Denton Dammit

Santa’s elves work all year round. Just ask the good folks who assemble in the Denton Senior Center craft room every Tuesday morning. About 24 locals who call themselves the Knit-Wits and Happy Hookers have spent countless hours knitting, crocheting or weaving at a circular loom. They make hats, scarves, baby blankets, shawls, wraps and lap robes.

This year, they’ve made 476 hats for adults — 200 of them by one Elf called “Speedy” by her peers, according to “Counting Elf” Jacque Walston. Those hats were given to Grace Community Church for a program helping the homeless. They’ve also made: 260 children’s caps, 64 scarves, 165 baby blankets, 60 shawls, lap robes, wraps and three pair of sleep socks. The needle crafters have given their goods to Our Daily Bread, the Salvation Army, Denton Christian Preschool and Fred Moore Day Nursery School.

The chart-topping hip-hop artist 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) is coming to Lewisville. The rapper is debuting his new luxury Champagne, Le Chemin du Roi, and is doing meet-and-greets at about 11 Texas Spec’s locations to kick off the new label. Jackson will also plug his line of cognac. He’ll be at Spec’s in Lewisville from 4 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 18. The liquor store is located at 2416 S. Interstate 35E in Lewisville.

Last week in this space, we mentioned two men who shot a deer on the University of Houston-Clear Lake with a crossbow. Reader Abe Nayfa noticed something important. In last week’s column, we called the men hunters. “Those guys (please note that I did not call them men) are NOT hunters,” Nayfa wrote. “They are POACHERS! Hunters don’t break laws and poach wild game. Hunters are and always have been true conservationists.” Nayfa is correct, and we thank him for pointing that out.

Last week, Backyard on Bell closed suddenly. Almost immediately, Denton musician Jo Higginbotham set up a GoFundMe campaign to help the former staff make their bills through the holiday season. By Wednesday evening, donors had chipped in $1,500 toward a $10,000 goal. While we can’t track what happens to the money in this (or any) online crowdfunding project, you can donate here at http://bit.ly/2Los2nl.

The Brave Boys and Andy’s Bar are also presenting a Tuesday night show dubbed ”Benefit Your Own Bartenders” to bring in donations for BYOB’s ex-employees. The lineup includes five comics, Ruth Banks, Dan Danzy, Ralph Barbosa, Javoris James and Joey Johnson; two bands, the Red Death and Mutha-Falcon, and DJs Kind Beats and Something Modern. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Congratulations are in order for James D. Laney. The recently retired University of North Texas professor was named a Professor Emeritus, an honorific recognizing distinguished service. Laney was on the education faculty at UNT. We expect to see more of his work in Denton’s theater scene. Laney is an accomplished performer and a good director locally.

UNT faculty member Clark Pomerleau also got a nod from the university. The history professor won the 2020 President’s Council Service Award, given to a nominee who has served the university well.

Congratulations are also in order for Ben and Haley Lytle, founders of Cryptozoology, the coffee shop inside Armadillo Ale Works. Food & Wine recently numbered Cryptozoology among the Best Coffee Shops in America. Ben Lytle was a finalist for the U.S. Coffee Championships Brewers Cup in 2016, and Haley Lytle was a barista at Denton’s Shift Coffee, which recently closed. Here’s how we know the pair crafts a cuppa worth savoring: We sampled a coffee made with — get this — charcoal. We were dubious, but it was dark, subtle and nutty. A nice surprise, and not fussy, either. (We’re a fan of fussy coffee, too.)

Parting Shot

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

— Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, 13th century Persian poet, Islamic dervish and Sufi mystic

Denton Dammit is an old-fashioned gossip column about people, places and things in and around Denton. Send your submissions to Lucinda Breeding at cbreeding@dentonrc.com.

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