SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Monthly Grind Provides Another Great Evening of Entertainment
Article and photos by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe


March 14, 2007
Wednesday AM

Ketchikan, Alaska - The Love Boat docked at the Saxman Tribal House on the night of February 17th to give Ketchikan residents a sample of their on-board entertainment. Kim Blum as Captain Subbing, Jack Shay as the amorous Julie, as well as The Doctor (disturbingly appearing to hawk the unsold bottles of Thomas P. Fowler's Elixir from last month's Grind) and Gopher (in the guise of Cupid) were our tour guides for the evening. The on-board entertainment was in the normal Grind tradition: Outstanding! However, the seamanship of our hosts left us wary of taking a cruise to Metlakatla with this bunch, let alone all the way up the Inside Passage.

The Straight-n-Narra Gospel Singers opened the evening, singing an uplifting trio of gospel tunes. All of the members have performed at past Grind's in a variety of other groups, but turned their combined talent to gospel music for the evening. (Did they know something about the cruise we had embarked on before we did?)

jpg Ernie Meloche

Ernie Meloche
Photo by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe

The second group was Slug Tussle, Ketchikan's very own version of 80's ''Glam' bands. The young girls took the stage in their outrageous hair-dos, and sedately opened with their interpretation of The Theme From Pink Panther. A good rendition, but we could all tell the girls were begging to cut loose, so the second song was a bit more lively. By the time, they let loose with "It's All Right", they were really rocking. Some of the vocals were a bit of a stretch, but as indicated by the standing ovation Slug Tussle received, this group is definitely one to watch out for and was the highlight of the February Grind.

Ernie Meloche followed with his original story-telling style of poetry, which most people present enjoyed. His pleasant delivery was interrupted by an unusual number of people talking through his performance, a problem that was quite evident throughout the evening.

The Tapping Chandlers, a mother-daughters trio, rounded out the first half of the Grind, entertaining everyone with their dancing and their "Battle Of the Radio" slow songs vs. fast songs. This group makes quite a team, and have a delightful sense of humour.

The performances had been so great that it was almost a shame to break for intermission and desserts, and coffee. The key word is almost: Once again, a dizzying array of sweets to choose from - so many choices - so many calories.

After everyone settled back down, the second half started with The Little Brother Band, featuring Tom Thompson (who escaped for the evening from the Ward Cove Post Office) and his brother Carl Thompson, as well as guest Mary Kowalczyk on the opening number. They performed country songs from the 80s by Alabama and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and were a pleasure to listen to.

Next up was a comedy routine by He Said, She Said, featuring Sherry and Kim Henrickson and a buzzer that interrupted their conversation every time one of them lied. Quite a bit different from normal Grind fare (if there is such a thing), but still a humourous and interesting experience.

jpg The Tap-5 Human Rhythm Project

The Tap-5 Human Rhythm Project: Picoc by Shbocklr
Photo by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe

The Better Days Trio followed, testing the definition of 'Trio" (not to mention the size limitations of the stage itself). The announced five performers were cloned to twice that number to perform "Better Days" an original song by Dave Rubin. The performance was flawless and the song itself delightful.

The Tap-5 Human Rhythm Project: Picoc by Shbocklr (understandingly unpronounceable to the evening's hosts) rounded out the evening with their amazing tap dancing.

A great evening at the Monthly Grind again, highlighted by great performances showcasing the enormous talent that can be found in the community of Ketchikan. New faces, as well as regulars made this once again a memorable evening.

The March Monthly Grind on March 17, 2007, will have a St. Paddy's Day feel. Local talent will perform at the Saxman Tribal House starting at 7pm. Adult tickets are $5, Children tickets are $1. If you buy a ticket and bring a homemade dessert , you'll get a refund. Tickets are available at Tongass Business Center, Soho Coho and McPherson Music.

Although there are three more Grinds to this season before the summer hiatus, this will be our last review until the fall as Susan & Bill spend the next three months at their southern home in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney Australia and visit Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and parts of the Outback. So look out for our adventures Down Under on SitNews!


Susan Batho & Bill Hupe are residents of both Ketchikan and Faulconbridge NSW, Australia. Known by most people as "The Twins", they are a writing and photographic team for over 20 years and specialize in photography of Alaska and Australia. Their website features some of their work, and they can be reached through

©2007 SusanBatho&BillHupe

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska