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Because I was an hour early for a lunch date with some friends in Lexington last Friday, I decided to mosey on over to Dillard’s for a bit of retail therapy. As I browsed through the department that carries my size, the person ringing up sales was talking loudly about her Mother’s Day plans, wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day and just going on and on.
I found myself a bit agitated. I am not a mother. Mother and my grandmothers are no longer with us. How was I going to react to this person? Be rude and ignore her? Tell her, “I’m not a mother?” Tell her about my nieces and nephews?
By the time I approached the desk, credit card in hand, I knew what to say. In memory of my Mother who gave me great courage, her mother who always brought me custard when I was sick, and Daddy’s stepmother, who first introduced me to shopping in Cincinnati and always made the best dressing, and in honor of these women, who did not need the Liberation Movement to make an impact on those around them, I simply said, “Thank You.”
Perhaps because this is my last spring in my home on Fourth Street, I believe I have never seen a lovelier season. Though early, the dogwoods bloomed spectacularly and the azaleas made up for their failure to bloom last year by displaying brilliant colors for weeks with the oldest still showing its rosebud-like flowers. Now the roses, my old-fashioned white bushes and the red and yellow knockouts, add drama to different corners. The dark purple, yellow, and white irises are gone now but gave me lovely flowers to cut and bring inside. I don’t have many tulips left, as I think moles have eaten most of the bulbs – likewise the jonquils – but both were early harbingers of the colors to come.
Now I am hoping the peonies will hold on till Memorial Day as I use them to decorate at the cemetery in Williamstown, and I’m waiting for the daylilies and hydrangeas to show up. I especially love the hydrangeas and am anxious for their showy pink and blue displays. In my nearly 30 years here, I have planted more than 100 perennials. Not all are still with me, but I can still point to about 75. I’m taking the tree peony with me when I leave, though.
Last year marked a decade for the Music in the Park concerts held at the Butler-Turpin House at General Butler State Resort Park. Evelyn “Tricky” Welch had planned to continue with a similar series of performances at the William Whitley Park, where she was the new manager. The Friends of Butler, in tribute to Evelyn and to further the opportunities for enjoyment here in Carrollton, are continuing with “The Backyard Concert Series.” Led by Friends President Melissa Tharp, a committee has arrived at a terrific lineup for the summer.
The series kicks off May 26 with a Carrollton favorite – Kevin Stonerock. Kevin, you may remember, was the author of our wonderful “Point in Time” historical series. A songwriter who also does familiar cover tunes, Kevin performs throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and often in Nashville.
On June 23, the Friends of Butler welcome the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers who have shared their joy at the public library several times over the years. Always popular with the crowds, these acapella singers will present a program of gospel and traditional folk music. You won’t want to miss this concert.
On July 21, a lovely young songstress from Gallatin County, Brittany Gillstrap, will open for one of our best local performers, Steve Smith. Members of the committee first heard Brittany at the Elk Creek Winery on a Friday evening in early spring and were immediately impressed with her voice and style. Of course, Steve has entertained us at several venues over the past several years. Steve is another troubadour who writes much of his own material but also covers others. I think of his as a “roots” program.
Dan Hardin and the Sweet Nothings will present a program of what we call “American standards” on Aug. 18. Dan has performed for the Play ’Er Agin’ series before, and his sweet voice and wonderful guitar playing always impress the audience. Originally from Owen County, Dan performs all over the Louisville area and has a big following there.
The Sept. 22 date features a changeup with the Walnut Street Blues Band from Louisville. The lead vocals are performed by Artie Wells, and I think she is a real star. Back in the years when I was working on the Blues to the Point lineup, this was one of the first bands we brought to the festival. We are lucky to have them back this summer.
The 23 String Band, a well-known bluegrass band that tours the South, is returning for the 2012 season. Very well received as the closing act of the 2011 series, the committee booked them again after receiving many requests.
All concerts begin at
7 p.m., and most artists will have CDs for sale. The Friends of Butler also will be selling smashing T-shirts designed by Trinka Laughlin. Trinka won the honor by submitting her drawing to the Friends during a contest held this spring.
Jarrett Boyd is the retired director of Carroll County Public Library.