Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Rocky the Rhubarbary
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Rocky the Rhubarbary

Kristi Kates - May 23rd, 2011
Why leave home to see a concert when you can have one at your own place?  That’s the spirit of the Rhubarbary Guest Concert series in Harbor Springs.
“In 2006, we put a timber frame addition on our house, which was quite a project,” Harbor Springs musician Dale Scott says with a laugh, “when we got done - we wondered why we had done it.”
Plenty of regional and national folk and jazz musicians know why. Because that addition would become one of Northern Michigan’s most unusual and intimate concert venues.
“We decided it would be the perfect spot for house concerts,” Scott says.
Scott and his wife, Maureen Scott, are well known around the region as the Peacemeal String Band, so who better to host those very concerts in the Scotts’ own house - and a concert series was born.

VISTA VIEWS
The large timber frame addition features big windows and vista views of the Scotts’ gardens, as well as their resident chickens and a small flock of sheep. Not your typical venue, true - but the Scotts, with all of their musical experience, have taken a wide range of measures to make the facilities top-notch.
“We can hold as many as 60 people,” Scott says, “and the acoustics are very good. We’ve taken all the walls out of the inside of our house so we can see and hear the performers from just about anywhere. I think it’s a very pleasing and comfortable venue.
And so do the performers. Rhubarbary Guest Concerts run May through October (except for July - “we don’t have any in July, as there are too many other things going on,” Scott says), and have featured such local favorites as Claudia Schmidt and international traveling musician Jack Williams. And sticking with that home-grown feel, the concerts are casual affairs, with chickens clucking away outdoors and cheese and crackers being shared among new friends.
“We encourage people to bring beverages and things along to eat, so we have a little snack break in between sets,” Scott explains, “and in the summer, people can walk through the gardens.”

FUN AND FUNDRAISERS
Speaking of gardens, Scott and his wife’s project does its part to benefit local charities, too, one of the most recent being for local organic gardening non-profit Farming For Our Future; when a special fundraising event isn’t being held, the door charges go to the musicians at a rate much higher than most venues would pay.
“We usually ask for a $12 donation per person for each show,” Scott says, “we keep about $50 for advertising, and the rest goes to the entertainers.”
It’s not really a money-making venture for the Scotts, he explains - “just a way to offer a pleasant venue for our friends and fellow musicians.”
The Scotts have installed a P.A. system for the musicians to use, as well, but he says that many people don’t even use it.
“Like I said, the acoustics are very good,” he enthuses, “Claudia (Schmidt) has played here three or four times, and her voice is so good she doesn’t need a sound system.”
Rhubarbary Farm’s concert room has such natural, organic acoustics that it can actually handle a wide range of musical sounds.  In addition to regular Schmidt, Scott says they’ve also had string bands, jazz musicians, and a duo of hammer dulcimer players, among others.
Upcoming shows will include vintage country musician Mary Sue Wilkinson along with Roger Brown; jazz/swing guitarist and folk singer Ray Kamalay (“he’ll be here later this summer or early in the fall,” Scott says); local guitarist Steve Little; and a return visit from Schmidt. More benefit shows are also in the works.
“In late August, we’re planning to start an annual fundraiser for the local food banks,” Scott says, “our band Peacemeal will be playing at that; we’ll try to get another local group or individual to donate their time, and then the funds will go to the food banks.”

PEACEMEAL AND PERFORMANCES
Peacemeal fans will probably wonder how often they’ll get to see Peacemeal themselves perform at Rhubarbary Farm; but according to Scott, those performances are few and far between.
“We don’t really normally perform here ourselves,” he chuckles, “we try to get jobs elsewhere, and promote other people here.”
So just how taxing is it to have that many people showing up at your house on a semi-regular basis?
“We’ve learned to do this without it being a huge imposition on our lives,” Scott explains, “the first couple of times, it was like, ‘holy cow, what have we done,’ trying to make sure everything was perfect.  But the reality is, this is where we live, and people seem to enjoy visiting our house to enjoy an evening of music.”
“Being musicians ourselves, we know it’s really nice when you can go to a place where people are really listening to you,” he continues, “they’ve showed up to hear you, they aren’t babbling in the background, and you aren’t playing as background music. It’s a nice thing, and you walk away with some cash in your pocket, too. It’s really rewarding, knowing that we’ve been able to assist the local and traveling minstrels so that they can continue to do what they do.”

Mary Sue Wildkinson and Roger Brown perform June 5 at the Rhubarbary.   For more info on the series, visit www.peacemealstringband.com (see “Upcoming Events”), or  phone   231-537-7339. All shows take place at the Scotts’ Rhubarbary Farm in Harbor Springs.
 
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