SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan Arts & Entertainment

Enthusiastic Crowd Welcomes Monthly Grind Back
Review by Susan Batho & Bill Hupe


September 18, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaska - The Beaver Clan House at Saxman was packed with an enthusiastic audience Saturday night, and they were rewarded with great music and entertainment as the Monthly Grind started up again after its summer hiatus.



Olivia Round hosted the evenings entertainment, acting as straight man against some of the more interesting characters 'round town --- Matthew "Scraggly Beard" Harry encouraged those gathered to use some of the words he taught us (suitably cleaned up for under 15 audience members) on International Talk Like A Pirate Day on Tuesday although we are at a loss how to work in "cacklefruit"(eggs) and "nipperjuice" (milk) into the conversation, but am happy to greet fellow pirates around town with the international greeting "iarg" (International Association of Raiding Gentlemen).

Maggie McDougall, ex-cafeteria lady from Schoenbar Middle School, assisted with the awards for the wonderful desserts provided for supper by audience members. The tables were literally bowing with the delicious treats provided and the queues were long, and laughing, where neighbours and friends met and chatted. The prizes were provided by Linda at Chinook & Co and were won by the Piezels, Katy with her peanut butter pie, and first prize to Melva Olsen for her fresh peach pie.

The music was an eclectic variety of rock, blues, folk and ballad, and starred the talents of Paddy's Leather Breeches, Chris Corrao, Lucy Cruz and Friends, Sean Mitchell Band and Kuehl Mello Hammer. This last group brought its own peanut gallery, proving that it is very popular with a following of very loud fans.

Chris Corrao's final song was dedicated to a friend who was leaving the island, evoking images of island life that were familiar and poignant; and Lucy Cruz's amazing voice took us back to Beale Street and the magic music that just happens there. Sean & Mitchell's humour was infectious and had us all laughing, especially with their trademark 'rap' routine; Paddy's Leather Britches started our feet tapping, and Kuehl Mello Hammer had everyone singing along.

As a community event, the Monthly Grind is not just a venue to highlight the very real talent here in Ketchikan, but is also a credit to the whole community who contributes their support and nurturing - who are willing to pick up after the Grind, supply the deserts, volunteer to help and support the events by purchasing the tickets and attending. Thank you, Ketchikan!


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Susan Batho and Bill Hupe

Bill Hupe is a resident of Ketchikan and Faulconbridge NSW, Australia. Most of his writing is with Susan Batho (also a resident of both places). Known by most people as "The Twins", they are a writing and photographic team and specializing in photography of Alaska and Australia. Their website features some of their work, and they can be reached through

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