Janet's Jargon

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Monday, July 25, 2011

A Musical weekend (Part 1)

I knew it was going to be a busy weekend, starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday when Kevin (my son) and I headed for the farmers' market in Menominee Michigan. I was armed with books, and Kevin with fresh luscious greens from his garden. It would be our second week there, so we knew more what to expect. Well, except that this Saturday was not only a work one, but there was some fun planned as well.
At the first Saturday we were there, a group of performers from the upcoming musical, Chicago, dropped in to offer a teaser for the show. They were delightful, and while Kevin and I had already planned to try to take in the show, we knew, after hearing them, that we didn't want to miss it. It was to be a two-weekend event at the Theatre on the Bay at the University of Wisconsin/Marinette, in the city across the lake, just over the bridge from Menominee. (See their visit on YouTube here. If you look real quickly you can see Kevin and me. We are right at the beginning of the video, the second booth over, by the light grey car.)

A short time before the performance, one of the singers had stopped by my table and we had a delightful conversation about books, writing, music, etc. He didn't identify himself as one of the performers, so it was with great glee that I saw that the nice looking young man I had been chatting with was indeed one of the main singers from the show. So this Saturday, we had our tickets in hand and we were really looking forward to it.

The farmers' market was quite successful, saleswise, so we made our way to Applebee's for a nice relaxing lunch after it closed. One of the most frequent questions I am asked about my writing is, "Where do you get your ideas?" My answer is always, "From life. I love to people-watch." One little incident can add that certain spark you need to make your book come alive. This was true at the restaurant. Sitting in the booth beside us were two young women and a mother of one of them, who was obviously about to get married. As they discussed the upcoming wedding, the bride-to-be laughed and said, "If the weather is bad, I'll just sit under the canopy and give everyone my royal wave." With that, she waved her hand in the air, looking every bit as delightful as the newlywed Kate. In a flash, their waitress came running. "What did you want?" They all looked puzzled. "I saw you wave for me," the waitress said, which sent all of them--and us--into fits of laughter. Yes, that will one day be in one of my books.

After we finished our lunch, Kevin suggested that we head to the Marina to just sit and relax for a bit. It was a beautiful day, with a light breeze, about 80 degrees, and there was a 100-mile race (of sailboats) underway. We headed to the boardwalk and sat on one of the benches lake-side. (It is on Lake Michigan.) The boats were beautiful as they passed by. There were many other boats docked at the pier. People were friendly, which to me is always a bonus. And then an old gentleman, who looked to be homeless, sat down on the dock, opened the loaf of bread he had with him and began breaking it up into little pieces and feed the ducks. I began talking to him and found him to be a delightful source of information. He had a Rubber Maid plastic wheelbarrow with him, which he used to collect cans. Another incident followed, with an elderly man in a yellow raincoat who appeared to be looking for his boat, much like I have done upon occasion when I couldn't remember where I had parked the car at a shopping mall, and watching him was like viewing an old Colombo show. But that's another story--one which will find its way before too long into a new Patrick and Grace Mystery. I even have the title: St. Peter on the Bay. Yup, I have it almost completely written in my head already. And it came from one day's observation of life in general and people specifically while we waited for the time to leave to see Chicago.

We headed for the Theatre on the Bay. It was the first time I had seen an off-Broadway musical. I have seen many of them as movies, but the thrill of being there and experiencing it in person was beyond belief. It was such fun to see the young man I had met as he played the lawyer, and to feel like I "knew him," even though ever-so-slightly. The performers were all top-notch, and if or when I get a chance to do it again, I won't hesitate for a second to get those tickets and make my way the 50 miles to Marinette. The sad thing is that I think the next one doesn't take place until November! Catch an interview with some of the characters, including my "new friend" Billy Flynn (aka Paul Okray) on YouTube. I did get a chance to talk to him after the program for a few seconds--and he even remembered me! I just love it when fate hands me a chance to rub elbows with "famous" people!
Our trip home was uneventful, other than passing a dead skunk on the side of the road. Even that couldn't dampen our spirits. It's a wonderful life! Now see the next post (below) for the rest of the story.

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  • At 4:05 PM, Blogger Jay Hudson said…

    I would have loved to see the sailboats.I once had a little orange sailboat.Loved it!

  • At 4:55 PM, Blogger Molly Swoboda said…

    Reading along with y'all's adventures, and grinning bigger by the paragraph. What a great weekend!

  • At 5:06 AM, Anonymous Annette Gisby said…

    What a lovely weekend you had, Janet :) It would never occurred to me to sell books at a farmer's market.

    take care,

  • At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Really enjoyed this website, lots of interesting excting informative information. Thanks
    Maryanne Raphael


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