Roundup: Betty Lou Cummings, Wizard Of Oz, Painting With A Twist, More

Back in the day — the mid-1950s — Betty Lou Cummings was a Michigan State University cheerleader — one of the first female cheerleaders in the entire Big Ten.

After moving to Westport, she became a cheerleader for Westport. She volunteered with a host of organizations — the Westport Library, Senior Center, CLASP Homes — and led the fall Apple Festival for 2 decades. She was elected to the Representative Town Meeting.

In the 1990s, she served as Westport’s 2nd selectman. She ran as a Republican, with Joe Arcudi.

In 2011, the Republicans gained control of several town boards and commissions, after a 14-year hiatus. “We’re back!” Betty Lou told WestportNow.

Now 86, Betty Lou Cummings still cheers for causes that are important to her. Yesterday, Michigan State played Rutgers in football. She dressed in green, gamely grinning through the bad loss.

She also cheered for her presidential candidate. But the longtime Republican is not supporting President Trump.

She’s a Joe Biden fan — as the sign outside her Saugatuck Shores home proudly shows.

In fact, the former Republican 2nd selectman is now a registered Democrat.

When Staples Players fans around the world turn in to tonight’s broadcast of “The Wizard of Oz” (6 p.m., WWPT, 90.3 FM; for the livestream, click here ), they’ll enjoy an old-fashioned radio broadcast, complete with sound effects, music and local ads.

Actors who normally perform on stage have been rehearsing — via Zoom, and occasionally together — for weeks. But other members of the high school’s award-winning troupe have been hard at work too.

Players head of computer sound effects/sound designer Brandon Malin sends along these behind-the-scenes photos. Here’s the live sound effects equipment in the WWPT-FM radio studio:

And here is the control room, where all the magic happens:

(Photos/Brandon Malin)

Painting With a Twist — the fun, quirky, do-it-yourself-together spot in the Julian’s Post Road shopping center near South Maple — is closing. Their last day after 7 years is December 12.

In a note to their fans, they say “the plaza where we are located is being converted for another use.”

They add:

We have had such fun, rewarding experiences with all of you and we carry so many happy memories of helping you celebrate your personal milestones, your festive gatherings with friends and family, and your creative nights out. We hope we have given all of you an escape from your cares and some joyful, festive time that has inspired you and uplifted your spirits.

The artists and I will all miss seeing your smiling faces and spending time in our beautiful studio, surrounded by all our colorful art and all the great music that ignites the soul.

But we still have almost 2 more months! So we hope you’ll come and enjoy some time with us. Plan your girls night out, holiday party, company team building event, date night, child’s birthday party, or just join a public class to forget your concerns and have some fun!

If you’d rather, you can paint in the comfort of home with one of our Twist at Home kits.

And finally … Jerry Jeff Walker died Friday, of complications from throat cancer. He was 78.

Best known for writing “Mr. Bojangles” after spending a night in a New Orleans drunk tank — though the song was not, as many people think, about the legendary tap dancer/actor/singer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson — Walker was also an enormously influential figure in the Austin music scene. He helped create “outlaw country,” popularized as well by Willie Nelson and others.

7 responses to “Roundup: Betty Lou Cummings, Wizard Of Oz, Painting With A Twist, More

  1. Betty Lou, I just wish Martha Aasen had lived to see this moment. I know for sure she would be as thrilled and happy as I am to see that sign for Biden in your yard. You give me gobs of hope and let’s all hope and pray that come January 20, 2021 we will be able to watch the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

  2. Happy Birthday, Betty Lou! Being a good Republican, you know this
    Republican candidate is not!

  3. Betty-Lou,

    For the decades that we have known each other, we have often shared enthusiasm for republican agendas. We both represented the party as elected officials. I now share your support for VP Biden. The republican party in Washington has been corrupted beyond recognition. I applaud you, once again. Best, Ken Bernhard

  4. Congratulations Betty Lou on putting the best interests of our country over party. Loyalty has limits and you have shown that patriotism is more important.

  5. Cheryl McKenna

    How wonderful to have a person like Betty around . She looks wonderful and especially now with a Democratic sign ! Bravo patriot

  6. Timothy H Woodruff

    Bob Yingling and I managed the 1976 Little League (National League) Majors Rockets team that featured a young Matt Cummings and his Powerhouse Mother, Betty Lou. “Mrs. Cummings” to us, could not have done one more thing to make our jobs easier as Staples seniors managing little guys in Little League. She was just such a fantastic Mother/Volunteer and Human Being! Perpetually vivacious, friendly and always eager to help, she struck me as such a wonderful, happy energetic and unselfish person! Proof positive that there are wonderful people on both sides of the political aisle!

  7. Makes sense.. Trump isn’t remotely a Republican. The only thing he cares about is himself and his own ego.