“You can’t stop this love”

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Where else could I possibly have been on a chilly Saturday evening?

In the upstairs of an old antique shop in Mutual, OH we gathered on a motley collection of chairs and benches to listen as Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band filled that room to the creaking rafters with their playing.

I think it was the rawness that made it wonderful, the fact that the cracking plaster and weather worn window panes weren’t there for a trendy vintage look, but because the building has seen a hundred of these winters. It was the sincerity of the people on stage, bundled in their hats and sweaters, who play because they love the music and the stories of these songs.

Anyone could have come to the show and felt like family. A bowl of hot food and a cup of coffee from downstairs helped with that. Taking a seat on one of the benches along the wall surrounded by the smell of kerosene heaters doing their best to keep the chill at bay could only have added to the feeling. The easy, familiar interaction between the band and their audience would have topped it off. Until, at the end of it all, circled around the last heater, under the gritty glow of bare bulbs strung across the stage, you felt the fellowship and joy of honest artistry and story telling among friends.

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A Feast of Fancy

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Dishes were being prepared, lights were being strung and candles lit.

In a tiny kitchen off the dining room eager cooks and taste testers are packed as full as the oven brimming with food. In all our finery we bustle.

“Hoers-devours? Cheese?”                                                                                                                   “Most certainly, good sir!”

The friends and food continue to arrive as last (45) minute(s) preparations are finished. Our dinner is quite fashionably late. The first course, spinach salad and mozzarella green beans, is served no earlier than . We fill our glasses, pint jars, mugs, etc. with sparkling grape juices and off brand soda. The food continues to appear in dizzying array, chicken, sweet potato fries, rice, mashed potatoes, more chicken! Until finally with cleanly scraped plates we sit back.

Such romance and charm!

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Such feast!

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And such fancy!

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And after our small pleasant play of elegance we clean up, nibbling on delicious slices of lemon meringue and cheesecake.  Or scarfing with gusto in some cases. The evening dissolves into a happy ending of sleepy goofiness and goodbyes.

Fancy Feast 2014: Success!