On Hwy 13 between Washburn and Bayfield, high above the lake at a ski hill called Mt. Ashwabay, is a summer place of music - Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua.
No visit to Chequamegon Bay is complete unless it has included a show at the Big Top. And like a number of the good things of life - once is not enough.
Come along with me to the big blue tent . . .
It's a warm August Saturday, we've spent the day sailing, are tanned and relaxed, the meal at The Pier in Bayfield was, as is usual, great - we even had time for a quick stroll on the pier, to "see who's coming in and who's going out.
"As the car turns to climb the long hill, someone starts to hum a tune, and then we are singing.
to be a brand new town, a brand new town,
|It's a "Riding The
Wind" night, seen it who knows how many times, know the words to every song.
But still, somehow, anticipation builds.
Tent lights dim. An expectant, near
reverent hush ripples through the full house of 800. Even children swallow their chatter,
sensing the approach
At the touch Bruce Bower's nimble fingers a synthesizer sounds an other-worldly tune that vibrates in the soul, rolling the air like a night breeze through a pine forest.
Our story tellers step into the single spot. And it begins.
"Old winds are about tonight. Old
steps up the street.
|Too soon it's over. We are
quiet as we depart. The silence of appreciation.
In a few weeks "Old Last Night" will come. And we know we will gather round a bonfire long after midnight, and as the sparks disappear in a star filled sky, someone will ask Warren Nelson to sing Autumn Fancy.
|"Lake hills turn the
color of a foxes coat,
easy in the breeze the leaves go cold,
when the birch turn yellow and the maple red,
apples are ripe up overhead.
When the Fall is falling all around,
get your wood up quick,
Winter coming to town.
The way the Indian Summer lays on the bay,
this fine October day.
Blue on the big lake,
blue in the sky,
blue down the river of the time gone by,
green come a summer to a golden end,
yellow is the eye over earth my friend."