Bits and Pieces for Aug. 10|
One way or another, I end up being involved in a number of local benefits.
They are to support facilities and services and now and again, people who need a hand.
I got hooked on the Castan Schisel event held last Saturday at Smitty’s Bar which is operated by his parents Ron and Marlena Schisel.
I guess my interest was sparked by Castan being a baby — a new baby — who needs all sorts of assistance and sees to be getting it.
But the parents, who are offering tons of love, also need help to support their travels and lodging near the Milwaukee Children's Hospital.
I certainly hope things work out for Castan and the Schisel family.
And there are hundreds of people in Antigo and Langlade County who have invested in the well-being of that family Saturday.
It certainly made me feel good.
It was also an opportunity to go to Smitty’s Bar, a place where friends and I passed a number of hours some place in the area of 40 years ago. But this was the first benefit I’ve attended at the establishment, and it worked.
The Castan Schisel event was traditional with hopes to help a struggling infant boy and his family.
But there are clever people out there figuring out benefit events. A committee came to visit this week to explain “Thrivent Cans Hunger.”
The Pinnacle Team of Thrivent Financial in Antigo and the Mid-Wisconsin Chapter of Thrivent Financial are getting together with the Antigo Community Food Pantry to feed people in this area, a true and growing need.
The idea here is to build food can sculptures, and Thrivent will match $5 for every pound of food collected to a maximum of $17,500.
Yes. There will be awards for Antigo heavyweight, “people’s choice,” and most creative.
A number of local firms and organizations have already contacted Jean Greening and Travis Rose at Thrivent at 715-623-5279 for the rules.
To me, it looks like real fun, especially after they showed me the pictures of other can sculptures from other communities.
In fact, I’ve been looking for a way to build a newspaper front page out of cans in our front window. I’ve even cruised the canned goods shelves at two local stores thinking and eyeballing the colors of the cans — and I’m still stymied.
I was never much of an artist, still thinking about it.
In the last few days, I’ve really been entertained.
There was Saturday night’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” that was really something for Antigo.
The on-stage performers, especially Seth K. Hale, were exceptional. In fact, as were the acting and vocals of the entire cast.
The pit band had great music to deal with and did an equally excellent job. It may be the best band I’ve heard, and I’ve been there for most theater productions.
Jeremy Doucette, a New York Theater professional and native of Antigo, worked on the production.
And it was obvious. Sets were moving, they were lighted and animated.
I’ve got musical tales favored over “Jekyll and Hyde,” but after the final curtain closed, it was certainly and truly something special.
I hope readers of the Antigo Journal had a chance to have that experience and great outing to the Volm Theater.
Then there was Monroe Crossing for the Music in the Park Monday evening.
Being a bluegrass fan dating back at least a quarter-century when I really started hearing it at Mole Lake, Monroe Crossing is simply good fun. The Minnesota-based band performs all over the world keeping the good word about bluegrass alive and well.
I saw Bill Monroe, the namesake of the band and a man known as the “Father of Bluegrass Music,” at Mole Lake several times.
Perhaps that’s why I have a kinship with this music genre and Monroe Crossing.
So, in a matter of days, I’ve been to a tremendous musical/drama and a bluegrass concert. And the weekend just arrived today, and there is a lot going on.
But this week has been a nightmare at the newspaper. We have a complicated computer system that brings in the Associated Press news and then we process it.
It needed updating, so our computer technician visited from Green Bay and did a refresher on the AP program, and that brought the house down. We were dead in the water except for some articles we were able to capture from the Internet, and that setup is not satisfactory.
With the hub-bub and delays, I never made it to the opening acts at Fuddfest in the town of Ackley, I think it’s the first time it has rolled around to Saturday without me seeing a show or two.
My best efforts will be extended to this weekend.
Among the things on the schedule that caught my eye is the annual tribute play, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas” at 2 p.m. today and then Ronnie Milsaps at 8 p.m. There is another band tucked in there, but the program didn’t include a name.
On Sunday, there is gospel music in the old town hall building at 11 a.m., at 2 p.m. it is Joey and Rory performing and at 5 p.m., Lorrie Morgan takes the main stage.
Brad Emanuel closes the program with a show at 7 p.m.
The Nicholsons and Helds keep an eye on things, if you get out of line, you get out of Fuddfest. It is that simple and that nice.
I’m not much of a guy for changes, but they are happening here hand-over-fist.
Technologically, the Antigo Daily Journal is a tad behind. While others were spending hundreds and thousands on technology, I sat back and things rolled right along. But now something must be done and I’m doing it. One of the first noticeable changes will come first in the television listings, and that starts next week.
I think the new system really works, but as I said, change does come hard.
I suspect they are those listings that spark heavier sales of Saturday’s newspaper, our more popular issue of the week.
So the listings will be different and it will take a bit of time to become familiar.
The format is much like other newspapers use, so please hang in there. It does work.
I noticed Sunday that Racks Bar and Grill on the south edge of the city had closed. I haven’t spent much time there with the target audience far younger than I. It is designed for the pool and volleyball crowd, and it seems those things have slipped by.
The Racks owners really gave it a try. It seems there was even a volleyball tournament at the place last weekend, but all of a sudden, the log was pulled.
A friend who has been in the tavern business for years said this week there are about eight places closed, and some have simply vanished because of fires and other more tragic events.
In years gone by, a ride to Aniwa from the Racks-Club Rolling corner was spiked by at least four saloons, and now there is none.
Some very nice places are shut down, including Racks now and the big Polar Country Club. Times, it seems, are changing.
Please enjoy the weekend.
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