Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Rocking out at the Old School Theater

My friend and colleague Amy Fisher told me about a new music venue in Water Valley--just a short 20 minute drive away.  Luke was playing, along with "world music trio" Agora and Kevin Guyer and the FMA R&B Revue.

Date night was on!  We went down to Water Valley in time to eat at El Charrito's--our long time favorite Mexican restaurant for the last 13 years.  We pulled into the parking lot, which was empty of cars, and so was the building.  What?  I know it has been a while since we have been here, but....but...

The show started at 7, and that rapidly narrowed our options.  We drove down the street toward Sonic, when looming out of the evening twilight was a new, and larger, El Charrito's!  Mmmm...tacos al carbon for me.  While we were paying out, Rand asked, "So, when did you all move?"  Cinco de Mayo was our grand opening.  Okay, so it really has not been that long since we were there.

Old School Theater is located in the old 1949 Administration Building of the former Jeff Davis School.  I knew the theater was in the area of the former school, but the address had identified it as in the Melon Vine Marketplace, and the photograph with the long porch across the front of the building meant it looked a lot different from the last time I was there, photographing the old National Youth Administration constructed vocational building that sat behind the school.  On walking in, there was no mistaking the auditorium directly in front of us.  Even prior to the show, I was sold, because someone saw the important of preservation and re-use of buildings lots of folks would just as soon demolish for a quickie pre-fab with a fake veneer.

The new music venue is the work of Foster Music Arts, and an effort to promote regional music in the Water Valley area.  Opening was the very talented songwriter/singer, Luke Fisher.   If you have never heard Luke in a venue with good acoustics, and people listening to music rather than talking loudly, you have never heard Luke.

Agora--Acoustic World Music Trio features Andres Diaz, Amy Fisher, and Ricky Burkhead. Andres Diaz has the most amazing voice and sings in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and French.  I was literally dancing in my seat.

The last set of the evening was Kevin Guyer and the FMA R&B Revue, a group local musicians who actually played together in performance for the first time last night--although they had rehearsed previously.  Guyer and Bays play in the linked video, but you really needed to be there for the stage full of musicians.  After a little bit of everything rock, blues, and soul thrown in, the entire cast of the evening closed out the show featuring Luke rocking out on electric guitar and singing lead vocals.

I have to say that I have not left any event in a long time with the sense of joy, uplift, and downright pleasure and peace as I did leaving that old school auditorium last night.   I will be at the next show. I'm gonna get my funk on again.

Friday, October 21, 2016

George Rodrigue's Blue Dog: "The blue dog is New Orleans"

Probably most of us have seen a picture somewhere of George Rodrigue's Blue Dog.  If you were like me, however, you did not know who George Rodrigue was, or how he came to paint the Blue Dog paintings.  The 8 foot version of the 3-sided sculpture Rodrigue finally figured out how to create in 2003 stands in the outdoor sculpture garden at New Orleans City Park.  A larger version is on Veterans Boulevard.
Rodrigue originally painted the bluish-grey dog for a book of Cajun ghost stories.  His 1984 painting of the first "Blue Dog" used Rodrigue's former dog, Tiffany, as the model for the outline of the dog's shape.  The painting, named Watchdog, became the first in a series of evolving blue dogs.
Rodrigue's wife, Wendy, on her blog Musings of an Artist's Wife, wrote that the evolution of the blue dog was:
...not some overnight epiphany...metamorphosis was slow.
I think that is true of so many of our best ideas and visions--it evolves as we evolve in our understanding and purpose.
Somehow, the 3-sided sculpture he envisioned, but had not fully developed how to carry out until 2003, seems to best represent that evolution and 'metamorphosis' in the most parallel manner.  See more of Rodrigue's work at his studio site.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Libby says hey

 It's been pretty busy here in Lottabusha County, what with all that has been going on personally and professionally of late.  I have said several times that I thought I would try to incorporate both blogs (Lottabusha County Chronicles and Suzassippi, formerly known as Suzassippi: Red Shutters).  Obviously, I cannot make that break.  I might say that it baffles me as to why not, but it does not baffle me at all.  While I do on occasion post something more personal on Suzassippi, generally when I have been home and tending to Rio and the family, it has always been more or less the "architecture and old buildings" blog.  This one has been--also for pretty obvious reasons--Suzassippi's Lottabusha County Chronicles, which incorporates a lot more of who I am and charts the journey of my time in Mississippi.
When I first began the Chronicles, it was pretty much about social work, and social issues in Mississippi, coupled with dog, cat, and family philosophy, a whole lot of symbolism, and reaching for greater understanding with and among my fellow travelers of the universe.  Like the rest of life, it has evolved and changed.

Some things have been steadfast throughout the process, and I prefer to think that one of those is my desire to understand and to learn, and then to use that understanding to make a difference where ever that opportunity might present itself.  I know that I know things from my experience, knowledge, and training about what it takes to be effective in this work.  I also know that I need to set that knowing aside, and just hear what the person in front of me is saying about what she needs to move forward, while at the same time, providing enough support and challenge for the person to learn and grow.

It is a tough challenge.  I am fortunate to be working with 2 colleagues in researching this skill, need, ability, process, in hope of furthering that understanding for what we need to do to develop this capacity in our students.

Sometimes, the helpful philosophy of my dogs (or on occasion, my cats, but cats are way less philosophical than dogs are--just totally pragmatic most of the time in my opinion) helps to center me.
Let me think about that for a minute....no, I see no need to go there right now.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Blue Heron in City Park

We spied this blue heron in City Park a couple of weeks ago.  

And yes, this was just a little creepy.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016