“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!
13 thoughts on “Laughing our way into Spring!”
Looks like the show had a full house. Funny we just saw a game show that Billy Gardell was on and I swear he was wearing the exact same outfit! How nice to see the birds and animals out and about. Love that maple syrup!
That is funny about his outfit, Debbie! He had the place rolling in the aisles, for sure. 🙂
They just started tapping the trees here in Wisconsin last weekend, a sure sign of Spring! Looks like we are going to be here a week longer than anticipated and a thankful the temps went up into the 50’s and 60’s!
Yes, we are loving the temps over here also! I haven’t been to the propane station since Monday for a 30 pounder, and the indicator is still showing green. Hope the fluid leaking from your Jeep was a non-issue.
We’ve never been to a maple syrup farm before, no maple trees in CA. One of these days we’ll get there. I’m sure it tastes better when it’s fresh from the growers.
There isn’t a lot of it made here, but some. If you want the very best maple syrup, definitely head to Vermont. 🙂
PS : Is it possible to follow you by email ? I tried to subscribe but I ended up unfollowing you, then following you by wordpress. I don’t think the button is functioning. Or maybe I have to log out of wordpress to do it ?
You are following me, as of a couple minutes ago. 🙂
By email ? will I receive notification by email and not in my reader ? Because I have too many blogs in my reader, I often miss some post from the US because of the jet lag 😉
Hmmm…not sure. I think it is possible to follow by email. I had just gotten a notification from WordPress that you are following. 🙂
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I think the church looks like a great spot for a comedy show! The stained windows in this old church are amazing from looking at your photos. I will be sure to tour it if we are ever in the area. Beautiful! Did you know that some of the old churches in Aberdeen (used to go there for work some years ago) are bars and casinos nowadays? That’s more of a stretch I guess:)
We do have one that I know of in Grand Rapids that is a brewery now. This town has recently become a destination in the craft beer circles. We have been trading off the Beer City USA label with Asheville, NC the past few years. You might know, just the time my gluten allergy kicked in, GR goes beer crazy and I can’t touch the stuff! Thank goodness that hard cider has become popular. 🙂
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I wouldn’t mind visiting a church brewery:) My brother also struggles with gluten allergy and I think he found several gluten free option while he was here on vacation last summer. According to him they were decent as well. But I guess cider is a good option as well:)