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Lucinda Breeding

Larry Simmons, a retired Dentist who lives in Argyle, shared a story about Fort Worth music icon Van Cliburn. Simmons' mother, Linadine, was a piano teacher. She attended a music club concert in Lufkin, and the soloist was none other than 14-year-old Harvey Lavan "Van" Cliburn. After the piano recital, Simmons said his mother chatted with Van's mother and first piano teacher, Rildia. Linadine suggested Rildia "find him a strict German piano teacher," Simmons said. Cliburn eventually studied under a Russian teacher before enrolling at the Juilliard School

We have a nagging curiosity in the newsroom about which Denton resident is behind the Dentonaut handle on Twitter. We think he might have once played in an excellent, once-defunct Denton band called the Hope Trust. Are we getting warm, Dentonaut?

Mike Barrow, the managing director of Denton Community Theatre, said he enjoys working with the road crew for the company when it competes in the biennial American Association of Community Theatres' AACTFest. He was a crew member for Driving Miss Daisy, which cleaned up awards and advanced to the regional level of the national play festival last Saturday. Barrow joked about his task on the crew. "You might not know this, but I roll a payphone on and off the stage. I think that really put it over the top," he said. Check out the award the company won here:

Denton City Council member Kathleen Wazny's house in the 9100 block of Perimeter Street is for sale. Wazny isn't running for re-election in District 3. Wazny and her husband, Ray, have lived there — part of the Robson Ranch retirement community — since 2006.

It was just a matter of time. The adult coloring book phenomenon has gone biblical. A publisher called Design Originals has a brand-new line of books that help adults color. In the margins of a Bible. Adults need lessons on coloring? See for yourself:

The Dallas Observer caught up with Oaktopia co-founder Matt Battaglia for a story about the uncertainty around the award-winning festival. (To recap: Oaktopia will happen, but it might happen in Deep Ellum in Dallas.) Writer Jeff Gage said the open-ended question is another domino that has fallen (between venue closures and the second hiatus of 35 Denton). The headline, though, poses the festival's possible move as "trouble for Denton's music scene." 

But not to worry, folks. There was a music scene before Oaktopia, and there will be one if the fest moves to Dallas for a year. Denton doesn't lack a music scene. It lacks a sustainable music economy that supports full-time, professional yet indie musicians. And Denton might be all right with a scene instead of a local music industry. 

Speaking of festivals, Denton Parks & Recreation advised the City Council to decline a noise ordinance exception for the upcoming Ashes 420 Festival. The event is slated for 11 a.m. to midnight April 20 in the 400 block of South Carroll Boulevard. This marks the third year Ashes Smoke Shop has staged the one-day music fest. Last year, the Denton Police Department got seven citizen complaints about noise and asked festival organizers to pull the plug on the music at 11 p.m. The City Council accepted the department's recommendation. The council hasn't typically denied these noise exemptions in the past. 

Did you see a lean man wearing nothing but a Speedo-style bathing suit on the Square over the weekend? Was he doing a side-to-side shuffle, yelling "fart your heart!"? Did he chicken-cluck at you? That was none other than New York street performer Matt Silver, who has earned a following for his lighthearted and odd antics. His bushy hair and beard were tailor-made for Denton. He's regarded as a philosopher by some, a performance artist by others and an oddity by many. 

Gentlemen? Lean in closely and listen to the moral of the story in this true tale by Denton resident Connie Lane. A salesman came into Impressions, the shop on the Square where Lane works. He was peddling makeup and hair products. According to Lane, he said: "Hello, ma'am. Do you ever style your hair or wear makeup?" Her response: "Well, obviously not very well if you have to ask." 

If you didn't catch the message of this story, you might rethink talking to women. 

We mentioned City Council member Kevin Roden inviting residents to a candidate forum all about "Big Ideas." Here's who either didn't have big ideas, or who weren't ready to discuss them: District 4 candidate John Ryan, District 1 candidate Gerard Hudspeth, District 3 candidates Jason Cole and Don Duff.  That's half the active candidates. 

Denton's Day of the Dead Festival gave $1,000 to the Tri-County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. The donation will be used for scholarships given by the chamber, whose coverage area includes Denton County. The chamber is a presenting partner of the annual free festival. The festival board donates money to a select nonprofit every year. 

Parting Shot

"I'm not a big media press access person. I personally don't need it."  — Secretary of State and Bartonville resident Rex W. Tillerson, to the sole reporter permitted on his plane to South Korea

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