Back in the 1960’s, “juke
joints” were major hang outs for black performers. Chuck Berry made a song
about these enclaves, where beer and chicken pies can be consumed
“til” 6 am.
There is an up and coming town,
“down the road a piece”, from Washington DC, it is called Columbia,
There are no “juke joints” here. Restaurants, hotels, and a residential lifestyle that is the envy of many. In among those architectural admirations, is a barn; residents call it, THE OTHER BARN. Last Sunday the first floor was turned into a juke joint. No pot pies, no chicken, but light refreshments, cake and pale wines.
Ever heard of KRISTINE KEY ? Her
looks are deceiving, her voice, up the
The subject of
traditions came up for discussion, as it
often does every summer. In Maryland we talk of music, beaches, laughter,
stirred in the mix of charm and frivolity.
We, like the rest of
America are a people of compromise, and as such, food and culture define our
influences. The Maryland Arts Council is in its 13th year of paying tribute to
the sustaining power of our traditions; and this year the spotlight beams on
the ARCH SOCIAL CLUB, (African American); JAY ARMSWORTH (Blue Grass); and BOMBA
& PLENA (Puerto Rican).ARCH
has been around since 1905, starting out on Arch street, before moving to
Pennsylvania Avenue, in Baltimore:
JAY ARMSWORTHY, is the personification
of all things Southern, especially Blue Grass Music. His town in St. Mary’s County is called
California, full of sunshine, southern style.
BOMBA and PLENA, hide out in
Howard County, dotting themselves with music and dance, combining the influence
of Cameroon slaves upon the Spanish and native Indian communities.
Chad Buterbaugh, the Maryland
Director of Traditional Arts, carried the heavy load:
No one thought it
will ever happen. It has happened in many cities all over the world, where
political infighting between politicians, create a distaste, and an economic
downturn for the residents.
became a reality in the city of SHAKESVILLE, where its biggest crop was not
corn or soybeans, but music. It became apparent, that someone from afar was
needed to revive the city, like the Japanese did at Nissan Motors, in recruiting
a European from Renault Motors. (Carlos Ghosn).
A group of residents
took it upon themselves to find the missing talent to save their world. They
found a woman, and her name was BETTY, who possessed a voice
that would make SHAKESVILLE rebound, as Isaac Hayes did for Memphis.
(Memphis Sound, Stax Records).
This all comes
together in a show written and choreographed by the Baltimore Rock Opera Society.
A two and a half hour splash, with original songs, enhanced with puppetry, and
creative costumes, that extracted continues applauses from the patrons.
Many of the songs
have motivational significance, e.g. “Every seed you sow, it starts to grow into a rainbow,… don’t
you know, you can change the world”.
In the finale,
patrons are invited to the stage to join in a dance of rejoicing with residents
of SHAKESVILLE. The city goes away for good June 16,2019.
She is sitting in a wheelchair, giving off a vibrancy of confidence not often exhibited by artists, who tend to hide modestly behind their works of art.
She wants to be
humble, but her confidence betrays that wish. This woman who lived with a
mother (ELIZABETH TALFORD SCOTT, born in 1916) is now a celebrated artist.
It is unbelievable that she lives in Sandtown, Baltimore, Md., the turbulent inner city where the subculture thrives.Her mother did quilting and needlework. She taught Joyce, who was encouraged to earn academic credits for her expertise to the point of earning her Masters Degree in Fine Arts. What a transcendence, considering her parents did not surpass sixth grade.
When one looks at her
mother’s quilt, PLANTATION, one is left to ask, why is this not promoted during
black history month as a scarf, turban, jacket or leggings? Any of those
results I would be moved to use the over used cliché, AWSOME!!
JOYCE J SCOTT, and
her mother ELIZABETH, is being honored by the BMA (Baltimore Museum of Art),
with their works on display through December, 2019.
I now share with you some awesome moments I had with Miss J.
“Like a circle in a spiral, Like a wheel within a wheel, never ending or beginning. Like a clock whose hands are sweeping, past the minutes of its face. the world is like an apple, whirling silently in space, like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind” (words from the hit song by Noel Harrison, 1969).
ARE YOU THERE YET ?
Most of us are, and here’s why. We are not getting enough exercise, enough
sleep, the stress virus has found a home.
The MAYO clinic, has
produced a study on healthy aging in America; and in it are identifiers of
stress on the body: headache, muscle tension, chest pain, fatigue, change in
sex drive, stomach upset, sleep problems.
The clinic has
documented the changes in our behavior: over or under eating, angry outbursts,
drug or alcohol misuse, social withdrawal. Here are the telltale signs:
shortness of breath, jaw or back pain, sweating, dizziness, nausea.
Many of us have been diagnosed with the big ones, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity or diabetes.
Research continues to
emphasize, the unmistakable ingredient to happiness as being RELAXATION.
Come with me, as I witnessed the HEALING COLLECTIVE at work in Baltimore, Md. The group is led by JANICE BUERKLI, a relaxation specialist, who practices relaxation using the science of REIKI, a Japanese way of “peaceful relaxation”.
Don’t reach for the
pill, the exercise pad is far more rewarding, and much more relaxing with a