June 12, 2012: I have been AWL (Absent WITH Leave) for the last two weeks at rehearsals.  

May 29, I was blessed with a visit from my first cousin, Fred, who I have called Big Brother since his first tour of duty in Viet Nam and his lovely lady, Bruni. They live in Schweinfurt, Germany where Fred retired from the Army. 

Fred and Bruni at King Ludwig's Castle

Bruni and Fred

  I spent June 2011 in Germany thanks to him! Then on June 5, yours truly was performing her duties as City Clerk in charge of a municipal election instead of performing with a baritone sax. Tonight was rehearsal!! As much as I enjoyed the May visit, I did not realize how missing rehearsals had put me in the dumps! My spirits have been lifted!!

For those who have never been to Shinnston on or around July 1 – 4, the Shinnston Community Band takes the cement pad in front of the bath house at Ferguson Memorial Park to perform an Independence Concert. There are usually several local performers or groups who do a “warm-up” act. Kelsey Jeffers has performed and Chelsey Boyles has too. This year BreakMountain, a bluegrass band will be the warm-up. (They performed at the trailhead on National Trail Day and are VERY good!)

Sunday, July 1. 2012, approximately 4500 people will start arriving at the Park by 4 PM for the free Concert and Fireworks.

Crowd at the Park for Concert

Early arrivals for Concert

They will fill the grassy area with blankets and lawn chairs, buy food at the pool concession stand (or bring a picnic), buy baked goods from the Swim Team bake sale fundraiser, and settle in for a wonderful evening of music. Every house that rims the Park will have a yard full of family and friends for a cook-out and the music. At approximately 8:00 PM, the Shinnston Community Band with 60 or more musicians ranging from middle school to their 80s will file in and Mike Cale will raise his baton to start the concert. Many new numbers will be played. Some numbers are a standard – Armed Forces Salute to honor our current and former members of the military and of course, ending with Stars and Stripes Forever. As the last strains are played, the fireworks will start. Shinnston has one of the best fireworks in the area. In 2010 a couple came to the Gillum House from New York for the Concert. They said they enjoyed it immensely.

Reservations at the Gillum House for the Concert need to be made soon – July 1 is almost here. If you miss the July 1 concert in Shinnston, we are giving you a mulligan (a do-over) this year. Go to Veterans Park in Clarksburg on July 5 where the Shinnston Community Band will perform in the Ampitheater. For Gillum House reservations book online at www.gillumhouse.com/reservations/ or call 888-592-0177 for reservations.

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