A Blast of the Past #4 — Renaissance Man

Standard

Okay, Here’s another blast of past photos. It shows an interesting start to a certain pastime of mine. These are pictures of Homecoming from my senior year at Houghton College. The theme that year was obviously some sort of Renaissance Theme.

Houghton0072

Now, I noticed in the pictures that the college madrigal singers had been brought in for homecoming because of the theme, and I can see myself — there in blue and silver.

Houghton0059

As a non-music major it took me until senior year to try out for the madrigal singers (who sang at the annual Madrigal Dinners at Christmas-time). I made it in the try-outs. Only problem — the rehearsal period overlapped senior writing seminar, which I needed to graduate with my major of writing. So I went to Professor Leax, and he helped me draft a proposal for a special writing class to replace the writing seminar — and included attending as much of it as possible.

Houghton0060

So college was where I first got interested in Renaissance madrigals. But it took another 11 years before I got invited by Lee Fenwick  to join Madrigalia Bar Nonne in Kansas City while I was singing with him in the Fine Arts Chorale of Kansas City. And from there began my now 16-year run with MBN and the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

Houghton0071

So now, from that digression back to Homecoming. Naomi Woodmansee was elected homecoming queen, escorted by homecoming king Stephen Beun.

Houghton0056

The one “odd” thing in the pictures was the balloon fish. It was Floyd the inflatable flying flounder of Yorkwood House. And apparently it got away, or was let go, some time at the end.

Houghton0070

So it just goes to show, you can have fun with something, and never know, years later, what you might be able to do because of it.

Palm Sunday Brunch at AUMC

Standard

The Contemporary Life Class of the Avondale United Methodist Church sponsored its annual Palm Sunday Brunch fundraiser on Palm Sunday from 9 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

DSC05556

As a regular attender, I have come to look forward to this annual event, both for food and fellowship. The fare of sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit, and a hearty assortment of baked goods is always tasty and hearty.

DSC05548

The tables were nicely decorated with budding assortment centerpieces.  But one of my favorite parts of the ambience each year is the live piano music of Susan Dowden. She always has a good assortment of secular and sacred classics that are the perfect aural accomaniment to the meal. I have included one clip from the brunch here:

DSC05550

From the pastry table I want to feature pictures of two items — the excellent scones, and the “bacon and eggs” treats.

DSC05553DSC05552DSC05554

No meal is complete with beverages, so I should also mention the beverage table and its fare of hot and cold drinks. Finally, I want to mention that all this goodness is for a good cause — all the proceeds support the ministries of the Contemporary Life Class throughout the year. A definite win-win situation for us all.

DSC05557 DSC05559

#7: Praise Our God

Standard

 (Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

1

Praise our God, all ye His servant, Ye that fear Him, small and great;

With a sacrifice of worship In His glorious presence wait.

Refrain

Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia – Praise our God!

2

Praise our God, all ye His servants, For His condescending grace,

For His love that brought salvation To a sinful, fallen race.

Refrain

3

Praise our God, all ye His servant, him whom angel hosts acclaim;

Let us join the seraph chorus And His worth to all proclaim.

Refrain

A Blast of the Past #3 — Can You Count

Standard

More photos from my college days. Birthday photos. The question is which birthday? Do these photos come from the same birthday or different birthdays?

Houghton0104

You see, my birthday always fell right around the end of the second semester, usually in the break between the end of semester and finals week. So according to these pictures, I came home one year for my birthday. And my college roommate came with me.

Houghton0103

But I also have a picture in the same set of a birthday party taken at Houghton College in my dorm room, during open house. I know this one was junior year. That is me in the middle, getting kisses on both cheeks by the other editors of The Houghton Star. It doesn’t show up in the pictures, but there were balloons in the room — very curious-looking balloons.

Houghton0105

So these pictures from the other party, were they Sophomore, Junior or Senior year? It couldn’t be Freshman, because Matthew wasn’t my roommate Freshman year. I don’t think it was Sophomore year, so was it Junior or Senior. Below you can see a picture of the cake with candles — and we were always accurate about number of candles.  So if anyone can correctly count the candles, they can solve this mystery for me.

Houghton0106

A Blast of the Past — my past this time

Standard

Houghton0160

Yesterday I featured photos from a 23-year-old photo album. They were from my wife’s photo album, events I didn’t experience. Today I started on an album from my own life. These pictures come from my original college days about 28 years ago. They were an assortment of events. And though I had experienced them all, deciding which event some of the pictures were wasn’t easy.  I still have some that I have taken guesses on — they could belong to two or more similar events.

Since the album comes from several events, I am going to divide it into multiple posts. This first post is the one event I am most certain of. I can even give it a specific date — because it was also featured in a news story in the student newspaper: The Houghton Star.

I was editor of the newspaper that year, but I wasn’t editor when the story was published. That week’s edition was put out by two editors who were competing as candidates for the next year’s editorship (the position was elected by the student body). The picture at the top of this article is the cover photo taken by Louis Lovestrand. Below, see the news article about the event, along with some of the amateur photos I took that year — and just recently uncovered in this potpourri of a college photo album.

P.S. — If any Houghton Alumni have recollections of this event, I’d especially enjoy hearing your comments.

Houghton0006

The silver-haired woman with the blue umbrella is the Dr. Katherine Lindley referenced in the story. The next issue of The Houghton Star was the spoof issue, and we honored Lindley, who was retiring that year, by doing spoof stories about her taking over the college as Tsarina Katherina (A history professor, her area of expertise was Russian History). I was really proud of the quality of the spoof issue.

Houghton0161

This story appeared in the March 27, 1987 edition of The Houghton Star.

Houghton0001Houghton0003Houghton0011Houghton0016Houghton0018Houghton0102

A Blast of the Past — someone else’s past

Standard

Earlier this week I started a project I have been intending to work on for quite some time. It will take quite awhile to finish. That project is scanning all our non-digital photos into the computer.

Part of the length of the project is going to be how many photos we have. Another part is going to be locating where all the photos have been stashed and not looked at for the multitude of years since some of them have been taken.

I started by pulling out one photo album from a set we had in a cabinet. They were pictures of a trip Betsy took with her parents to Europe to visit her sister and brother-in-law in the Peace Corps. This was after I knew Betsy, but before we were married, so except for a few stray pictures of me stuck in the back of the album, I didn’t really know anything about the pictures. I recognized the people I know now, before I knew them.

The thing I found interesting is what you see and recognize about pictures when you weren’t there, and weren’t involved. Some of the pictures looked almost postcard-quality — pictures of castles on hillsides, windmills in the Netherlands, etc.

The trip was in 1992, so 23 years ago. I’m going to post some of the photos here, with my comments on what I know, or surmise about them, without the benefit of asking those who were in them what they were. Just to show what sort of impressions they bring.

Europe0001

Very stylish pose of my now mother-in-law on a bench somewhere in Europe.

Europe0006

Picture of my now father-in-law in a cabin of some sort. Probably makes more sense for this to be a train, but something about it makes me want to think it is a boat.

Europe0011

These are neat hanging ships. Wonder where and why there were made to hang there.

Europe0018

My now father-in-law in front of a windmill. I presume in Holland.

Europe0022

My now father-in-law on a bridge somewhere. Sequentially I’m guessing Holland.

Europe0027

The way the houses are set below the street, and with the height of my father-in-law, those houses look too small for him, almost a sort of gingerbread or toy type quality.

Europe0028

My father-in-law trying some sort of stilts.

Europe0033

A picture right before this labeled the house as that of the Ten Booms, making this “The Hiding Place.”

Europe0044

Betsy as a much younger but just as beautiful lady posing somewhere. Is that someone under a piano behind her?

Europe0045

Betsy in front of a windmill, with a hand on what looks like a big corkscrew section of a water pump. Is that part of how they pumped the water out of Holland?

Europe0048

There were several pictures of this church. Nice stained glass.

Europe0062

A street artist must have drawn this. I see his tip bowl there with the “Danke!” for thank you. Quite an impressive picture.

Europe0063

Street musicians.

Europe0093

Postcard perfect.

Europe0103

Betsy posed in nature somewhere.

Europe0104

Betsy and my father-in-law below some sort of ruin.

Europe0109

Neat whole. Betsy and my mother-in-law walking through.

Europe0115

Mother-in-law at a ruin of some sort.

Europe0117

My father-in-law, presumably at the same ruin.

Europe0123

Another picture for a postcard.

Europe0127

Gravestone for a Mozart. Just not sure which one.

Europe0136

This picture was very dark in the original. Couldn’t hardly see anything. Amazing what the digital editing was able to bring out. I see Betsy, Kent, and Carolyn. I assume the other two are people Kent and Carolyn worked with in the Peace Corps.

Europe0137

Another family picture with Peace Corps friends.

Europe0141

Carolyn, Kent and Betsy posing on the stairs to somewhere. Not sure what that interesting building is behind them.

Europe0146

The 92 here was my first clue to the year of the trip. Not sure what Barbakan means.

Europe0147

Crossing the street.

Europe0149

Kent and Carolyn

Europe0169

I assume this is part of Kent and Carolyn’s Peace Corps apartment in Slovakia.

Europe0179

Betsy and her mom. Are those more tombstones in the background?

Europe0212

Someone explaining something to Betsy.

Europe0219

Thrown in the same set, but I think this is a different year. Somewhere between 1992 and 1995. Think I ended up wearing out that orange shirt I wore it so often.

Europe0221

Obviously a different year, if Carolyn is back in the US. Here I am wearing my other shirt of many colors — more purple here, less orange.

Europe0226

This comes from before the trip. Kent and Carolyn’s wedding.

Europe0227

Wedding Photo — Kent and Carolyn.

Europe0229

Carolyn and Betsy in bridal gown and bridesmaid gown. That is a very good look for Betsy. Need to find more sharp outfits like that for her.

There is a Tavern in the Town

Standard

This song has the musical notation of “andante” at the beginning, which I read as a slower speed, but to my ear it feels like it should have a more rollicking tavern-song tempo. The introduction has a lot of octaves in it with a lot of octave jumps, so I tend to play the into slower and continue to speed up when I get into the verse and chorus, then slow back down playing the introduction.  You may also notice where the page turn sometimes interrupts the piano while I keep sing.

1

There is a tavern in the town, in the town,

And there my dear love sits him down, sits him down,

And drinks his wine ‘mid laughter free,

And never, never thinks of me.

Chorus

Fare thee well, for I must leave thee, Do not let the parting frieve thee,

And remember that the best of friends must part, must part.

Adieu, adieu, kind friends adieu, adieu, adieu,

I can no longer stay with you, stay with you,

I’ll hang my harp on a weeping willow tree,

And may the world go well with thee.

2

He left me for a damsel dark, damsel dark,

Eath Friday night they used to spark, used to spark,

And now my love once true to me,

Takes that dark damsel on his knee.

Chorus

3

Oh! Dig my gave both wide and deep , wide and deep,

Put tombstones at my head and feet, head and feet,

And on my breast carve a turtle dove,

To signify I die of love.

Chorus