From P-Town… Books, Bands, Booze and More!

1. Kendra Larson, Art Curator for Orlo, working the door with a stash of holiday pizazz. 2. Tom Webb, Bear Deluxe Editor-in-Chief, recaps the party options (sketch artist, etc.) and pulls a few raffle tickets. 3. Just outside the spotlight, Evyn Oliver landscaped the air with the dreamy sounds I’ve heard near moments of exhaustion and later recalled as modern spirituals.

Friends of the Bear gathered and performed at Zoomtopia in SE Portland for Orlo’s 19th annual holiday party last Saturday. If all of your friends are some type of creative performer and you remind them to come because they’ll have an audience and you’re providing some drinks, you will be rewarded with this type of party.

The Bear Deluxe is just one of many outlets for Orlo to explore environmental issues through creative arts, so the party boasted a jam-packed, eclectic, four-hour line-up of entertainment, plus everyone’s supportive friends.

1. Friends of the Bear, Cara and Kathryn, with Roger Peet, who contributed art to the silent auction, as well as issue 31 of Bear Deluxe. 2. While Oliver changed guitars, Nate was kind enough to oblige a few pics. Christopher described himself as the guy you can take to church and allowed me to capture “the look” which is not seen here. I’m going to sell it on eBay to buy Christmas presents.

My friend and I showed up just after Wild Willa Interpretive Dance, and just before Evyn Oliver took the floor, as Webb reminded us to take part in the party’s numerous offerings. One of the duel Beat readers, scheduled for later in the evening, groaned about the ugly sweater contest as he looked down to assess his inadvertent entry. I forgot to find the sketch artist who was on call from 7–9:30pm before we left. I also did not sit on Santa’s lap, despite his promise to adhere to healthy boundaries unless begged otherwise.

1. Tansey + Tarweed, an anarcha-folk doom jazz quartet, played earlier in the evening. Merlin is one of their groupies. 2. Webb and Casey Bush, Bear Deluxe Senior Editor, share the key ingredients to an awesome holiday party.

The main party room was lined with silent auction opportunities from their numerous community sponsors, including a night with a writer that required the winner to bring a bottle of red wine. There was also plenty of booze on hand for immediate consumption. To me, the bottle of vodka was more eye-catching than the keg. I received some juice, whatever was in the blender, as well as some vodka and spent the first part of Oliver’s set hoping I wouldn’t get too drunk with each sip.

We should’ve stayed longer. I like leaving a party with that feeling, but every once in awhile, I regret it. I’m pretty sure this one was fun until very, very late.


— Judith Ossello currently lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. Find her at

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