If you’ve been in the Denver metro area for a while, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the name Bruce Randolph at least one or twice. You might recognize it as a street name, the name of a school, or maybe from President Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union. But people who knew the restauranteur and philanthropist - affectionally known as “Daddy Bruce” - best remember him for his kindness and generosity.
Those are the qualities highlighted in the documentary “Keep A Light in Your Window,” which is making its broadcast premiere on Rocky Mountain PBS at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19. The film will also be shown at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22, 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26 and 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27.
“Lots of stories and information for this film was gathered from his family and the people who knew him directly,” said Ronald Wooding of Peoples’ Production Company LLC, producer of the documentary. “It’s been 18 years of working with the Daddy Bruce legacy, sharing and finding stories and learning about the richness he invested in the community.”
Randolph was born in 1900 and opened his first restaurant in Denver on the corner of Gilpin Street and East 34th Avenue in 1963, Wooding said. His restaurant grew in popularity, thanks in no small part to the BBQ recipe he was given by his grandmother - an ex-slave living in Arkansas. The restaurant became a popular spot for all kinds of people, and when he started bringing food up to the Denver Broncos’ practice facility in Greeley, he had fans for life.
“He became friends with Pat Bowlen and would even travel with the Broncos — they called him their 12th man,” Wooding said. “He was like a magnet, always drawing people in.”
A deeply religious man (another gift from his grandmother), Wooding said Randolph wanted to emulate Jesus by feeding at least 5,000 people and that mission just kept on growing, even after his death at age 94. Randolph started an annual Thanksgiving food distribution event that’s been going for 56 years, feeding up to 10,000 families this year alone. The Epworth Foundation is currently hosting the distribution event and is always looking for donations and volunteers - particularly so this year, when COVID-19 has decimated so many lives.
“Bruce had this saying that nothing beats love — he just believed in people and helping people,” Wooding said. “Right now, with the pandemic going on, that’s what we all have to do. We all have to sacrifice and reach out to other people, because it’s not just about feeding them — it’s about how we treat others in our everyday life.”
For information about how to access the Rocky Mountain PBS channel in a specific area, please visit www.rmpbs.org/channels/. And those who want to support the Epworth Foundation can find details at www.epworthfoundation.org/.
‘The Nutcracker’ dances onto RMPBS
The Colorado Ballet’s annual production of “The Nutcracker,” presented by PNC Bank, will air on RMPBS on the following dates and times: 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26; 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27; 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18; 1 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19; 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24; and midnight on Friday, Dec. 25.
The production also may be streamed for free throughout the holiday season on the Rocky Mountain PBS app, downloadable at https://www.rmpbs.org/pbs-video-app/.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week - Patty Griffin from The Continental Club
If you’ve ever heard Patty Griffin sing, you know when she really digs in, she has the kind of voice that can blow the walls of a place. Her takes on gospel, folk, blues and rock always feel vibrantly alive and brimming with emotion.
Like so many of us, Griffin is worried about our beloved music venues, many of which we could lose due to the COVID-19 shutdown. To help keep 18 venues afloat during this extraordinarily challenging time, she’ll be doing a livestream performance at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 and Dec. 5. Both shows will be broadcast from The Continental Club in Austin, Texas.
Get tickets to one - or both - shows at https://boxoffice.mandolin.com/pages/patty-griffin-live-from-the-continental-club.
Streaming style - Lounge Around Sounds Variety Hour
Boston’s Lake Street Dive specialize in a kind of modern nostalgia that can hit right in the heart if you’re open to it. That familiar feeling one gets from their music is a perfect fit for holidays, and they’re going beyond music with their Lounge Around Sounds Variety Hour: THANKSforGIVING event.
The livestreamed event will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23 and will feature music, Thanksgiving dishes and cooking tips from Phil Rosenthal, host of Netflix’s “Somebody Feed Phil,” discussions and a surprise or two.
All the information and tickets for this event can be found at Onlocationlive.com/category/loungearoundsounds3.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture apears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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