Fine Arts Festival Gala
Island Benefit Recital - at the East Point Stone Manor
Dr. Fred Hoffman’s East Point Stone Manor was the scene of the 12th Annual School Board Summer Fine Arts Festival Gala on Saturday, July 19, 2003. The event benefits the Middle Bass Emergency Medical Service and the Town Hall.
The evening began with wine and cheese on the lawn. Mike and Pat DiGiacomo supplied the wine, much of it home made. People lined up to taste apricot and peach wines as well as more familiar flavors. The hit of the evening was a delicious tomato wine. Here’s something to do with all of those summer tomatoes, folks.
Joseph Hisey began the entertainment with a lovely violin concerto in the great room of the manor house. The area in front of the fireplace served as stage. Ernie Hisey served as an enthusiastic master of ceremonies despite major surgery, involving many staples, two weeks ago. No one would have guessed it. Best wishes for a full recovery, Ernie.
Three island authors read their works. Dale Burris of North Bass read a moving essay “In the Middle of Their Dreams,” about a visit to the Vietnam Memorial wall in 1995. He found the names of friends who had died there and mourned their loss and wondered, “Why was I spared?”
Kay Dickerson read two poems, "In the Beginning” and “Ali,” about his granddaughter. There was a lovely line about slow movement of geese wings in flight. He was hoping there might be a literary agent in the audience.
Stan Gebhardt read “The Mistress,” who turned out to be Lake Erie … “That only comes from Lake Erie, the mistress that I love. He also read “But You Didn’t,” which has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Second Helping. The poem was about disappointment in love and loss in war, “My country called me to war. You asked me to come home safely, but I didn’t.”
Maria Hisey, accompanied by Brad Boroff, sang the old favorites, “I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No, “ and “When I Fall in Love, It Will Be Forever.” For several of the numbers, she work a pink flowered hat loaned to her by Brad’s wife, “the Martha Stewart of Northern Ohio,” according to Maria. The effect was all Martha might have wanted.
Michelle George, a violinist, and Jeff Schmelpfening, a cellist, played several short works of Bach. Both George and Schmelpfening are graduates of Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music and perform and teach in the Cleveland area.
Pete Kavano and Rob Johnson, both guitarists, wound up the musical part of the evening with such pieces as Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Walz,” and “Muskrat Ramble.” In the grand finale, Maria Hisey, accompanied by the other musicians, sang a spirited “Why Not Take All of Me?”
Dessert was then served in the stone passages on either side of the manor’s great room. Island cooks had donated their specialties. From all reports, they were delicious. Middle Bass has only a few cherry trees, so competition for Margie Wolf’s sour cherry pie was intense.
The committee in charge of parking somehow managed car parking for 75 people so there was no traffic jam.
Many people had never been to the manor house before and were thrilled with the opportunity to visit it. At the end of one of Middle Bass’s many private lanes posted with “Keep Out” signs, the house is a real treasure and on the National Register of Historic Places.
All of the indoor pictures were taken without flash to keep from disturbing the performances. This had the advantage of highlighting the natural lighting, and preserving the natural tones of the candle-lit interior of the manor.
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Revised: 21 Jul 2008 06:55:05.
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