

9:00am

Sumas Book Club

10:00am|Sumas Library

Fairhaven Winterfest

10:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Winter Faire

10:00am|Whatcom Hills Waldorf School

Old-Fashioned Christmas Market

10:00am|Friday Harbor Brickworks

Winter Arts & Crafts Festival

10:00am|Pioneer Park Pavilion

Your Life is a Story Writers Group

10:30am| South Whatcom Library

Award-Winning Book Club

10:30am|Lynden Library

Mastering Wisteria

10:30am|Full Bloom Farm

Snow Geese of Skagit

10:30am|Christianson's Nursery

Saltadena Celebration

11:00am|Saltadena Bakery

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

Holiday Craft Bazaars

11:30am

Holiday Maker's Market

12:00pm|Terramar Brewing and Distilling

Holiday Tea and Crafts

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Holiday Joy with Fidalgo Youth Symphony

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Festive Feasting Reception

1:00pm|Good Earth Pottery

Teen Art Fair

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Big Holiday reds tasting

2:00pm|eifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Shrinking the Worry Monster

2:00pm|Village Books

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Bowman Bay Holiday

3:00pm|Bowman Bay

A Deep Dive Into Eve Deisher's Psyche

3:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Noel Ensemble

3:00pm|Jansen Art Center

One Meditation

4:00pm| Boulevard Park

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Holiday History Hi-Jinks

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Early Railroads of Whatcom County

7:00pm|Village Books

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Center Into Solstice

7:00pm|Cafe Blue

Winter Solstice Concert with SeaMuse

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

The Kelley World Tour

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Cidertails with Alexine Langdon

7:30pm|housand Acre Cider House

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tomorrow
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Celtic Yuletide

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Scarlett and Dicey

4:00pm|Village Books

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

Monday
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Whatcom Flute Ensemble

3:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

MVHS Winter Concert

4:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Community Soup Kitchen

6:00pm|Little Cheerful Cafe

Avalanche Awareness with NWAC

6:00pm|REI

Poetrynight

7:00pm|Alternative Library

Guffawingham

9:00pm|Firefly Lounge

see our complete calendar »