Saturday, November 29, 2003

The In-Laws, and a Fundraiser for Jimmy Jones

Here's a dispatch from somewhere deep within a long, contented weekend of turkey-eating, sports-watching, hanging-with-kids and enjoying the beloved in-laws, Mary and Bill Kerrigan. The latter couple, proprietors of the best bed & breakfast on the American east coast (look them up if ever you find yourself in Southern Maine), never cease to amaze and delight with their gentle good humor and boundless love and interest in their giant brood. For years, Granny & Bubba, as they're known, have made it a point to annually visit each of their nine kids--no mean feat, since they live in nearly every imaginable corner of the globe (Oregon; Silicon Valley; Charleston, S.C.; Boston and even Indonesia). But for four years running, we've been blessed to get them all to ourselves for a special weekend--Thanksgiving. And it makes the holiday even more special than it otherwise would be. Our kids beam in the presence of their grandparents, and we get to soak up some more of their warmth and wisdom. A no-lose proposition all around...

And as if god himself were handling the scheduling, just as Granny & Bubba depart on Sunday (tomorrow), another not-to-be-missed event unfolds, a benefit concert for gentle soul Jimmy Jones, former member of the unique Cleveland-based ensemble band Pere Ubu. I know Jim not so much through his musical incarnation, but through his later photographic career, when he shot some great photos to accompany my print articles. But I came to value him deeply for his photographic memory for old Cleveland, his love of books (he worked in at least two legendary old Cleveland bookstores) and his singular gift of intelligent gab as an occasional drinking pal in Lakewood. In recent years, Jim has had some health setbacks, but more recently, he's rallied in ways that have cheered his friends. And tomorrow offers a chance to show him in a palpable way how we feel about him. The benefit is set to take place at 8 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom, through which co-founder Cindy Barber, former Free Times editor, has taken a dumpy old Croatian dance hall and helped turn around the fortunes of her Collinwood neighborhood. The show begins at 8, and tickets are $15. Please consider joining us if you can.


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