Posts made in July, 2016

Music in Northern Indiana

By on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The words “music” and “northern Indiana” appear to be one in the same this summer. As soon as the calendar turned over to announce summer nights, campfires, and fireflies, someone shouted from the heavens, “Get on your mark, get set, go!” There are two approaches to summer…sit home with the lemonade, feet up and book propped open (and, yes, dreaming does count for reading), or get on your bike and pedal as fast as you can going somewhere or nowhere. This year the sounds of music fill each evening from the cafes and pubs to the town square and park areas. If, at this moment, you are circling your head wondering who, what, when, where, then you are driving with your windows rolled up and the air conditioning humming instead of music playing. (Lucky for me, my air-conditioning went out years ago and, no, I didn’t bother fixing it.) I am of the “get on my bike and pedal as fast as you can” camp trying to decide which event to participate in during the evening hours. Sometimes I have four choices of which I must toss a dart up in the air, or rather toss an extra bean seed into the garden to see where I should go. My inboxes show the questions posed by friends and neighbors…where to tonight? Even though I am a storyteller by trade, I am a musician by longing. I spend hours sitting on my porch banging out tunes on my ukulele with my band partner, Lee. “If we practice long enough, then we will be like THEM.” I boldly spoke up at Chapman’s the other night announcing that I was in a band, and we would like to play for the crowds. The question, “Got a demo?” was asked, and I sadly shook my head and walked back to my table to listen to other groups who clearly have demos. Alas, I am not disheartened by listening to others. I love all my musician friends, follow them around, and promote their work. Last Sunday was no different as the first Folk Music Collective (first ever!) presented a concert at the Trine State Park Recreation Area. This was initially the brain child of...

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My Literary Journals were full of Announcements.

By on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

My literary journals were full of announcements, as were all the major newspapers in the world. This year, 2016, was the 400 th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare.(Supposedly he died at age 52.) Because those of us who dwell in the spoken word revel in this kind of celebration, it was no wonder that Macbeth was being performed in London! But as I continued to read through my journals I realized that folks in India, Egypt, Jordan, and Chicago were also celebrating with street fairs, readings, plays, and all kinds of literary paraphernalia (you know… buttons, shirts, ball caps…the kind of things Shakespeare would want us all to wear). It was an easy fix to bring a few celebrations to Trine University. We are the beacon of knowledge in this small town. I called my friend Tim Mooney and invited him to share his Breakneck Hamlet performance. Tim is a first class actor from Chicago who can recite Hamlet (most of it) in 59 minutes and 22 seconds. He was thrilled to come here on his way to London! We also had scholarly presentations by professors and even had a Shakesperean dinner. But was that enough? No, I said to myself, that can’t be all there is. I mean 400 years is 400 years. The idea came to me in February as the winds were blowing outside my studio. I would read Shakespeare on the square in Angola’s downtown in April! Stunning! The idea kept churning until it was decided in my most sure-I- can-do- this moment that I could read on the square at 4:00 every day for the entire month. I would read five sonnets a day and finish on April 30th . I went to see Maria Davis, who works for our downtown development and she loved the idea, although it was imperative (imperative?) that I fill out all the forms for the police, fire department, etc. I was curious as to what that had to do with my reading sonnets on the square. She looked at me and said without even batting an eye, “Crowd control.” I nodded solemnly in agreement. I was hoping she didn’t see my eyebrows shoot up. I advertised this...

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The Sandbar

By on Jul 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There’s a well-known hangout in Steuben County that’s like no other. From a distance it looks like a rag-tag armada has assembled on Lake James. The Sandbar,well-known to locals, is one of those something-for- everyone kind of places. Think tailgating meets three and a half feet of water in a good way. Okay sometimes it’s a little deeper depending on where you park. But the point is, it’s a huge party all summer long. Best of all it’s free, you’ll always find friends (whether you bring them with you or make them there), and best of all it’s open just about any time and any day of the week– though weekends are the best of all. In between the dogs in life jackets, jet skis, and barrage of foam floats, you can find everyone from bikini-clad co-eds partying it up to grandchildren and Papa barbequing on the boat. Packing a cooler before you head for the hotspot is a must. But if you don’t bring your own snacks— it’s not a problem. That’s what The Galley is for. The aquastaurant—a floating drive thru—has all sorts of beachy foods to temp the taste buds from bacon burgers, to chicken, hotdogs, and drinks. Very often live music plays on a floating stage—but even when the musicians go home there’s always plenty of music blasting. The best way to visit is in your own boat or that of a friends’. Barring that (pun intended) you can always rent a boat for the afternoon or better yet the whole day. The Corner Landing rents pontoons and fishing boats. Potawatomi Inn Beach also has a few pontoon rentals. Worse case scenario, there paddleboats for rent too. So one could always peddle on over. This is how my son and I first discovered The Sandbar about 10 years ago. Though, doing this is a last resort as rentals are timed could get expensive. But hey, it’s a way to get an up close look and make plans for a longer stay. As with most lakes, Lake James has several great little sandbars perfect for anchoring and getting out for a swim. But ‘The Sandbar’—the one that gets its own ‘the’ in front of it, is...

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