Doak Walker Center treated to tunes |

Doak Walker Center treated to tunes

Kelly Silva

— Residents of Doak Walker Extended Care Center found themselves tapping their feet, singing and clapping to western folk music from fiddle player Jesse Burns and guitarist Gib Manzanares Friday morning.

As part of the Art for Seniors program under the docent program of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, Deb Babcock took over for Ann Perry this month to provide music to the residents of Doak Walker.

About five children from the GrandKids Child Care Center walked into the commons area of Doak Walker to listen amongst a group of about 20 residents.

“They were relaxed and sleeping and then we saw them kind of perk up,” Burns said. “Their eyes lit up and their feet started tapping. The lady next to us was singing along.”

The musicians played about 10 songs for more than one-half hour and ended with John Denver’s “Country Road.” Burns and Manzanares had only played together once before but from the looks of the audience around them, no one could tell.

Burns mentioned that her German fiddle was about 220 years old and had been passed down through the family to her.

“I love it. It’s my best friend,” Burns said about her fiddle.

“This is so great. We played for dogs, kids and seniors,” Burns said.

Residents and children clapped for Burns and Manzanares while Babcock took photographs.

“I didn’t even know he did this,” Babcock said of Manzanares who owns Colorado Heating and Plumbing.

Manzanares said it’s great to give back to the community in a way that helps people.

“And it’s a nice break in the day,” Manzanares said.

Burns’ regular job is with Strings in the Mountains. Perry was affiliated with Strings but has recently moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo.; hence the reason for Babcock’s organization.

Babcock said the Art for Seniors program tries to bring in a variety of entertainment for the residents. Last month, Diana Eilers organized a Pooch Parade and in September, residents heard storyteller Maribeth Cate.

“To give them some high-level culture is really nice,” Babcock said. “As you can see, most of them are wheelchair-bound and that makes it very hard for them to get out.”

Babcock said everyone the docent program contacted has been eager to participate in entertaining the residents of Doak Walker.

Other Art for Seniors presentations have included Hayden weaver Lauretta Davidson, Shining Mountain Repertory, mountain man Hawkin Ludlum, Central City Opera, Randy Kelley and the Dahlia Quartet.

The docent program at the Depot Art Center consists of 15 people who have endured special training in 10 areas of the arts and have committed their time to serving in the art community.

Docent responsibilities include staffing the Depot, assisting art sales, jurying and hanging exhibitions and interpreting and explaining various shows.

The first instructional docent classes began in fall 2000.

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