Monday, December 31, 2007

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua

Through the miracles of technology I'm posting from the Podman and GurneyGranny's estate in suburban Cedar, WI. We are smack in the middle of a winter wonderland and the snow is perfect. Podman went overboard this fall and used the 1951 Ford 8N tractor with a brush hog to crisscross the 80 acres with a maze of fine XC ski trails.

But it hasn't all been outdoor fun, there have been cultural activities. On Sunday night we hit the historic Ironwood Theater and watched a performance of the Big Top Chautauqua Blue Canvas Orchestra in the vintage 1920's Italian Renaissance style theater. I've listened to them for years, mainly because my old college roomate and current hunting camp partner, RawhidePhil, is an actor, performer, and Operations Manager of the troupe. They are fabulous and in the summer you can hear everyone from Merle Haggard to Arlo Guthrie to Garrison Keillor on the stage of the big blue tent on the shores of my favorite lake (guess which one?). They also have excellent house shows combining music, slides, and multimedia production. Keeper of the Light is a personal favorite.

We were not always so supportive of Rawhide Phils musical career. On more than one occasion in the close confines of our 20 x 24 hunting camp, RP was grabbed by the scruff of his neck as he practiced the same chord over and over and over. "You little SOB, if you don't play a song pretty soon I'll break that flocking guitar over your head". Nonetheless music and culture prevailed and he's now an integral part of the company. Catch em if you're paddling the Apostles this summer at the tent or listen on Wisconsin Public Radio. Happy New Year everyone!

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