HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - merchants slogan: "We don't have it but we can get it for you."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pure Water In The Swamp - Pure Pleasure and Entertainment

I hope that Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin cherishes the gift they have in Jerry and Carol Way!  Since Jerry has retired from teaching music, he has been very active, as has his lovely wife Carol, in working on projects for the Heyde Center.

Last night I had the honor and the privelege to attend Jerry's latest composition:  "Pure Water In the Swamp", a delightful look into the more recent history of Chippewa Falls through Jerry's music and lyrics, presented by the Swampers, a group of nine accomplished musicians and singers in front of a backdrop of some breathtaking slides that demonstrated just how beautiful Chippewa Falls is.

The production was indeed a learning experience!  I hadn't known that the earliest settlers of Chippewa had begaun settling on the south side of the Chippewa Rivr in the aera that is now know as Frenchtown.

The show kicked off with "Play A Song For You" which gave each of the Swampers an opportunity a chance to shine instrumentally with a short solo from each.  With mandolin, kazoo, hand percussion, several guitars, Irish whistle, alto recorder, autoharp, acoustic bass, and violin, the Swampers were a veritable orchestra.

They played very well in ensemble and I was particularly impressed with the solos by Rob Kuchta on violin, Jerry way on guitar, and Judy Brist who switched effortlessly between Irish whistle, guitar, and alto recorder, sometimes all in one tune!

Jerry's skill as a songwriter is most impressive considering that he takes all the historical facts and presents them in great verse and song.

I was particularly impressed with "Afternon At The Gallery" as Judy Ganser narrated a wonderfully colorful slide show of Chippewa Falls artist Hugh Mandelert's paintings.  She followed that up with "Through His Eyes" whch was equally enthralling.

Jerry's sense of humor shown brightly in the finale of the first act with "The Big Flush" which took us back to 2000 and the cleaning of the well pipes to protect Chippewa's famous pure water.

There was no lagging in the second act which featured "Come On In", which got a lagging audience back to their seats, and I especially enjoyed Jerry's salute to Butch Cardinal.

The tech crew of Laura Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Ross Wilson, and Joel Wiltrout deserve kudos as well as the show ran without a hitch all evening.

Unfortunately, the show runs only two nights, so if you would like to see it, tonight would be your last chance.  I recommend it highly.  It was an evening well spent!


Yesterday I finally cajoled Kim into going over to the Eau Claire Humane Society to see if they had any kittens and we both fell in love with a brother- sister team.  One is a light "orange" tabby (male) and the other is a female gray with just a few touches of the "orange and white" under her chin and on her forehead.

So we are going to be parents again -- probably by Sunday.  We need to get the basement cleaned and dusted thoroughly before then.

Being enamored of the cartoon movie "Over The Hedge", we are thinking of naming them Hamilton (Hammy) and Stella after two of the characters from that movie.

I will post pictures as soon as they are officially family!


May as well clear the air with my feelings on the Brett Favre fiasco.  So much has been said and written that it is very difficult to know what is even true in all the stories that have transpired.  I do know that I am totally disgusted with all parties involved --  from Ted (the ego) Thompson
to Brett (the ego) Favre.

One would think that working adults would know enough to keep their mouths shut in front of the press and go forward and get everything settled behind closed doors before it is presented to the public.

Questions abound.  Did Favre really want to retire when he made the announcement last March?  Has he really been "waffling" back and forth all these months or is that just Ted Thompson planted stories?  What was said that Favre cannot forget enough to  come back and play another year in Green Bay?

I think every fan in Wisconsin knows our best chance to get anywhere near the Super Bowl is to have both Favre and Rodgers on the sidelines, given Rodgers "glass legs" of last season.

I truly doubt that he is tough enough to play the entire season unhurt.  Then what are we left with?  Two rookie quarterbacks.

So now Fave is a NY Jet.  At 38, he is a year older than head coach Mangini.

I quickly went to the Packers schedule and was glad to see that the Packers won't be facing the Jets during regular season play.  I am glad that he has moved from the NFC to the AFC where he will have to face Tom Brady twice a year.

All in all, it could have been much worse.  I don't think my heart could have survived seeing Favre run out on Lambeau field on the first Monday night game wearing a white jersey with a purple number  --  it has been hard enough to see Darren Sharper and kicker Ryan Longwell in purple last year.



mplspckr said...

i feel like brett has WAY more of a right to an ego, than mark/ted/mike do. i feel they have undone the good will built by harlan/wolf/holmgren (kinda like bush has done with america). i still am a packer fan, but i'll be watching some jets games on sunday ticket. packers will rue the day they let brett go.

JWcountryphoto said...

Pure Water in the Swamp was a fun show- for me anyway! I personally think it was the best show Jerry has put together yet. It is the first time I worked on one of these shows, although I have seen the others. Everything ran smoothly, but I wish that it could have run for another night- it seems 2 nights wasn't long enough considering the work put into the production!
-Joel W.