Friday, March 14, 2008

This is the last month of John McConnell's tenure as General Manager of Barrow Civic Theatre:

Dear John-
So. end of an era huh? The problem with eras of course, especially ones as eventful as yours, is that it’s like what John Clellon Holmes said about Jack Kerouac – It’s like Niagara Falls, you’ve been looked at so many times, you can’t be seen anymore.

But here’s the thing. I’d like to think, with my outsider status, that I can see you. Or a little bit of you. You’ve always been nice to me – and not the sort of nice almost everyone else in creative scenes are – with a shiv in the hand behind your back, or in the hopes of a quid pro quo or some juicy gossip. But rather because, well, actually, I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing that that’s just the sort of good guy you are.

That’s not to say that you’re guileless (you’re not; no one could be and have still be able to have the aplomb you display while dealing with, shall we say, the personalities that define community theatre) or shy of the spotlight (again, you’re not – I can still see the sparkle in your eyes the last time spoke face to face as you spoke about Fiddler) but instead that you’ve always seemed. . . real.

Your successor has some big shoes to fill (I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I, very briefly, considered throwing my resume into that competition before letting my common sense override my ego) increased financial pressures, new theatres popping up like mushrooms at a moe show and continued community hostility to the concept of the Barrow as a regional rather than local theatre, but no matter, the new person(s)' success or failures, it is still you who made it even possible for such a position to exist. Maybe you didn't event the position, but you defined it. More personally, your tenure made my and my families' life better. You afforded us opportunities as performers, directors, consumers and organizers and never asked for a thing back. To me, you are and will always be the Barrow Theatre, the living embodiment of a regional treasure.

Thank you. For everything.


Oil City Councilman John Bartlett has started a new blog to discuss local issues - Inside Oil City.

Remora Deign plays Brother Bean Saturday from 7-9 pm. No cover.

Veteran Status' Railbent is available on CD Baby for purchase or streaming.

Oil City's metal guys Nervous Existence is looking to book some shows.

The Butler Art Center is seeking artists for a few slots for solo shows in 2008 and 2009. If you're interested, please email for more details.

Filmmakers Find Fresh Talent on MySpace

The haiku of Philip Whalen:

Early Spring
The dog writes on the window

with his nose

The first 50 issues of Poetry are now available online. You know. Free.

If we're going to tear up all the slate sidewalks in Franklin anyhow, why not do something cool with the souless cement?

YouTube for poetry.

I picked up To Fill the World With Love - an LP of the Venango Christian (now Venango Catholic) High School Chorus' 1973 performance. My wife had also purchased a USB turntable for me as a Christmas gift. So I hauled it out yesterday and ripped the album. As today's Free and Legal Download, I thought I'd present one of the odder choices:

Theme from The Good The Bad and The Ugly.

("There's no way we could wear our skirts that short today," my daughter commented on the group photo on the back of the album. She was also blown away by the fact that, in 1973, there were more young women in the chorus alone than there are total students in 9-12 today).

Other Free and Legal Downloads:

Southern Culture On The Skids Live at Graceland on May 7, 2004

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Live at Magic Stick on April 30, 2007

The Apples In Stereo Live at Bluebird Theatre on April 1, 2007

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