What a great city this is.
You know thousands of people from out of town were thinking this as they waited cheerfully in lines dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of people long Saturday for a cup of chowder.
What a great city. So many shops, such a nice downtown, such an interesting mix of old and new architecture. The almost spring-like weather helped, sure. But Chowderfest has become such a tradition that people come anyway. I wanted to buy some kettle corn for my staff but even that line was about 60 people long. I’m used to maybe one or two people on line.
I shake my head in wonder when people who live in the nearby suburbs tell me they hardly ever come to downtown, to browse, shop or eat.
Yes, this is a great city, but it’s not just because of the shops, the restaurants and the architecture. It’s the people.
A press release crossed my electronic desk this morning with the heading: “Music Mayhem -- For the Love of Scott."
The long-time manager of Gaffney's Restaurant, Kim Smith, and her husband Scott, have been struggling with his brain cancer for the last two years.
On Sunday afternoon (Feb. 12), more than 20 local musicians and many local business owners will come together for one afternoon to host a music fest to help them financially through this crisis. I hope they have a great turnout.
Kim knows when she seats me and my husband for dinner on Friday evenings not to offer me anything from the bar —I’m on a dinner break. She always has a smile for her customers, longtime or new.
“This woman and her husband are truly loved by the entire community," said Marianne Barker, an organizer of the event along with Rick Bolton.
"When asking the Gaffney's family of musicians to play for this event, it was as if I had asked them if they wanted to play Carnegie Hall for a million dollars,” Bolton said in the press release.
"Music Mayhem -- For the Love of Scott” will take place from 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday with food, drink specials, raffles, a silent auction
— and of course, music. Scheduled bands include: Acoustic Circus, Big Medicine, Jeff Brisbin, Steve Candlen, Chris Carey, Brian Gibney & Mikki Bakken of The Fighting 86's, George Fletcher & Folding Money, Erin Harkes, Johnny & The Triumphs, Justin Joyner of Gravity, Phil Drum & Rob Adkins of Low 'N
Lonesone, Matt McCabe, Garland Nelson, New Shoes Blues, Sheri Nolan, Sirsy, Richie Ortiz, Rick Rourke & Lost Wages, Dance Mansion Duo with Marcus Ruggiero & Brian Kelley, Trevor English & Frankie, Ubuntu and Rick Bolton.
Throughout the year, as families cope with illnesses and other tragedies, people step up with moral and financial support. It’s heartbreaking when people are struggling, but so heartwarming when people pull together to help one another. Yes, this is a great city.
Tickets for “Music Mayhem” will be sold at the door, for $10 a person. Donations can be dropped off at Impressions of Saratoga, 368 Broadway or Gaffney's at 16 Caroline St., c/o John Baker, with checks payable to The Scott Smith Fund.
For more information, call Erin Anthony at 309-4549.
Here’s the schedule of entertainment planned for Sunday:
Gaffney's Starting Gate Music
2:00 - 2:25 Ubuntu
2:35 - 3:00 Trevor English & Frankie
3:10 - 3:35 Low 'N Lonesome ~
Phil Drum & Rob Adkins
3:45 - 4:10 Dance Mansion Duo ~
Marcus Ruggiero w/Brian Kelley
4:20 - 4:45 Chris Carey
4:55 - 5:20 Justin Joyner of Gravity
5:30 - 5:55 Steve Candlen
6:05 - 6:30 Jeff Brisbin
Gaffney's Upstairs Music
1:00 - 1:25 Matt McCabe
1:35 - 2:00 Mikki Bakken & Brian Gibney
of The Fighting 86's
2:10 - 2:35 George Fletcher & Folding Money
2:45 - 3:10 Erin Harkes
3:20 - 3:45 New Shoes Blues
3:55 - 4:20 Rick Rourke & Lost Wages
4:30 - 4:55 Acoustic Circus
5:05 - 5:30 Johnny & The Triumphs
5:40 - 6:05 Sirsy
6:15 - 6:40 Richie Ortiz
6:50 - 7:15 Garland Nelson
7:25 - 8:00 Big Medicine & Friends