“Spring is when you feel like whistling, even with a shoe full of slush.”
No better way to welcome Spring than with a whistle and a laugh!
As stated in a previous post, we are volunteering this week at Gilda’s LaughFest in Grand Rapids. Last Saturday night was our first show. We are part of the ‘Front of House’ team, which entails either ticket taking or ushering. For Saturday’s show, we ushered on the main floor of Fountain Street Church.
This photo shows the venue at a previous LaughFest event. The main act for our show was Billy Gardell, of Mike and Molly fame. As ushers, we did get to listen to some of the show. That was fun!
I’m sure some folks are asking “Blue collar comedy in a church?” Well, Fountain Street Church (FSC) is quite unique. Founded in mid 1800’s as a liberal Baptist church in a very conservitave town, FSC has always pushed the envelope to the left. The congregation has become non-denominational, centering itself with spirituality over any affiliation with a set religion. Over the years, they have hosted speakers such as Clarence Darrow, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, Robert Frost and Malcolm X. They have had performers such as Duke Ellington, Frank Zappa, The Grateful Dead and U2 take to the sanctuary. So to host LaughFest shows for a good cause is not a stretch at all for FSC.
And the gigantic neo-Romanesque building is a spectacular setting. If you ever have the opportunity to tour Fountain Street Church, do so. The stained glass is outstanding, and quite unique.
The opening act was Dale Jones. We were still fairly busy seating latecomers during his show, so we weren’t able to concentrate much on his act. From what we did see, he was extremely funny and was quite physical in his comedy. We definitely would like to see him again sometime. Near the end of his performance we were told to fan out, as that is when the cameras would come out for Billy Gardell. Per his wishes, no photography was allowed.
Billy hit the stage and the first word out of his mouth was the ultimate expletive. He then looked up into the rafters, grinned and said “Just checking”. The irony of doing his act in a church wasn’t lost on him. 🙂 We had about 15 minutes of people trying to take photos before they settled in and enjoyed the show. While still doing our jobs, we did get to catch most of Billy’s act and he was hilarious!
On Sunday, the weather decided that it would get in sync with the time change. We had our first temperatures in the 40’s since January! The sun was out, the sky was blue, and we headed out to Blandford Nature Center in Grand Rapids for a stroll.
The birds were singing like crazy. Check out this Downy Woodpecker working away on a branch.
Mr. Squirrel was having a blast hopping from tree to tree.
And the buckets were hanging from the taps on the maple trees, gathering sap in preparation for the spring maple syrup production that Blandford hosts. A sure sign of Spring!
Our temperatures are forecast to be in the 40’s and 50’s for the next 10 days, so that should take care of most of our snow. That ice we have been showing you on Lake Michigan will take a long time to melt, so our temps inland will be better than those at the lakeshore. Our propane usage has gone way down…thank goodness…and it won’t be too long before we shed the trailer skirting and the plastic on our windows. Michigan has a way of surprising us with late season snow, so we will hold off on those projects for a bit. In the meantime, we will be whistling away, totally oblivious to our soggy sneakers!