Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

July 10, 2013

There's music in them thar hills

“Smoke on the Mountain” just opened at Beef & Boards Dinner Theater. It is the story of the Singing Sanders Family as they perform at a Saturday night bluegrass gospel sing after a five-year hiatus. The time is 1938 and the place is the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in the Great Smoky Mountains.

I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to this musical, given I really am not a fan of bluegrass music. What a pleasant surprise it was to genuinely be happy to have experienced this thoroughly entertaining evening. The seven-member cast did a bang-up job. In addition to playing all kinds of instruments and singing up a storm, the players took turns “witnessing” to the audience/congregation. This wasn’t your standard Sunday morning, milquetoast kind of witnessing, but had more of a mild Jerry Springer quality.

One of the most enjoyable parts of the evening for me was watching Sarah Hund as June Sanders. I have to tell you, I think I have a girl crush on her. She managed to pull off quirky, gawky and loveable, all while performing the entire percussion section. The things that woman can do with a jar of beans and a tambourine while pretending to have no rhythm made my night.

Hund also performs many of the musical numbers using a mixture of actual and made-up sign language. Let me point out that the tempo of gospel music doesn’t lend itself very well to sign language, and the results were hilarious.

Pam Pendleton delighted as the mother of the Sanders clan, Vera. She had a somewhat dimwitted yet endearing vibe going for most of the show, then came her time to “witness.” I swear to you, Pendleton played the part so well that I laughed until I cried. Then I laughed some more.

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  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

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    July 9, 2014

  • Hardships mount for military families INDIANAPOLIS – Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help.

    July 9, 2014

  • Learning the hard way develops critical thinking One of my friends posted a picture last week of a little kid holding a lit sparkler, but someone had poked the wire through a red plastic cup so the sparks wouldn’t hit the child’s hand. My first thought was to wonder if I needed to stop being friends with this person who thought that looked like a good idea. I did not.

    July 9, 2014

  • Look out for tomato leaf spots this year The most commonly grown crop in central Indiana gardens is the tomato. They do well in our climate; however, as any experienced grower knows, they are also susceptible to several diseases. About this time of year two common fungal leaf-spot diseases often appear on tomato plants. Septoria leaf spot and early blight are both characterized by brown spots on the leaves.

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    July 2, 2014

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