We Lost A Little Magic

Roland Sardeson died over the weekend, and we’re going to miss him.

In typical Roland fashion, he wrote his own obituary.  As he said “What could go wrong?”  Click here to read it.

There’s a website where you can share your memories and photos of Roland — www.rolandsardeson.com.

In an effort to find pictures to share on the Roland website, I looked through past issues of High Street Beat.

No other person has been featured or mentioned in this blog more often than Roland. It couldn’t be helped. He kept doing things that were blog-worthy.

Let’s start with Roland in various parades.

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He was a local celebrity.

Remember when this was a billboard?

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Even when he played a dead guy in Uncle Willie’s Wake, he was riveting – staying in character as guests started kissing him.

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Roland didn’t need a stage to perform.  The entire town was his stage.

He was Scrooge during last December’s Gallery Night.

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He was Allen Ludden at the Password Tournament.

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He wore a straight jacket and surprised dinner guests by launching into Edgar Allen Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart at the Walker House.

He made Mineral Point even more beautiful by building and preserving stone walls all over town.

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On a nice day you could find him reading on his roof.

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A Marine who served in Vietnam, Roland re-worked the Veteran’s Memorial in town so that people could walk up to it and read the names of the fallen. As he states in his obituary, his service in Vietnam was the “seminal event in my life on which all other things are partially based.”

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His studio on Commerce Street, was a curiosity.  He would leave the door wide open even when he was gone. How many tourists wandered in there and wondered what was going on?

Here you see him posing in his studio with a pot he made and in the background you can see the partially constructed Little Free Library that now graces Water Tower Park.

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He took the concept of the Little Free Libraries to a new level.

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There are at least nine of his libraries around town and they are the best – complete with hidden compartments and details you will only see if you open them up and explore.

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One freezing winter he decorated the corner of High and Commerce with giant ice votives.

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He decorated himself for Valentine’s Day.

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The Wisconsin State Journal accurately described Roland as “the Spirit of Mineral Point.” Parades won’t be the same. The corner of High and Commerce won’t be the same. Gallery Night won’t be the same. High Street Beat won’t be the same. The Nutcracker won’t be the same (but it will still be great and you should go).

The town has lost some magic.

Of course his closest friends and those lucky enough to know him for decades will feel the loss the hardest. But, for the rest of us, there’s a sadness in knowing he won’t be roaming around town. You never knew what character he would be or where you would see him.  But, it was always a fantastic surprise. He embodied all that was good and special about Mineral Point.

Roland will be remembered on April 20, 2017 at the Lind Pavilion. Until then, go to www.rolandsardeson.com to share your photos and memories.

-Contributed by Lisa Hay

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At The 11th Hour

Today, at the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month, we gather to honor our veterans.

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They sacrificed so that we may enjoy our freedom and exercise our rights.

img_1462 We are fortunate and thankful for their service.

-Contributed by Lisa Hay

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Shake It At the Lind Pavilion This Saturday

lpIn celebration of its first official year of full use, Shake Rag Alley will open up the doors of the Lind Pavilion (411 Commerce St) on Saturday, November 12th from 7:00-10:00pm for a fall fundraiser! Ragtime at Shake Rag Alley will feature music by the Larry Busch Band, a 50-50 raffle, cash bar and light refreshments.

Be prepared to tap your feet, to hum along, and to swing your partner! No need to worry about your dance skills! Sue and Jim Coatney will be teaching a 45-minute dance lesson just prior to the event at 6:00pm.

Tickets are on sale now! Visit the website to purchase your tickets online or call the office! Tickets are $30 pre-sale or $35 at the door. Dance lesson tickets are $5/couple.Ragtime at Shake Rag will be a fun way for you to support Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts. All proceeds will help us continue our mission to inspire creativity and bring quality art and craft classes to Southwestern Wisconsin.

Take some time for yourself before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and join us for this fun-filled evening, sure to be a great time for all! Special thanks from Shake Rag Alley to all of you for your continued support!

Don’t forget to take a look back on the transition of the Lind Pavilion. Thanks again to all donors, volunteers and contractors who shaped the Lind Pavilion into what it is today. The first full year of use boasted 34 creative workshops, three fundraisers, three wedding receptions, two graduation parties, a Mineral Point School District Planning Meeting, many Wisconsin Winter Writer’s events, an Arts Wisconsin Creative Conversation, and even a community yoga class series! And don’t forget the creative retreats, five custom retreats were hosted in the Lind Pavilion this year! And that’s just the Lind Pavilion; think about what else we’ve been up to around here! It’s been an amazing year, and we are looking towards the future with excitement. Join us on the 12th and help us celebrate a wonderful year!

Contributed by Megan Kulick, Executive Director at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts

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An Interview With Driftless Film Fest Organizer Eve Studnicka

14711262_1445043222187616_1322999225739337320_oThis Thursday, the historic Mineral Point Opera House welcomes the return of the Driftless Film Festival.

Much of the credit for the success of this annual event is due to the efforts and enthusiasm of Eve Studnicka.

Recently, we sat down with Eve for a quick interview.

HSB: Eve, thanks for all the work you’ve done getting ready for this year’s Driftless Film Festival. This is the seventh year of the festival right?

Eve: Thanks Lisa! Yep, this is our seventh year. It’s been incredible to watch this event grow into something that progresses the artistic landscape of this unique part of the world. I was born in Mineral Point, so I grew up around the generation of artists that established the amazing creative scene present in town now. But part of that upbringing meant being aware that there is a real need to build foundations for incoming young creatives and ensure that this place remains accessible and exciting for them in the way that it was for my parents and their friends. Recently, Driftless has introduced filmmaking workshops, evening entertainment, and more dynamic program elements – in addition to the networking opportunities and focus on regional filmmakers that have always made the festival a one-of-a-kind event. We’re always working to find ways to benefit young media artists, especially women and marginalized folks who may not have as many opportunities for creative support in the rural Midwest.

HSB: Tell us how the feature films and shorts programs are selected for the DFF?

Eve: We select all our films either through filmmaker submissions or through curated content from other festivals. Finding movies that will resonate with our audience – either because they were shot in the area or because they are unlike anything else you’d see on a small-town movie screen – is always a rewarding experience. The shorts in particular are a treat to work with because many of them are made by first-time filmmakers and students. Shorts have a different kind of flexibility and freedom because the distribution expectations aren’t as stringent, and the art of conveying emotion and story in such a short period of time requires immense skill. I have a lot of admiration for the vision and talent of all our 2016 filmmakers.

HSB: Are you featuring any Wisconsin-made films?

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Eve: Yes! In addition to our Wisconsin Shorts Showcase, this year we’re super excited to present five exceptional features shot in Wisconsin. Our opening night film AMERICAN FABLE actually contains a dream sequence shot at House on the Rock. DIVIDED WE FALL and CHURCH OF FELONS address issues of the Occupy movement and the drug crisis in rural Wisconsin respectively.

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THE SEEKER is an extended narrative music video set to the music of regional gem Cloud Cult, and THE SMART STUDIOS STORY recounts the wild story of Madison’s most beloved and influential recording studio (with a totally killer soundtrack to boot).

HSB: Is there a link to the full schedule?

Eve: Totally! You can check out all our films and purchase tickets at driftlessfilmfest.org/the-films.

HSB: I heard that in addition to the films there will be some late-night entertainment that weekend. Can you tell me a little more about what you have in store?

Eve: Due to popular demand, we’re bringing back our wildly popular Saturday night Tequila Point burlesque show. The Wisconsin Burlesque Association is putting together the event and we couldn’t be more delighted to be partnering with an organization that so actively supports body positivity, gender inclusivity, and creative empowerment through performance. Then, on opening night, the incredible Leslie Damaso and her passionate, innovative pianist Jason Kutz are performing live at Popolo Pizzeria, so fest guests will be able to indulge in exquisite wood-fired comfort food while they kick back and enjoy the entertainment. And on Friday night, the ‘Round Midnight Trio is tearing up Gray Dog Deli with some eclectic jazz melodies. As always, the centerpieces of the event are our film program and the iconic Mineral Point Opera House, but the festival has come to expand far beyond the screen. It’s about community and provoking dialogue and engaging with the regional landscape. More than anything, it’s about exploring one’s place in the world by taking a step away from everyday life. Whether audience members find that sense of wonder on the screen or on the streets of Mineral Point, we feel that we’ve done our job.

HSB: Thanks again for all you do to out this together. We’ll see you November 3rd.

Contributed by Lisa Hay

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Get Your Costumes Ready!

There are three FREE fun Halloween events coming up.

14566264_1505184302828969_8859214294984828196_oFriday Night – October 28, 2016

Gray Dog Deli’s Annual Halloween Costume Party

Don Greenwood’s Big Medicine will be playing live from 7.30pm, followed by DJ FMAV spinning discs from 9pm till late. There will be a contest for best costumes, with prizes being awarded by judges, Brian and Diane Stuart. Loads of snacks including the puking pumpkin – spewing guacamole – gross, great, and delicious. Creepy yummy treats and spooky drinks. Everyone welcome, and it’s free! (Thank you to Lily Bragge for this contribution and for encouraging a HSB post.)

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Costume Contest and Children’s Halloween Movie

Head to the Mineral Point Opera House for this annual event sponsored by the Mineral Point Kiwanis and MP Public Library. Guests will receive a ballot to vote for the Spookiest, Most Creative, Funniest, Cutest, and Best Overall Costumes as the children make their way across the Opera House stage. Following the costume parade, a fun and short (30-minute) movie will be shown. Costume winners will then be announced and the children will be invited to Library Park which will be transformed into a colorful pumpkin patch thanks to the Mineral Point Key Club. Each child will be allowed to take home a little painted pumpkin.

IMG_6545Halloween -Monday, October 31, 2016 at 5 pm

Meet on the corner of High and Iowa Streets at 5pm to take part in the traditional Halloween Parade down High Street followed by Trick-Or-Treating around town from 5-7pm. Make sure to stop by Shake Rag Alley for friendly (not scary) costumed characters passing out Halloween treats at each of the historic buildings.

Everyone is welcome at all events!

Contributed by Lisa Hay

 

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