After a great day on Thursday, Friday the 28th seems to have been misnumbered by 15 days. Carrie was sick, and barely able to get out of bed all day. We strove for “the show must go on” rallying forces, had great chicken soup and pampering therapy from our hosts, but had to postpone all three events one-by-one through the day as it became clear performing would not be possible. Coordinators at Sebeka and Park Rapids Schools, the Wadena Library, and the KRLS Legacy Coordinator extraordinaire, Barb Mann, were all very understanding and we’ll be back to make up the lost performances soon. Everyone gets sick sometimes, but these cancellations were a disappointing first for us.
On Friday, Rolf made use of his spare time finishing off a final report on our last MRAC Arts Learning Grant (for series of music learning programs at senior centers and residences), and got to work on putting together a Community Arts Grant to take up some of the slack left by not getting the Arts Activities Grant for the Lakeville Area Arts Center Coffee Concert series.
In a piece of good news, we learned that Rolf’s bass wheel was found at the Cass Lake Library, and they had sent it on to our Saturday engagement at the Bemidji Library.
On Saturday we called the library and told them to plan on us. Carrie found her health again, but took it easy until we had to leave to get to Bemidji. As Carrie rested, Rolf hauled cinder blocks. Rolf’s cousin is building a spec house, and Rolf volunteered to be his pack mule for the morning. Consider it research on our program about Mozart and the Masons. Rolf lined up the blocks, Dan did the masonic work, then Rolf used the striking tool to smooth and seal the wet concrete. It felt great to work outside, it took Rolf back to his summers working for Concrete Design Specialties in South St. Paul (similar gopher work – leave the skilled stuff to the pros!), and it was good catching up with Cousin Dan, who lived on the farm just across Highway 16 from the farm where Rolf grew up in southern Minnesota. More great breakfast and lunch marvels from Sue, and we hit the road for Bemidji.
Stunning fall colors lit our highway past Itasca State Park (our family crossed the Mississippi there at its source earlier this summer) all the way up to Bemidji. Despite being potentially one of the last warm weekend days of the summer, we had a very nice crowd of all ages, so we gave them a hybrid of our “Music is for Everybody” intro program and a mini recital. Very fun, cute kids in the instrument parade finale, who all enjoyed making sounds on our bass and oboe afterwards. The smallness of the world became evident again as it turned out the library volunteer was a close childhood friend of Rolf’s mom from St. Anthony Park, MN. She gave us a restaurant recommendation that’s worth a four-hour roadtrip! Tutto Bene served up awesome appetizers before Rolf’s prosciutto-wrapped walleye and Carrie’s pappardelle bolognese and amazingly good lavender martini polished off this two-week whirlwind tour with a relaxing, memorable dinner before the long drive home. No dessert afterwards, but we made one last tourist stop, just across the street, and Carrie got a memorable souvenir from the collosus of Bemidji!
So, an amazing tour, very well organized by the KRLS staff, with wonderful people of all ages in the audiences, and spectacular weather, scenery, and fall colors. (Check out our OboeBass! Facebook page for pictures – still haven’t figured out how to post albums in the blog.) We’ll be back to the Park Rapids area soon to finish up our commitments. We’re grateful to live in a state where people valued the arts and environment enough to vote to tax themselves to support them, even as the economy was clearly heading into a tailspin. Music is for everybody, and we’re honored to be able to share our recitals and educational programs across the state. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you posted on our ongoing adventures. Bye now!
This activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.