Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First Snow of the Season

Peru welcomes the first snow of the season.

Yesterday's weather forecast called for a "slight chance of snow" and for no accumulation. So today's fall and accumulation came rather as a surprise.

I awoke this morning to very cold temperatures and to this very forlorn and lonely looking Pine Siskin at the bird feeders outside my window. Just click on the picture to enlarge the little fellow with an ice-crusted beak. Unfortunately, the Pine Siskin succumbed to the freezing temperatures:

Just two days ago, this Monday, the mercury flirted with 75+. And the rose garden looked very much like this picture from when classes began in August. In fact, my friend Bill Snyder and I enjoyed a very comfortable cup of tea in a bench by the fountain.

This afternoon, the slight chance of snow and no accumulation created this picture, beautiful but not tea-drinking comfortable.

I created a series of images of the late-summer and fall colors on campus and mixed in the contrast the first snow of the season--on the day before Thanksgiving--provides. Feel free to download any images that appeal to you.

Even the campus Bobcat looks chilled.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mark Klemetsrud as Clarence Darrow

Mark Klemetsrud's Performance of
Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned

On Wednesday, November 14, in the Peru State College Theater, PSC's Phi Alpha Theta sponsored Mark Klemetsrud's dress rehearsal for the college community of Clarence Darrow by David W. Rintels, a play originally written for Henry Fonda.

An appreciative audience watched Klemetsrud become Darrow, perhaps best known as the attorney who challenged William Jennings Bryan in the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial." At this link, you can view and download images from Mark's impressive performance. And here you can learn more about Clarence Darrow.

The following two short videos from the performance provide samples of Klemetsrud's acting excellence. One excerpt comes from the scene in which Darrow defends a union organizer accused in Idaho of a murder he did not commit; and the other video provides a short scene from one of Darrow's other famous trials, in which he must defend himself against false charges of attempted bribery stemming from the famous McNamara case; both verdicts made the lawyer enemies and caused the loss of friends and clients.

Peru State Jazz Band Plays to 500+ in Falls City

The Peru State Jazz Band Returns to Falls City

The Peru State Jazz Band

On Tuesday, November 13, the Peru State Jazz Band returned to Falls City where on October I they helped commemorate, along with Nebraska's governor, the planned renovation of the Stevenson Hotel. You can see images and a short video here of that previous performance.

Appreciative Crowd at Falls City High School

The Band Performs for an Enthusiastic Audience

This time around, the Jazz Band provided the entertainment for the Fall City's Farmers' Appreciation Evening, a dinner that over 500 people attended. They also provided by far the Jazz Band's largest audience this year.

I posted images from of the band, from practice to performance; feel free to download any of the images. And then give the band a listen.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

International Conference on Caribbean Literature

The Ninth International Conference on Caribbean Literature

I attended this conference and presented a paper, "Earl Lovelace’s Blue and Bango, the Artistic Transformation of the Martyr and the Clown, Brief Conversion to Salt." This year's conference took place November 7-9 in beautiful St. Lucia in the West Indies.

I posted images from the trip; enjoy a slide show.

My wife, Linda, also attended and gave a paper, and we got to travel a bit around St. Lucia--22 miles long and 14 at its widest. The Piton Mountains near Soufriere (means "sulfer") attest to the island's volcanic past, and the mountains find their name on the nation's premier beer, Piton Lager Beer (The link takes you to a site for the beer and a song about St. Lucia and its beer).

The Pitons
This year's conference honored a native of St. Lucia and Castries, where the conference took place, Derek Walcott, who in 1992 earned a Nobel Prize for Literature; at this site, you can read his famous Nobel Lecture--or listen to the 48-minute recording of "The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory."

Derek Walcott Reads, November 7, 2007

And in the two video clips, you can listen to Walcott read a couple poems from his latest book of poetry, The Prodigal.

We did not get around a lot, but we did visit Pigeon Island near Gros Islet in the north; this area houses the ruins of a sixteenth century British fort. The French creole that most everyone speaks attests to the island's past, for the French or the British controlled the island six or seven times each.

Ruins at Pigeon Island

While at Pigeon Island, I also got a nice picture of a Little Blue Heron.

Blue Heron

And each night, you hear a poetry of sounds on the island, featuring the wonderful chorus of frogs--not seen easily but always heard. This particular recording features the frogs singing while rains fall and Caribbean waves crash in the distance. Just click in listen to the 44 seconds of "singing."

You will also find a video by a leading musician in St. Lucia--I will supply his name later--who offers a folk song in the nation island's French Creole.

Aaron Shirley Senior Exhibition

Aaron Shirley Senior Exhibition

This Sunday at 2:00, Aaron Shirley's Senior Exhibition opened in the Art Gallery in the Fine Arts Building. The show runs from November 12-December 4, giving everyone plenty of time to appreciate his work.

Take a look the images from the collection in the Art Gallery and of this afternoon's opening--and then drop by to enjoy the exhibition.

Oh, Aaron's uncle owns a wrecker shop, and Aaron has made imaginative use of what many might consider, well, junk. The following images from the show will strike you as wonderfully colorful; note the shapes, however, for Aaron puts car hoods to wonderfully artistic use:

Fall Band Concert at Peru State, November 11

Fall Band Concert at Peru State College, November 11

On Sunday afternoon at 3:00, the Concert Band and the Jazz Band put on an exciting show for an appreciative audience. I loaded for your enjoyment a series of images from the Concert Band and the Jazz Band.

Dr. Pat Fortney, Conductor of the Peru Bands

The Concert band performed first, and just scroll past the image below of the Concert Band and enjoy a video of one of their selections. After the video, you will find links to images from the concert and a video from the Jazz Band's performance.

The Peru State College Concert Band

As many of you know, the bands have stayed very busy all year long: the Jazz Band performed at Peru State College's 140th Birthday Celebration and in Falls City. The band marched at Homecoming and the Pep Band performs at home football games and many other events. So scroll down and give the Jazz Band's selection from Carlos Santana a listen.

Peru State College Jazz Band

Trombone Solo

Click on the link and listen to the performance.