“The Opener”

June 19

On this day, Juneteenth became a national holiday, and Juneteenth opened the season at Theatre L’Homme Dieu . . .

Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do. ~ Barack Obama

My people have a country of their own to go to if they choose… Africa… but, this America belongs to them just as much as it does to any of the white race… in some ways even more so, because they gave the sweat of their brow and their blood in slavery so that many parts of America could become prosperous and recognized in the world. ~ Josephine Baker

[The morning of Juneteenth, the Fat Boys ambled upon Bradley, a fellow class of ’65er, on the Central Lakes Trail. The self-appellated ‘Ancient Geek’ will make another cameo appearance at the end of this screed . . . ]

[Later that morning, the Super was introduced to her new computer concocted by ‘Rock’, a fellow original member of the Fat Boys Walking Club . . . ]

And then it was on to Carlos Creek Winery for an afternoon of great music with Patchouli . . .

[Not my photo – on loan from Patchouli . . . ]

[Ruthie’s shot . . . ]

[The view from the second row seats . . . ]

Romance is a love affair in other than domestic surroundings. ~ Walter Raleigh

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important. ~ Bertrand Russell

[Uninvited . . . ]

[But still a guest . . . ]

[With eyes for Karin’s chapeau . . . ]

[Karin and the Super visit with Julie on a break . . . ]

[Julie and Bruce . . . ]

[Complete strangers somehow managed to usurp our usual front row seats. Appropriate legal documents have been filed . . . ]

I wish Frank Sinatra would just shut up and sing. ~ Lauren Bacall

There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats grapenuts on principle. ~ G. K. Chesterton

Never play cards with a man named Doc. ~ Nelson Algren

I’d like to live like a poor man with lots of money. ~ Pablo Picasso

[We bid adieu early to ready for the theatre . . . ]

[On the road to Theatre L’Homme Dieu for the season premiere – Juneteenth . . . ]

[Along County Road 42, the scenic drive between Lake Carlos on the left . . . ]

[And Lake Le Homme Dieu on the right . . . ]

[The beautiful afternoon weather created record crowds at Rotary Beach . . . ]

The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was a succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti. ~ Sophia Loren

Welcome to our 2021 Season … Return To Wonder!

We’re back — after a unique 2020 season we return to the wonder and amazement of a full season at Theatre L’Homme Dieu!

Join TLHD in celebrating the holiday through food and music. The Reminders will be performing and participating in an all black panel where we’ll discuss and educate our predominantly white community on the importance of Juneteenth and discuss some of the important issues within the black community.

Change from previous info: The Food Truck and DJ will be outside. All other events will be INSIDE the Theater.  REGISTER &  GET TICKETS

Here’s the schedule for the evening of June 19th: MORE INFO

4:15 – 5:30 Music Intro from The Reminders, then joined by local community members for an all-black Panel to discuss the importance of Juneteenth and important issues in the black community.

5:30 – 7:00 Break / Dinner – Jamaican Food Truck and DJ Shando will be spinning! (Food is the consumer expense)

7:30 – The Reminders – in Concert!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

[Above is the entry to TLHD; below is Juneteenth panel of Big Samir, Josette Ciceron, and Aja Black . . . ]

[The above photo was the Super’s opening salvo; beneath is mine of theatre executive director Nicole Mulder introducing Jo as the host of the Juneteenth discussion . . . ]

Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another. ~ Toni Morrison

In the end, anti-black, anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism. ~ Shirley Chisholm

[The panel discussed much that was new to me, and I’m sure to many in the audience, about things Juneteenth and the music of The Reminders. Aja explained that hip-hop and rap originated in the neighborhoods of the Bronx when the school systems eliminated the arts from the curricula to concentrate on STEM programs. It was very interesting . . . ]

I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land. ~ Harriet Tubman

Hip hop as both a musical genre and a culture was formed during the 1970s when block parties became increasingly popular in New York City, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx. At block parties DJs played percussive breaks of popular songs using two turntables and a DJ mixer to be able to play breaks from two copies of the same record, alternating from one to the other and extending the “break”.  Hip hop’s early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum machines became widely available and affordable. Turntablist techniques such as scratching and beatmatching developed along with the breaks and Jamaican toasting, a chanting vocal style, was used over the beats. Rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks or chants along rhythmically with an instrumental or synthesized beat (Wikipedia).

[Aja noted she likes all music, except (and asked the audience to guess) . . . I think it was scream metal, but I’m not familiar with the term so I’m guessing . . . ]

I hate women because they always know where things are. ~ James Thurber

It is fun being in the same decade as you. ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Winston Churchill

Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind listen to the birds. And don’t hate nobody. ~ Eubie Blake

And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke. ~ Rudyard Kipling

A woman’s guess is much more accurate than a man’s certainty. ~ Rudyard Kipling

The reason husbands and wives do not understand each other is because they belong to different sexes. ~ Dorothy Dix

Conscience: the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking. ~ H. L. Mencken

[Often seen at the same entertainment venues . . . ]

[Two guys caught wandering the property without proper credentials . . . ]

You notice all kinds of things in the dressing room. Like people who put on their shoes and socks before their undershirt. Things you don’t really want to know. ~ Robin Herman

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. ~ George Burns

[The view from the lobby . . . ]

Many’s the long night I’ve dreamed of cheese – toasted mostly. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

The Reminders are a rare and remarkable musical duo seamlessly blending soulful sounds and roots music with insightful messages and thoughtful lyrics. The group consists of Brussels-born emcee Big Samir and Queens-born emcee/ vocalist Aja Black, a collective creative force that’s hard to beat. Big Samir weaves intricate rhythmic patterns with a bilingual French/English flow, displaying his street-smart credibility in both his lyrics and cool demeanor. This is beautifully complimented by Aja Black’s confident delivery, diverse cadences, and unique vocal stylings. The two have an undeniable magical chemistry as they share more than lyrical abilities and stages; the couple shares a partnership in both music and life as Samir and Aja have been married for almost a decade. (The Reminders website . . . )

Hip-hop is the streets. Hip-hop is a couple of elements that it comes from back in the days… that feel of music with urgency that speaks to you. It speaks to your livelihood and it’s not compromised. It’s blunt. It’s raw, straight off the street – from the beat to the voice to the words. ~ Nas

Hip-hop is supposed to uplift and create, to educate people on a larger level and to make a change. ~ Doug E. Fresh

The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable. ~ Barack Obama

Well, hip-hop is what makes the world go around. ~ Snoop Dogg

You may kill me with your hatefulness. But still, like air, I’ll rise. ~ Maya Angelou

Anybody under the age of forty knows hip-hop, gospel and R&B pretty well, and it’s all a part of what we consider to be ‘black music.’ There is a natural synergy between the three. ~ John Legend

Women who fought and sacrificed so much for equality and liberty and just for all, including Black women who are often, too often overlooked, but so often prove they are the backbone of our democracy. ~ Kamala Harris

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be freeso other people would be also free. ~ Rosa Parks

Curtain! Fast music! Light! Ready for the last finale! Great! The show looks good, the show looks good! ~ Florenz Ziegfeld

[The drive home sunset over Lake Carlos . . . ]

[And then past the wedding party premiering the new patio at the Alexandria Golf Club.]

June 20

[It rained Sunday (and the ducks flew south, how many shingles are on the dog’s house?). Father’s Day. We really needed it, but it messed up a lot of holiday plans. Our friend Anthony was performing the winery, generally an outside venue. But, the brewery is where he was . . . ]

Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then. ~ Katherine Hepburn

A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness, but after that he tends to bunch them. ~ H. L. Mencken

[The Super checking to see if other fans would be joining us . . . ]

[And then the queen and king of Ashby arrived . . . ]

The important thing in acting is to be able to laugh and cry. If I have to cry, I think of my sex life. If I have to laugh, I think if my sex life. ~ Glenda Jackson

[Following Piano Man protocol, Helen and Ruthie put bread in his jar . . . ]

Maybe I’m doing it wrong. ~ Randy Newman

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. ~ Abraham Lincoln

June 21

[Here’s Bradley reprising his cameo at the top of this monologue. It’s our monthly nosh-out for three (four, when he’s in state) members of the Alex Class of ’65. We’re at the Alexandria Golf Club . . . ]

[All enduring the classic high school boys’ diet plan: Burger, fries, and a coke. Mayo ordered a side order of everything to go on his burger . . . ]

I phoned my dad to tell him I quit smoking. He called me a quitter. ~ Steven Pearl

[The Super was checking in on us with her bridge group . . . ]

I married beneath me. All women do. ~ Lady Astor

All life is six to five against. ~ Damon Runyon

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. ~ Nelson Mandela

Up Next: It’s a busy week . . .

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