Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It’s been such an interesting week I barely know where to begin. As you have read, the garden will be taking off this week so I’ve been working to get prepared by researching and selecting plants. Plus the journalism classes are still going strong and, of course, it’s summer now so there are plenty of things to keep everyone occupied including concerts, picnics, day trips, and yard work.

I have new neighbors at my house that moved in a few weeks ago with their dog and two small children. The little girl is cute as a button and friendly as can be. She sees me out in the driveway and her big question is “what are you doing?” (she’s 4, so that’s what they do at that age I guess) and my constant reply is “going out.” She said to me the other day, “you do that a lot” and I had to laugh. She’s not wrong!

Friday evening my friend Bev and I headed over to Regency Wines in Fairlawn for a wine tasting and a bit of a "girls night".  Regency invited a few of their artist friends to bring some of their goods for a sort of trunk show.  Really - what better way to sell things than to put a little good wine in us first!  The wines were all South American, my favorite being a Malbec from Argentina.  I have to say that the folks at Regency are more interested in talking with their friends and family than talking about wine with people they don't know, but I suppose that's part of what it means to have your own business. 

Meanwhile, they did have a great young gal there showing off her knited creations.  Lindsay is a talented gal who's worked hard at creating an innovative cross between a sweater and shrug.  We all had a great time trying them on, taking them off, turning them upside down and then putting them on again.  Yes, I bought one and can't wait to find the right place to wear it.  Lindsey is a part-time bartender (say hi to her on Thursdays at Crave) and part time knitting guru. She graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in fashion merchandising and has taken her talent for knitting into a nice sideline business with sales all over the United States.   Check out her web site at   You GO girl!

Saturday night found me back at Stage Door watching an amazing young man from Hawaii named Jake Shimabukuro.  Jake played his second concert here in Akron to a sold out, very enthusiastic crowd.  This kid played music ranging from Bluegrass, to traditional Japanese folk music, to Shuberts Ave Maria.  He makes those 4 strings sound like everything except what most of us would expect to hear - traditional Hawaiian tunes.  Check out Jake on YouTube playing my favorite flaminco-style tune "Let's Dance"

The crowd was energized and just watching this young man wore me out!  He is a humble guy, giving much credit to his recent success to the firestorm created by the YouTube video of him playing George Harrison's My Guitar Gently Weeps in Central Park.  Over 8 million hits on this video and Jake has been invited to play all over the world. 

If Akron is lucky enough to have Jake back again next year YOU MUST GET TICKETS TO SEE just must!

The Barberton Historical Society held their 20th annual walking tour of O. C. Barber’s Anna Dean Farm. The tour was free and open to people of all ages. This year’s tour encompassed four of the remaining buildings on the Farm, the estate of Barberton’s town founder, Ohio Columbus Barber. The Anna Dean Farm was considered to be America’s Finest Farm from 1909 until Mr. Barber’s death in 1920. Today only 8 of the original 35 buildings remain.

The tour began at the Piggery and while I'll admit that this was interesting to hear about the history of the farm, the three of us were a bit bored and finally struck out on our own to just get the tour over with.  There were probably 200 people on the tour and it's quite difficult to herd that many people around, so I give credit to the Society for doing just didn't move fast enough for us old fogies. 

Funny thing - as was started out we all commented on what a lovely day it was - warm, sunny, slight the time we got back to the car we were soaked from sweating and miserable from the heat.  Never satisfied, are we?  At least a stop at Wink's managed to cool us down with a nice strawberry milkshake and a foot long coney dog.  Yum!


To cap off the weekend - and Stage Door's season - Rebecca and I went to see pop/jazz/Latin guitarist Raul Midon.  That's Raul, rhymes with Cool, he says.  This was an entertaining evening with Raul deftly mixing R&B, reggae, jazz and Brazilian stylings.  From his website:  "Midón has always experienced the world differently than most. The son of an Argentinean father and an African-American mother (who died when Midón was young), Raul was born prematurely in a rural hospital in Embudo, New Mexico, where he and his twin brother, Marco, were blinded as infants after spending time in an incubator without adequate eye protection. “At the time, they didn’t know you have to protect the eyes from the oxygen of the incubator,” Midón says, “so a generation of people were blinded in that way.” Marco now works for NASA as an electrical engineer, while Raul followed a musical path inspired by his father, a professional Argentine folkloric dancer with a diverse record collection that included Beethoven and Mozart, progressive composers John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and jazz greats Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and Sonny Rollins."

Another great performance and I'm definately recommending a repeat for next year.

I'll just keep saying this...I'm absolutely amazed at how much talent there is out there.  I hope they just keep doing what they do!

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